Native Timber Industry Closure

24 May, 2023

The Victorian Premier’s decision yesterday to shut down Victoria’s world class sustainable hardwood native timber industry on 1 January 2024, is another kick in the guts for our small regional communities.

Mr Broadbent said “Local timber industries not only keep local people employed, they keep our small towns running. For the Victorian Government to close this industry, six years ahead of schedule, without any transition plan in place, is short-sighted and shows contempt for the communities and families that will lose their livelihoods. It’s yet another blow during already stressful economic times.”

The native hardwood timber industry is not what it was 30 years ago. It’s become a sophisticated and environmentally sustainable industry that protects communities and wildlife from bushfires. By law, every tree harvested by the timber industry is regrown, with VicForests harvesting and regenerating approximately 3000 hectares each year.

We need active forest management in our region to support multiple uses such as camping, hiking, prospecting, beekeeping, fishing, and a sustainable native hardwood timber industry. The skills of these timber industry workers are hard to find and workers facing unemployment should be prioritised for roles in forest management, fuel reduction and other environmental work that protects our regional communities.

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Russell Broadbent MP
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