Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed the focus on sustainable jobs in East Gippsland Shire Council’s position paper on ‘Native Timber Harvesting in East Gippsland’. Source: Timberbiz
The document adds weight to community demands for the Premier Dan Andrews to reverse his decision to ban all native timber harvesting by 2030.
“I’m pleased that Council has made it abundantly clear that it agrees with other local governments in Gippsland that it supports a high quality, low volume native timber harvesting industry for social, economic, environmental and cultural reasons,” Mr Chester said.
“The position paper is the clearest indication that despite some differences of opinion, the vast majority of our community recognises that the illogical Labor Government decision to cease native timber harvesting will harm Gippsland families and small business owners.
“A world-class, well-managed native timber harvesting and re-planting program makes more economic and environmental sense than importing timber from countries with poorer standards.”
The Shire position paper makes the strong point that East Gippslanders were not consulted prior to the decision to ban timber harvesting.
“East Gippsland communities have not been treated with respect by the Victorian Government not adequately explaining the basis of its decision to phase out native timber harvesting,” the report states.
“Not sharing this information so that everyone can better understand the decision makes it hard for community members to move on and engage in planning for the future.”
Mr Chester said he remained totally opposed to the ban and would work alongside his state parliamentary colleagues to have it overturned.
“The only guaranteed way to protect timber jobs and have sustainably managed forested areas in Gippsland is to vote Dan Andrews out of office at the November state election,” Mr Chester said.
“If we want a highly-skilled workforce in our area to assist during bushfires and we want access to sustainably harvested local hardwood timber, not imported products, we need to get rid of the State Labor Government.”