Clarence Valley Council reject ideological idiocy
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In another victory for the timber communities of New South Wales – more than 100 timber industry workers have rallied in Maclean, on the NSW north coast – calling on Clarence Valley council to reject extremist ideology and support local jobs and the wider Australian economy.
Mills across the region shut down at midday to allow owners, staff, and supporters to voice their concerns about a report from the Clarence Valley Council’s biodiversity advisory committee. – which proposed to call on the state government to phase out native forest harvesting in state-owned forests.
The proposal first came before the Clarence Valley Council in late June when it was deferred to allow public feedback. When speaking at Tuesday’s meeting – Councilor Steve Pickering was scathing of the initial lack of consultation – “Our community was visibly distressed – there had been no consultation with an entire industry of thousands and thousands of people – an industry which keeps this valley ticking”
During his address to council Cr Pickering also spoke of his dismay at Council being involved in political games – “I was actually really disappointed that it would come to council – to me it seemed like a political decision and I was disturbed councilors are being used as pawns in a political game” .
After attracting a whopping 2,464 public submissions – of which over 95% were supportive of a continuation of the sustainable native timber industry – the importance this industry to local communities, families and businesses was on display for the anti-forestry zealots who seek to destroy the sector.
After over an hour of speeches and debate, the councilors voted overwhelmingly against the motion, seven votes to two with only Deputy Mayor Jeff Smith and councilor Greg Clancy supporting a ban on the sustainable native timber sector. Speaking in support of a ban – Councilor Clancy spoke of the lack of support for the failed motion – “It is quite obvious from the discussion here that there are no other councilors that share the concerns that I’ve got”.
The packed gallery reacted with raucous applause to the obvious support from Clarence Valley councilors – with local timber industry workers, business owners, CFMEU Union representatives and FWCA Executive Officer Mick Harrington all joining in applauding the decision.
Speaking after the event to local media – Victorian-based FWCA Executive Officer Mick Harrington spoke of his reason for making the 14 hour journey to Maclean for the day “I’ve seen what the end of the sustainable native timber sector has done to regional Victoria – and the impact on local communities, businesses and our collective mental health – we must not see that happen here in the Clarence Valley”.
With another rural local council subject to a thinly veiled attempt by anti-industrial and anti-forestry extremists to ban the sustainable native timber sector– the need remains for extremists to read the room – and stop their attempts to destroy our communities, families and our opportunities.