17 December 2021

Andrews’ Labor Government fails timber workers with Victorian Forestry Plan farce

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam has slammed the Andrews’ Labor Government’s forestry plan, saying that if they really cared about timber workers they would reverse their ban on native forestry.

“Today’s announcement by the Andrews’ Labor Government is just another exercise in papering over the cracks of their political and destructive decision to shut down the native forest industries.

“No promise from the Victorian Labor Government can replace the jobs and communities that this plan will devastate in regional areas.

“Native forestry directly employs 1,600 Victorians, and when you add in flow-on jobs that number goes up to 4,700.

“Victorian Labor need to explain to every single one of those 4,700 people why they think appeasing people living in downtown Melbourne is more important than the jobs of native foresters working in regional Victoria.

“Victorian Labor have refused to provide any science or data behind their decision, because it doesn’t exist.

“Simply put, the Andrews’ Labor Government have made a political decision that is not based on science in order to keep their green mates happy.

“It has been made with absolutely no regard to timber workers, their families, and the regional communities that they live in.

“It will ultimately lead to demand for timber products and jobs being pushed offshore to countries where they do not care for the environment.

“Now, Victorian Labor are adding insult to injury by offering a piecemeal ‘transition’ package to the industry and claiming that they have saved the day.

“I am not fooled, and neither are any of the 4,700 people who rely on this industry for their livelihood.

“I will continue to call for Labor to reverse this destructive decision.

“If my Federal Labor colleagues, particularly those Victorian MPs and Senators, care about timber workers then they should be doing the same thing.”