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Friday analysis: Labor SA Premier visits forestry but will Albanese do the same

Member for Gippsland Darren Chester with David Jettner, Opal General Manager, Corporate Development & Strategic Projects

South Australia’s Labor Government is spending a good and fitting amount of time in Mount Gambier visiting local forestry companies like OneFortyOne, and Victorian MP Darren Chester is calling on the Federal Government to do the same.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has written to new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese regarding the funding of local projects critical to the future of the region and urged the new Prime Minister to visit the region and to ensure essential projects in the Latrobe Valley are funded under the new government.

“There are a range of projects that were announced under the previous Coalition Government and were budgeted for, but no formal contracts have been entered into,” Mr Chester said.

“While I can appreciate the incoming government having its own priorities, these projects are critical to the energy and manufacturing transition which is underway in Gippsland.

“These projects are all directed at sustainable long-term jobs through co-investment with the private sector in new energy or manufacturing initiatives.”

The projects include the Energy from Waste project at Opal’s Maryvale Mill.

“These projects are major investments in our region and are significant drivers of economic sustainability especially with the transition taking place over the next 20 years,” Mr Chester said.

Mr Chester also urged Mr Albanese to pressure Victoria’s Labor government to overture its ban on native timber harvesting, and to provide much needed support to the timber industry especially in Gippsland. Victoria’s Labor has in some way gone towards that with VicForests recently securing funding to build a seedling nursery in Bairnsdale. Tendering for the project is underway.

Meanwhile in Mount Gambier the industry, and state government representatives, are ready to don their finest for tonight’s Green Triangle Timber Industry Awards dinner which will celebrate nine new award category finalists and winners. This is the first time since 2019 that industry members from across the region will be able to get together for this event.

Timberbiz will be represented at the awards by Bruce Mitchell who will be reporting on the event in next Wednesday’s edition of Timberbiz, there is no Monday edition of Timberbiz as Monday is a public holiday.