Victoria’s forest industries welcome the new Minister for Agriculture, Gayle Tierney, who adds Agriculture, including forestry, to her existing portfolios. The role comes with a mandate to address an acute native timber shortage, with some sawmills close to running out of logs, Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA), Deb Kerr, said today.
When Premier Andrews announced a phase-out of native timber in 2030, he also promised to continue native timber supply until then, albeit at reduced levels from 2024. Yet ongoing litigation continues to undermine this promise. With several mills dealing with very little supply now, the supply for remaining native timber mills (including for pallets) is projected to run critically low by August.
“The ill-informed decision to shut down native forestry without clear alternatives shows real-life consequences for communities, sawmill operators, contractors, employees and, ultimately, businesses and consumers. While the Andrews Government promised to guarantee wood supply until native forestry ceases in 2030, we are already seeing some sawmills struggling to operate.”
“Despite the critical situation facing our native timber industry, Victoria’s renewable forest industries are looking forward to working with Minister Tierney to supply Victoria’s future native and plantation timber and fibre needs”, Deb Kerr said.