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Braddon Liberal candidate Brett Whiteley had a clear request for Labor asking them to “walk away” from the Tasmanian Forest Agreement. Braddon is a rural electorate in the north-western and west of Tasmania which is due for a by-election. Sources: The Advocate, Timberbiz The seat of Braddon is set for a by-election after its federal member Justine Keay resigned, another victim of the citizenship saga that plagues government. She is a UK citizen. Braddon is a marginal electorate so the fight is on. The by-election is on 28 July 2018. “I want to issue the challenge today to Mr Fitzgibbon and Justine Keay to walk away from Labor’s national forestry platform,” Mr Whiteley said. “To walk away from the forestry deal that they have in their minds that will lock up even more of Tasmania’s resources, that will do yet another cosy deal with the Greens.” Labor spokesperson for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Joel Fitzgibbon said his party’s platform hoped to grow forestry jobs in Tasmania, and they would continue to fight for the security of supply and sustainable profitability of the industry. “There are significant opportunities if we can provide the sector with additional supply, which can go through a new carbon farming initiative, if we can provide the industry with a skilled workforce which we can do through vocational education and training, and if we can help them go up that value curb through greater investment in research and development,” Mr Fitzgibbon said. “We want to do all those things. We want to continue to make things here. We want to create jobs here.” Braddon Labor candidate Justine Keay said she felt there was a lack of “focus on forestry.” “What we’ve found at the moment is the Turnbull Government have been just lazy around forestry. They’ve completely ignored it,” she said. Mr Whiteley said he trusted the records and facts to speak for themselves. “I would argue that they should grow some, get some courage and actually walk away from the left platform of the Labor party that wants to get in bed again with the Greens,” Mr Whiteley said. Mr Whiteley said he was sure Labor would do a deal with the Greens. “The devil is always in the detail when it comes to Labor dealing with the Greens on forestry,” he said. “You can be assured that they want to lock up more of Tasmania, there is no doubt about that, they won’t be happy till they lock up more.” Mr Fitzgibbon said security of supply was a priority for industry leaders in the sector. “Brett Whiteley wants to politicise the sector again, if you like, create the forestry wars all over again. That is the last thing the sector needs, and I’m sure that’s what stakeholders and industry leaders will be telling us,” he said. Mr Whiteley said his party would continue to do what they are already currently doing. “That is staying out of the way of people who know what they are doing,” he said.

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