The McGowan Labor Government ambushed foresters, the housing and furniture manufacturing industries with their surprise decision to ban the harvesting of native hardwood from 2024.
Their decision sent shockwaves through the forestry community as it was unexpected and not based on scientific evidence.
Eventually, the ban may even impact mining operations which are expected to clear, mine and revegetate around 80,000 hectares of land over the next 40 years.
“Labor didn’t think twice about destroying the livelihood of the workers, families, businesses and communities associated with hardwood forestry in WA,” said Shadow Minister for Forestry, Steve Martin MLC.
“The mining industry undertakes considerable and continuous regeneration activities.
“The WA Government clearly understand that these regeneration efforts contribute to the overall sustainability of the state’s mining operations.
“So, it is extremely hard to understand why Labor’s Forestry Minister, Dave Kelly, hasn’t applied this same logic to the forestry industry. It smacks of hypocrisy.”
The forestry industry have undertaken significant measures to ensure that their logging operations also are sustainable, including ceasing the harvesting of any old-growth forest for over 20 years.
“Even the WA Government’s Forest Products Commission have recognised the sustainable nature of our State’s native forestry industry. For example, 62% of the available hardwood forest is already locked up and cannot be logged,” said Mr Martin.
“Less than 1 per cent of the remaining 38 per cent, will be harvested each year. And the harvested areas are always regrown.
“If the Labor government really intended on taking action against deforestation, they would be working with workers, families, towns, communities and businesses in the industry on a scientific and sustainable model, not bushwhacking and ambushing them with surprise and politically motivated decisions” said Mr Martin MLC.