Stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic, union forestry workers in the southeastern state of Victoria (Vic) Australia are once again back rallying to fight the proposed ban on native logging allocations scheduled to begin in 2024, with no native logging permitted by 2030. Speaking on behalf of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), forestry division national secretary Michael O’Connor said the State Government’s logging ban was ideological, cruel and irresponsible and would put thousands of regional Victorians out of work. Speaking on behalf of the state, Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said not only has the industry already started transitioning away from native logging but that “The Victorian Forestry Plan provides a clear pathway and strong support for businesses and workers to transition to sustainable plantation timber.” The debate on whether plantation grown sawn logs will be able to fill the void when native log harvesting comes to an end is also heating up. With industry experts saying it is impossible to have what has yet to be planted and normally takes 25 – 50 years to grow ready for harvest in 10-years. In the meantime, the Victorian Government has announced grants of up to $500,000 to cover the cost of storing logs burnt in last summer’s bushfires. Salvage logs have to be harvested within 18 months of bushfires or it deteriorates and loses value. The grants will cover the cost of storing the extra volume of logs under sprinklers or in dams.
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Victorian forestry workers renew campaign to fight 2030 logging ban