Leaving only the ASH

The Andrews Government is torn between helping a group of workers in a small country town fighting for their jobs and caving in to a group of Melbourne investors happy for taxpayers to relieve them of their responsibilities, writes Michael Spencer. The problem for the Andrews Government is that if it caves in to pressure …

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Heyfield timber mill: Victorian Government completes purchase

UPDATE: THE Victorian Government will not say how much it has spent to buy the Heyfield timber mill. A spokesman for the Government said the figure was confidential, but The Weekly Times understands the business was independently valued at close to $40 million. Employment Minister Wade Noonan will be responsible for the timber mill, which …

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Endangered animals threatened by logging, environment groups allege

Victoria’s state-owned logging company breached rules protecting native animals and rainforests almost 30 times over three years, environment groups allege in a new report. The report comes after a dead koala was found in a logged section of forest in the Acheron Valley near Marysville that was home to the endangered Greater Glider. As revealed …

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Greater gliders: fears of ‘catastrophic’ consequences from logging in Victoria

Gliders listed as threatened by both state and federal governments, but they are not protected by legislation Logging has begun in trees inhabited by the threatened greater gliders in a forest also inhabited by Victoria’s faunal emblem, the threatened Leadbeater’s possum. Protections for the remaining Leadbeater’s possum population – believed to be fewer than 2,500 …

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Malcolm Turnbull caves in to Tasmanian loggers

Last weekend, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull flew to Launceston for the Tasmanian Liberals’ yearly conference. Accompanied by Premier Will Hodgman, Turnbull’s first stop was the timber yard of logging company Neville-Smith Forest Products, once a part of the now-fallen Gunns logging empire. Twenty years after John Howard signed the first Regional Forest Agreement with Tasmania, …

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Victorian government’s timber mill bailout has bad whiff of pork

The Victorian government’s decision to appropriate a large undisclosed sum of taxpayers’ money to buy a struggling timber mill nobody else wanted to acquire appears more driven by dubious politics than by rigorous public policy. The government has not revealed how much it has agreed to pay Australian Sustainable Hardwood for the mill in Heyfield, …

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Heyfield mill: Victorian Government signs agreement to buy Gippsland sawmill

The Victorian Government has struck a deal to keep open Australia’s largest hardwood sawmill, at Heyfield in Victoria’s east, but workers are warning up to 20 contractors could be out of work in weeks. The mill’s operator, Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH), had been locked in a dispute with the Government and state-owned logging company VicForests …

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