Govt Caught Out over Timber Supply Agreement

Media Release
Andrew Humpherson MP
Shadow Minister for Planning
Shadow Minister for Innovation
Member for Davidson

19 September 2002

Govt still lying about Mogo
Govt caught out over Timber Supply Agreement
The NSW Government was caught out in question time today when the Coalition asked if it would reconcile statements made that are contradictory with a Timber Supply Agreement for the Mogo Charcoal Plant the Government signed.

Shadow Minister for Planning Andrew Humpherson, said the Government had failed once again to tell the truth about the Mogo Charcoal plant:

“The Timber Supply Agreement signed by the Government shows that the Government has failed to tell the truth about the Mogo Charcoal Plant.

“Despite assurances from Minister Refshauge:

“I am ensuring that no forest tree is cut down for the sole purpose of charcoal production. The Plant is only to use residual timber – such as branches and stumps. (Refshauge Press Release 1/5/02)

“The Agreement states under Timber Specifications that the Timber is to be delivered in log form… not branches and stumps!” Mr Humpherson said.

“Premier Carr also told the ABC that no trees would be used while also arrogantly stating that many lies had been told about the plant:

Mr Carr says he has heard so many untruths over the development.

“No trees are going to be cut down and used in this development”.(ABC 3/5/02)

“The Government’s mismanagement of the whole process is staggering and the cover-up is slowly being exposed, Mr Humpherson said.

“Firstly the Minister for Forestry, Kim Yeadon misled the House by saying that no trees would be poisoned, when in fact leaked emails showed that was not the case.

“Then the Coalition revealed that before the plant approval was granted the Premier clearly stated in public, during a visit to the South Coast, that the plant would go ahead even though the Planning Minster Refshauge had not made a determination at that point.

“And also, the Government through State Forests signed a wood supply agreement with Australian Silicon to supply timber to the plant before the plant was approved. This was despite Planning NSW objecting in the strongest terms.

“The Government was determined to push this plant through from the beginning despite the strong community opposition”, Mr Humpherson said.

The Minister also declined an Opposition request to attend the mass rally on Saturday at Mogo.

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