Premier Daniel Andrews has been reminded about the plight of Australian Sustainable Hardwoods workers on State Budget day in Parliament this afternoon.
State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, told Parliament: “The ongoing uncertainty is a disgrace and is exacerbated by the fact you refuse to visit the town despite promising to do so almost three months ago.”
“You have been to the Latrobe Valley a number of times but can never find the extra time to make the half-hour trip to Heyfield to meet the workers and their families – yet you are always keen to say you care about their jobs.
“It is time for action, not weasel words Mr Premier, get your backside to Heyfield and bring some good news with you.”
Mr Bull also said the promised review into leadbeater possum reserves and impacts on timber harvesting has not been released by April as promised by the Agriculture Minister, Jaala Pulford.
“It is disappointing that it took the government so long to complete the review, but now it has missed its own generous deadline and not even a word from the Minister,” he said.
“There are now over 600 confirmed colonies and the review was meant to be established at the trigger point of 200 colonies being located.
“It is just another case of this government dragging its feet and creating more uncertainty on issues relating to the timber industry.
“Labor’s Timber Industry Taskforce deliberated for almost two years and was unable to reach a consensus on the key points it was reviewing, then the Minister’s replacement taskforce achieved no outcomes in its allocated four-week timeframe and now this report is past its deadline.
“The workers in the sector and their families deserve better,” Mr Bull said.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017