Gurmesh Singh MP


The NSW Opposition is calling on the Minns Labor Government to reverse a decision to replace hardwood power poles with composite poles.

NSW Nationals Leader Dugald Saunders visited Coffs Harbour Hardwoods in Glenreagh today, alongside Shadow Minister for the North Coast Gurmesh Singh, Member for Clarence Richie Williamson, Member for Oxley Michael Kemp and industry representatives.

They called on Environment Minister Penny Sharpe to intervene, to prevent a further increase in power prices, and to provide certainty to the timber industry.

“Hardwood has been hard done by here. Not only will this untested product be worse for the household budget by adding to power bills, but it will also be worse for the environment by increasing our carbon footprint,” Mr Saunders said.

Shadow Minister for the North Coast Gurmesh Singh said the move will exacerbate the cost of living crisis.

“It’s bad enough Labor’s budget didn’t allocate any funding to help families while times are tough, but now the Government is making decisions that will make things worse,” Mr Singh said.

Last week the NSW Nationals party room passed a resolution, reaffirming its support of the hardwood and softwood timber industry. The agreement endorsed all responsible and sustainable harvesting measures, while opposing transfers of productive state forest to national park without strong scientific justification of improved outcomes.

Member for Clarence Richie Williamson said the current reduction in timber supply is a direct result of the Minns Labor Government’s decisions.

“All of the shutdowns we’ve seen over the past six months or so, have been caused by this Government letting the timber industry down. It needs to do better to stand up for our regional workers and businesses,” Mr Williamson said.

Member for Oxley Michael Kemp said the resolution shows the NSW Nationals will always back our primary producers.

“Hardwood timber is the backbone of the Mid North Coast and last week every single member of parliamentary team again showed their support for one of our most sustainable industries,” Mr Kemp said.