MEDIA RELEASE

26 November 2019

 

Tim Quilty joins workers to protest plans to shut down native timber logging industry

Tim Quilty, Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria, joined a large vocal crowd of timber workers on the steps of Parliament House today to protest the Victorian Government’s plan to close their industry down.

Mr Quilty was part of a group of politicians with different allegiances but who are united in their condemnation of the decision by Premier Daniel Andrews to close the native timber logging industry by 2030.

“The crowd made for an impressive sight today. The sheer number of workers who had taken the time to travel from regional Victoria to share their message with the Government shows how poorly thought out that decision is,” Mr Quilty said.

“We sent a clear message to Premier Daniel Andrews that this decision is the wrong decision – the communities, families and individuals of regional Victoria should be uppermost in his policies.

“I am determined to do everything I can to make sure that this attack on regional Victoria does not work. I was certainly encouraged to see this issue draw together a range of different MPs who are united in their wish to stand up for communities in country Victoria.”

Ross Hampton, chief executive of the Australian Forest Products Association, told the crowd how their production work was part of a greater industry.

“Everything that these people are producing is going somewhere,” Mr Hampton said. “It’s probably going into factories and manufacturing plants in an outer Melbourne suburb, so this is an inter-connected industry.

“Our job here today is to help the public understand they’re being sold a pup.

“There’s still time to turn this ridiculous decision around.”

One of the workers at the rally, Chris McGee, came from Benalla and described how the closure of the industry would affect communities.

“It’s wrong, it’s going to destroy not only the timber industry itself, but towns as well,” Mr McGee said.

“We’ve all got young families.”

Mr McGee was encouraged by the show of support from Parliamentarians.

“It was good to see all the MPs supporting us, but it would’ve been nice to see what Dan Andrews had to say for himself.”

CAPTION: Tim Quilty, Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria, attends a rally to protest the proposed closure of the native timber logging industry, accompanied by (from left) Bart Cann and Chris McGee from Benalla and Tania Maxwell MP.

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819