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Speculation into forestry death unhelpful

Media Release

19 July 2013

For Immediate Release

Speculation into forestry death unhelpful

“Comments from people outside of forestry are unhelpful so soon after the tragic accident this morning that killed one of our members’ workers,” says John Stulen, spokesman for the Forest Industry Contractors Association.

“It’s too early to say what has gone wrong in this tragic accident which has cost this man his life early this morning. Speculating on the cause doesn't help, especially from people outside of forestry”, he added.

Mr Stulen said forest workers throughout the industry have been closely involved in important changes to the industry code of practice for forestry launched late last year. The code has only been in effect since the start of July. More importantly no one knows yet what has gone wrong in this tragedy.

“What we do know is that his family, his crew-mates and his crew boss will be devastated. These are close-knit work teams and rural communities and it is going to hurt many people,” he said.

“So we have to ask that the speculation and derogatory industry comments stop. We would ask everyone show some respect and leave his mates and family some time and privacy to mourn. Speculation at this point won’t help anyone”, says Mr Stulen.

The Forest Industry Contractors Association and Forest Owners Association have already publicly announced their plans to carry out an independent safety review. The process for this review must be allowed to be follow its course.

“We have acknowledged that it is time for outside help,” said Mr Stulen, “Organising a strictly independent review is underway, so let this process take its course.”

“We are not putting our heads in the sand – we have asked for help and it will just take time to do the work and do it properly.”

Ends

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