The beginning of 2024 marked the end of Victoria’s native forest harvesting but not the end of Victoria’s sustainable hardwood industry.
“The Victorian Government’s decision last May created chaos with some businesses across the native hardwood supply chain being forced to either close permanently or diversify their business,” said Ms Deb Kerr, CEO of the Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA).
“However, a small number of processors will continue processing the native timbers that consumers love, sourcing this wood from private sources in Victoria, other states or from overseas.”
“Hardwood timbers are highly valued by consumers where appearance or durability are important purchase consideration, be it stairs, decks, windows, furniture, or external applications,” continued Ms Kerr.
“While the Government has ceased native forestry, Victoria’s forests still need to be managed for the health and resilience of the forest.”
“The continued decline of Victoria’s native plants and animals¹ is commensurate with the increase in the National Park estate – clearly this speaks volumes that the current management approaches do not work.”
“The Victorian Government should use the start of this new era to radically change the way Victoria’s forests are managed for the next century – after all native forestry can no longer be blamed for the state of Victoria’s forest flora and fauna²,” concluded Ms Kerr.
¹ The 2021 State of Biodiversity Assessment shows continued decline in half the assessment criteria (including threatened forest dependent species), and the 2023 State of the Environment Report shows 42% of forest assessment criteria and nearly half of the biodiversity are deteriorating continue to decline.
² CSIRO Research shows that invasive species are the greatest issue facing Australia’s environment.
Deb Kerr – VFPA Chief Executive Officer
(m) 0409 962 250 (e) [email protected]