Timber harvesting may return to Deni

By Country News

NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro has committed to introducing a private members bill on red gums, which could open the door for timber harvesting to return to Deniliquin.

The announcement, which came at the NSW Nationals state conference in Inverell recently, was welcomed by Deniliquin local and Nationals Senator Perin Davey.

‘‘As a party we have been working on this issue for a long time, but it finally feels like we are getting momentum,’’ Senator Davey said.

‘‘Russel and Joan Douglas have been absolutely pushing this issue through the party processes and then when the Riverina Red Gum branch formed we were able to work with them to progress policy from the grass roots.’’

A 42000ha national park was created near Deniliquin by former NSW Premier Nathan Rees in 2009.

Many in the area have previously advocated for sustainable logging, with concerns about the number of trees and the impact on dwindling water supplies and potential bushfire danger.

In a speech at the Nationals state conference, Mr Barilaro slammed the decision.

‘‘An industry and community wiped out by the stroke of a pen by Nathan Rees in his dying days as Premier by creating a national park based on green politics,’’ Mr Barilaro said.

‘‘If the only way to return this industry is to carve out the resource of the national park, then that is what we will do.’’