The Andrews Labor Government today again turned its back on the native timber industry, refusing to meet workers set to lose their jobs.
Lily D’Ambrosio, Labor’s Minister for Climate Change, avoided an audience with affected workers in the Latrobe Valley, instead slipping out a back gate and returning to Melbourne.
Attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Morwell, D’Ambrosio had the opportunity to meet with workers peacefully protesting outside the event.
The workers wanted to question D’Ambrosio on Labor’s decision to shut down the native timber industry by January 1, 2024, and seek clarity on forestry packages and compensation.
Nationals’ Member for Morwell, Martin Cameron, and Nationals’ Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath, stood side-by-side the disappointed timber workers as D’Ambrosio escaped.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Emma Kealy, said D’Ambrosio’s actions showed “cowardice” and a complete lack of integrity.
“It’s unacceptable to run away from the timber workers and their families rather than look them in the eye and hear how Labor’s sellout of the industry is impacting timber town families and businesses,” Ms Kealy said.
“Families rely on the timber industry to put a roof over their head, meals on the dinner table and keep businesses open.
“Labor’s spineless Minister D’Ambrosio must meet with Victorian timber workers that now face no job, no mental health support and no future income because Labor have sold out their entire sustainable industry.”