CEO Statement on state government changes to native forest logging

Published on 15 November 2019

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On 7 November 2019 the Victorian Government announced a range of changes to current native forest logging practices. The Government is looking to put an immediate stop to logging of around 90,000 hectares of old growth forest in Victoria, and of another 96,000 hectares of forest across Victoria in order to protect the Greater Glider and other threatened species. The Victorian Government aims to transition out of all logging of native forests 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 continue to seek the latest 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 are 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 met with Regional Development Victoria on 11 November 2019 to learn more about how this assistance package will support those working in the native forest logging industry here in Murrindindi Shire, as well as those businesses and individuals who supply the industry. I have been assured that Council will have the opportunity to help guide the development of the assistance package and transition arrangements for our affected community members.

We’ll keep you updated about developments as information comes to hand. We’ll also be out and about in the coming weeks and months to talk with community members who will be affected by these changes. We want to ensure that we fully understand the effects of this decision on our community so we can best advocate for the necessary support.

- Murrindindi Shire Council Chief Executive Officer, Craig Lloyd