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Forestry Group welcomes Lotto leadership

MEDIA RELEASE 12th June 2013

For Immediate Release

Forestry Group welcomes Lotto leadership

The largest forest industry group in the country – Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) has welcomed the market leadership shown by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission in warning its retailers to pull the synthetic cannabis and party pill drugs from their shelves ahead of the coming law change.

“It’s great to see an influential body like the Lotteries Commission taking the lead to show society that we need to remove drugs from society wherever possible. Their lead in putting pressure on outlets shows a great moral compass,” said FICA spokesman John Stulen.

“We’ve been unhappy as an industry with the slow moves by Government to eliminate synthetic drugs from the shelves but it seems the market has to take the lead now,” he added.

In terms of eliminating drug-taking, forestry has to set the bar higher than society in general, so the actions of a large retailer sends the right signal says FICA.

The forest industry in New Zealand was the first primary industry to implement random testing for safety sensitive positions in the workplace. Ever since then forestry has taken the lead to keep drugs and drug-users out of the forestry workplace. At times this has presented challenges for rural communities and individual families but the continued pressure has worked.

“People now understand that zero tolerance to drugs at work is necessary because if their workmate is under the influence of drugs on the job they could kill anyone around them. Nowadays forestry workers are unaccepting of new entrants being under the influence of drugs at work – so they shun people who try to get jobs with our contractor members unless they test negative for drug use,” added Mr Stulen.

Forestry work involves many safety sensitive positions from tree-felling to log extraction, with large logging trucks sharing narrow rural roads with crews and contractors the highest degree of safety awareness is essential for everyone, everyday.

Ends

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