Greens spokesperson for Forests, Samantha Dunn MP, said the State Government must not expand native forest logging as part of a deal to keep the Heyfield hardwood timber mill operating.
"The supply crunch faced by the Heyfield timber mill, and the uncertainty facing its 250 workers and the town of Heyfield, is just the latest warning that native forest logging is a poorly managed and unsustainable enterprise," said Ms Dunn.
"The State Government, through VicForests, has mismanaged and overcut public forests, which are assets owned by all Victorians. Cutting down more native forests won't fix the long-term supply problem for Victoria's timber industry; it will only make it worse.
"The State Government must do all it can to secure local and interstate plantation timber, and help the mill transition to using that feedstock.
"The dithering of this state government has led to this. The Greens have long called for the transition from native forest logging to sustainable plantations. It is long past time that this transition occurs.
"Our forests are already in crisis. With the number of species classified as endangered on the increase, logging the remaining forests is not the solution. Plantations are the only way forward.
“Protecting native forests in the Central Highlands through the creation of the Great Forest National Park will create hundreds of jobs in park management and tourism, protect Melbourne’s water supplies, improve resilience to bush fires, help mitigate climate change by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, and save Victoria’s endangered animals, such as our state emblem, the Leadbeater’s Possum.”
Enquiries: Alexander Marks, 0413 766 792