Statement – Victorian Government timber harvesting announcement

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The announcement by the Victorian Government on November 7, 2019, regarding the phasing out of native timber harvesting by 2030 raises many concerns for East Gippsland communities, businesses and residents.

Council would like to recognise that many people in the forestry industry and our small communities will be doing it very tough on hearing of the announcement. We have multi-generational harvesting, haulage, sawmilling and service industry families who only know this industry, and are heavily invested both emotionally and financially.

In recent times, there has been significant financial investment in local timber industry businesses as they prepared for sustainable native timber harvesting to continue.

Following an announcement of this magnitude, we need to take stock, deal in facts, and understand the full and true impact of direct and indirect job losses, the scale of economic impact, and the social challenges ahead.

Council has a long history of supporting the timber industry and timber communities.

Our geographic location, high percentage of public land, and our residents’ strong affiliation with their communities, such as timber towns in the High Country, Orbost district and Bairnsdale, make East Gippsland unique.

Council will listen and advocate for our communities. The support we will require in the weeks, months and years ahead must be tailored to suit East Gippsland.

– Mayor Cr John White

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