Labor has again used their numbers in the Upper House to block our plans for a growing, sustainable forest industry
It is part of a disturbing new pattern where Labor is using its Upper House numbers to block our policies simply for the sake of politics.
It also evidence that Labor is lining up for another deal with the Greens, given half the chance.
The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to unlocking our production forests for all Tasmanians to create jobs, our number one priority, and to end the public subsidies – funds that should be going to our hospitals and our schools.
By opposing our Bill to unlock production forests Labor has shown it has learned nothing from the 2014 election when Tasmanians overwhelmingly rejected the Labor-Green forest deal.
Small sawmillers and the speciality timbers sector are desperate for this wood and will employ more Tasmanians when the forests are unlocked.
These forests should never have been locked away.
The fact is that without access to this resource, much of which is regrowth, we cannot commercially harvest the legislated sawlog quota.
And that means that unless we are to cut the quota and cost an estimated 700 jobs in the industry, an ongoing public subsidy of $25 million a year is necessary.
Labor must explain to Tasmanians why it would rather take this money from our hospitals and our schools than support our move to unlock these forests.
Demonstrating how inexperienced Labor is, they failed to even account for this subsidy in their “alternative budget”.
The Liberal Government has been quite clear: We will now seek a mandate from the Tasmanian people at the next election to unlock our production forests to end the public subsidies and to save jobs.