Open Minister to Andrew Constance MP, on his appointment as NSW Treasurer
In congratulating you on your appointment as Treasurer of NSW, I would like to remind you that as Treasurer of the State, you now have a broader duty to state taxpayers.
A local MP might sometimes chose to represent the narrow sectional interests of a tiny industry, even though it makes a loss, causes immense destruction to the environment, waterways, soil, wildlife and roads of their electorate, but as Treasurer you do not have this luxury.
This especially so since as Treasurer, you are also a 50% shareholder of the NSW Forestry Corporation, a position which obliges you to take steps to maximise the profits of that corporation.
As you know, the Forestry Corporation regularly makes a loss of around $15 million a year on its native forest logging operations. Taxpayers are $15 million worse off as a result of native forest logging, EVERY year.
I am sure we could all think of many worthy ways to spend a sum of that magnitude on items such as health and education for starters.
I am now counting on you to take the only responsible step and end State Government support for the native forest logging industry. Your electorate will benefit and the State will thank you for this in the long run.
23 April 2014