Wednesday, 24 April 2019

The Andrews Labor Government is providing certainty for Victoria’s timber industry and the jobs it supports with a new allocation order and the development of new timber plantation sites in Gippsland.

Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaclyn Symes today announced the first sites as part of the Labor Government’s record $110 million investment in native plantation timber, including 550 hectares of crown land close to Maryvale and Yallourn North in the Latrobe Valley that will be planted with native Blue Gum.

These sites will start being planted this winter with further plantations planned for the winter planting season in 2020.

The Labor Government also announced an updated allocation order that will help provide certainty to timber mills and workers across the state, and ensure supply for the coming year while a long-term sustainable industry pathway is developed.

Importantly, the order includes improved spatial data – boosting the capacity of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to enforce logging regulations and protect Victoria’s native forests.

This allocation order, which reduces the overall area available for timber harvesting by 5,000 hectares, will not affect VicForests’ ability to meet contracts over the upcoming year.

VicForests will now release its Timber Release Plan, which will identify areas within the allocation order that may be harvested for use by our state’s timber industry for the coming year.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaclyn Symes

“We’re getting on with planting more than 500 hectares of new plantation forest this winter – providing long-term timber supply for Victoria, which will protect jobs and support regional communities.”

“The new allocation order also provides certainty for the timber industry this year, as we continue our work towards a long-term solution that balances job protection with conservation – and a boost in the use of plantation timber.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“Planting half a million trees in the Latrobe Valley over winter is a significant and positive part of our $110 million commitment to a sustainable forest industry.”

“We’re determined to put this record funding to the best possible use now and into the future.”