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Rallying Behind Heyfield

timber

Workers from Heyfield Mill and CFMEU recently closed down parts of the city and marched to the steps of state parliament, fighting their hardest to keep the mill open and by extension save their own livelihoods. Between 30 and 40 log truckers also showed their support by parking their trucks outside Victorian Parliament and over 1000 Heyfield residents additionally made the trek to have their voices heard. Australian Sustainable Hardwood (ASH) revealed earlier in the year that the mill would be closing in September 2018, after VicForests offered them a three-year supply deal of only 80,000 cubic metres of wood in the first year, reduced to 60,000 in each of the years following that. The Andrews Government and VicForest have advised that the request of 130,000 cubic metres per year of timber would be unsustainable and have thus far refused to budge. According to the CFMEU, over 250 workers will lose their jobs with Heyfield timber mill’s closure with a further 7,000 to 10,000 related jobs and businesses that rely on the mill being affected adversely. Heyfield is well known as a community that bands together during tough times and are taking action toward making themselves heard. And they have support, Barnaby Joyce, posting publicly on Facebook on the 27th of March; “People before possums. There’s 21,000 forestry families who will lose their jobs because of Victorian Labor. We have a plan to save these jobs, if only Premier Andrews will listen, support and act.” Mr. Joyce is proposing the opening up of new areas for logging in Victoria, and called for a review of the endangered status of the Leadbeater’s possum in a bid to keep the Heyfield timber mill open. At the time of writing this article, The Andrews government had yet to officially respond to Mr Joyce’s proposal.

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