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Lily D’Ambrosio to control forestry in Victoria

Lily D’Ambrosio with members of the Save Our Strathbogie Forest group

The new Victorian Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, led by Lily D’Ambrosio, will take control of agriculture and forestry from January 1 under a major restructure of departments. Source: Weekly Times

Up until now Agriculture Victoria and VicForests had been part of the Department of Jobs, Regions and Precincts, led by Industry Minister Ben Carroll.

But an across-government email sent from the Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet Jeremi Moule to all staff states Agriculture Minister Gayle Tierney and her agriculture and forestry portfolios will be moved into DEECA, with Ms D’Ambrosio as the “Co-ordinating Minister”.

Ms Tierney will still be the responsible minister for forestry but the public servants involved will now be in the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Change.

The move ensures Ms D’Ambrosio has oversight of some of the most controversial regional and rural issues that Labor will deal with in 2023, from the development of new animal welfare laws to the phase out of native forest harvesting and resourcing of Agriculture Victoria and its research priorities.

Victorian Farmers Federation president Emma Germano said the restructure looked like a downgrade, “but ultimately agriculture and environment should not be treated as separate things”.

“It could be a good move, as long as it’s not greenwashing agriculture.”

It appears the Game Management Authority will be brought under the control of new Outdoor Recreation Minister Sonya Kilkenny, along with fishing and boating, sitting in within a new Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions.