A recent visit to Victorian Sustainable Products by The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath has highlighted the value of local timber milling and manufacturing jobs.
Ms Bath visited Victorian Sustainable Products’ Fumina South mill to gain a comprehensive understanding of its business operations and talk with employees.
“Victorian Sustainable Products is a Gippsland success story showcasing how a business can creatively adapt its manufacturing to support and supply important Australian industries,” said Ms Bath.
Victoria Sustainable Products employs 15 locals and specialises in tree stakes and point pegs used for land rehabilitation, the horticulture industry, real estate and the building industry.
Hardwood supplying the mill is sourced from native and plantation timber.
Ms Bath said Victorian Sustainable Products is a local business that the Andrews Government should be actively supporting, instead of putting local jobs at risk.
“It is an example of an established business that The Nationals are backing to rebuild Victoria’s local manufacturing capabilities, said Ms Bath.
“COVID-19 exposed massive shortcomings in our local economy, particularly when it came to manufacturing.
“It is incredibly concerning that over the past 20 years more than 50,000 Victorian manufacturing jobs have been lost under Labor.
“Victoria and in particular the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland used to be the manufacturing heart of Australia. As our recovery from COVID continues we have the opportunity to bring manufacturing home to Victoria – where it belongs.
“Yet the Andrews Government is doubling down with its plan to shut Victoria’s native timber industry in 2030, placing thousands of sustainable long-term timber jobs at risk.
“Business owner, David Taylor has been informed that there will be no timber available to supply his manufacturing operations from 2032 as there will be insufficient hardwood plantation timber to be meet demand.
“Without a local resource to produce stakes and pegs, these products will be made from imported third world rainforest timber or non-biodegradable materials such as plastic or steel.
“Gippsland has a highly skilled workforce, space and resources, what we need is the Andrews Government to back the regional businesses like Victorian Sustainable Products.”