“The native forestry sector is an important employer and economic contributor that supplies our community with sustainable, renewable building materials and other timber products” (Press Release, the Hon Dave Kelly, 3 December 2019).
Less than two years ago the Minister heralded the significant investment of a new company lured to WA’s native timber industry, bringing much needed jobs and investment and following the release of their Djarlma plan. That same Minister and his government have now abandoned that industry and their plan, which is only 2 years old.
The McGowan Labor government’s decision to sell-out part of WA’s timber industry proves you can’t trust a Labor government when it comes to the jobs of hardworking men and women of regional WA.
“The native forestry industry injects $220 million into the Western Australian economy each year and supports more than 800 jobs” (Press Release, the Hon Dave Kelly, 3 December 2019).
That economic contribution and the 800 livelihoods mean nothing to the WA Labor government, who clearly are trying to appease inner-city voters at the cost of regional jobs and communities.
“This decision is a complete nonsense given the fact that native forestry is done better here than anywhere else in the world,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.
“Every tree that is harvested as part of native forestry is regrown.
“This decision, apparently guided by a ‘community survey’ instead of science shows that the WA Labor government is more interested in politics than about good environmental outcomes, economic prosperity and the livelihoods of their own people.
“With high demand in Australia and globally for hardwood products for applications such as floorboards, staircases and furniture, this policy to cease native forestry would increase imports from countries with weaker environmental regulations. The short-sightedness of this Labor government is breathtaking.
“The Australian Government has always supported the renewable, sustainable native forestry industry in Western Australia and our policy for forestry is to ensure both strong plantation and native forest sectors.
“I call on the WA Labor government to reverse this damaging decision.”