Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
Premier, Daniel Andrews has been asked to prove the assertion that there will be enough plantation hardwood timber available by 2030 to replace the timber from native timber resources.
Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, asked the Premier in parliament this week to provide the full details of the location and quantity of hardwood timber plantations in Victoria that currently exist and will come into full production in 2030.
“Given the Andrews Labor Government’s announcement of a transition to plantation timber by 2030 and the fact hardwood plantation timber takes about 40 to 60 years - depending on species - to mature to sawlog, I have asked Daniel Andrews to advise my communities and timber workers of the location and quantity of these plantations set to mature to harvestable hardwood sawlog in 10 years,” said Mr Bull.
“The notion that the native hardwood timber industry can switch over to plantation timber by this time is hard to believe, because despite the Premier’s assertion, industry experts tell me there are no hardwood plantations to transition to.
“This is not a transition – it should be called for what it is – it is the death of the hardwood sawmilling industry in Victoria.
“Communities across my electorate will bear the brunt of the job losses and business closures that will follow.
“I have met with timber workers and logging contractors from Heyfield, Bairnsdale, Orbost and Swifts Creek and they are shattered that their livelihoods have been so callously disregarded.
“The Premier for Melbourne had to be dragged kicking and screaming for a one hour visit to the area to face up to the difficulty that this region is experiencing with years of drought, but he has never visited any of our mills or timber towns. He does not front up.”
The Liberal Nationals have pledged to reverse the native timber ban if elected to government in 2022.
“The Premier has 30 days to respond and I am looking forward to the answer, I can guarantee it will not provide specific locations or quantities as I have asked for – as they do not exist,” said Mr Bull.
Caption: Nationals Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, discusses the impact of the ban on native timber harvesting with Gary Squires, Brian Donchi and Leonard Fenning at Fenning Timbers in Bairnsdale.