More uncertainty over Forestry Corporation's future

29 March 2021

NSW Labor is demanding that Forestry Corporation workers be given certainty after years of turmoil and attempts by the Berejiklian Government to sell the organisation.

It follows revelations Andrew Constance is looking to reinstate Forestry Corporation as a Government Department, throwing into question the future of the agency. It was only just over a year ago that the Government was trying to sell Forestry Corporation.
 
The Minister for Transport and Roads and Member for Bega Andrew Constance made the call on ABC South East NSW this morning, suggesting:
 
“…it's time for forestry to go back to being a function of a government department rather than a state-owned corporation.
 
Mr Constance also claimed that Forestry Corporation was “out of touch” with local communities.
 
The Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Paul Scully said the Government must be transparent with forestry communities.
 
“The Deputy Premier and Minister for Resources John Barilaro needs to make it clear to Forestry Corporation workers and the communities, in which the Corporation operates, whether this is another thought bubble of the Minister for Transport and Roads, or whether the future of Forestry Corporation within government is under active consideration. 
 
“Forestry Corporation was on the privatisation chopping block just over 12 months ago ready to be sold off to the highest bidder and Andrew Constance sat back and said nothing.
 
“Today he wants to abolish Forestry Corporation and return its functions to a government department.
 
“We are in the midst of a timber supply crisis where house prices are exploding, there are delays in construction and jobs are being lost.
 
“The last thing we need is more confusion on the function of the organisation from a tired, 10 year old Government that has neglected and ignored the industry”, he said.
 
Forestry Corporation is a major employer in rural and regional New South Wales with around 640 employees and manages 2 million hectares of the state’s forest estate.