For the second time in a matter of weeks, the Andrews Labor Government has promoted its use of hardwood timber in State Government building projects, while at the same time closing down our local industry.
Gippsland East MP Tim Bull, said this was again, ultimate hypocrisy.
“A few weeks ago, the Government boasted using Darwin Stringybark in the construction of the new St Kilda Pier.
“It is a great product and I have no problems with its use, but to espouse the benefits of native hardwood timber that is not plantation grown when you are shutting our local sector, meaning we will rely on imports, is hard to stomach.
“Now, just a couple of weeks later, Labor has again issued a media release praising itself for using hardwood timber in decking on a separate project in Altona.
“I wish the Government would make up its mind. Is this a good product that should be supported (a view I agree with), or is it a sector that should be closed – you can’t have it both ways.
“It seems they want to close the industry to appease the inner-city lefties, but then use the product because they know deep down it is the only carbon storing building material we have,” said Mr Bull.
“The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states: ‘In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit’.”
Mr Bull said the native timber industry in East Gippsland was a significant employer and important to the economy of not only several towns, but the region more generally.
“These workers have not been treated with any respect after the government promised to keep the industry afloat until at least 2030, but it is all lies.
“The biggest lie is they have said they will transition to plantation timber by 2030, but to do that the hardwood plantations would have to be 20-30 years old now and the reality is they are not there, they have not been planted.”