Tuesday 23 May 2023
Forestry sector dismayed by decision to end Victorian native forestry
Forestry Australia is dismayed by the announcement to stop native forest harvesting in Victoria at the end of the year, highlighting that the government has failed all Victorians in making this decision.
The Victorian Government’s decision to end native forest harvesting at the end of the year is flawed and rather than being based on science, it is a decision motivated by ideology.
Forestry Australia is an independent professional scientific association with over 1,100 members.
President of Forestry Australia, Dr Michelle Freeman said this is a big step backwards for sustainability.
“There are very few production systems on the globe that offer stronger sustainability credentials than well managed native forests. In fact, we know that well managed native forests can actually provide superior biodiversity, fire and climate outcomes,” Dr Freeman said.
“Simply excluding harvesting from native forests does not guarantee biological diversity, particularly from the broader threats of wildfires, invasive species, and climate change. Closing the native forest timber industry in Victoria will constrain the silvicultural and management options for State forests.”
Dr Freeman said timber-producing native forests are managed primarily for high quality sawn timber and wood panel products on much longer rotation cycles than plantations. The products sourced from native forests are not interchangeable with what is currently available from our plantation estate.
“In making this decision, the Government has provided no answers regarding where the timber forgone from Victoria’s native forests will be sourced from.
“Australia has a global and moral responsibility; Australia has high standards of environmental stewardship and should not transfer its demand for wood and timber products to developing nations with less stringent standards.
Dr Freeman said the consequences of this decision were not considered, including understanding the impacts on firefighting resources, the role and partnerships with Traditional Owners in the management of native forests.
“We also need to acknowledge that this decision will disproportionately impact on the mental health, wellbeing and economies of regional communities that depend on this sector,” Dr Freeman said.
Forestry Australia will remain firm advocates for well managed forests and will work with policy makers to achieve the best outcomes for long term health of Australia’s forests.
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