MEDIA RELEASE

13 November 2019

 

Regional MP Tim Quilty attacks metropolitan Labor decision to shut down timber industry 

Tim Quilty, Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria, has condemned in Parliament plans by the Andrew Government to shut down the Victorian native logging industry.

The announcement, made last week, will see the entire industry shut down by 2024 under a plan costing $120 million.

Mr Quilty spoke in the Legislative Council in support of the thousands of workers who stand to lose their livelihoods, and spoke of the direct attack on a rural way of life.

“You should be ashamed,” Mr Quilty said to Labor representatives in the chamber.

“Banning a sustainable industry that has been carried out for 200 years trashes the principles of the Labor Party, betrays country Victorians, and is an act of cultural vandalism.”

Mr Quilty highlighted the wood used in Parliament House and pointed out that any future demand for wood might have to be met by overseas suppliers.

“I urge the Labor members - who sit at your leisure on the magnificent timber seats in the chamber – to take a moment to look around at the work these people have done,” Mr Quilty said.

“You might notice the beautiful timber, and the carved woodwork in the chamber made of polished native cedar. On your way back to your offices, you might also notice the magnificent Goodwood Victorian Ash lining the halls. You might notice the cabinets and tables in your offices.

“In future, timber of this nature will need to be sourced somewhere else, maybe from rainforests in third world countries.”

Mr Quilty derided suggestions by the Andrews Government that timber workers could transition into the eco-tourism industry.

“I am pretty sure that some of you have never met timber workers because you are telling us about the fabulous opportunities they will have in eco-tourism,” Mr Quilty said.

“What jobs exactly? How many timber workers have you met have with any inclination to make soy lattes?  Soon there will be no rural way of life for anybody to see. Or do you expect them to stand around to provide a bit of local colour for people on bus tours of rural poverty?”

Mr Quilty finished by highlighting how the Labor Party of today had completely forgotten the people it was originally formed to represent.

“The party of the workers. If we could harness the spinning of the Labor party heroes of the past in their graves, we could solve the state’s energy problems.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819