Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

18 December 2018

Sarah Courtney, Minister for Resources

Labor’s double blow for Tasmania’s forestry industry

The Labor-Green alliance is officially back on with threats to create a new Commonwealth environment agency to add more green tape for Tasmanian businesses, and a return to the job-destroying forest lock ups of the past.

It’s a very safe bet that any environmental proposal from Tony Burke and endorsed by the Wilderness Society is not going to be good news for jobs in forestry, mining, aquaculture, agriculture, or eco-tourism.

The Mercury headline today, ‘Green groups applaud push from Labor’ says everything you need to know about Labor’s proposal to create a new Commonwealth Environment Agency and implement new rules and regulations making it harder to do business.

Tony Burke, together with the Wilderness Society and the Giddings Labor-Green Government, were the key instigators of the job-destroying forest lock-ups, which saw two-thirds of jobs in the industry in Tasmania lost. The last thing Tasmania needs is more ‘green tape’ designed by the man who helped the Greens decimate such an important industry.

In a further blow to the 5700 Tasmanians employed directly and indirectly in the Tasmanian forestry industry, the faceless men at Labor’s National Conference have quietly passed a motion to revive the Labor-Green forest policy which saw massive forest lock-ups and job losses.

Opposition Leader Bec White famously said she has no regrets about the job losses that occurred under the Labor-Green forest deal. More than 4000 jobs disappeared under this disastrous deal – two out of three jobs in the industry at the time.

These moves are clear proof that the Labor-Green alliance is back together in a big way. Tasmanian Labor’s Resources spokesman Shane Broad needs to state clearly whether he agrees with Tony Burke and the Wilderness Society about adding more green tape and regulation and a return to the Greens dictating forest policy in Tasmania.

Under the Hodgman Liberal Government, Tasmania’s forestry and mining industries have rebounded strongly and are part of the huge turnaround in our economic fortunes. We already have world-leading regulation and oversight of these areas, and we do not need a new Labor-Green federal bureaucracy making it harder for those industries to conduct business and create jobs.

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