Premier McGowan’s visit to Manjimup today has proven to be another blanket WA Labor announcement for Union jobs, while failing to deliver for the forestry industry.

Shadow Minister for Forestry, the Hon Steve Martin MLC, said the Premier failed to address the issue of compensation for forestry businesses.

“The Premier’s visit to Manjimup today was used to announce 660 new jobs for new Main Roads regional offices. This is an insult to the thousands of jobs in regional WA axed by this Government’s populist decision to ban hardwood logging,” said Mr Martin.

The announcement comes after the sluggish delivery of the Government’s forestry business packages to phase out hardwood harvesting over the next few years.

“The draft package for forestry businesses was manifestly inadequate. Negotiations are continuing but the Premier and Forestry Minister need to ensure the small businesses affected are adequately compensated.

“The Premier didn’t notify anyone in the Shire until the day before, nor any forestry related businesses. He and Minister Kelly have a lot to answer for.”

The new Main Roads offices announced for Manjimup, Esperance, Karratha and Broome, will accommodate 490 of the over 600 new jobs, but no announcement for how the State Government intends to house these new workers.

“While the State Government intends to hire locals wherever possible, they will inevitably have to bring in new workers to fill all the roles.

“With many regional towns and shires hovering around a zero per cent rental vacancy rate, it’s hard to see how they will find suitable housing – only adding further to the Labor Government’s housing crisis.

“It’s all well and good for WA Labor to announce new regional jobs, but the tricky part is actually delivering them.

“Unfortunately, with Labor’s track record of axing industries and depleting the housing market, it’s hard to see how they can follow through,” said Mr Martin.