Australasia's home for timber news and information

Friday analysis: hardwood solution too hard for Labor

It’s one thing to offer a solution to a problem. It’s another thing to deliver the solution. And the Victorian Government has been caught out failing to deliver to the state’s native timber industry, again. Source: Bruce Mitchell

This time it’s the revelation that rather than planting hardwood timber to compensate for the end of native timber harvesting in 2020 – just 10 years away – the Victorian Government has apparently only been planting blue gums.

When pushed on the issue by the Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath, the Minister for Agriculture, Jaclyn Symes for answers.

She was met with silence.

It’s bad enough that Victoria is going to be hit with a billion-dollar bill from the COVID-19 pandemic it will be paying off for generations.

But faced with that, for the State Government to then retain a policy to end native timber harvesting in Eastern Victoria costing thousands of people their livelihoods as a sop to the Greens for helping to get them elected is outrageous.

The opposition to this foolish strategy is growing.

The recent formation of the Victorian Forest Products Association and the Victorian Hardwood Sawmillers Association will provide strong voices in taking the battle up to the Victorian Government.

Meanwhile the bushfire ravaged areas of South East New South Wales is continuing to suffer.

The family-owned 138-year-old Hyne Timber company is continuing to call for government support to direct Australian saw logs destined for China to their mill in Tumbarumba.

The company has fears for the mill’s future.

Hyne Timber has confirmed at least 441,000 cubic metres of sustainably grown, plantation pine can be made available to the mill over the next three years. But, with no Australian customer, the timber is headed for China.

Hyne wants Federal Government support to ensure that timber is diverted to its mill to be used in housing. The company says this would secure 181 jobs directly and ensure $70 million in wages and salaries continued to flow into the local economy.

It is a similar story in many ways to the situation in Victoria. Both need immediate attention.

Both need that attention now.