Another week has passed and the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Colbeck is still sitting on his hands and has provided no further details to the forestry industry about the outcome of the internal review into the Carbon Farming Initiative Water Rule.
The continued refusal of the Morrison Government to provide details about the internal review will be disappointing to the forestry industry, however, sadly it will not surprise them.
The fact is the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government have only paid lip service to the forestry industry and is fooling no-one with their show and tell announcements with no substance.
2013, September – Election of Abbott Government.
2014, October - Forestry Industry Advisory Council (FIAC) established.
2015, March - With great fanfare, the launch of the Government’s forest industry issues paper: “Meeting future market demand: Australia’s forest products and forest industry”. The Parliamentary Secretary unveiled an issues paper at a dinner event.
2015, June – Submissions closed for the forest industry discussion paper.
2016, June – The discussion paper was released.
2017, September - Turnbull Government announces it will develop a “plan” for the Forestry Industry.
2018, September – Morrison Government releases its forestry plan, it’s less than 20 pages with no real detail.
2019, February – Morrison Government announces “Today in Tasmania's north-west forestry belt, we are sowing the seeds for the first of our Regional Forestry Hubs under the $20 million National Forest Industries Plan.”
As of today not one cent has actually been spent and the industry continues to be kept in the dark as to where and how the money will actually be allocated.
A Shorten Labor Government is committed to holding a summit for the forestry sector to inform the development of a comprehensive forestry strategic plan and in a bipartisan manner, will consider the work undertaken so far. This commitment has been supported by the Australian Forest Products Association.
Labor’s forestry plan will seek to adequately promote sustainable profitability, local downstream processing and good local jobs. It will be developed by government, industry, employers and trade unions.