Tasmanians know better than anyone what happens when the Labor Party decides inner-city green votes are more important than timber workers. In 2010, the Tasmanian Labor Party formed government with the Tasmanian Greens and set about implementing the Greens’ No. 1 policy priority: to destroy the Tasmanian timber industry. The result was an industry decimated, with two in every three forestry jobs gone. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars were spent, not to create jobs but to pay people to stop working and leave the industry.
Nine years later, Tasmanians haven’t forgotten what Labor governments infected by green ideology do to our communities. The Labor Party’s own election review, issued late last week, points the finger squarely at the previous Labor-Green minority state government for making Labor unelectable in Northern Tasmania. The review says:
The Labor-Greens agreement that underpinned the minority state Labor government in Tasmania from 2010 to 2014 remains a sore point for many voters in northern Tasmania, who view the Greens as implacably hostile to their interests, values and livelihoods.
But the truth is that Labor doesn’t need to have the Greens in their cabinet room to be implacably hostile to the interests, values and livelihoods of working people in regional areas; just ask Daniel Andrews. The announcement last week that Victorian Labor is prepared to deliberately extinguish almost 5,000 jobs from the timber industry by banning native forestry is just the latest example of a Labor government blinded by inner-city green votes and willing to sell out hardworking Australians to cosy up to the green movement. Families who have worked in the timber industry for generations will be out of work. Businesses will close, not just in the timber industry but across the entire supply chain. What is the purpose of all this pain that Victorian Labor are about to cause?
Australia’s forestry practices are the best in the world. When we harvest timber, we restore the environment and regrow the trees for the next generation. That’s why wood is the ultimate renewable. The determination of the Greens to shut down native forestry only increases demand for wood from countries that don’t regrow what they cut down, like those that are clearing and converting the Amazon rainforest and forests across South-East Asia. Anyone with a genuine commitment to the global environment would support Australia’s timber industry, which regrows what it harvests. But no: if you’re in the Labor Party, our native forestry industry is an environmental abomination and must be shut down because green activists say so. What’s even more unbelievable is that Daniel Andrews chose to announce this Greens-led policy on the same day Labor released their election review, which clearly states that their party is on the nose in regional communities across Australia. Just as Mr Andrews is giving the middle finger to timber workers and timber communities, he’s also doing that to any suggestion that Labor should listen to regional Australia and stop following the latest fashions in inner-city green activism.
Labor’s Victorian forestry policy will cost thousands of jobs. It will certainly embolden cashed-up green activist groups to go after timber industries in other states, and I’m sure that Tasmania will be, as it always has been, on their hit list. The message it sends to the community is that, if you want the support of the Labor Party, all you need to do is join a green protest movement, glue yourself to the road, blockade the streets, invade businesses and harass police. If that’s who you are, then Daniel Andrews and Labor are here for you. But if you’re out in the bush earning a living for your family, bad luck: you’re expendable to the Labor Party. Your job means nothing to them, except for it being the price that they’re willing to pay in order to get a pat on the back from the green movement.