Woodchopping on the chopping block

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien says the Andrews Labor Government’s ongoing vendetta against the native timber industry is now threatening the centuries-old sport of woodchopping.

Mr O’Brien said without the supply of hardwood logs to the Victorian Axemen’s Council (VAC) upcoming woodchopping events would not be able to go ahead.

“Woodchopping is a 140-year-old sport with a proud history in Gippsland, but without hardwood logs, Victorian athletes will not be able to compete,” Mr O’Brien said.

“There are over 100 woodchopping events held across Victoria each year drawing in competitors and tourists from all over Australia.

“The athletes are highly trained and masters in their sport and deserve to be able to compete, but there is a court order limiting timber harvesting in areas managed by VicForests, which means the council does not have enough logs to supply Victoria’s woodchopping events.”

Mr O’Brien said the Andrews Government needed to act now to guarantee the future of the sport.

“Woodchopping is a major drawcard to regional shows and events like the Heyfield Timber Festival that took place last weekend and it would be a real shame to see this tradition allowed to die out because the government failed to act.

“Time and time again we are seeing the Andrews Labor Government fail to act to close loopholes that allow green lawfare that is hurting local industry and jobs.

“We are seeing jobs in the timber industry lost or left in limbo and now, like duck hunters waiting to see if they will get the full season they are entitled to, we are seeing woodchopping athletes and enthusiasts waiting to find out if their events will be able to go ahead.

“It is past time for this Government to stand up and take action to ensure these events are able to go ahead.”

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