Victoria’s native forestry industry is fighting back against the decision by Premier Andrews to shut down the sector by 2030, with key organisations today handing out bumper stickers and urging supporters to show their support through an online petition: http://dontdoitdan.com.au/
Representatives from the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), the Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI) and the Australian Forest Contractors Association (AFCA) are working together to raise public awareness of the devastating consequences of the decision that threatens thousands of jobs and communities across the state.
CEO of AFPA Ross Hampton said that the native forestry industry wants Premier Daniel Andrews to understand that the sector has a long term, sustainable future and he needs to reverse his decision.
“The native forestry industry is a major employer in regional and rural Victoria and this decision means job losses that will threaten the viability of hundreds of communities,” Mr Hampton said.
“The Premier needs to understand that this is a very sustainable industry and we need to be planting and harvesting more trees to help reduce our emissions.”
The CEO of VAFI Tim Johnston said, “Victoria’s native timber industry underpins jobs in a wide range of regional businesses, including mechanics, machinery maintenance, and fuel supplies. This is a devastating decision that will have serious flow-on impacts to these supporting businesses.”
The General Manager of AFCA Stacey Gardiner said that forest workers are devastated at the Premier’s decision to shut down the industry.
“Unfortunately, it looks like the Victorian Government has decided to prioritise winning votes in inner-city seats than providing a sustainable native forest industry, employing thousands of workers, Ms Gardiner said.
“We also need to remind the Government that in the past forestry contracting businesses have not hesitated to support firefighting efforts.”