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SE forestry crisis

Aug 16, 2012

Hon David Ridgway MLC

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council
Shadow Minister for Urban Development & Planning
Shadow Minister for Economic Development
Shadow Minister for Tourism


SE forestry crisis

Shadow Economic Development Minister David Ridgway has demanded the Premier directly intervene in a fight-to-the-death row between timber giant Carter Holt Harvey (CHH) and Treasurer Snelling.

“Carter Holt Harvey, which employs about 1000 people in the South-East, has unequivocally warned the Treasurer that without equitable, sustainable long-term timber supply contracts from Forestry SA, the company’s financial losses will force the closure of timber mills,” Mr Ridgway said.

Mr Ridgway has learnt that CCH executives yesterday afternoon met with three unions, the CFMEU, AMWU and ETU, to discuss the future of company mills, local jobs and the wood processing industry.

“Australia is being flooded by cheap timber from overseas, while Forestry SA is continuing to increase the price of local timber,” Mr Ridgway said.

“It’s just plain dumb.

“CHH is losing millions of dollars while Forestry SA is making millions.

“Obviously CHH cannot and will not continue to incur losses.

“The Premier must step in this afternoon. Treasurer Snelling and Forestry Minister Gago are drowning in their own inadequacy. The future of the South East forestry industry is in the balance. Premier Weatherill must intervene.

“Without a significant reduction of the log price CHH may consider the horrendous possibility of closing its Mr Gambier operations. That would be a disaster for the South East and a disaster for the entire State.”

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