The Nationals Member for Morwell, Martin Cameron has challenged the Andrews Labor Government over the possible permanent closure of Opal Australian Paper’s
Maryvale white paper mill.
Mr Cameron used his first opportunity in State Parliament this week to question the recently installed Minister for Manufacturing Sovereignty over the closure.
“I asked the Minister, Ben Carroll why the government was sitting by while Opal’s white paper mill and production line was now sitting idle and facing permanent closure due to a lack of timber supply,” Mr Cameron said.
“This situation has resulted in 200 Latrobe Valley jobs under threat with many workers already stood down and it is the result of deliberate Labor Government policy.
“Labor has failed to act to address ongoing green lawfare in the courts which has dried up short-term timber supply as well as Labor’s policy to shut down the native timber industry in the medium term.
“This is a disaster for those workers and their families at the mill as well as the wider community and indeed our nation.”
Mr Cameron said it was ironic that Labor had announced a Minister for Manufacturing Sovereignty and was now overseeing the closure of one of our successful manufacturing businesses.
“There are no other manufacturers of white copy paper in the country and the result of this decision will be more imports from places that don’t have the environmental regulations in place that we do.”
Mr Cameron said the Minister’s answer barely even addressed the issue, ranging from support to industry during the pandemic to sprouting the government’s SEC policy.
“The Minister then gave no guarantees of ongoing support for the affected workers and tried to sell Labor’s timber policy as something positive.
“This is not good enough – we need the government to act and actually deliver the timber that the government is obliged to supply to this mill and save these jobs.
“I am very disappointed in the Minister’s answer, and I will keep fighting to save these jobs and look after the worker’s at Maryvale.”