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Nationals leader says more than 20,000 jobs will go

Peter Walsh

Nationals leader Peter Walsh has described the logging ban announcement as a “beat up” developed by people opposed to logging. “There’s no old growth logging, that’s the biggest load of bull ever,” he said. “Less than 5% of native forest is ever being logged in Victoria across a 30 year rotation. I can’t describe how angry I am with this dickhead premier.” Source: Timberbiz

He said more than 20,000 jobs will go in total in the timber supply chain and 2500 harvesting and sawmill jobs.

“It will be devastating,” he said.

Mr Walsh said the premier was putting politics and the support of the Greens ahead of country jobs.

“It just plays into the game they’re playing with the Greens, that’s all,” Mr Walsh said.

“This is whole communities he is going to destroy on a whim.”

The Liberal Nationals will stand shoulder to shoulder with our regional communities and fight the arrogant Premier for Melbourne every step of the way on his disastrous plan.

“Today is a dark day for our regional communities and the industries that underpin us,’’ Mr Walsh said.

“We should be backing Victoria’s sustainable timber industry, not axing it.

“Daniel Andrews should be supporting and promoting Victoria’s sustainable forest industry, not shutting it down.

“But over past five years we’ve seen the Andrews Government do everything possible to starve Victoria’s forest industry of resources, costing regional jobs and undermining business confidence.’’

Mr Walsh said it was “total madness’’ considering the state’s forest industries supported tens of thousands direct and indirect jobs, many in regional communities, and pump $7 billion through Victoria’s economy.

“Not only that, our forest industries meet and exceed world’s best forestry management practices, and forest scientists agree sustainable management can play a positive role in minimising carbon emissions,’’ he said.

“These industries deliver state-wide benefits and, in some areas, sustain small communities where there are no other employment options nearby

“Daniel Andrews’ plan threatens to wipe towns like Orbost and Heyfield off the map, and will send jobs offshore to countries that don’t have strict timber harvest standards like Victoria.’’