Industry profitability defended by minister

Patrick Weir measures a tree to determine its age. This tree was around 300 years old. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d407240
Patrick Weir measures a tree to determine its age. This tree was around 300 years old. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d407240

Environment Minister Albert Jacob is considering approving the Forest Management Plan 2014-2023, which sets logging quotas for the next 10 years.

Forest Legacy says the plan is unsustainable and tries to prop up a doomed industry.

Co-ordinator Patrick Weir said Mr Redman had exaggerated industry employment figures at more than 1000.

He said the report on employment figures that formed part of the plan showed the 1045 estimate included plantation employees, and those who lost jobs when the Whittakers mill in Greenbushes closed this year.

When Whittakers began closing, 44 people were made redundant. More jobs will go as its operations wind down.

But Mr Redman said the report into native forest employment figures was the most recent and reputable.

He said the Forest Products Commission returned a profit in 2012/13 of $4.6 million and paid a $3.3 million dividend to the Government