The logging industry has been on massive welfare payments for years, despite it claiming it is profitable. Our taxes pay to have our forests destroyed.
The industry is a dead loss in many ways.

VicForests to face timber supply inquiry

A parliamentary inquiry into Victoria’s forestry body won’t be a “witch hunt” because it is simply designed to get some answers for the state’s ailing timber mills, Victorian MP Jeff Bourman says.

Mr Bourman, an MP for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, has established a parliamentary inquiry into VicForests, who manage the state’s timber supplies.

The soon-to be closed Heyfield Mill sits in Mr Bourman’s electorate and he says its dire situation is a direct consequence of not being able ...

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Heyfield timber mill: Time to face forest facts

THE people of the Latrobe Valley are right to be dismayed by the looming fate of the Australian Sustainable Hardwoods mill at Heyfield.

Gippsland has long been the centre of the hardwood timber industry in Victoria, and the hardwood timber industry has long played a major part in Gippsland’s development and in its prosperity.

The jobs that the ASH mill and the value-added downstream industries provide are a huge asset in farming communities subject to the vagaries of world markets and ...

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Dispute over Heyfield logging deal pulls in senior cabinet

The impending closure of Heyfield sawmill has pitted senior federal ministers against each other, a premier, farmers and conservationists. By Karen Middleton.

In the federal government, Josh Frydenberg is, among other things, the minister for protecting wildlife and saving trees. In the agriculture portfolio, his Nationals colleague Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is effectively the minister for cutting them down.

When Joyce launched his defence of Victoria’s Gippsland timber industry last week, he portrayed it as the state government “putting possums before ...

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Panicking over timber jobs is not a sustainable strategy

How ironic that the timber industry chose March 21st, International Forest Day, to barricade Parliament with logging trucks and demand accelerated logging of the dwindling mature forests of the Central Highlands! When the rest of the world was reflecting on the benefits of forest wilderness for people, for economies and for the planet itself, we were confronted with a macho display calling for conservation regulations to be weakened. Both industry and union are pushing for increased clearfelling of alpine and ...

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Frydenberg’s policies show he can’t see the trees for the wood

Josh Frydenberg’s actions belie his words and show a disregard for the significance of forests to our survival, writes Dr Oisin Sweeney.

ON THE MORNING of 21 March, I got a call from a journalist in response to a media release our organisation, the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA), had put out for International Day of Forests. She wanted me to come on her show to discuss forests — after she spoke to Planet Ark, who were celebrating World Wood ...

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Victoria’s forests are not magic puddings

Matt Ruchel, member of the Forest Industry Task Force and our executive director, explains why sawmills and the pulp and paper industry don’t understand how forests work.

Forests are living ecosystems, not magic puddings, and cannot supply something that doesn’t exist.

The recent declaration by VicForests, the state government’s logging agency, that there is insufficient wood to supply Gippsland sawmills, is hardly surprising – the writing has been on the wall for decades, made worse by the Black Saturday fires.

The blame for ...

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Heyfield timber mill plea misleading

LIKE politician Danny O’Brien, I’m angry about the Australian Sustainable Hardwoods sawmill debacle.

Very angry. This disaster should have been avoided. Successive governments, of all persuasions, have badly mismanaged timber resources.

A sawmill company is now gaming the system, demanding access to timber it knows is not there. Sawmill workers will be losers.

But so will Victorian taxpayers, who are being asked for a $40 million handout to prop up an industry that will never repay its debts.

It is a rescue package ...

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National park in Victoria’s east could create 760 jobs, environmentalists say, give tourism boost

Hundreds of timber industry job losses could be offset with $45 million in government and private investment into a new national park in eastern Victoria, The Wilderness Society says.

The 500,000 hectares of forest, east of Melbourne, is home to the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum, but also provides timber for Australia’s largest hardwood processor at Heyfield.

The timber mill’s owner, ...

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Heyfield mill asks for $40m in Victorian Government funding to retool and stay open

The owner of Australia’s largest hardwood processor has asked the Victorian Government to fund a $40 million refit of the mill.

Australian Sustainable Hardwoods employs 250 people at Heyfield in Gippsland, but is threatening to close the mill due to a cut in native timber supply.

The company said it could access younger regrowth forest before moving entirely to plantation timber ...

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VicForests finally admits – the logs aren’t there

Forests are not a Magic Pudding and this fact finally caught up with the government and VicForests in January 2017.  Knocking down forests faster than they can regrow has been the management standard for decades by every logging agency and overseen and excused by every government (Liberal and Labor). After such cut-throat management, the industry and workers are now screaming that their throats have been cut because the limit has been reached; forests can no longer provide the sawlogs demanded.

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