Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman is concerned the State Government is walking away from the largely legislated Forest Management Plan and risking jobs in an effort to appease Labor’s environmental factions.
The Forestry Minister has placed a 12-month freeze on the harvesting of South West ‘two tier’ regrowth karri forest coupes despite these trees being a key element in the sustainable timber yield of the plan.
“Given the State has a robust Forest Management Plan in place, I cannot see the logic in making ad hoc decisions and restricting access to certain coupes,” Mr Redman said.
“This apparent breach of the timber contract creates uncertainty, undermines confidence in the industry, threatens investment and jobs, and undercuts the Forest Management Plan process just at a time when the region needs some stability.
“I don’t understand why the Labor Government would jeopardise relationships with the timber industry, just when they are trying to increase employment and keep the economy buoyant.
“Minister Kelly seems to be breaking ranks with the Forest Management Plan, and just like his poorly managed plans with the lobster industry, he is once again creating confusion and turmoil within an important regional industry.
“If timber processors believe there is limited need for this type of timber due to ‘customer demand’ as quoted by Minister Kelly, then they will adapt to market forces without the intervention of State Government.
“This latest announcement is a ploy by Labor to create a ‘green’ image in an effort to win the favour of environmentalists and their votes.
“It is the backlash to the overall timber industry, the breaching of a legitimate contract, and threats to regional jobs in the sector that has me riled.”