Tasmania Opposition Leader Will Hodgman
Forestry Deal Will Harm Fine Furniture Makers
Victor P Taffa
If the disastrous forestry deal goes ahead, furniture makers around the State will find it increasingly difficult to find the specialty timber they need, and prices for the timber and their products will rise, according to Opposition Leader Will Hodgman.
“Far from providing the promised 12,500 metres per year of speciality timbers promised in the original IGA, the deal will reduce the availability of specialty timbers from just over 98,000 ha to a measly 37,000 ha, a reduction of over 60 %.”
“Worse, it’ll reduce the supply of non-blackwood speciality timbers by 80 %.” Mr. Hodgman said.
“Tasmanians are rightly proud of our fine furniture makers. They take iconic Tasmanian timbers and turn them into some of the best furniture in the world. This is the type of high-end, down-stream processing that the Liberals will always champion and support.”
“We should be building on our fantastic natural advantages and encouraging this industry to grow. Instead, the Labor-Green Government wants to shut it down.” Mr. Hodgman said.
“A majority Hodgman Liberal Government will always back the forestry industry and the high-value markets like furniture making and wooden boat building.”
“The forestry deal has nothing to do with conservation and everything to do with politics. The Premier has sold out the forestry industry just to keep the Greens happy.” Mr. Hodgman said.
A review of the Tasmanian Woodcraft sector in 2009 concluded 2,000 people work fulltime in timber crafts industries, with another 8,500 either part-time employed or engaged in working with Tas timbers as a hobby.
ABS Statistics (2006) indicate the Tasmanian special timber value adding sector contributes upwards of $250 Million p.a. to Tasmania’s economy.
No socio- economic impact study has been carried out on the impact of the decimation of the Special Timbers Value adding sector in Tasmania as a result of the disastrous Forest Deal.