NSW Labor has challenged the Nationals Party Leader, John Barilaro, to stand up and protect forestry workers in rural and regional New South Wales by shelving the proposed sell-off of Forestry Corporation for good.
In an extraordinary attack on his own Government, the Nationals Party leader has said that rural and regional NSW should not “bear the brunt of big city’s guilt trip” over a host of issues ranging from climate change and hazard reduction for bush fires.
“How dare you”, the Deputy Premier has admonished every single Cabinet Minister, including the Premier, in a stinging opinion piece published in today’s Daily Telegraph.
NSW Labor Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, Paul Scully said, “All that John Barilaro has said in today’s newspaper is just cheap words unless he, as Deputy Premier, pulls rank and demands that the NSW Liberals scrap the sell-off plan for Forestry Corporation immediately.
“The Deputy Premier can make that demand today and provide certainty to rural and regional communities across NSW, where Forestry Corporation is the major employer for 640 workers.
“The bushfires have destroyed around 50,000 hectares of softwood plantations in the state’s south alone, yet the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government continue to head down the path of a Forestry Corporation sell-off rather than scrapping it for good.
“John Barilaro’s words in the city media will mean nothing unless he leads the move to scrap this sell-off plan of Forestry Corporation,” he said.
NSW Labor Leader, Jodi McKay and Mr Scully will visit Tumut tomorrow for discussions with the Snowy Valleys Council and other stakeholders, including Softwoods Working Group.
“People living in rural and regional NSW don’t support the sell-off of Forestry Corporation to the highest bidder and workers have been asking John Barilaro’s Government to scrap it from day one.
“It’s about time that John Barilaro practices a little bit of what he preaches and starts actually supporting rural and regional communities, instead of just talking about it, by stopping the Forestry Corporation privatisation immediately and permanently,” Mr Scully said.