WA Labor has failed to deliver contractual promises made to WA’s timber industry despite Premier Mark McGowan promising to fulfil current contracts.
The Labor Government’s shock decision last year to end harvesting of native forests by 2023 was met with a commitment by the Premier to honour current contracts of supplied sawlog until that date.
However, recently WA timber sawmills have been informed by WA Labor that the Forest Products Commission (FPC) would fail to meet these obligations in 2022.
Shadow Forestry Minister Steve Martin MLC said WA Labor have proven once again they aren’t committed to WA businesses, leaving the WA timber industry high and dry.
“The Premier and Forestry Minister have added insult to injury for the WA timber sector by failing to deliver on the contracts for logs in 2022.
“The government has to stand by the contracts that are in place and not further cut timber supply to the timber mills in WA’s South West.”
“The communities already reeling by the Government’s shock decision to shut down hard wood logging have been dealt another blow by this latest betrayal.” said Mr Martin.
WA sawmills were promised a flow of timber until 2023 to transition out of the industry, but in multiple instances the Government has now told these mills they will receive just half their contracted tonnages, with at least one mill receiving just one third.
“Contracts are in place. The mills rightfully expected a certain amount of timber this year under a longstanding agreement with the government and now find those contracts aren’t worth the paper they are written on.
“And mills have also been told that any attempt to seek legal redress over the breach of contract will result in them missing out on any compensation from the Government’s $50 million transition package for logging businesses impacted by the native logging ban.
“Any timber business that challenges Forestry Minister Dave Kelly’s arrogant decision have been threatened with missing out on any compensation package.”
“Minister Kelly’s handling of this vital industry has been a disgrace. No consultation, no explanation, no plan for the future, no concern for local jobs and now threats for raising concerns about a manifestly unfair deal,” Mr Martin said.