Statement on VicForests Appeal

“The Andrews Government has failed Victorians by failing to close loopholes in the Timber Code of Practice wiping out a billion dollar industry that employed thousands of Victorians.

 A change to the Timber Code of Practice would have allowed Victoria’s sustainable native timber industry to continue without the constant threat of green lawfare.

 Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to reject VicForests’ appeal is bitterly disappointing and I am deeply saddened for thousands of lives and livelihoods this decision destroys.

 “I completely reject the Andrews Government’s assertion it’s hands were tied on native timber harvesting.

 “Daniel Andrews will forever be remembered as the Premier who failed to put people and jobs before political ideology.

 “Legislation could have been introduced and the loopholes should have been closed – instead the Premier has hidden behind secret legal advice that he refuses to release, allowing it to play out in court.

 “The hypocrisy of Labor has no bounds – it’s happily delivered the death knell for Victoria’s sustainable native industry and sided with activists – all while turning a blind eye to the importation of hardwood from countries devoid of the same stringent environmental standards.

 “My thoughts remain with workers – direct and indirect, and their families who have had their lives turned into a political football by this disgraceful Andrews Government.”