Shadow Assistant Minister for Forestry, Gary Blackwood, has labelled a contribution in State Parliament by the Greens Member for Melbourne as disrespectful to frontline recovery workers in East Gippsland.
Mr Blackwood said the contribution, which suggested workers undertaking roadside clearing for safety were somehow exploiting their role in an effort to gain additional timber, was disgraceful.
‘The suggestion that contractors and forestry workers who are working every day in East Gippsland to clear roadsides of dangerous trees are exploiting their position is a disgrace,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘If the Member thinks she has anecdotal evidence of excessive numbers of trees being removed from roadsides she should make it public and provide that to the Department undertaking the assessment and review of dangerous trees, not attack those workers doing their job.
‘Contractors and the Department who are out there assessing these sites are doing so as quickly and safely as possible and any suggestion they are clearing too many trees damaged by fire is absurd.
‘The Member for Melbourne also objected to the process of Salvage Harvesting of timber in the native forest areas heavily impacted by fire.
‘Once again ignoring the evidence and learnings of previous fire events, such as Ash Wednesday 1983, that triggered salvage operations that stimulated excellent regeneration that has grown into high-quality stands of timber that are also currently home to threatened species—funny that!!’
‘Once again the Greens have proven they are completely driven by ideology and not what is best for the sustainability of our Native Forests’ said Mr Blackwood.
Gary Blackwood MP
State Member for Narracan
3/24 Mason Street
Ph: 5623 1960
Fax: 5623 4506
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