AWU launches campaign over proposed state forest sell-off

The AWU has today launched stage one of a major new campaign against the Berejiklian Government over its plan to sell New South Wales’ state forests to private interests

The campaign, Keep Our Forests in Public Hands, has launched with a video and a tool to make it easy for concerned citizens to email their local MP. 

The AWU, whose members work in state forests across New South Wales, will organise town hall meetings across the regions so communities can stay informed and organise against the sale. Initial meetings are scheduled for Coffs Harbour, Bathurst, and, Tumut. 

“The anger across regional New South Wales about this proposal is white hot,” said AWU National Secretary Daniel Walton.

“No matter who you are – old, young, left, right – when you hear what the government is proposing, you’re furious.

"Basically if you live in New South Wales, and you’re not a member of Gladys’s cabinet, you’re against this proposal. The idea of the state government selling our state forests to private interests is appalling.

"People have learnt the lessons of privatisation: it inevitably leads to mass job cuts and a dud deal for the community. Thousands of our members’ jobs are at risk over this proposal. These are men and women who ensure the natural environment is looked after. Men and women who keep our regional communities safe from fire danger. Men and women who keep regional economies afloat through their employment. 

"If you’re a camper, a bike rider, a bush walker, a fishing enthusiast, a hunter, or just someone who loves the bush and regional communities I urge you to get onto our campaign site and tell your local MP how you feel. 

“The government knows this proposal stinks. Their strategy is to hope it sails through before anyone notices. The community can stop this if we speak up. 

"People in the regions are used to being sold out nay the Nats, but selling off state forests and endangering thousands of regional jobs has to be a new low. The AWU will be standing shoulder to shoulder with regional communities and fighting this until the government gets the message.”