Costs Of The Forestry Deal Add Up

Costs Of The Forestry Deal Add Up

Tasmania Shadow Minister for Forestry Peter Gutwein

Family-Owned Sawmillers Shortchanged At Expense Of Gunns

Victor P Taffa

Tasmanian family-owned sawmillers have been shortchanged at the expense of Gunns, highlighting how this forestry deal is damaging Tasmania, according to Shadow Minister for Forestry Peter Gutwein.

“Confirmation that the additional $11.5 Million compensation received by Gunns to settle its Forestry Tasmania disputes will come out of the $7 Million set aside in the IGA to manage new reserves and $5 million for propaganda shows where this Government’s priorities lie.”

“Given that under clause 27 of the IGA, the $7 Million to manage reserves will also be used to compensate Tasmania’s family-owned sawmills for broken contracts as a result of the forest lock-ups, Tasmanian sawmillers are effectively being robbed in order to pay Gunns.” Mr. Gutwein said.

“Confirmation by the Forestry Minister today that workers would only be eligible to receive compensation if they were made redundant after the signing of the forestry deal on August 7, only highlights the fact that this deal is directly responsible for hundreds of job losses.”

“What about all the people who lost their jobs in the year prior to the official signing of the deal as a result of the uncertainty and investment collapse the process caused? This forestry deal has been a disaster from day one.” Mr. Gutwein said.

“Far from delivering the promised ‘peace’ in our forests, a pulp mill and certainty for the industry, the only thing the deal has delivered is a $34.5 Million dollar payday to Gunns at the expense of the industry.”

“The Liberals have a balanced 13-point plan that would grow our forest industry, keep regional communities alive, and provide for better environmental outcomes. Again we call on the Premier to either tear up her disastrous deal, or call an election and let Tasmanians decide.” Mr. Gutwein said.