NSW Labor welcomes Aussie logs for Aussie jobs report

25 March 2021

NSW Labor has welcomed a Federal Parliamentary report on timber supply chain constraints in the plantation sector, as it continues to push for a similar inquiry in New South Wales.

There has not been a major review of the forestry and timber industry in New South Wales for over 20 years.
 
Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Paul Scully said the report by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources made important recommendations on the future of the forest products sector.
 
“If we don’t act now to halt the decline in the plantation estate we’ll end up paying the price with more expensive timber for housing, construction delays and significant job losses in regional areas.
 
“Already there are cases of timber suppliers not having enough supply for house frames, decking and hardwood products. That’s increasing delays and the cost of building houses in New South Wales,” he said.
 
The Federal Parliamentary report recommended establishing an additional Regional Forestry Hub in south-eastern New South Wales; a Productivity Commission review of regulatory settings for plantations; increasing forestry research and development capabilities and supporting farmers to establish plantations.
 
Mr Scully said: “A NSW inquiry must canvas similar issues.
 
“The NSW Liberals and Nationals have only focused on selling Forestry Corporation, even when fires were burning the forest estate along the south and north coast.
 
“The Government finally adopted NSW Labor’s call to abandon the sell-off of Forestry Corporation but is now playing catch-up after a decade of neglect on increasing the plantation estate.
 
“This 10-year-old Government is mired in scandal and chaotic decision-making, which is one of the reasons a Parliamentary inquiry into the future of the forestry and timber industry in New South Wales is so important.
 
“The industry and timber-dependent communities in regional New South Wales need direction, help and hope”, Mr Scully said.