End Of Native Forestry – Victorian Government Fails To See The Forest For The Trees

Media Statement

Friday, 26 May 2023


End Of Native Forestry – Victorian Government Fails To See The Forest For The Trees

The State Government’s decision earlier this week to end the native forestry industry effective January 2024 came as a shock to the whole sector, clearly with zero consultation with any forestry industry representatives.

Timber Towns Victoria calls the decision ‘reckless’ and ‘irresponsible’, condemning the decision.

Timber Towns Victoria president Karen Stephens said she was devastated by the early closure and warned the Gippsland region would be hard hit, particularly towns such as Orbost, Swifts Creek and Heyfield.

“If you take the timber sector out of those communities, what have they got?” she said. “They’re not all going to become baristas.”

This decision will slam a huge negative impact on already struggling regional Victorian forest and sawmill workers, their communities and the supply chain, forfeiting local jobs in support of foreign and potentially unsustainable imports.

“Clearly it is distressing to thousands of workers, their families, their employers, and will have devastating lasting impacts in many multiple ways.”

The Victorian native forest industry harvests less than 0.04% of Victoria’s total forest area per year that is then replanted and sustainably regrown by law. Just 6% of the total area of native forest in Victoria is available for possible harvest, leaving 94% of forests in Victoria untouched by forestry.

Victoria is already the largest importer of structural timber in Australia and with the closure of native forestry in Victoria, it is now expected to become the largest importer of hardwood and paper products in Australia.

Timber Towns Victoria would welcome Australian Forest Products Association’s suggestion for a National Cabinet discussion on sustainable forest resource security.

– ENDS –

Media contact:

Karen Stephens

Timber Towns Victoria President

0488 900 6545


About Timber Towns Victoria

Timber Towns Victoria is the peak local government body for Victoria on forestry policy. It represents 12 Victorian Local Government areas with forestry industries on public or private land. In representing these local councils and the communities that work within the forestry and timber industries, TTV is committed to maintaining sustainable practices to ensure the industry continues into the future.

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For more information, contact Timber Towns Victoria President, Glenelg Shire Councillor Cr Karen Stephens, 0488 900 645 or email secretary@timbertownsvictoria.com.au

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