Victoria must ban native forest logging imports from Tasmania before Labor and the Liberals eradicate ancient forests entirely


The Victorian Greens have called on the Victorian Labor Government to urgently ban native logging imports from precious Tasmanian forests, saying it undermines the state’s own ban and only encourages the Tasmanian Liberal and Labor parties to expand their industry.

Tasmanian native forest logs have been exported to Victoria via the Spirit of Tasmania and Searoad Mersey for several months now, fuelling the destruction of old native forests.

Accepting native forest timber from Tasmania also enabled Liberal Premier Jeremy Rockliff’s catastrophic election pledge last week to open up 40,000 hectares of precious native forest.

The Tasmanian Labor Party has likewise abandoned any commitment to protecting nature, by promising this week to extend native forest logging contracts to 2040. 

Timber currently being shipped to Victoria appears to be large native forest logs harvested in contested coupes across Tasmania, including the southern forests and Meunna near the Tarkine. Reportedly, there are also logs coming directly from endangered swift parrot habitat.

The Greens say it would be hypocritical of Labor to ban native forest logging in Victoria, but still allow forests in Tasmania to be destroyed to prop up the Victorian industry.

A transition package of nearly $1 billion dollars was provided by the Victorian Government to the logging industry, and more support was provided to transition the industry to plantations. 

Taxpayers deserve to know whether this money is genuinely being used to support workers and transition the industry to plantations or whether it’s being pocketed by the industry to help them destroy more Tasmanian forests. 

Deputy Leader of the Victorian Greens, Ellen Sandell, has written to the Victorian Auditor General to ask that this matter be urgently investigated as a potential misuse of taxpayer funds.

Ms Sandell said it would be deeply concerning if the Victorian Government was helping to destroy Tasmania’s precious native forests.

She said if Labor was serious about protecting wildlife and forests, it would ensure that no native logs were being imported from Tasmania’s ancient forests to keep Victoria’s industry alive.

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

“The end of native forest logging was a hard-fought victory for Victorians.

“But Victorian taxpayers would be shocked if their money was now being used to destroy irreplaceable ancient Tasmanian forests – enabling Labor and the Liberals in Tasmania to expand destructive native forest logging.

“Many of the logs being shipped into Victoria come from ancient trees near the takayna/Tarkine and southern forests of Tasmania, home to critically endangered species. Labor must stop supporting the destruction of these national treasures.”