Here we are. Sawmillers who have spent generations being on the Government payroll are now complaining about having to exist in a global competitive market.
With the sale of Government pine plantations, the new plantation owners are free to sell their logs to whoever they like, including customers who are prepared to pay more than domestic customers/sawmillers.
Imagine that! Competition and free trade in the forest industry. Who would have guessed?
This is a classic forest industry sob story, about poor hard-done-by sawmillers who can’t compete in a global marketplace.
The softwood industry is no longer part of the Welfare Forestry System in Australia, except in Western Australia and New South Wales, where Governments have yet to privatise their plantation estates.
I just love the pity-me language:
“Our forefathers planted the trees — they were planted with a plan to create jobs into the future. It wasn’t about growing wood for Asia.”
A classic example of Trees-as-Welfare, not Trees-as-Commerce. The idea of growing trees to make a profit is anathema to these poor folk.
These sawmillers are demanding welfare not trees!
They are unwittingly demanding the destruction of their very own businesses and industry.
Clearly the Green Triangle Forest Industry Hub (GTFIH) is not the cohesive single-minded group that their website wants us to believe:
Tensions between growers and processors are running high!
The GTFIH has a plan to plant 50,000 ha of new plantation over the next 10 years. That definitely won’t happen with stories like this in the media.
Who would want to plant trees knowing you cannot trade in an open competitive market? Nobody that’s who!!
Unfortunately the article does not talk about prices and markets, or any idea of the growers side of the story.
And as for an industry Code of Conduct, that would be the final nail in the coffin for the already struggling forest industry in Australia.
What other primary producers in Australia face a more hostile political environment than tree growers? I can’t think of any! Happy to have your comments!
Anyone growing trees for wood production in Australia, whether plantation or native forest, should be very worried right now. Your investment is about to be destroyed by your politicians.
What a total mess the industry is!!