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Poles apart in NSW – new fibreglass electricity poles

The NSW Nationals are calling on the State Government to reverse a decision to replace hardwood power poles with composite poles. The composite poles are to be made from a fibreglass and resin composite with a UV coating for fire resilience. Source: Timberbiz

It is anticipated that more than 2000 timber power poles will be replaced a year with a further 9000 composite poles as new installations or replacement poles for end-of-life hardwood poles.

NSW Nationals Leader Dugald Saunders visited Coffs Harbour Hardwoods in Glenreagh, along with Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for the North Coast Gurmesh Singh, Member for Clarence Richie Williamson, Member for Oxley Michael Kemp, and industry representatives.

They’ve called on Environment Minister Penny Sharpe to intervene to prevent a further increase in power prices, and to provide certainty to the timber industry.

Mr Saunders said hardwood has been hard done by.

“Not only will this untested product be worse for the household budget by adding to power bills, but it will also be worse for the environment by increasing our carbon footprint,” Mr Saunders said.

Mr Singh said the ALP’s move will exacerbate the cost-of living crisis.

“It’s bad enough Labor’s budget didn’t allocate any funding to help families while times are tough, but now the government is making decisions that will make things worse,” Mr Singh said.

Last week the NSW Nationals party room passed a resolution, reaffirming its support of the hardwood and softwood timber industry.

The resolution endorsed all responsible and sustainable harvesting measures, while opposing transfers of productive state forest to national park without strong scientific justification of improved outcomes.

Richie Williamson said the current reduction in timber supply is a direct result of the Minns Labor Government’s decisions.

“All of the shutdowns we’ve seen over the past six months or so have been caused by this government letting the timber industry down. It needs to do better to stand up for our regional workers and businesses,” Mr Williamson said.

Michael Kemp said the resolution shows the NSW Nationals will always back our primary producers.

“Hardwood timber is the backbone of the Mid North Coast and last week every single member of parliamentary team again showed their support for one of our most sustainable industries,” Mr Kemp said.