The timber workers union, CFMEU Manufacturing has welcomed the decision of the full bench Federal Court to uphold an appeal by VicForests against a ruling which was causing mass uncertainty in the hardwood timber industry throughout Australia.
The union congratulated VicForests on their diligence in appealing the shock decision made last year that their activities were in breach of federal laws.
The union will continue to call for changes to the regulatory environment to safeguard timber jobs including to federal laws and the Code of Practice for Timber Production in Victoria, while opposing the ill informed and flawed Victorian Forestry Plan.
“The decision to uphold the appeal is a relief to tens of thousands of timber workers, their families and communities throughout the country” said Michael O’Çonnor, National Secretary CFMEU Manufacturing.
“It is a common sense ruling which is consistent with the Government’s objective of promoting triple bottom line sustainable forest management in the tiny area available for harvest.
“Jobs are still on the line, particularly in Victoria, and our union will not rest until timber workers, families and communities are given a more secure future”.
The union wants to see changes to the Code of Practice for Timber Production which were promised by the Victorian Government in July last year.
The Victorian Government, who are yet to act, said at the time they announced the review into the Code that “Regional jobs are more important than ever right now – we can’t let outdated regulation put them at risk.”
The union continues to call for the release of Victorian Government held resource data and outlooks and believes the absence of the provision of this data questions the necessity of the Government’s policy to stop the native timber industry by 2030.
“We need the Victorian Government to act in defence of jobs, be transparent about decision-making and not sleepwalk into a jobs catastrophe” Michael O’Connor said.