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Time for Bracks Government to come clean on forest funding.



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SENATOR THE HON. IAN MACDONALD Minister for Forestry and Conservation

Home Back to Media Releases AFFA02/62M 10 May 2002

 

Time for Bracks Government to come clean on forest funding

It is time for the Victorian Government to provide details of its Budget announcements and how it will meet its commitment to the Victorian forest industry and the communities that rely on the forest industry, according to Senator Ian Macdonald, Federal Minister for Forestry and Conservation.

“Mr Bracks must come clean on exactly how much additional funding is provided in the Budget to help workers, communities and businesses. The premature, unilateral decisions of the Victorian Government to reduce sawlog supply levels by nearly one third across the State have had a disastrous effect on many Victorian country towns,” Senator Macdonald said.

Senator Macdonald was referring to claims that the Victorian Budget would provide $80 million over four years on sustainable forest management, and over $20 million in the same period to protect box-ironbark forests and a structural adjustment package for affected forest industry workers.

“The amount contained in the Budget appears to be nothing more than a repackaging of an announcement made in February this year. Mr Bracks must demonstrate exactly what new money he is providing for the communities and workers devastated by his Government’s decisions.

Mr Bracks must also refute the claim in the Herald-Sun that more than $28 million will be spent to fit out offices for the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

“Is it also true that 21 new jobs will be created in the Department of Natural Resources and Environment rather than being directed to the welfare of forest workers and their communities who face losing their jobs and livelihoods?

“Mr Bracks must reveal whether money for these projects are coming from the $80 million promised for sustainable forestry.”

Senator Macdonald said that this type of expenditure would do nothing to assist those who work in and rely on the forestry industry in rural and regional Victoria.

“The Bracks Government has promised that it will provide a fair

structural adjustment package for forest industry workers and now it is time for it to honour its promises,” Senator Macdonald said.

Further inquiries:

Senator Macdonald's office: David Fraser 0438 644 030

   

  Last updated 13 May 2002

URL: http://www.affa.gov.au/ministers/macdonald/releases/2002/02062m.html Commonwealth of Australia 2000