SO, the Shoalhaven Paper Mill is to close (SCR, February 25).
But is it too late? Everyone is saying that this is the final word and is seeking government support for the mill workers to transition from the industry.
This isn’t good enough. The mill is too important to the local economy and as the only producer of paper for Australian passports and birth certificates. The federal government needs to make sure this continues by sourcing all of its needs for these papers from this local supply.
The Greens believe governments should maximise their paper purchases from local renewable paper producers such as our Shoalhaven mill. In the hope that it is not too late we should be renewing our calls for the federal government to make this decision, and quickly.
I will be taking this matter up as a matter of urgency with our NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and deputy leader Adam Bandt, who has the portfolio for industry and employment, to see what they can do to put the pressure on the government.
If the question comes back to providing reskilling opportunities for displaced workers, I am reminded of the recent visit to Bomaderry by NSW Greens MP John Kaye highlighting the importance of TAFE for such retraining needs. While here he expressed great concern at the way the Baird government is undermining the TAFE system and its capacity to help people needing a new direction in life.
We need a local jobs plan for the electorates of Kiama and Shoalhaven which includes a viable TAFE system.
Greens candidate for Kiama.