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The Guardian: End of native logging in Victoria 'a monumental win for forests', say conservationists
Native forest logging in Victoria will end in December, six years earlier than previously planned, after the state government decided severe bushfires and legal campaigns had made it economically and environmentally unviable. The announcement by the Andrews Labor government in Tuesday’s state budget follows a landmark supreme court judgment last November that the state-owned logging agency, VicForests, had broken the law by failing to protect endangered species.
The Andrews Labor Government has legal grounds to suspend its controversial wood pulp contract, according to new legal advice from top silk Perry Herzfeld SC and barrister Daye Gang. The barristers, who specialise in public law, have advised The Wilderness Society that the Andrews Government could suspend its wood pulp supply contract before 2030 without paying contractual penalties.
Victoria could end native forest logging before its 2030 deadline without paying contractual penalties, according to fresh legal advice commissioned by environmental groups. The Andrews government is contractually obliged to supply pulpwood, a by-product of harvesting for sawlogs, to Maryvale pulp and paper mill.
A government agency that allegedly spied on a woman to "dig up dirt" has been slammed by Victoria's information commissioner, who said the agency should apologise for its response to her request for information about the alleged spying.
Victorian taxpayers will fork out more than $38 million after state-owned logging agency VicForests was forced to compensate customers and contractors it could not supply with timber and billed the Andrews government for the cost. VicForests chief executive Monique Dawson told a Supreme Court hearing on Friday it had paid out more than $12 million to contractors and $25 million to customers, and sent the invoice to the government.
The Guardian: Australia's white paper industry is dead, leaving rural communities to pick through the pulp
For Pete Henry, who has worked at the Maryvale paper mill in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley for 42 years, there was no specific time when the decline in white paper began. “It’s been happening for years,” he says. He believes the M5 machine “wasn’t making enough money for the company”.
Japanese paper giant Nippon will close Australia’s last white paper plant, meaning 200 jobs will be lost at the Maryvale mill and native forest logging in Victoria could end sooner than scheduled. The Japanese paper company’s Australian subsidiary, Opal, was one of a few remaining major customers of the state’s native timber industry, which is scheduled to close by 2030, with logging reduced from 2024. In a statement on its website, Nippon said the company would withdraw from the graphic paper business – including paperboard, kraft paper, graphic paper, corrugated board and folding cartons – in Australia and New Zealand.
The Age: The closure of Australia's last white paper mill could end native forest logging in Victoria
Native forest logging in Victoria could end sooner than scheduled if a Japanese paper company decides to close down its Latrobe Valley white paper plant, the last of its kind in Australia and one of a few remaining major buyers of the state’s native timber.
State government and union sources expect Nippon Paper Group to permanently discontinue production of office paper at its subsidiary, Opal Australian Paper Maryvale Mill, this week, citing a lack of native timber supply from state-owned logging agency VicForests.
Conservationists and landcare groups have raised the alarm over plans to remove fallen and “hazardous” trees from two forested areas in the Dandenong Ranges National Park on Melbourne's suburban fringe.
State-owned logging agency VicForests has recorded an unprecedented $52.4 million financial loss this year, blaming it on the cost of court cases brought against it by community environment groups. The figure is significantly higher than last financial year’s loss of $4.7 million and the previous year’s loss of $7.5 million.