Latest mill closure shows need for timber transition plan

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Greens say the Victorian government needs a plan to transition to sustainable timber sources, following an announcement that Carter Harvey Holt's Morwell sawmill is set to close.

The impending closure of another Gippsland mill shows that the current approach to managing Victoria's timber resources isn't working, and the government needs a plan to transition to sustainable timber supplies before the entire industry collapses.

Continual cutbacks to the amount of timber sourced from native forests indicates that now is the time for the government to start planning a transition for loggers.

"The best way for the government to support the plantation industry is by ending native forest logging," Greens forest spokesperson Samantha Dunn said.

"Current native forest contracts shouldn't be renewed when they expire.

"The government's role is to help this industry transition before it collapses altogether. Continuing on this pathway will lead to another Hazelwood situation, where workers are left in the lurch as private businesses pull the plug.

"The current approach to logging is decimating the environment and driving species to extinction. The government should support the sustainable timber industry by ending native forest logging, before it's too late," she said.