Gippsland South The Nationals Jobs Timber Industry Timber Mill Danny O'Brien VicForests Timber supply heyfield bunnings

Bunnings decision a slap in the face for Gippsland

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, is angry at the decision of Bunnings to stop sourcing Victorian native hardwood timber supplied by VicForests.

“This is a slap in the face for Gippsland and the Victorian timber industry more generally, especially coming on the back of last summer’s bushfires, COVID-19 and drought that have hurt Gippsland communities.

“I hate to say this about an Australian-owned company, but this decision reflects why so many people have contempt for corporate Australia.

“Victoria’s native timber industry is sustainable, renewable and creates jobs for our Gippsland community in places like Yarram, Heyfield, Bairnsdale and Orbost. VicForests harvests only the equivalent of four in every 10,000 trees in Victoria and replants them all. Forestry stores carbon and utilising Victorian native timber is more environmentally friendly than other non-renewable products like steel or plastic, or those sourced overseas.

“When Bunnings told me of this decision I asked where they would source future timber supply? They couldn’t tell me, but it’s clear this decision will result in more imports of timber from countries where harvesting is less sustainable. That’s not good for the environment, it’s not good for our balance of trade and it’s not good for Gippsland timber towns and workers.

“Given this decision is based on a court case that VicForests plans to appeal, Bunnings should commit now to reversing the decision if that appeal is upheld.”

 

1 July 2020

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