1 January 2024
Victorian forestry communities mourn the loss of a once vibrant industry
Timber Towns Victoria today acknowledges a deep sadness and regret for the native timber harvesting communities and their families for the loss of regenerative native mixed species forest harvesting from actively managed forests in Victoria.
In Australia, forested landscapes are likely to have been actively and adaptively managed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for over 60,000 years.
In November 2019, the Victorian State Government announced a phase out of the native timber harvesting industry in Victoria by 2030. In May 2023, a new announcement brought the ban forward to commence 1 January 2024.
Timber Towns Victoria President and Mayor of the Glenelg Shire, Cr Karen Stephens said “Unfortunately, the industry has long been misunderstood by the State Government and the broader community and has ultimately been brought to its knees. The industry has repeatedly called on the State Government to provide scientific evidence as to the reasoning for their decision and we are yet to see this from them.
“The loss of active forest management practices will ultimately mean the loss of generational knowledge, loss of carbon capture in regrowth forest areas after harvesting, and the loss of the flow on benefits to communities and the environment” Cr Stephens said.
Victorias forest industries are recognised as significant contributors to the economy and community. An economic impact report commissioned by the Wellington and East Gippsland Shires in 2021 estimated that the ban on native timber harvesting would result in approximately 1,110 job losses and output to drop by $308 million.
Forestry Australia (the professional body of forest scientists, farm foresters and forestry professionals) advocates to support well managed sustainable forest harvesting as a part of ecologically sustainable forest management practices. These sustainably regenerative managed forests operate under the strict Australian Standards and stringent auditing. Under ecologically sustainable forest management, active management practices are required to maintain resilient and healthy forests that can withstand the impacts of threats including bushfires, invasive species and climate change.
Forestry Australia recommends continued silvicultural techniques in our native forests can be utilised to support forest health and biodiversity, mitigate risks from fire, pests and diseases and to grow bigger trees quicker, storing more carbon and creating forests that are more resilient.
“In contrast to the ban on native timber harvesting, there are a multitude of benefits from the sustainable management of our forests and as the peak local government body for Victoria on forest policy, we wish to discuss these with the State Government and work towards a positive solution for Victoria and our communities.
“We call on the government to advise Timber Towns Victoria and the community, what strategies do you have in place for the future sustainable management of forest health, bushfire risks, conservation of biodiversity, and maximising carbon outcomes.” Cr Stephens said.
– ENDS –
Cr 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.
- Timber Towns Victoria Calls for certainty for the future of forestry in Victoria 1 September 2023
- Position Paper – The Cessation Of Native Forest Harvesting In Victoria 1 September 2023
- Timber Industry Road Evaluation Study 2023-2027: Executive Summary 1 September 2023
- End of Native Forestry – Victorian Government Fails To See The Forest For The Trees 26 May 2023
- Plantation Promises – Where are they? 7 March 2023
- Job Losses Rippling through Victorian Communities 24 February 2023
- Timber Towns Welcomes Funding Boost 20 April 2022
- Timber Towns Victoria disappointed that Traditional Owners are being targeted 14 April 202
- “We are being treated like fools” 6 April 2022
- Myths and falsehoods plague local mixed species timber industry, 21 December 2021
- New Report shows timber contributes $1.4B to Victoria’s economy, 17 December 2021
- Specialised analysis for the Timber Towns Victoria council areas, 2021
- Reversal on ‘water rule’ allows Victoria to plant 100 million more trees to store carbon, 29 October 2021
- Timber Towns welcomes transparency around native timber ban, 15 October 2021
- Native timber industry key to tackling climate change, 11 August 2021
- Native timber industry is sustainable, says Timber Towns ahead of government review of Timber Code of Practice, 9 July 2021
- Timber Towns warns massive job losses if native timber industry closes, 17 May 202
- Read the Rural Councils Victoria report, Economic Impact Assessment of the creation & retention of rural jobs
For more information, contact Timber Towns Victoria President, Glenelg Shire Councillor Cr Karen Stephens, 0488 900 645 or email firstname.lastname@example.org