A centuries-old sport is at risk as the Andrews Labor Government continues to fail Victoria’s native timber industry.
Reports in recent weeks that the Victorian Axemen’s Council has no timber for upcoming woodchopping events mean Victorians will be unable to compete at agricultural shows around the state.
A court order limiting harvesting in areas managed by VicForests means the council won’t have enough logs for Victoria’s more than 100 woodchopping events.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Emma Kealy, said a VicForests court appeal set for late March will be too late for some events.
“Already we have seen woodchopping cut from the 2023 Berwick Show, and it’s looking more likely that woodchopping won’t be a part of this year’s Royal Melbourne Show,” Ms Kealy said.
“The Andrews Labor Government’s inaction to find a workable solution to allow VicForests access to the timber it has been allocated is obvious.
“This decision to make VicForests jump through yet another hoop, delaying timber harvesting further, is to the detriment of regional Victorians.
“This is a decision that affects the lives of regional Victorians all so Labor can garner favour with the inner-city voters they represent.”
Woodchopping events draw crowds from across the nation predominantly to rural and regional areas.
“Woodchopping is a major drawcard of agricultural shows around the state and a sport that attracts international attention,” Ms Kealy said.
“The Nationals have raised this issue in Parliament and we want to see a solution to what has become a bizarre situation.”