By the end of the year, Victoria’s trouble-plagued native forest industry will end – six years ahead of schedule. The state’s iconic mountain ash forests and endangered wildlife will at last be safe from chainsaws. And there will be no shortage of wood – there’s more than enough plantation timber to fill the gap.
Tuesday’s announcement by Premier Daniel Andrews is excellent news for forests, the state’s economy, and its threatened species. We congratulate the Victorian government for this decision.
Ending native forest logging is long overdue. For decades, we’ve known of how much damage it does to biodiversity. Logging vast areas of Victoria’s native forests over the past several decades has pushed many once-common animals, such as the greater glider, to become endangered.
Our research has catalogued the damage done to produce low-value products such as woodchips and paper pulp. The industry never made economic sense. The state-owned logging company, VicForests, has been running at a loss for many years. The industry can switch to our abundant plantations of eucalyptus and pine.