New polling in the hotly contested seat of Melton showed not even Greens supporters agreed with their policies on native forestry, while independents shaped up to be the new Greens, Chief Executive Officer of Victorian Forests Products Association (VFPA), Ms Deb Kerr, said today.
The UComms polling of Melton voters, commissioned by VFPA, found that 7 in 10 voters in the key seat of Melton were more likely to vote for a candidate committed to a sustainable native hardwood timber industry. A further 85.6% of voters agreed that Victoria should grow more trees for timber production.
“It might come as a bit of a shock to the Greens that their own voters are not backing their policies. 57 per cent of Greens voters in Melton said they were more likely to vote for a candidate committed to ongoing access to native forests to supply hardwood timbers, said Deb Kerr.
“This is the second poll confirming that Labor and Greens policies are out of step with voter expectations. Now is the time for all sides of politics to support forestry. Voters agree, and Victorians only stand to win:
- Locally grown and processed timber means more local jobs, less reliance on imports
- New trees absorb more carbon
- Wood products are a renewable and sustainable alternative to plastic, concrete, or steel
“Many world leaders are meeting at COP in Egypt right now to drive solutions in the fight against climate change. Forestry will play a big part in those discussions,” said Ms Kerr.
Plantation expansion forms a key element of VFPA’s two-pillar policy platform, Our future grows on trees. Other major priorities for the industry are:
- Commitment to a sustainable native forestry industry by overturning the decision to phase out native forestry, consistent with the Regional Forestry Agreements
- Implementation of a Victorian Wood and Wood Fibre Encouragement Policy for government procurement
- $4M over four years to support the industry’s Victoria Wood, I Wood education and awareness program
- A commitment to climate change adaptation and mitigation of our forests through First Nations-led ecological and fire management of Victoria’s public forests
- Appointing a forestry representative to the Victorian Agriculture and Climate Change Council
“It’s not too late for major parties to commit before Victorians head to the polls next week. The Melton poll confirms what we already know – voters know that forestry benefits all Victorians,” Ms Kerr concluded.
Find the poll results here.