Federal Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon challenges Andrews government over native forestry ban

Federal Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon has delivered a veiled swipe at the Andrews government over its decision to phase out Victoria’s native timber industry.

The veteran MP, who has been a vocal figure in a push within the party to reconnect with regional voters, said on Thursday night a strong relationship between the Commonwealth and the states was needed to sustain regional jobs.

Joel Fitzgibbon has taken a veiled swipe at the Andrews government’s decision to ban native timber harvesting.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The decision by Premier Daniel Andrews earlier this month to end the harvesting of native hardwood timber from 2030 has caused a major split within the Labor movement, leading to fierce criticism from the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union.

Mr Fitzgibbon, the Opposition’s agriculture spokesman, warned Australia could not sustain a forest and forest products industry and “all the jobs and wealth it creates” without a native forest industry.


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