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Sawlog commitment

NANNUP locals have asked Forest Products Minister Paul Omodei to confirm the WA Government’s commitment to provide 20,000 cubic metres of first grade sawlog for a value-adding project to support current employment levels in the town.

Timber Communities Australia Nannup branch president Neil McWilliam said the guarantee of 20,000 cubic metres was used by the WA Government as a sweetener to soften the blow of extensive reservation of jarrah in the Nannup area to meet Regional Forest Agreement reserve requirements.

Mr McWilliam said on the day the RFA was signed on 4 May 1999, Environmental Minster Cheryl Edwardes promised a ‘seamless transition’ for Nannup from its current operation to a value-added project.

“Three proponents were said to be interested in the project but needed the promised 20,000 cubic metres of first grade jarrah sawlogs to be viable,” he said.

“Now we are hearing the promised first grade will be a mix of either first and second or whole bole logs and we’re hearing no more about ‘seamless transitions.

“Instead we’re being prepared for job losses as the government struggles to honour its promises.

“The worst of it is, despite delegations and letters to Mrs Edwardes, asking her to confirm her well-publicised promise of last year, we can’t even get a reply to our letters.”

Mr McWilliam said the people of the South West were cynical about the Government’s commitment to promised in the RFA.

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