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AUSTimber 2020 launched

L – R: Cr Ripper, Wellington Shire Council; Ms Bath, Member for Eastern Gippsland; Mr Taylor, AFCA Chairman; Cr Hole WSC, Mayor White Latrobe City Council; Cr Gibson, Latrobe City Council, Mr Gatt, HVP Plantations; Mr Northe, Member for Morwell.

It was an auspicious day to be launching AUSTimber 2020 as unbeknown to the large gathering at the HVP plantation just outside of Traralgon elsewhere the RFAs for the area were being signed. Source: Timberbiz

At the launch were an ample number of politicians including local National Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath MP, Member for the Legislative Assembly and Member for Morwell Russell Northe, Latrobe City Council Mayor Councillor Darrell White, Councillor Ripper from Wellington Shire Council and Councillor Hole also from the Wellington Shire.

They joined stakeholders and exhibitors to hear proposals for the next AUSTimber planned in two years’ time to happen at the site where we sheltered under a marquee in inclement weather.

The revised site plan will have a new central activity area between the pine and eucalypt live demonstration areas, and one site will be used for all expo and demonstration days. In 2016 two sites were used – one in the forest and the other in Traralgon which did not work well for visitors who had to travel between the two.

Ten sites have already been sold and considering the extent of the event in 2016 many more will be secured in the months to come.

Local councils are behind the event for many reasons.

The industry is a vital industry for regional Victoria directly employing more than 21,000 workers. It indirectly supports another 40,000 to 50,000 jobs, providing a sustainable future for suburban, rural and regional communities across Victoria.

“We are committed to supporting the timber and wood industries in our region and this event is a tangible reflection of that support. Because of that commitment our council was the first in Australia to adopt a Wood Encouragement Policy that has since been taken up by other councils around the nation,” Latrobe city Council Mayor Darrell White said.

HVP Plantations gave each participant at the launch the opportunity to plant a seedling onsite. These were seedlings grown at HVP Gelliondale Nursey near Yarram, which is one of a number of local sites proposed for field trips as part of the week long AUSTimber 2020 activites.