Challenges ahead for Shane Jones
Right from the start Shane Jones said he would have preferred the fisheries portfolio to the forestry portfolio. He has said that he took forestry at the request of his leader. After just over a year in the job the Minister has received widespread praise for lifting the profile of the industry. Now in his second year as Minister of Forestry the question being asked is whether he has sufficient grasp of available policy options to win the hearts and minds of land owners to encourage planting levels. Planting levels have still yet to return to levels seen as a result of tax breaks at the end of last century. While there were a considerable number of announcements on forestry last year they tended to only go so far as creating interest, not wide scale action.
With an election not far away, is there a winner amongst the various policies that have been released or is it time to look a little harder at the full range of options?