Logging in Victoria’s old growth forests is set to cease immediately, one of the first steps in the Victorian government’s new 30 year plan for the forestry industry.
Plantation Timber Only
One of the key points of the $120 million plan is a total transition to plantation timber by 2030, with a reduction in native logging coming into effect from 2024, which is when current supply agreements conclude.
Issues currently at play include a drastic reduction in total supply, which has strangled output, as well as the current taxpayer subsidies that help keep the industry viable.
Australian Paper in Morwell has been specifically sited as one of the key players in the industry currently harvesting native forests. The Victorian government’s plan targets Australian Paper’s requirements, with plantation timber a key factor in keeping the plant viable until 2050.
Federal Government at Loggerheads
Like most issues, there are a few sides to this one as well. The Federal Government has come out against the transition plan, questioning the impact that it will have on the rural communities that rely on the timber industry for viability.
The Victorian timber industry currently supports 21,000 jobs.