The Victorian Labor Government has refused to extend the domestic firewood collection period despite being aware of the huge shortfall in availability across the State.
Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland said her Nationals colleagues, in particular Gippsland East MP Tim Bull, had repeatedly asked for consideration to allow Victorians broader access to the resource.
Firewood, which not only provides heating and cooking for many, also supports the cleaning up of our forest floor fuel loads in preparation for the hot and dry summer that has been predicted.
“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.
“There are a large number of households across the Euroa electorate reliant on solid fuel heaters as their primary source of heating.
“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.
“I want to thank the Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull, who continues to advocate for our communities on this issue.”
The Victorian Forest Fire Management website states, ‘The Victorian Government is undertaking a review into the management of firewood collection in public forests for domestic purposes.’
“This review must guarantee Victorian household’s access to free firewood in Victoria, with the view to expand availability when commercial supplies dry up,” Ms Cleeland said.