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VAFI calls on Vic Government to confirm survey to close industry

Tim Johnston

The VAFI has called on the Victorian State Government to provide answers to allegations that a partly funded State Government market survey campaign sought feedback on the hypothetical closure of the Victorian native timber industry. Source: Timberbiz

The VAFI said that the line of questioning, if found to be accurate, is severely damaging for the future of the industry, and the thousands of hard-working Victorians reliant on it.

Daily Timber News reported exclusively on 11 July that a market research company had been visiting country towns in Victoria to test the water on the public’s reaction to shutting down the native timber industry.

Participants were paid $100 and it is understood they were required to sign a confidentially note.

“It’s believed a number of regional meetings have been held with specific questions relating to the imminent shut down of the industry,’’ VAFI CEO Tim Johnston. “Two participants have now publicly spoken out about the line of questioning.

“The VAFI has written to the Victorian Agriculture Minister seeking answers to the allegation and, yet again, calls on the State Government to release a long-term sustainable plan for the security of the industry.’’

An attendee who works in the timber industry who did not wish to be identified confirmed to Daily Timber News that he had signed a confidentially note, and had accepted a $100 prepaid EFTPOS voucher.

He also confirmed that they had been told the survey was part funded by the Victorian State Government.

He said a number of scenarios had been put to the attendees, all based around the concept that all forestry industries should be stopped due to climate change, the risk of bushfires and the threat to endangered native animals.

The State Government in Victoria has been contacted for comment.