Labor Fails on Plantation Pledge

The Andrews Labor Government has again let the people of the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland down with its failure to deliver its promised investment in timber plantations.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said today almost two years on from its $100 million dollar budget announcement, Labor has done nothing to implement a commitment to expanded plantations in the Latrobe Valley.

“We now have the Treasurer, Tim Pallas on the radio this morning making excuses about why Labor has failed to act on this investment.

“We know that plantation expansion is critical for jobs in Latrobe Valley particularly for future resource supply at Australian paper.

“We welcomed the Government’s budget announcement in 2017, to expand the plantation area but we have always been concerned about where Labor’s actual plantations would go.

“It appears from the delay and excuses the Treasurer is now giving, this was a policy made up on the run to try and deal with a crisis in the timber industry at the time.

“The problems in that industry are real and genuine and Labor has failed to act.

“I have raised this matter in Parliament a number of times and I continually get assurances that work is under way but thus far, nearly 2 years down the track nothing has actually happened”.

Ms Bath said Latrobe Valley jobs relied on the timber industry and this investment should occur as quickly as possible.