With the announcement today that Heyfield Mill will likely close, it is time the Andrews Government steps up on creating a plan to secure the state forestry industry’s future, Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party Member for Northern Victoria Daniel Young said.
“The likely closure of Hayfield Mill is a reflection of the failure that is the Forestry Industry Taskforce, which was to have made recommendations about the future of forestry industry in June last year,” Mr Young said.
“Should the mill close, it will be another blow to the Gippsland region, which is trying to come to terms with the closure of the Hazelwood Power Station.
“In addition to the potential loss of 250 jobs for mill workers, a closure at Heyfield will send a shockwave throughout Victoria’s forestry industry frustrated by the lack of commitment by the Government to reach a productive and sustainable supply agreement.
Mr Young has long questioned the agenda of the Forestry Industry Task Force, with concerns it is more interested in creating parks than securing jobs in a sustainable industry.
“It is time the Andrews Government stops sitting on its hands and using the excuse of waiting for the taskforce recommendations. Regardless of what the taskforce or VicForest is doing, the Government needs to be open and frank about why timber is not being supplied to the mills, and whether supplies are being locked up because of the Leadbeater’s Possum.”