9 March 2023


Today’s Labor-Green deal on the National Reconstruction Fund is another disgraceful broken promise to Australia’s forestry industry.

In their original NRF plan, the Albanese Government pledged that $500 million would be reserved specifically for support across the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors.  This was a centrepiece of their pre-election promises to the forestry industry.

And, on 17 May 2022, the then Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese, also wrote to forestry workers in Tasmania that:

“I promise you that if I become Prime Minister, a Government I lead will not shut down the native forestry industry.”

Mr Albanese also described the very concept of a Federal Government excluding the forestry industry from a manufacturing strategy as “shameful”.

The actions of the Albanese-Bandt Government today clearly betray all of the now Prime Minister’s promises.
Adding to this chaos, the Government’s Forestry Minister Murray Watt has already been caught out in recent weeks, breaking a range of further promises to the sector.

Extraordinarily, he has even breached the Regional Forestry Act – and failed to hold, or apparently even schedule, a promised cross-sector roundtable to discuss all aspects of the future of the industry.

Tellingly, Mr Albanese also said in his letter of 17 May 2022 that “the Liberals have gone into overdrive saying that Labor will listen to the Greens (and) this is nothing but a desperate scare campaign”.

The reality – as exposed by the Government’s actions again today – is that those warnings were entirely correct.