Labor’s construction industry timber ‘advice’ backflip

The Labor Government has suddenly backflipped on its directive to the Victorian building industry to cease designing and constructing homes with native hardwood timber.

The backflip labelled ‘updated guidance following industry consultation’, comes after sustained pressure from The Nationals.

In an attempt to cover its tracks, Labor’s November update told the Housing Industry Association (HIA) members that industry will still be able to access hardwood supply from Victorian timber mills.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath called out the Labor government for its “gross overreach” in attempting to “dictate customer choice” in the building industry.

“Our mills and their workers are stressed enough at a time where they are pivoting due to Labor’s ideological decision to shut Victoria’s native timber industry, they don’t need the State Government to peddle misinformation.”

In its previous communique to the HIA on 30 October, Labor “strongly recommended” builders cease using native hardwood varieties in all flooring, staircases, beams, doors, windows, architectural features, decking and cladding.

Ms Bath said the Labor government’s advice to the HIA was a political push to quash all demand for quality hardwood used in the building and construction industry.

“As everyday consumers become increasingly aware that Victoria’s timber shortages, construction delays and sky rocketing building costs are a direct result of a Labor decision and not an industry supply issue there would be future backlash.

“Labor’s signature move is to attack regional industries and jobs to appease inner city green ideology where there is no understanding of an industry and its highly regulated, worlds best practice environmental standards.

“The Nationals remain steadfast in our support for Victoria’s building industry, our timber communities and the workers that underpin them.”