The Coalition Government is already delivering value-adding and new industries in areas affected by restructuring of the timber industry, says Regional Development Minister and National Party leader Hendy Cowan.
“Labor’s forest policy, announced yesterday, offers no hope for people whose jobs would be wiped out in their quest for city-based ‘green’ votes,” Mr Cowan said.
“The Coalition has taken a responsible and balanced approach to restructuring of the timber industry, taking into account the need to secure the economic and social future of South-West communities, as well as protecting our beautiful forests.
“In recent months, the Government has assisted locally-based businesses in Greenbushes and Manjimup to add a new dimension to their operations by attracting value-adding furniture companies to their sites.
“The State Government will also provide up to $5 million to assist in developing value-adding industry associated with the Pemberton timber mill and has set aside a timber quota which will ensure the Nannup mill stays open.
“In addition, the Warren Blackwood Action Plan, unveiled in November, is already being put into action.
“This plan will provide funding for regional marketing, infrastructure to support new industries, youth and community development and other initiatives.
“In Collie, $340,000 in Government funding will accelerate development of a motor sport complex.
“And in Donnybrook, the shire has been allocated $150,000 to complete work on restoration of the town’s heritage railway station.
“Such assistance will help diversify the economic base of these two towns.”
Mr Cowan said the State Government had consulted closely with communities in the South-West and was acting on their ideas and with their support.
“This is in stark contrast with Labor, which has abandoned these towns,” he said.
“Labor talks about wage subsidies, relocation of workers and redundancy.
“The Coalition is delivering real and rewarding employment and ensuring a stronger future for the region.”
Media contact: Peter Jackson 9222-9595