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The Weekend Australian Magazine recently ran a 4-page assault on Victoria’s native timber industry focusing on the recent Federal Court decision.

We understand that some industry leaders were interviewed for an hour or more by the journalist Ricky French who then ignored their information and persisted with the activist perspective.

Forest & Wood Communities Australia wrote the letter below to the editor of the magazine for publication in response to the article. We also provided directly to the editor a detailed critique of the articlein which we point serious omission of fact, misinformation and misleading statements.

We urge you to read the critique as within it are the tools to help you articulate our concerns about how the timber industry is reported by some sectors of mainstream media.

The letter below is an example of how to write to media outlets to explain the minimal impact of sustainable native timber harvesting.


If you were to measure the percentage of the forest estate harvested for timber in Victoria each year on a one-metre ruler, you wouldn’t even get to halfway of the first millimetre. 0.04% or four trees in 10,000 is the figure.

Yet even this tiny fraction of the forest provides direct and indirect employment for 15,000 Victorians in the timber industry and provides a multitude of products which store carbon and provide a natural and renewable alternative to plastic and concrete.

But if the anti-forestry activists who drove The Weekend Australian’s article “Possum magic…” are to be believed, this miniscule amount of carefully monitored and managed forest harbours so much of the Leadbeater’s Possum population, that timber harvesting has caused its decline by 50% in 22 years.

Even the most environmentally conflicted observer might perhaps question the sheer improbability of this claim and consider the subsequent studies conducted outside this tiny area which have found the possum in abundance.

Instead, the Andrews Government caved into this Greens-focused anti-forestry rhetoric by announcing the end of the native timber industry by 2030.

Along with the bewildering Federal Court decision (which we hope will be overturned on appeal), the impact on the wellbeing of people in the timber industry and their communities is devastating. These are people who contribute to society by providing sustainable and renewable timber products and are on the front line to save Leadbeater’s Possum from bushfires while activists are missing in action.

Yet multi-million-dollar conflict-based corporate activists such as The Wilderness Society and Bob Brown Foundation have made an industry out of attacking forestry so it is not in their interest to stop kicking us while we’re down. Nor is it in the interests of anti-forestry community protest groups who use the conflict model to peddle outrage like hemp shirts at a community market.

They are not saving Leadbeaters’ Possum from logging because timber harvesting in the 0.04% of Victorian forests has so little impact on them.

When you look at the business model behind anti-forestry activism which needs conflict to survive and targets our sustainable, renewable, world-certified timber industry without care or thought for the regional jobs and communities they are destroying, you will find the real corporate criminals.

Justin Law
Managing Director
Forest & Wood Communities Australia

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