VicForests re­ports pos­i­tive op­er­at­ing re­sult

Australian Forests and Timber - - In The News -

VicForests has achieved a pos­i­tive profit from op­er­a­tions be­fore tax of $1.5 mil­lion in 2016/17, high­light­ing the con­tin­ued de­mand for na­tive tim­ber in Vic­to­ria.

“This is a good re­sult con­sid­er­ing the op­er­a­tional chal­lenges we have faced.,” said VicForests Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Nathan Trushell. The com­pany’s re­sult af­ter tax was a loss of $3.2 mil­lion, due to a de­crease in the ac­count­ing val­u­a­tion of the area of State for­est avail­able to be har­vested for tim­ber .

Mr Trushell said he was pleased with the profit from op­er­a­tions, and that the loss af­ter tax was the out­come of more for­est be­ing placed in re­serves and not a re­duc­tion in de­mand for tim­ber.

“Due to an in­crease in con­ser­va­tion ef­forts, ar­eas pre­vi­ously avail­able to us have been ex­cluded from tim­ber har­vest­ing over the past year.

“So, while the value of the tim­ber re­mains the same, there is less for­est avail­able to har­vest and there­fore the as­set value is re­duced.

“This is not a re­flec­tion of the ex­cel­lent work our staff have done this year, which has gen­er­ated a profit from our op­er­a­tions.

“VicForests has con­tin­ued to strengthen our cash po­si­tion and as a re­sult of sales dur­ing the 2016/17 fi­nan­cial year we cur­rently have no debt,” he said.

Mr Trushell said that de­spite the de­crease in area avail­able to be har­vested, the de­mand for tim­ber re­mained strong.

“De­mand for tim­ber re­mains high in Vic­to­ria and Aus­tralia. The most re­cent re­port by Aus­tralian For­est and Wood Prod­ucts Statis­tics in­di­cates that Aus­tralia is im­port­ing more than $5 bil­lion in wood prod­ucts an­nu­ally to meet the de­mand we are un­able to sup­ply lo­cally.

“The vast ma­jor­ity of Vic­to­ria’s na­tive forests will never be har­vested. Vic­to­ria has a truly world class for­est parks and re­serve sys­tem that cov­ers an area the size of Tasmania.

“How­ever, the for­est is a dy­namic en­vi­ron­ment, and so we must con­tinue to evolve the way we im­ple­ment con­ser­va­tion mea­sures. Our staff pas­sion­ately care about forests, that is why they have cho­sen to un­der­taken spe­cial­ist de­grees and spend their life work­ing in the for­est.

“We’re proud of the role our foresters play in help­ing to pro­tect threat­ened species as part of manag­ing a re­new­able re­source for all Vic­to­ri­ans,” he said.

Mr Trushell said that the na­tive tim­ber in­dus­try con­tin­ued to make a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the Vic­to­rian econ­omy.

“Eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity within the tim­ber in­dus­try and de­mand for na­tive hard­wood re­mains high un­der­scor­ing our con­tri­bu­tion to the Vic­to­rian econ­omy.

“The na­tive tim­ber in­dus­try con­trib­utes hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars and thou­sands of jobs to re­gional Vic­to­ria re­gional each year. A study re­leased by Deloitte Ac­cess Eco­nom­ics last year re­ported that the na­tive tim­ber in­dus­try in Vic­to­ria gen­er­ated $573 mil­lion in eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity dur­ing 2013/14 in the Cen­tral High­lands re­gion alone.

“Beyond the im­pres­sive rev­enue num­ber, na­tive forestry sup­ports the Vic­to­rian com­mu­nity by un­der­pin­ning en­tire in­dus­tries and many re­gional ar­eas. The re­port found that na­tive forestry in this re­gion cre­ates full-time em­ploy­ment for more than 2,100 peo­ple,” Mr Trushell said.

Given the con­tin­ued de­mand and pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments in the sec­tor, Mr Trushell was op­ti­mistic about the com­ing year.

“Our staff are hard at work in re­vis­ing our for­est man­age­ment prac­tices to adapt to the cur­rently avail­able re­sources. We in­tend to fo­cus on our longterm fi­nan­cial sus­tain­abil­ity while con­tin­u­ing to con­trib­ute to the grow­ing de­mand for tim­ber prod­ucts in Vic­to­ria,” he said.

VicForests re­sults are au­dited each year by the Vic­to­rian Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s Of­fice.

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