Forestry communities map the road ahead

With Victoria’s native timber industry closure a mere two weeks away, The Nationals have held a forum in Heyfield to listen to timber communities and industry.

The forum was attended by harvest and haulage operators, industry representatives, forestry scientists, Leader of the Opposition John Pesutto, The Nationals Gippsland MP’s Darren Chester, Tim Bull, Danny O’Brien, Martin Cameron, Melina Bath, and Wayne Farnham.

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Public Land Use, The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath who organised the event said timber towns are struggling with the Allan Labor Government’s diabolical decision to bring forward the industry closure.

“The social and economic impacts of Labor’s ruinous decision will reverberate throughout regional communities for decades unless Victoria takes a new approach to public land management.

“The forum focused on gaps in the miserable compensation package, future bushfire mitigation and opportunities for communities to benefit from active management of forest systems.

“Workers, their families and local communities deserve hope for their future and it’s important to send a collective and strong message to Premier Jacinta Allan on a better way forward.

“The forum proved that the wealth of knowledge and expertise of locals and forest scientists hold the solutions that the city based, ideologically driven Labor party ignore.

“It is environmentally and morally irresponsible for Labor to force Victoria to become so heavily reliant on imported timber for its future construction needs.

“The Labor Government went to the last election saying it would govern for all Victorians – it lied.

“The Nationals who are opposed to the closure, reiterate our commitment for the betterment of the lives and livelihoods of our timber communities.”