And yet its Canberra based reporter Leslie White recently opined that the entire industry ought to be shut down in a highly controversial oped that went off like a stink-bomb among The Weekly Times patriotic constituency.
HAVING IT BOTH WAYS
His central argument was that the forestry industry receives taxpayer subsidy. He did not explain the reason for that is to compensate it for government decisions that have greatly contributed to higher expenses for the industry, in the name of environmental protection. This is a trade-off the industry came to accept but it is a little rich for the environmentalists who campaigned for these restrictions to then oppose the compensation that resulted. To many in the industry, it reveals their real agenda: to shut-down Australiaâ€™s forestry industry completely.
INACCURATE AND AMATEURISH
Further, Leslie White claims that forestry giant Gunns is currently being sued by its shareholders in a class action. While such legal action has been discussed for some time, the company is in fact not actually being sued at all.
White has form for getting things wrong about Gunns, one of the countryâ€™s biggest employers in the forestry industry, in this article he claimed:
The St Helens toxic water scandal, where toxins which kill human cells were found in water and matched to toxins in a nearby plantation, continues to hang over the company.
Thatâ€™s not right either, company insiders say, Gunns has no plantation near St Helens or along the river that feeds into the area.
Fortunately White isnâ€™t getting it all his own way in his seemingly desperate desire to chop at the forestry industry.
In this weekâ€™s edition, after howls of protest about Whiteâ€™s inaccurate piece from the industry being directed at the Weekly Times, the articulate Victorian Forestry Industry advocate Philip Dalidakis has responded, making the case that forestry in Victoria is just as big an industry as dairy and tourism and that it uses less than 0.07 per cent annually of our total forest estate.
He makes the compelling argument that if weâ€™re not logging even that small amount here, weâ€™ll simply end up importing timber from places far less environmentally aware than Australia has become.
Itâ€™s well worthwhile reading his entire article, it makes a compelling case for his industry, an industry that Weekly Times writers would once support.
The Weekly Times enjoys a great reputation. Itâ€™s a shame to see their own writers bringing it down by acting as unthinking and error-prone mouthpieces for Greens party propaganda that is ultimately not so much pro-environment as anti-industry and anti-development.
Enviro-extremists have done much to demonise and undermine great Australian companies like Gunns. The Weekly Times should afford these enemies of primary production no sanctuary by raising the White flag.