Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill says the forestry industry “is in crisis” and is contributing to the growing cost of housing.
The Department of Agriculture is currently dealing with a backlog of 6,300 forestry license applications, but only processed 37 last week despite the hiring of additional ecologists and forestry inspectors last year.
Speaking on the topic of housing, Deputy Cahill said the cost of construction materials such as timber has spiralled.
He says the core of the forestry problem is inefficiency within the Department:
“I had a timber contractor on to me last week who had 12 people employed and heavy liabilities on the machinery that he had purchased.”
“He had no timber to cut or no timber to cut into the foreseeable future. He had to lay off his men and try to do a deal with his banks on his repayments.”
“This is a native industry and inefficiency in the department has left this industry in crisis.”