Prime Minister Tony Abbott: Timber industry vital to economic future.TYLA HARRINGTON March 7, 2014 4:45am
The local timber industry could not have found a more potent ally.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, when addressing about 600 Forest Products Association members on Tuesday night in Canberra, made a commitment to set up a new advisory council to support the timber industry.
The PM said there were too many ‘‘locked up forests’’ and that he wanted the timber industry to be a ‘‘vital part of Australia’s economic future, not just something that was a relic of our history.’’
His rousing address was enough to revive hopes that commercial timber workers return to the local state forests that were converted to National Parks by the state Labor Party in 2010.
Mathoura business owner and timber worker Chris Crump was at Tuesday night’s dinner in Canberra and met with Mr Abbott and Minister for Environment Greg Hunt.
Mr Crump spoke with the PM about the situation in Mathoura, Deniliquin and Barham where the commercial timber industry was effectively ended following the change to National Parks.
Mr Crump also told Mr Abbott about the recent business closures in Mathoura.
‘‘After all these years it looks as though we have a future,’’ Mr Crump said.
‘‘I’m not just fighting it for us or the timber industry, it’s a fight for our town.
‘‘When Tony Abbott spoke people’s shoulders lifted .
‘‘I can’t tell you how excited I am about it,’’ Mr Crump said.
‘‘I look forward to the direction we’re heading .
‘‘If people can get behind this now we can actually do this .
‘‘Deniliquin people gave us the support when we were closing down and we need it again.’’
Mr Crump gave Mr Abbott and Mr Hunt copies of documents compiled by Mathoura man David Joss which show the effect the National Parks conversion has had on the local area.
Mr Crump said the documents also show that the tourists that were promised would visit the area once National Parks were in place had not eventuated.
Even though he was only able to talk with the PM for a short time, Mr Crump described the meeting and Mr Abbott’s address as ‘‘unbelievable’’.
‘‘We don’t support, as a Government and as a Coalition, further lock-ups of our forests. We just don’t support it,’’ Mr Abbott said.
‘‘We have quite enough National Parks. We have quite enough locked up forests already. In fact, in an important respect, we have too much locked up forest.
‘‘When I look out tonight at an audience of people who work with timber, who work in forests, I don’t see people who are environmental vandals; I see people who are the ultimate conservationists.’’
State Member for Murray-Darling John Williams welcomed Mr Abbott’s promise of an advisory council.
He said he hoped it may lead to a review of the amount of National Parks there are in NSW.
‘‘Obviously any support for the timber industry is encouraging,’’ Mr Williams said.
‘‘Governments have insisted on suggesting that tourists would replace the timber industry locally .
Shepparton Art Museum director Kirsten Paisley has resigned to take up a plum role at the as deputy director of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.
Police are calling on the community for information in relation to two burglaries which occurred around 1am last Saturday.
Tatura Community House held its annual High Tea fundraiser at the facility on Tuesday, with a full-house present to enjoy a sumptuous morning tea, good conversation and relaxing time together.
You would think a 20-goal hammering of Mathoura by Picola league leaders Strathmerton at the Bulldogs’ kennel would leave coach Mick McInnes frustrated in the extreme.
With the footballers dressed in their (mostly) pressed suits and the netballers in stunning gowns, the Elmore Football and Netball club looked set for a good time.
Friday night draw at Bluebrick
Nagambie Healthcare wants the wider community to use its gardens.
A beauty pamper day has raised a whopping $18k to assist local lady Terri Bevan with her ongoing medical costs associated with her brain tumour
Hundreds of district part-pensioners could lose out as a result of the Federal Government’s unfair pension cuts.
Kinder kids in Cobram learn about dental health.
An exciting three-hole playoff saw Virginia Lange take a narrow win in the Deniliquin Ladies Golf Championship last Thursday.
The Victorian Winter Fair will be held in Bendigo on July 1 and 2.
Free legal services for people in Benalla are at risk with cuts to federal funding likely to have an impact on service provision, a legal service says.
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