The Greens (WA) spokesperson for forests Diane Evers has applauded the Victorian Government’s decision to transition away from its native timber industry by 2030 and has called on the WA Labor Government to follow its counterpart’s leadership.
Ms Evers said it was clear native timber logging had lost its social licence, with the Forests Products Commission unable to prevent the industry from operating within existing regulations.
The comments came after multiple scandals in the Western Australian native timber industry during 2019, with the state’s two largest timber processing facilities under fire for accusations of wastage, ongoing investigations and one confirmed breach of contract.
Ms Evers drew comparison to existing Greens policy in WA as an example of a long-standing campaign to achieve a similar outcome to that seen in Victoria.
QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:
“The Andrews Government in Victoria has shown leadership by not only protecting the environment, but offering those within the existing industry a transition plan for the future.
“Given the smaller size of the industry in WA — only 500 people are directly employed by the native forest sector — there is no excuse for the State Government to not take action to protect the unique ecological health of our forests, while not leaving people behind.
“Recent examples in the South West Region show failings in the industry as a result of a regulatory system that is not fit-for-purpose.
“Last week Nannup Timber Processing had its marri supply contract cancelled because it sought profit over its contractual obligations, with a subsequent investigation into its jarrah contract now underway.
“Meanwhile in Greenbushes, the state’s largest sawmill Auswest has been selling thousands of tonnes of high-value jarrah to Simcoa for low-value use.
“These are WA’s two largest mills and their highest-value assets have become their state contracts, partly because they are not able to sell logs for the price it costs to process them.
“We must change how we look at our forests and start looking at forest regeneration, as more forests will help to stop the demise of our planet through climate change.
“I will continue to seek the end of logging and clearing of our native forests in Western Australia as well as the implementation of a rapid transition to plantations and farm forestry for the production of timber currently derived from native forests.”
GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070