Disastrous Labor-Green Legacy to the Forest Industry

November 20, 2013

An ABARES report has exposed the ousted Labor-Green Government for mismanagement of the Australian forest industry.

ABARES today released the

Australian forest and wood products statistics: March and June quarters 2013 report which looks at trade and employment data relating to the forest industry.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, said the report showed the previous Labor-Green Government's disastrous policies had hit the forest industry extremely hard and left the clean-up to the Coalition.

"The forest industry suffered under the Labor-Green watch and the job now rests with us to re-build the industry and ignite confidence in the future," Senator Colbeck said.

The ABARES report shows the Labor-Green government left a devastating legacy to the forest industry, with the value of wood product exports falling by 8.3 per cent to $2 billion in 2012-13.

"Over the last five years under the watch of a Labor-Green Government, the value of hardwood woodchip exports decreased by 42 per cent. Labor's unnecessary regulation of the industry made it difficult for businesses to compete in a competitive market."

Also under the Labor-Green watch, the forestry, logging and wood product manufacturing industries lost almost 3,000 jobs in 2012-13.

"Labor indulged the Greens' campaign to shut-down the native forest industry and this hit industry confidence hard. Labor and the Greens share the blame over the state of the industry," Senator Colbeck said.

Senator Colbeck said the Coalition would restore confidence to the Australian forest industry by delivering on election commitments to cut red and green tape, establish a 20 year rolling life for Regional Forest Agreements, reintroduce wood biomass and renewable energy initiatives and establish an industry advisory council.

"I am determined the Coalition's forestry policy will clean up the Labor-Green mess and create a platform where the industry has a long-term future," he said.

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