“The Draft Forest Management Plan offers an uncertain and bleak future for the Western Australian hardwood sector,” says Shadow Minister for Forestry Steve Martin MLC.
“The released draft is severely lacking in substance and provides very little direction to those in the forestry space.
“Businesses that operate under the FMP have been ignored throughout the entire drafting process and are still no closer to understanding what their future holds.
“The McGowan Government has debilitated a regional industry that is filled with hundreds of hard-working Western Australians without a second thought,” said Mr Martin.
“For this Labor Government to have destroyed one of the State’s most sustainable industries without any scientific backing is disgraceful.”
Just last Thursday, a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation and Attractions showed that there was no scientific data that underpinned the decision to end native hardwood harvesting in Western Australia – despite Government claims stating otherwise.
“Despite lacking any scientific evidence to support their claims that native forestry in Western Australia is unsustainable, the Government have barrelled along with their single-minded policy to end hardwood harvesting in WA.
“Every step of the way they have failed to adequately consult and listen to those in the forestry sector.
“There are also flow-on effects across the firewood and furniture manufacturing sectors who appear to have been largely ignored in the Plan.
“Now that the Draft Forest Management Plan has been released, it is evident that the Government have no real understanding of the importance of native hardwood harvesting in WA.
“This plan shows that the Government would now rather import timber into WA rather than utilising our well-managed and sustainable forests.
“The Government have given businesses and the public two months to comment on the Draft FMP. I encourage all of those who are affected by the changes to have their say via the submission process, and I implore the government to listen to the feedback they receive.”