There are serious concerns for the availability of commercial firewood following the Andrews Labor Government’s decision to shut down the native timber industry.
With energy costs rapidly increasing, the demand for firewood is set to soar ahead of the collection period re-opening on September 1.
Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland said it was clear that the Andrews Labor Government had failed to consider how its decision would impact everyday Victorians who use firewood to heat their homes.
“Energy price rises have already led to increased firewood demand and prices as people look for alternative sources of heating,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Currently, VicForests supplies a significant portion of the commercial firewood available for purchase in Victoria.
“If VicForests, which supplied more than 37,000 cubic meters of last year’s firewood supply suddenly drops out of the market, it only follows that we can expect demand and prices to rise further.”
Ms Cleeland said free firewood zones for domestic collecting were already under significant pressure to meet demand.
“Affordable and reliable firewood supply should be a priority and common-sense would suggest that the Government needs to allow continued commercial firewood collection from our forests in some manner,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Victorians deserve a proactive Government that take steps to improve living conditions, not enforce political-based decisions like the closure of a sustainable industry that only serves to further increase hardship.”