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Don't blame the victim Jim!

Don't blame the victim Jim!

Jim Anderton's attack on our forestry sector is a classic case of a 'blame the victim' approach, says National Forestry Spokesman Brian Connell.

Mr Connell's comments follow accusations from Jim Anderton that the forestry industry is not a reliable employer, that it '...is causing significant damage to some of its own workforce...' and it 'sheds workers on a regular basis as an industry response to commodity cycles'.

"A business that wants to remain viable and cost-effective has to take heed of commodity cycles. Ignoring them will impress your workers only until your reserves run out and bankruptcy ensues - along with mass redundancies," says Mr Connell.

"In an ideal world, businesses could indeed ignore commodity cycles, but in an ideal world, export competitiveness would not be hampered by rising compliance costs, absurd OSH requirements and enough red tape to throttle an elephant.

"In an ideal world, Jim Anderton would not be the Minister for Industry & Regional Development.

"If Mr Anderton wants to help forestry workers, he could start by supporting the industry at a time when it faces high exchange rates, growing compliance costs, high shipping freight costs, high electricity spot prices and an unreliable energy supply.

"These problems have been either caused or exacerbated by his enthusiastic and ill-informed approach as Minister for Industry & Regional Development, along with the other damaging policies of this Government.

"Mr Anderton should stop trying to shift the blame and start addressing the problems. Telling the forestry sector that they devastate their workers on a regular basis is both unfair and untrue," says Mr Connell.

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