Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh
Victoria’s forest industries have today been abandoned by an Andrews Government Minister who once claimed he understood timber mills were the “thriving backbone” of small communities across Victoria.
Philip Dalidakis has been Small Business Minister in Daniel Andrews’ Government since the Adem Somyurek scandal in 2015, but has done nothing to act in the interests of the hundreds of small businesses that underpin Victoria’s forest industries since his appointment.
When questioned in Parliament today, Minister Dalidakis – a former CEO of the Victorian Forest Industries Association – washed his hands of the industry and said forestry matters had no relevance to his portfolio.
“It is dire times for Victoria’s forestry businesses when even Phillip Dalidakis won’t stand up for them,” Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said.
“As VAFI CEO, Minister Dalidakis rallied against extremists who wanted to lock up Victoria’s sustainably managed working forests but as part of an Andrews Government desperately clinging to greens preferences, he has lost his voice.
“Victoria’s country communities that work hard in our forests and sawmills deserve better, as do the hundreds of small, often family-based, businesses that underpin Victoria’s furniture and timber supply sector.
“Yet again, Daniel Andrews is playing favourites for his own political gain and for greens preferences and, yet again, country families and businesses are missing out.”
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