CFMEU backs Victorian forestry code review

CFMEU Manufacturing

MEDIA RELEASE Monday 27 July 2020

CFMEU backs Victorian forestry code review

The union that represents timber workers’ welcomed today’s announcement by the Victorian Government that it is reviewing the code to practice for hardwood timber production in State forests.

The CFMEU believes that the industry and the jobs and communities it supports should be backed by both the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments and that the code review represents a significant step in the right direction.

The union wants the review to ensure that the code of practice is still fit for purpose to meet it’s objective of even-handily and equitably promoting the economic, social and environmental values in the small area of forest available to the industry for harvest and regeneration each year.

“This review will be welcomed by all supporters of sustainable jobs” said Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union National Secretary Mr Michael O’Connor.

“Our union supports forestry operations that are sustainable and deliver triple bottom line, social, economic and environmental benefits to the community”

“Timber workers provide a valuable contribution and the undertaking of this review is a vote of confidence in them, their professionalism, vigilance and dedication”

Approximately 6% of Victoria’s native forests are currently available for timber production whereas much of the remaining 94% are in formal or informal reserves.

Each year, harvesting occurs in an area which is less than 0.05% of the total native forest estate. Harvesting in the small area allocated for timber products is subject to prescriptions outlined in Code.

The union also claimed that the holding of the review should cause a rethink by Bunnings of their unfair and harsh decision to victimise Victorian timber workers by ceasing the stocking of timber harvested from local, sustainably managed forests.

“The union will always defend attacks on our members’ jobs, their families and communities including from big-end of town corporate behemoths like Bunnings and their parent company Wesfarmers” concluded Mr O’Connor.

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