TIMBER TALKS: Agriculture Minister Deb Frecklington and Gympie MP Tony Perrett met with stakeholders in the Gympie region's timber industry this week.
TIMBER TALKS: Agriculture Minister Deb Frecklington and Gympie MP Tony Perrett met with stakeholders in the Gympie region's timber industry this week. Patrick Woods

Timber talks held in Gympie region

A LACK of State Labor Government forestry management policies "which have been insidiously encroaching on local landholders" were under discussion in Gympie this week.

LNP Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Deb Frecklington, was in Gympie being briefed by industry and stakeholders about forestry and vegetation management policy.

Member for Gympie Tony Perrett invited Mrs Frecklington to hear firsthand the impact of government policies and the effect on local industries, and to have direct input into the development of the Opposition's policies regarding the industry.

"The Labor Government has been insidious and deceptive in its attempts to cripple forestry and vegetation management practices throughout the State," Mrs Frecklington said.

"It is beholden to green groups which are driven by blinkered.

"Many of them seem to prefer to destroy sensible and sustainably managed businesses," she said.

Mr Perrett said any threat to the viability of the timber industry would have a significant impact on the region.

"That is why it is vital that government policies support sustainable and responsible timber management and provide certainty for loggers, sawmillers, industry employees, landholders, and a natural and renewable resource for locals," he said.

"The LNP's goal is to see and support a sustainable and sensible utilisation of this natural resource.

"The timber industry is a key economic driver of this area.

"Together with agriculture and fishing it is one of the top five industries providing employment in the Gympie region and accounts for 9.1% or $180 million of the local gross regional product.

"The importance of the timber industry to this region cannot be underestimated.

"Gympie district is abundant with the historical importance of the timber and forestry industry.

"It is part of our history as sawmilling, logging, timber manufacturing and forestry has played a significant role in the development of Gympie since the 1800s," he said.

Fast facts

Timber is a vital industry to the Gympie region's economy, because:

  • it is one of the top five industries for employment;
  • it accounts for 9.1% of the region's gross regional product;
  • it accounts for $180 million of the local gross regional product;
  • plays a strong role in the region's history since 1800s.