Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Forestry communities fight sell-off

More than 3000 people and more than 60 logging trucks brought the centre of Adelaide to a standstill yesterday in protest at the State government’s plan to forward sell government-owned plantation forests in the south-east of the State to private interests.

The State Government's decision to forward sell up to three rotations of trees (each rotation representing a cycle of 37 years) to private and predominantly foreign owners has the potential to cause enormous social and economical harm to communities in the lower south east region of South Australia.

The planned forward sale of ForestrySA's plantation pine harvests threatens 5000 timber industry jobs and would trigger the collapse of hundreds of businesses reliant on the industry.

Foreign corporations purchasing logs from the state's 183,000 hectares of plantation forest will in all probability send logs offshore for processing, causing the shutdown of sawmills and supporting businesses.
Already, 10,000 tonnes of unprocessed logs each week are being exported from nearby Portland (Victoria) to Korea, and log exports out of Port Adelaide have begun.

The fight against the privatisation of SA forests via the forward sale mechanism is born of the last State Budget which has seen a massive community outcry against cuts to services, to workers’ entitlements and to public sector jobs.

Although a strong campaign by public sector unions has forced the resignation of State Treasurer Kevin Foley, his budget measures remain in place.

Different Treasurer, same policies….or different arsehole, same shit!

The struggle continues!

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