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Vic Gov’t gives ‘free pass’ to protestors and green lawfare

The Greens, Labor and Independents decision to vote down an amendment in Victoria’s Upper House which would have blocked third-party legal action against timber harvesting will decimate communities that rely on the timber industry, according to National leader Peter Walsh. Source: Timberbiz

The Nationals believe that amendments to the Conservation, Forests and Lands Amendment Bill 2022 would have given the native timber industry in Victoria more protection from illegal protestors and green lawfare.

The Nationals say Victoria is already seeing the closure of sawmills due to a lack of timber and the legislation in its current form does not provide any assurances that supply will improve.

Instead, it will decimate local communities, worsen cost of living pressures across the state and put the entire supply chain at risk.

“Thousands of jobs are being lost because of the Andrews Labor Government’s misguided decision to close Victoria’s sustainable native timber industry by 2030,” Mr Walsh said.

“Now, the government is actively bringing about an even earlier demise by giving a free pass to protestors and green lawfare.

“The immediate threat of illegal protestors and ongoing green lawfare mean that the industry could be closed within months,” Mr Walsh said.

“This will push up our cost of living when the furniture and construction industries turn to im-ported timber from countries that also lack the high environmental standards of Victorian timber.

“Regional Victorian is again victim to a Labor Government that will trade away regional jobs for inner city green preferences.”

Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath is also appalled at this latest entry in the Andrews Labor Government’s mishandling of Victoria’s native timber industry.

“It is atrocious that the government has gone soft on green lawfare by not supporting the Liberals and Nationals amendments,” Ms Bath said.

“Not only will the loss of the timber industry cost thousands of local jobs, but the refusal of the Andrews Labor Government to protect our law-abiding workers is shredding the mental health of local communities.

“The government clearly has no intention to provide additional clarity and certainty for the timber industry and are instead focused on fast tracking the demise of our local communities,” she said.

“This is just a continuation of the Andrews Government agenda to force the native timber industry out of business within months instead of the 2030 deadline.”