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Native forestry may be sacrificed at Labor conference

Shadow Environment, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Jonno Duniam

Shadow Environment, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Jonno Duniam fears that the native forestry industry will be sacrificed on the altar of extreme left politics at this weekend’s Federal Labor Conference in Brisbane. Source: Timberbiz

During the May 2022 election, then Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese wrote to forestry workers in Tasmania to assure the industry of Labor’s support.

This supposed commitment didn’t stop the Western Australian Labor Government from shutting down their native forestry industry, nor the Victorian Labor Government from fast tracking their decision to close the industry from 2030 to 2024.

And in July, the Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN), the ALP’s largest internal lobby group, called for the party’s national conference to support an industry policy focused on restoring native forests.

The group wants a new forest protection employment plan developed, a proposal they say could build a globally significant carbon sink and create 18,600 skilled jobs in Australia.

Senator Duniam that the forestry industry, with all the regional jobs and communities that re-lied on it, had been devastated by Labor Governments countrywide.

“Families are left with no job and no income,” he said. “Federal Labor has presided over the shutdown of mill after mill and lock up of coupe after coupe since they came into Government.

“They have done nothing to prevent this decline. Amid the closure of Australia’s last white paper mill in Gippsland and Dan Andrews’ disastrous decision to fast track Victoria’s native forestry by six years, Federal Labor have stood idly by.

“Now we see three hundred Labor branches and Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN) teaming up at the left faction-dominated national ALP conference to pressure the Prime Minister and Federal Labor to end native forest logging,” Senator Duniam said.

“Anthony Albanese backed forestry at the last election. Now he needs stand up to his woke Labor members to protect our sustainable timber industry.

“Where are we going to get our coffee tables, staircases, floorboards and reams of paper from if this industry dies? Places like the Congo Basin, where they don’t share our industry’s world-leading commitment to sustainability.”

“There is one test this weekend for Federal Labor, and regional Australians will be watching,” he said.