Maryvale closure must prompt state government to end native forest logging


The Victorian Greens have said with the imminent closure of the Maryvale mill, it’s time the Victorian Labor Government announced an immediate end to all native forest logging.

As reported overnight, the country’s last white paper manufacturer is set to permanently close, leaving up to 200 workers unemployed.

The Greens say this shows native forest logging is unsustainable, and that the Government must end native forest logging across the state and bring forward a transition plan to support forestry workers or move them into new jobs.

In the lead up to the 2022 state election, the Greens proposed providing logging workers and contractors with a transition package, or redeploying them into a special emergency and disaster response team, using their existing skills in earthmoving, heavy machinery and firefighting.

Over recent years, we’ve seen SES volunteers face a huge increase in demand for emergency services, and unfortunately we can anticipate that climate change will make disasters more frequent and severe.

Logging workers and contractors are already skilled with heavy machinery and working in remote areas, and often already undertake significant fire-prevention activities such as making fire-breaks. 

This makes them ideal to form a professional emergency response team that can be deployed when and where they are most needed. 

Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell, said the imminent closure of Maryvale needed to be the final nail in the coffin for the state’s logging industry.

She said by ending native forest logging while supporting workers, the Government could protect our forests and be prepared for impending environmental disasters.

The Parliamentary Budget Office calculates that ending native forest logging in 2023 will save Victoria $205 million dollars over the next decade.

Quotes attributable to Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:

“We simply shouldn’t make paper out of endangered species habitat - but the Maryvale mill closure shows the complete failure of the Victorian Labor Government on logging. 

“They could have brought forward an orderly transition out of logging to protect workers - but chose not to.

“With the imminent closure of the Maryvale mill, it’s time for Dan Andrews to announce an end to all native forest logging in Victoria. 

“We can support workers, transition them to new jobs, and protect our precious forests, if the Labor Government has the will to do it.”