Gippsland’s biggest monthly welfare handouts were announced in May – and there’s no mutual obligation or eligibility tests. Another two and half million dollars goes to an already overfed few.
1) Neville Smith timber industries at Heyfield – They were the mob who pulled out of Swifts Creek a while ago (and caused a stir which forced the govt to give $1/2 million to Dormit to build a pallet making mill in Swifts creek – which it never has!). Neville Smith have been handed $1 million to go towards some fancy laser scanner. Strings attached? Possibly their long term licence renewed to ensure the investment gets used, despite evidence of lack of forest to supply the licence volumes.
2) Terra Timbers – The consortium of 8 mills who got together to build ‘value adding’ facilities in Bairnsdale umpteen years ago. So far, nothing beyond the sign on the road has appeared. They were given land from TXU, the power company. Now they get $1 million to help them put these supposed ‘value adding’ facilities in. As the mills that have kilns can’t sell the KD timber due to lack of market, this is clearly a front for their true intentions. TXU is proposing a wood burning power station and gave part of their land to Terra Timbers – not hard to put 1+1 together there.
3) Forestech – is in Lakes Entrance where they teach student foresters and loggers how to drive machines and wield chainsaws. They scored the third tax-payer gift to aid the logging industry. To buy a piece of logging machinery that cuts down forests twice as quickly, they were given $1/2 million by Mr Bracks.