Mick Veitch visits Bombala to discuss timber shortage claims, National Parks cuts

Country Labor politician Mick Veitch MLC, opposition spokesman for Primary Industries and Lands, visited Bombala on Thursday and met with local councillors, workers and management of the Dongwha Timber Mill.

Mick Veitch MLC

Mick Veitch MLC

Councillor Bob Stewart said Dongwha Timbers had raised concerns about getting enough wood supply to keep the mill viable.

“They need as much help as they can and an increase in supply of timber from state forests,” he said.

While he was in Bombala, Mr Veitch also dropped into the local National Parks and Wildlife Service office, where staff are facing job cuts as part of a state-wide restructure.

Mr Veitch said the Nationals are treating country NSW with contempt.

“The Liberal/National government has condemned Local Land Services to ‘a death by a thousand cuts’ since setting it up in 2013, and we are concerned of the impacts on the ground,” he said.

Cr Stewart agreed and said, “the state government should be helping out otherwise I think it will have a very serious effect on jobs in our area”.

Later that day Mr Veitch and Country Labor candidate for Monaro Bryce Wilson attended a community meeting in Cooma to discuss problems with Local Land Services (LLS) and hear from land holders on possible solutions.

“The NSW Opposition is concerned by the ongoing cuts to LLS and looks forward to hearing just how we might be able to mitigate against the impact of these decisions.”

Mr Veitch also said that if elected, a Labor state government would commit $75,000 for a Monaro Rail Trail study.

“Rail trails can be a real game changer when it comes to kicking along local regional economies through tourism.

“The government had this year accepted the Opposition’s amendment to the Rail Trail legislation to ensure any closed rail line would return to the state as Crown Land.

“This ensures the land would remain in public ownership,” he said.