By now, everyone will have heard about the changes to current native forest logging practices proposed by the Victorian Government. The Government is looking to put an immediate stop to logging of around 90,000 hectares of old growth forest in Victoria, and to transition out of logging of native trees by 2030.
We know this decision will directly impact those involved in the forestry industry and those businesses which support that industry in our Shire.
We do not yet have details of when these decisions will take effect for forests within Murrindindi Shire. We are actively seeking that information from the Victorian Government.
The Victorian Government has announced a $120 million assistance package to support the sector through this transition. The package will assist some with the move to plantation-based timber supply and processing. The package will also support industry employees with re-training to help them access new employment opportunities. We will be working closely with the Victorian Government to ensure that those in our Shire affected by these changes are well-supported by this package.
To this end, I have initiated a meeting with Regional Development Victoria on Monday 11 November to learn more about what is proposed and, importantly, to gain a better understanding of the support package and transition arrangements that will be in place for businesses and individuals in Murrindindi Shire.
Council will be talking about this with affected members of our community in coming weeks and months to ensure we understand fully the effects of this decision on our community and so we can best advocate for the support our community will need.
– Murrindindi Shire Council Chief Executive Officer, Craig Lloyd