Gipp­s­land tim­ber in­dus­try city rally de­mands Govern­ment act

Australian Forests and Timber - - In The News -

BAN­NERS DE­MAND­ING the Vic­to­rian Govern­ment act to save Hey­field’s tim­ber mill jobs, com­mu­nity and the town, ex­pressed the frus­tra­tion of forestry in­dus­try work­ers, con­trac­tors and sup­port­ers who ral­lied in Mel­bourne city streets.

The CFMEU-or­gan­ised rally saw al­most 1000 from across Gipp­s­land march to Par­lia­ment House steps, clos­ing down parts of the city in a bid to save 260 jobs at Aus­tralian Sus­tain­able Hard­woods’ (ASH) mill which has de­cided to close due to lack of ac­cess to ad­e­quate tim­ber stocks.

Dur­ing the rally the Con­struc­tion, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union called for more log­ging to be opened up by re­duc­ing a 200m ex­clu­sion zone around pos­si­ble sight­ings of the endangered Lead­beat­ers’s pos­sum. How­ever, Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Jaala Pul­ford said no more tim­ber could be pro­vided.

In a rare city show of the in­dus­try’s trans­port re­source, over 60 tim­ber jinkers that had been driven to Mel­bourne to sup­port the rally, lined some of the city’s ma­jor streets in­clud­ing in front of Par­lia­ment House.

Tim­ber trans­port con­trac­tors, driv­ers and their fam­i­lies stand­ing along­side their rigs were vis­i­bly af­fected as they shared their sto­ries with other in­dus­try col­leagues and Mel­bur­ni­ans who stopped to en­quire about how the mill clo­sure would af­fect their lives and trans­port busi­nesses.

Trans­port op­er­a­tors, many be­ing fam­ily busi­nesses and hav­ing fi­nance com­mit­ments on their rigs, face an un­cer­tain fu­ture when the mill com­mences it clo­sure pro­gram later this year.

“This show of sup­port has been a huge boost for the cam­paign to save the mill and the bat­tle is just be­gin­ning,” said Luke Hi­lakari, Sec­re­tary of the Vic­to­rian Trades Hall Coun­cil

The Union is ramp­ing up its fight to save the mill.

Mel­bourne roads c-logged up!

ASH distrib­u­tor Phil McCor­mack drove one of his com­pany trucks to Spring Street to sup­port of the mills work­ers.

Con­way's driver Mark Tyquin (2nd from left) and part­ner Jodie, pic­tured with in­dus­try col­leagues in front of Par­lia­ment House.

Next to an ASH fin­ished prod­uct truck Ray­mond Mur­phy (Sale) and Kane Gould (Strat­ford).

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