The union representing timber workers is calling on Premier Daniel Andrews to urgently amend laws to better protect timber jobs from green court challenges.
The union wants an urgent response in the face of 10 court actions preventing timber operations and impacting the State’s supply of timber during a national shortage.
National Secretary of CFMEU Manufacturing, Michael O’Connor, is meeting with timber community members and workers at the Heyfield Timber Festival today and urging them to contact Daniel Andrews in support of a new campaign to fix the laws.
“Crews and subcontractors have been thrown out of work and hundreds more workers face stand downs as a result of these despicable tactics,” said Mr O’Connor.
“These court actions cruelly and shamelessly throw workers out of their jobs and ruin people’s lives by exploiting loopholes in our environment laws.
“Timber communities need urgent Government action. Bushfires, COVID, court injunctions and uncertainty over government policy has caused mass pain and hardship and is impacting livelihoods in these communities. They can’t take much more.”
In December the Government promised changes to legislation to provide greater certainty about how the so called “precautionary principle” should be implemented. It is a key ambiguity in the Code of Practice for Timber Production, on which much green litigation is based.
“What we need is urgent legislative action. The Government showed late last year that it acknowledged the suffering in timber communities by increasing support for displaced timber workers.
“We now urge the Premier to take side of the communities and workers going about their business in accordance with Government policy.”