6001 signatories supporting Heyfield
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6001 signatories supporting Heyfield

The third and final round of petitions calling on Daniel Andrews to secure hundreds of jobs of East Gippsland’s timber workers was tabled in State Parliament last week, bringing the total of signatories to 6001.

In tabling the petitions, Gippsland East MP, Tim Bull, met with local mill worker and campaigner, Anthony Wilkes, who was at Parliament to present the Premier with a Google map of instructions on how to get to Heyfield.

This followed Mr Bull earlier calling on the Government to release the review it promised to have completed in April of leadbeater possum reserve areas and their impact on timber harvesting.

“To have just over 6000 signatories is an amazing response and certainly shows the support the workers have in the community,” Mr Bull said.

“I am still hopeful of a positive outcome, but the Government needs to make a firm decision as the clock is ticking and the uncertainty is distressing many.

“It is completely inexcusable that the Premier, despite on February 24 promising Anthony he would visit the mill, has not made the effort. The workers deserve better than this from a man who says he cares about their jobs but does little to show it.

“Wilkesy’s idea of presenting the map was that he has clearly formed the opinion the Premier doesn’t even know where the place is.”

Mr Bull said he hoped the overdue report would show the leadbeater possum is far more widespread than originally thought and the native timber industry can operate sustainably with appropriate protections in place.


Caption: Gippsland East MP Tim Bull (right) and Eastern Region MLC Melina Bath with Australian Sustainable Hardwoods employee Anthony Wilkes on a recent visit to the timber mill.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017