Timber Towns Victoria and its member councils have released a Position Paper on the cessation of native forest harvesting in Victoria. The TTV members, who consist of councils right across Victoria where forest industries are recognised as significant contributors to the economy and community, have closely considered the implications of the cessation of harvesting of native forests in Victoria from the end of this year. Source: Timberbiz
The paper considers challenges and unintended consequences as a result of the decision, whilst also considering solutions for the future, focusing on immediate needs, transitional needs, and long-term support for the industry and the communities affected.
The paper’s summary states: “Our position is that continued native forest harvesting is regenerative, viable and the lifeblood of many of our communities. We regret the closure decision”.
“The cessation of native forest harvesting is expected to have a ripple effect throughout local economies. This impact will stretch far beyond the timber industry … despite these anticipated challenges, there are potential opportunities for reinvention.
“There is expected to be increased engagement with landowners to pursue diversified farm forestry operations and enhanced collaboration with First Nations Australians, including Traditional Owners and Custodians. This could prove pivotal in reimagining the future of Victoria’s timber towns and communities.”
TTV President Cr Karen Stephens has called on the Victorian State Government to provide certainty to the forestry sector for the future of the industry.
“We know that 21,000 direct jobs and a further 50,000 across the supply chain will be effect without some guarantee and certainty that their future is secure,” she said.
“The forestry sector purchases $634mil of gross value in logs per annum and provides $7.6billion in direct sales which is 33% of the national primary and secondary manufacturing.
“This industry is not to be sneezed at … the forestry sector is a huge contributed to the skilled work force and to the economy and needs certainty moving forward.
“The rural council sector knows that one job loss in Melbourne is equivalent to five job losses in rural communities,” Cr Stephens said.
“The importance of the Victorian State Government reviewing its Forest Plan is not lost on the sector and the communities that are affected, so when will the government deliver a new Forest Plan for Victoria?”
The Timber Towns Victoria Position Paper on The Cessation of Native Forest Harvesting in Victoria can be found on the home page on Timber Towns Victoria’s website: www.timbertownsvictoria.com.au or download it here.