Letter to the editor

Chipmill wants a Blank Cheque
Peter Hendy has been all but invisible in the electorate, but as soon as the woodchipping industry snapped its fingers after last week’s storms, he dropped everything and went to the chipmill. The upshot was promises intended to give the impression that the coalition would bail it out.
Any meaningful pre-election financial commitment to the chipmill would be a blank cheque.

Neither Peter Hendy, the chipmill owners nor any of us yet knows the full extent of the damage or has a clear idea of how much might be covered by insurance. It is highly unlikely that any of us will know before the election.

The woodchipping industry is used to subsidies, but this would have to be one of the biggest.
If public funds are available for disaster relief, they should be for community projects such as restoration of the Tathra Wharf and similar public facilities, not private business, especially when it so controversial.

Perhaps this storm was Mother Nature’s way of saying that 36 million tonnes of woodchips is ENOUGH. Our forests can’t take any more.
Harriett Swift
14 June 2016