Gympie timber leader warns waste laws will decimate industry
THE State Government has been called out by Gympie Timber owner Perry Corbet and the LNP over waste law changes they say will fell jobs and risk the industry.
Mr Corbet, along with shadow environment minister David Crisafulli and shadow agriculture minister Tony Perrett, have slammed a decision that is now forcing the region's sawmills to ship their waste to Ipswich for disposal.
But Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch accused the LNP of "scaremongering and getting things wrong" when it came to waste laws.
"The sawdust and shavings, which contain elevated levels of long-lasting toxic chemicals used to treat timber, have been classified as a regulated waste for many years due to the risk to human health and the environment," she said.
Mr Corbet said "We were told 25 years ago this was an environmentally friendly treatment. Only recently has the government said it's not."
The increased cost of hauling it south - which could only be done by specifically licensed companies - and then paying the new waste levy to dispose of the wood would have to be passed on, Mr Corbet said.
He said the EPA had already paid them a visit, even though the laws were less than a week old.
Mr Crisafulli said the change meant a mill the size of Gympie Timber was now facing six-figure costs to remove the sawdust.
Gympie MP Tony Perrett called it a decision that put an industry already facing an uncertain future under even more pressure, and could be devastating for the region's second largest industry.
"We can't afford to lose more jobs here," he said.
Ms Enoch said "The Queensland Government is working with the sawmilling and timber processing industry to support them in better managing their regulated waste."