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Labor cuts down timber workers under new laws

The Liberal Nationals are calling on the Andrews Labor Government to immediately withdraw its Forests Legislation Amendment (Compliance and Enforcement) Bill and allow proper consultation to take place on the new proposed Code of Practice.

The proposed new laws will make it a criminal offence if timber harvesters fail to comply with allocation orders made under the Code of Practice for Timber Production.

State Liberal Member for Eildon, Cindy McLeish said Daniel Andrews is ramming through new laws which will leave timber workers vulnerable to a range of new serious criminal offences and is trashing proper community and industry consultation.

Ms McLeish said, “Not only has the Andrews Labor Government threatened the livelihoods of thousands of timber workers across Victoria with their destructive policies, they are now subjecting timber workers with criminal offences with no chance of defending themselves.”

The Andrews Labor Government announced on 30 June this year it was “overhauling” the Code of Practice and had invited feedback on its draft amendments. However, the Andrews Labor Government has failed to release its proposed new Code of Practice, leaving the entire timber industry in the dark over what they can and cannot do.

Ms McLeish continues, “The timber industry doesn’t even know what requirements will be contained in the new Code of Practice. The State Government needs to initiate consultation with the industry.”

Timber workers face fines of up to $21,000 under these new laws, with timber harvesting companies facing fines of up to a staggering $109,000.

“It’s clear this Andrews Labor Government want to cut down Victoria’s thriving timber industry and is targeting timber workers with these excessive unfair laws,” Ms McLeish concludes.


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