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O'Connor Shafts West Coast

"West Coast MP Damien O'Connor shafted the West Coast in Parliament last night", SOEs Minister, Tony Ryall has said.

"Mr O'Connor has been systematically and shamelessly trying to fool Coasters into believing he is working in their interests. It's a farce.

"The Government has introduced legislation to allow Timberlands West Coast to sustainably manage the West Coast Accord forests under the rules of Forests Act. That means jobs for the region.

"Damien O'Connor had the opportunity to show some courage and stand up for West Coasters last night, by voting for the Coast.

"Instead he sat in the House like a good little boy with his mouth shut while Labour's whips used his vote to shaft the Coast.

"The Government plans to give legislative support to Timberlands to manage the Accord forests sustainably and in perpetuity, as intended in the Accord.

"The legislation will also remove unnecessary and restrictive rules on the exporting of sustainably produced timber. In the long-term this will help improve the economic viability of the sustainable native timber industry, especially sustainable beech production that supports growth, investment and jobs on the Coast.

"With the export restrictions in place, low grade sustainably produced timber is currently being burnt or dumped. The Government wants to stop this waste and give forest owners and sawmillers the opportunity to recover some value from this by-product material.

"Damien O'Connor has sided with the rest of his politically-correct caucus and tried to vote down the Government's legislation.

ENDS

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