The Victorian Greens will today introduce a bill to Parliament that would legislate an end to native forest logging in June this year.
The Greens say with reports last week that the Maryvale mill is set to permanently close, it’s time for the Victorian Labor Government to urgently end native forest logging and bring forward its transition package for workers.
The writing has been on the wall for native forest logging in Victoria for some time now.
The Government has been propping up the industry with millions in taxpayer dollars to keep it afloat, because the market for paper made from native forest logging is drying up.
Meanwhile, the logging company VicForests has been illegally logging forest areas right across the state - while the Government has turned a blind eye and left it up to local environment groups and citizens to take the logging company to court.
VicForests has now even been contracted to do ‘salvage logging’ in highly sensitive areas, including national parks, such as the Wombat State Forest and Dandenong Ranges National Park, with this wood and pulp being used for commercial purposes.
Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell, said it was time to end native forest logging in Victoria and protect our endangered species habitat.
The Greens’ Sustainable Forests (Timber) Amendment (End Native Forest Logging) Bill 2023 would legislate to end logging for good from June this year, and bring forward the transition payments for workers and communities to ensure no-one is left behind.
The Parliamentary Budget Office calculates that ending native forest logging in 2023 would save Victoria $205 million dollars over the next decade.
Quotes attributable to Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell MP:
“The state’s last paper mill is about to close permanently, which means the Andrews Labor Government has no more excuses for allowing logging to destroy our native forests.
“The Government has been propping up the logging industry with millions in taxpayer dollars, even when VicForests has been found to be illegally logging in areas right across Victoria. Logging in native forests needs to end now - not in seven years when we have no forests left.
“If the Government cared about threatened species habitat, they would bring forward the transition package for workers, move to getting our wood from plantations, and support the Greens’ bill to stop native forest logging now.”