Anthony Albanese has personally written to timber workers backing their jobs and industry in an intervention that comes as the timber worker union, CFMEU Manufacturing, releases a scorecard that highlights the gaps in the Coalition policy.
“Mr Albanese’s support in the letter for native forest harvesting and repudiation of the Green’s plans to shut down the Tasmanian industry is particularly welcomed” said Scott McLean, Tasmanian District Secretary, CFMEU, Manufacturing.
“Timber workers and their communities have received important assurances about their jobs from a man who has fought, and beaten, the Greens his whole career,” Mr McLean said.
“We’ve also taken a close look at what the Coalition have proposed, and their policy leaves workers short when compared to the Labor policy. Labor scored 4.5 stars out of 5 with the Coalition only making it to 2.5 stars,” Michael O’Connor CFMEU National Secretary, Manufacturing.
“Workers are looking for initiatives that will address the national timber shortage, grow more plantations for the future and invest in skills and training. Labor’s policies do that, and unfortunately, the Coalition have not,” Mr O’Connor said.
“Scott Morrison said that his Government does not sneer at the jobs of regional Australians; but having had the opportunity to back up his words with actions, he has failed to match Labor’s superior policies. He has particularly failed to make commitments around domestic processing and skills development and training,”
The union had asked Coalition members to commit to undertaking an assessment of logs exported and wasted which could be used to help alleviate the crippling national timber shortage, and to abandon the inclusion of forestry in the controversial Agriculture visa.
Workers expected more from Mr Morrison but have instead received a strong series of commitments from Mr Albanese” Mr O’Connor said.