Braddon Liberal MP Joan Rylah today slammed the anti-forestry comments made by Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest.
Mrs Rylah said Ms Forrest’s comments were very disappointing and would shock those who worked in the industry.
“Far from being supportive of this crucial industry which supports thousands of regional jobs, Ms Forrest has today renewed her opposition to its growth,” Mrs Rylah said.
“I am very disappointed in what can only be described as hypocritical comments by Ms Forrest.
“Ms Forrest voted for the jobs destroying Tasmanian Forest Agreement which ripped the heart out of the industry and she voted against our Workplace Protection laws which allow workers to go about their lawful work unhindered.
“Now Ms Forrest wants to continue the taxpayer subsidies to Forestry Tasmania.
“Our plan will save jobs and end the subsidies.
“FT has clearly advised the Government that unless we provide access to more wood, 700 jobs will be lost.
“I cannot support Ms Forrest’s view that we should continue the massive subsidies to the industry that could otherwise be spent on health services, more nurses and hospital beds, and education.
“Our plan is about what’s in the best interests of Tasmania, not what’s in the best interests of individual businesses.”
Mrs Rylah said taking wood from the production forest was not compulsory, but an opportunity for business, and some – such as speciality timbers – have clearly indicated they will utilise it.
“Rather than being a defender of a vital industry for the North West, Ms Forrest’s comments reflect the views of the Salamanca set,” she said.