'NOOSE AROUND OUR NECK': Timber bosses seek certainty
ALL Curly Tatnell wants is some certainty.
After almost 20 years in the business, DTM Timber's boss fears the industry could collapse if the government can't commit to a long-term plan.
Speaking at an industry rally in Granville yesterday, he said businesses were afraid to expand because they were at the whim of policy changes.
"We live three years at a time and you can't go and invest in a business for three years because you don't get a return in three years.
"The next government could change the rules, it's a real noose around our neck."
Mr Tatnell wants to see the government collaborate with timber representatives to come up with a plan they all agree on.
He said some farmers were cutting trees early in fear they wouldn't be alive to see the next harvest.
"They don't know whether next week, next month or next year they (State Government) will put a stroke of a pen through and they won't be able to get into their forest.
"So they're going through and cutting timber now which really should not be cut ... it's against all environmental principles to be doing that.
"However, because of uncertainty created by environmentalists, that's what is happening out there."
Mr Tatnell was one of about 100 people who rallied at Granville Soccer Club to protest the proposed State Government reforms to the Code of Practice for Native Forest Management.
Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders, who was also at the rally, said timber leaders had nothing to fear.
"I'm working very closely with Timber Queensland and Curly Tatnell to make sure that we have a sustainable industry going forward," Mr Saunders said.
"I'm a big supporter of the timber industry and I will continue to make sure we get the best outcome.
"We are trying to get the southeast corner agreement extended.
"At the moment it finishes in 2024 - we're looking at trying to extend that by another 10 years, so the growers can get access and there has been no other changes to the current codes."
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Anthony Lynham said any conclusions drawn at this stage were premature.
"The State Government is reviewing the code and will be seeking feedback," he said.
"While respecting industry I will have a strong view on this. I am disappointed they have chosen to put the cart before the horse by venting their anger publicly on a self-accessible code that has not yet been finalised."
Dr Lynham said some of the goals of the review included preventing loss of biodiversity and maintaining land and water values.