Labor’s “Economic Direction Statement” shows that Rebecca White has set the scene for her party to perform a welcome backflip on forestry.
The absence of funding for Forestry Tasmania confirms Labor will support the Liberal Government’s move to reopen productive forests to save jobs and end the public subsidies in the forest industry.
Labor’s apparent change of heart comes as our Forestry (Unlocking Production Forests) Bill remains before the Legislative Council, meaning it is not too late.
Of course, if this is not the case, if Labor has not changed its tune, then what this would mean is that a $100 million black hole would appear in its supposed alternative budget, which would singularly drive the State’s finances into deficit.
This is because the only alternative to the Liberal plan is continued public subsidies to supply the sawlog quota at a greater cost than can be recovered.
But, given Labor’s commitment to “maintaining responsible financial management”*, we are sure that an announcement will be imminent on its forestry backflip.
* Page 39, Labor’s Economic Direction Statement
Guy Barnett, Minister for Resources