AFPA SA Branch Manager Leon Rademeyer today denounced the Victorian Government’s decision to shut down that state’s native forest industry as “a devastating blow to regional communities underpinned by forest industries”.
Mr Rademeyer said Victoria’s renewable native timber industry supports around 2,500 direct jobs, thousands of indirect jobs and generates $770m in revenue, with $297m value added in regional communities.
“The announcement has had an immediate impact on confidence and investment in Victoria’s hardwood industry,” he said. “It has created uncertainty among sawmillers, contractors and associated businesses which is bound to continue for many years.”
Mr Rademeyer said the Victorian native timber industry is environmentally responsible and highly regulated with only 3,000ha harvested and replanted per year in a total estate of almost 8m hectares. “This means only four trees out of every 10,000 are harvested annually and every tree is replaced,” he said.
“The Victorian forest industries are campaigning against the announcement and plan to make it state and federal election issue in 2022.”