Australian Sustainable Hardwood’s announcement today that it is considering the closure of its Heyfield Mill, the largest hardwood timber mill in Australia, is deeply concerning.
A closure would result in the loss of 250 full-time jobs, with contractors and many more indirect jobs also impacted. It would be devastating not only for the town, but for the wider Gippsland region.
Daniel Andrews’ failure to support the timber industry has left business confidence plummeting and it is timber workers who will pay the price for his inaction.
It is very disappointing the company has unsuccessfully sought meetings with Minister Pulford for the past two years to discuss these matters.
The Premier must now urgently take action to secure these jobs and East Gippsland’s timber industry.
On the back of the Hazelwood announcement in early November, securing these jobs should have been a priority for the Andrews Government rather than ignoring meeting requests and letting it get to this crisis stage.
Daniel Andrews is desperate to hang on to green city preferences and it looks like he’s putting his own job ahead of the jobs of East Gippsland’s timber workers.