Action needed to protect Wide Bay’s timber industry

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien and Queensland Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett have reaffirmed their commitment to protecting Wide Bay’s timber industry, following a tour of the Hyne Timber Mill at Tuan.

Mr O’Brien and Mr Perrett met with Hyne Timber executive director James Hyne to see the workings of the mill, which employs more than 350 staff and contractors around Maryborough.

“Hyne is one of Maryborough’s biggest employers, and the Coalition Government recognises the value that the timber industry brings to Wide Bay and to Queensland,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Sustainable, world-class timber is produced right here in Wide Bay, and we’re committed to ensuring this valuable timber industry remains viable, thrives and creates more jobs into the future.”

Mr O’Brien said the Coalition Government has committed almost $2 million into boosting Wide Bay’s timber industry since 2016, but delays by the Labor State Government were putting that investment and jobs at risk.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government is dragging its feet on forestry agreements, and it’s killing the industry,” Mr O’Brien said.

Queensland Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett said access to timber resources on State-owned land would be limited from 2024, and that deadline was fast approaching with no solution in sight.

“This is causing a lot of uncertainty and great concern in the timber industry throughout Queensland,” he said.

“I’m hearing from people who want to make significant investments in the timber industry, but why would they invest millions of dollars into an industry when there may be no resources for them in five years’ time?

“The industry will collapse unless the Labor State Government gets into gear and makes a decision on new forestry agreements.”