The level of disarray the State Government is in over its decision to end the native timber industry is outlined in an email received by VicForests staff this week.
“Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said four months after the announcement was made, the message to staff this week stated:
- The government has made no decisions about the future of VicForests, with a determination about the organisation’s future expected ‘later this year’.
- The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action is undertaking a review of VicForests functions and activities before it makes this decision.
- The review is considering how the skills and functions of VicForests staff can be utilised.
- The current Board of VicForests now consists of only the Chair and one member.
“This hardly looks like the decision to end the timber industry was well planned and thought out and reeks of a policy on the run if after four months, they have absolutely no idea what they are doing with their own staff.
“It is alarming that a government department has to undertake a ‘review’ into the functions and activities of another arm of government and its staff. Did they not know the work they did? What a waste of time and taxpayer money.
“While many have been working hard to get answers for the mill workers, contractors and those businesses involved in the industry, we should also not forget about the VicForests employees, who are also part of our community, know this is a sustainable industry and are facing similar uncertainty.
“This is what happens when you have Ministers in charge of portfolios they know nothing about and they refuse to come out and talk to workers in these sectors,” said Mr Bull.