Minister must provide immediate relief to forestry industry and communities

Feb 1, 2023 | State News, Steve Martin MLC

Labor’s newly appointed Forestry Minister Jackie Jarvis must act immediately to assist timber workers and their communities following the closure of Parkside’s Manjimup Mill. 

More timber workers will be looking for a job come Friday as a direct result of the Labor Government’s decision to ban hardwood harvesting in Western Australia. The Nannup Mill, which closed two weeks ago, will partially reopen but dozens of jobs have been lost across the sector. 

“The closure of Manjimup Mill comes significantly earlier than expected,” said Shadow Minister for Forestry Steve Martin. 

“This is a clear sign that the Minister Jarvis needs to bring forward the transition package available to affected employees, businesses and communities. 

“The Government’s response has been hopelessly inadequate and far too slow.” 

“The forestry industry is already shutting down and the transition package for workers and communities is lacking in detail and delivery. 

“At a time when the industry is in desperate need of support to help transition workers and businesses away from hardwood harvesting, the McGowan Labor Government clearly has no plan in place,” said Mr Martin. 

“For well over a year the forestry industry and related sectors have been calling upon the Labor Government for answers but have been ignored at every turn. 

“Labor failed to consult with industry before making their rash, unscientific decision to ban hardwood harvesting and now have no serious transition plan in place to support local jobs in the South West.” 

“When he made the decision to shut down a sustainable, local industry Premier McGowan claimed to be saving the environment. Now his government is importing coal to keep the lights on and exporting timber jobs.” 

“This is yet another blow for the small communities of the South West region. 

“These communities need the Minister for Forestry to bring forward the support measures in the Native Forestry Transition Plan.”