Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull has slammed a Bunnings decision to discontinue sourcing timber from VicForests, a decision that will have significant impact on Victorian timber towns, including East Gippsland.
“This woeful decision from Bunnings could not have come at a worse time. Our communities have been impacted by drought, fire and now COVID-19 and the local economy is really struggling.
“For Bunnings management to come in on the back of that and make this announcement shows no understanding of our plight.
“They have based this massive decision on the outcome of a court case earlier this year that VicForests breached its code of practice in relation to protections of Greater Glider and Leadbeater’s Possum habitat.
“I am reliably advised this is a decision VicForests is appealing, so they are basing this on a decision that will be reconsidered.
“To discontinue sourcing all timber from VicForests is a massive over-reaction and one that will hurt our local communities. On top of this Bunnings could not tell me where it will source its hardwood from in the future.
“They could only agree it will not come from Victoria as there is no hardwood plantation, so it will likely come from interstate or overseas.
“To me Bunnings management has shown its true colours here. When our communities are in need, have been decimated by fire and an economic downturn, they come out and make things a whole lot worse.
“I want to stress this is not about the staff on the ground in local stores. I have several friends who work at Bunnings in Bairnsdale, this is purely a criticism of management.
“I explained the impact this will have on towns like Heyfield, but they just want to trot out lines like ‘we will work with suppliers to achieve the best outcomes for them’. Well that does not help our mill workers and their families,” Mr Bull said.