Parliament backs the Victorian forest and wood products industry

Victorian members of parliament have shown their support for the state’s forest and wood products industry at the launch of the Forest and Wood Products Support Group, held at State Parliament earlier this month.

The event was co-convened by Mr Gary Blackwood MP, Member for Narracan, and Mr Philip Dalidakis MP, Member for Southern Metropolitan. The Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI), Mr Tim Johnston, welcomed the commitment from Parliament, stating that the response to the support group was encouraging.

“There has been a great amount of interest shown by the Parliament to learn more about the forest and wood products industry in Victoria, and the businesses and communities which rely on it.

“The industry in Victoria is a dynamic sector of the economy that uses wood – a renewable, biodegradable, recyclable product – to create materials for new homes, buildings and furniture, paper, and fuel for green energy,” Tim said.

The Forest and Wood Products Support Group will provide a platform for members of the Victorian State Parliament to work closely with the industry, and allow them to learn more about the importance of forest and wood products businesses, both to their electorates and the Victorian economy.

NZ council follows suit with wood policy

New Zealand’s Rotorua Lakes Council has announced a Wood First Policy, following the Australian precedent set by Victoria’s Latrobe City Council late last year, to encourage the use of wood in council-owned buildings and infrastructure.

The Rotorua Council’s policy and action plan was implemented at a council meeting in early April 2015.

Rotorua District Council’s new Wood First Policy has three key objectives:

  1. Facilitating and encouraging the use of wood as a preferred, sustainable building material for all projects in the district;
  2. Requiring wood to be used in all council building projects; and
  3. Actively supporting and advocating for wood and the wood industry – locally, regionally, and at a national level.

Rotorua sits at the heart of New Zealand’s forestry and wood industry and has a significant impact on the district’s economy. Approximately 40 per cent of the country’s wood is harvested within a 100 km radius of the city.