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Future firewood supply in doubt

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The North Central Review
The North Central Review
The North Central Review is an independently owned newspaper publishing company based in Kilmore that is responsible for publishing two community newspapers each week, covering communities within the Mitchell Shire

MEMBER for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland has raised serious concern over the supply of commercial firewood following the State Government’s decision to shut down the native timber industry.

The demand for firewood is set to increase ahead of the collection period re-opening on September 1 to November 30 for the spring season.

Ms Cleeland said it was clear the government had failed to consider the impacts of its decision to close down the industry.

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“Energy price rises have already led to increased firewood demand and prices as people look for alternative sources of heating,” she said.

“Currently, VicForests supplies a significant portion of the commercial firewood available for purchase in Victoria.

“If VicForests, which supplied more than 37000 cubic meters of last year’s firewood supply suddenly drops out of the market, it only follows that we can expect demand and prices to rise further.”

Ms Cleeland said free firewood zones for domestic collective were already experiencing significant pressure to meet demand.

“Affordable and reliable firewood supply should be a priority and commonsense would suggest that the government needs to allow continued commercial firewood collection from our forests in some manner,” she said.

“Victorians deserve a proactive government that take steps to improve living conditions, not enforce political-based decisions like the closure of a sustainable industry that only serves to further increase hardship.”

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