Australasia's home for timber news and information

Friday analysis: Victoria goes to the polls with too much to lose

Victorians go to the polls in just three weeks.

If some of the Press reports coming out of Victoria are to be fully believed the Premier Dan Andrews might have a fight on his hands.

His handling on Covid is under attack, it has been claimed that ambulance response times for critical emergencies are worse now than when he came to office in 2014, he has come under fire over a public survey which might be in breach of electoral laws, and it goes on and on.

There have even been allegations over a car accident some 10 years ago that Mr Andrews – when Opposition leader, and his wife may or may not have been involved in.

There is more, but the picture is pretty clear that there is a concerted effort by some in Victoria to use any and all means considered necessary to ensure he doesn’t get back in.

But despite all the mainstream media’s negative coverage of Mr Andrews in Melbourne, there has been little or no coverage of his plan to shut down the native timber industry by 2030.

It has been well established that – despite government-funded programs designed to help people transition of the native timber industry into goodness knows what, this closure will gut Gippsland of employers, employees, family and towns.

It will be financially devastating not just for Gippsland but for the whole State. And yet there has been little or no coverage by the media in Melbourne.

With some luck, the Victorian Forest Products Association might just change this.

The VFPA launched its election campaign this week with the simple message; Our future grows on trees.

VFPA CEO Deb Kerr says the campaign aims to drive home two simple truths – the need for more trees, and the role of forestry in fighting climate change.

The campaign includes out-of-home advertising in key growth suburbs of Melton and Pakenham (bus backs and billboards) and a comprehensive social media strategy.

“We will be active in key seats and growth areas,” Ms Kerr says.

Will it work? It can only be hoped so.

Victoria – and that’s the whole State – has too much to lose.