The Labor Government’s Native Forestry Transition Group have made little progress towards supporting the people and communities impacted by Labor’s decision to ban hardwood harvesting.

Despite announcing the end of hardwood harvesting from 2024 over three months ago, there are no further planned meetings of the transition group until after January 2022.

Industry representatives have expressed their frustration at the lack of cooperation and transparency from the Labor Government.

“Representatives of the forestry industry have consistently asked Labor’s Forestry Minister for information and assistance regarding the ban, but have been ignored,” said Shadow Forestry Minister, the Hon Steve Martin MLC.

“Labor’s clumsy, populist decision is not backed up by science and has already had far-reaching impacts on families and businesses in the South-West. They have failed to provide certainty to the people impacted by Labor’s snap decision to ban hardwood harvesting.

“Labor did not only blindside the industry with the initial announcement, but they are continuing to keep them in the dark.

“The Minister needs to face up to the people impacted by his decision and give the industry certainty going forward,” said Mr Martin.

“It is impossible to progress work on the support packages with the government dragging its feet in scheduling subgroup meetings,” said Forest Industries Federation WA (FIFWA) Chief Executive Officer Adele Farina.

“If the government expected support packages to be finalised by early January, perhaps Minister Kelly could explain why the government took so long to establish the Business Transition Subgroup and why a subgroup meeting expected to have been held last Friday or Monday was cancelled?” said Ms Farina.