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Labor – $910m on level crossings and $120m to support timber workers

Melina Bath and with Gippsland native timber industry employees

The Victorian State Government has been slammed for its appalling devaluation of native timber industry workers. The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath said a State Government statement boasted Labor’s funding of $744 million for level crossings in Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach and $166 million to remove a level crossing in Berwick. Source: Timberbiz

“This expenditure is hugely insulting when Labor only committed a paltry $120 million over 10 years to support thousands of timber workers who are destined to lose their jobs after Daniel Andrews announced he is intending to close their industry,” she said.

“Daniel Andrews sees fit to splash around $910 million to improve travel time by a few minutes for Melbourne commuters, yet he only throws out chicken feed at the livelihood of regional workers he betrayed.

“Labor clearly has its priorities all wrong.

“Under Daniel Andrews, the livelihood of timber industry workers is worth substantially less than one level crossing removal in Melbourne.

“It is disgraceful and an insult to the thousands of hardworking timber workers across the state.”

Ms Bath said The Nationals would continue to fight against the planned closure of the native timber industry.

“It is abundantly clear how little Daniel Andrews thinks of regional people, our industry and jobs – we are simply considered disposable,” said Ms Bath.

“Financial support in regional areas and support for regional jobs is grossly inadequate and totally disproportionate.

“Gippslanders have long memories and will not forget Labor’s abandonment of workers in regional industries.”