The Victorian Forest Alliance understands from news this morning that the white paper production line at the Maryvale mill will be closing. The mill will continue to produce brown paper and packaging.
The mill produces paper from woodchips sourced from Victoria’s native forests and has driven the decline of numerous threatened species for decades. Native forest logging has been under fire for many years, particularly over ongoing controversy around breaches of state environment laws. Most recently in a landmark case, state-owned logging company VicForests was found to have failed to survey for, and protect endangered greater gliders before logging.
A 30-year contract signed with Nippon to supply woodchips from Victorian native forests till 2030 was never going to be sustainable. Despite long-standing issues with supply, breaches to environment laws and findings of illegal logging, there has been little to no planning for this announcement, or proper support for workers to transition to sustainable, long-term employment.
On top of this, native forest logging is heavily subsidised by tax-payers. Last year in December VicForests’ annual report showed a whopping $54 million dollar loss.
Quotes from Victorian Forest Alliance campaign coordinator Chris Schuringa:
“The warning signs of the devastating consequences of ongoing native forest logging have been around for a long time. This ultimately shows just how unsustainable native forest logging is in Victoria, and that it cannot continue.”
“Businesses don’t want it, the Victorian public certainly don’t support it, and now the Andrews state government must act to rapidly end native forest logging and support workers to transition immediately.”
“The Andrews government has a plan to continue logging for another seven years. The 2030 end date was always far too late. They can and must act now to finally end the destruction, and protect these forests.”
Chris Schuringa (she/her)
VFA Campaign Coordinator
0418 912 625
Nic Fox (she/her)
0427 258 333