Let’s applaud the bold vision to cease old growth logging immediately, protecting about 90,000 hectares, protecting some of the most carbon dense forests in the world. The government should look to community energy projects to lower costs, offer resilience and increase local jobs in affected regional communities.
The Andrews Government is offering $120m in financial sector aid, including training programs, redundancy top ups, and employment assistance. The Guardian: “The government will extend existing forestry agreements until 2024, after which native timber supply will be reduced before ending in 2030. The industry will be transitioned to plantation-based supply.”
VicForests company accounts show that the company would have traded at a massive loss apart from skyrocketing payments to avoid logging Leadbeaters habitat. “VicForests declared a profit before tax of $4m in the 2018-19 financial year but would have made a loss of almost $7m if it were not for $11m in government payments not to log possum habitat.” This subsidy was double what was paid out in 17-18, and “an almost tenfold growth from the $1.3m contribution in 2015”.