Victoria Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh
Coalition Gives Certainty To Native Timber Industry
Victor P Taffa
The Victorian Coalition Government is moving to secure a long term future for the native timber industry by enabling VicForests to offer long term contracts of up to 20 years.
Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh today released the Timber Industry Action Plan to provide the industry with certainty and the confidence to invest in its future.
“Victoria has a magnificent and renewable resource in the form of native forest timber which has the potential to support a vibrant and profitable long term industry to provide jobs and investment in rural communities.” Mr. Walsh said.
“The Brumby Labor Government actively undermined the industry, eroding its security of supply which stifled investment in the sector.”
“The Victorian Coalition Government will end years of Labor neglect by implementing measures to provide long term security for the industry.”
“The Timber Industry Action Plan will fulfill a key Coalition election promise to provide greater resource certainty for the industry and secure long term access to native timber supplies.”
Mr. Walsh said under the plan, VicForests would be able to harvest and sell timber through supply agreements of up to 20 years, instead of the current maximum five year period.
He said the government would also provide VicForests with the flexibility to sell timber in a variety of ways, including both timber auctions and other sales arrangements.
Mr. Walsh said the government would strengthen industry confidence by ensuring changes in government policy did not unduly or unfairly impact on VicForests’ customers.
“Should there be a change in government policy that impacts on supply, we will consider compensating the industry for any impact on contracts.” Mr. Walsh said.
“We will also review the Sustainable Forests (Timber) Act 2004 to simplify the legislative framework in which the industry operates and reduce its regulatory burden.”
“The government will also introduce planning amendments to reinforce the right to use land for timber production in the Farming and Rural Activity Zones.” Mr. Walsh said.