Timber Communities Australia (TCA) supports the Gippsland communities facing uncertainty about their jobs and future.
TCA urges all negotiating parties, including the Victorian government, unions and commercial parties to prioritise the community and ensure it has a strong, secure future.
Australia’s Regional Forest Agreements and two voluntary, internationally recognised forest certification systems are based on a triple bottom-line of healthy landscapes, healthy economies and healthy communities. “People and their security and livelihoods are integral to this,” said TCA National Coordinator Helen Murray.
“The debate we must move to is how we unite in Australia to produce more sustainably grown timber, not less. That’s where industry, community and government really need to focus,” said Ms Murray.
Global and local population growth means more timber is needed.
“Timber production is a perfect match for a 21st century greener economy.”
“Forest products are carbon friendly. Every tree harvested in our native forests has to be regenerated. Skilled ecologists work in the industry. PlanetArk endorses that wood is good.
“Australians love hardwood timbers in their homes and offices,” Ms Murray said. “Plus we’re a world leader in sustainable forest management and local timber communities are at the coalface.
“With these positives, we must ensure enough forest area is available to harvest and regenerate our own natural forest timbers”. Otherwise Australia inevitably faces shipping in higher volumes from other countries.
“That isn’t acceptable. It means our own communities, like Gippsland, will continue to be hit. Imports can also lack the very strict environmental standards we insist on for our home grown timber.
“The starting point is our timber workers operate lawfully under very strict regulations. These are designed so forests are managed and harvested in a sustainable way. We have dedicated and well trained forest scientists. We have internationally recognised and certified forestry practices. Our skilled timber workers use top class technology in the field and in mills. All this paves the way for mills and manufacturers to turn out beautiful timber products which are needed and used by us all.”
“We have everything it takes right here. Let’s be smart and get on with it.” she said.
Background for Media
About Timber Communities Australia
TCA is the national voice for a network of timber communities across Australia, adding weight to their local efforts. It has a proud history as the only national group solely focused on a community perspective.
Essentials to know
- In Victorian regions and cities 21,000 people are directly employed in the industry. Another 40,000 – 50,000 Victorians work in associated or indirect jobs.
- Nationally, 120,000 people are directly employed in forestry and forest product industries. Whilst the majority of the employment is in rural and regional areas, many roles are also found in the city including manufacturing and marketing jobs.
- Nationally 180,000 jobs are indirectly associated with timber, bringing the total associated jobs tally to 300,000.
- Everything made from wood continues storing carbon for life. The trees grown to replace the trees harvested ensure this is a continuous carbon storing cycle.
- Australia imports more than $5 billion of timber products annually and exports about $3 billion.
- TCA recommends two Australian websites as references about the values and benefits of responsibility sourced wood, these are planetark.org and www.fwpa.com.au