The Greens have condemned the Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce’s blundering attempt to wade in to Victorian forest issues, saying these type of short-sighted policy ideas have led to the Heyfield mill crisis.
“Barnaby’s thought bubbles on the Heyfield mill are not helping workers who are facing unemployment or the threatened species facing extinction,” said Senator Janet Rice, Greens federal spokesperson for Forests.
“The fact is that the Central Highlands forests have been overlogged, sending the Leadbeater’s Possum to extinction and jobs to the wall. Wood supply from native forests is running out, which has been clear for a long time now.
“Successive governments have failed to properly plan a transition that keeps timber mill workers in jobs, and they’ve failed to plan to protect what’s left of this precious ecosystem.
“We’re calling on the federal and state governments to implement a transition plan that completes the move of our timber supply and jobs to sustainable plantations.”
"The areas that Barnaby Joyce wants to log are protected for a reason. They are the last remnants of the critically endangered Mountain Ash ecosystem in Victoria. These forests are the source of drinking water for Melbourne and Gippsland,” said Samantha Dunn MP, Victorian Greens spokesperson for Forests.
“They are the most carbon-dense forests in the world. They protect threatened species only found in these forests."
"The Victorian Greens have long called for a transition of the Victorian timber and paper industries to sustainable plantations. It's Ministers like Barnaby Joyce that have repeatedly failed to pay attention to the science and protect the industry, the jobs and the environment.
"The Greens know the timber is running out. It's about time Barnaby got his facts straight."