Sustainable Native Hardwood Timber Industry

Melina BATH (Eastern Victoria) (12:38): (354) My constituency question is for the Minister for Agriculture. Minister, you have forced the closure of our sustainable native hardwood timber industry. Over recent weeks I, along with my Nationals Gippsland colleagues, have had multiple meetings with people who are impacted by Labor’s disastrous decision. Contract haulage and harvest contractors in my Eastern Victoria electorate and their staff are in a terrible state of limbo on standdown servicing loans on millions of dollars of stranded equipment. They deserve fair compensation, including stranded assets compensation, forgone revenue and worker support payments. Associated forest contract businesses such as civil operators and firewood licence holders and silviculture, haulage, mechanics and other supply chain businesses will also be heavily impacted by this forced closure. They deserve recognition and compensation as well. Will you make formal offers to the haulage and harvest contractors, and will the associated businesses be compensated for the percentage of their business that has been dedicated specifically to the native timber industry?