Victorian forestry deals extended to 2020

Victoria's forestry agreements have been extended until 2020 in a bid to boost the state's timber industry. The agreements allow the logging of native forests on public lands and provide exemptions to Commonwealth environmental laws.

Extensions have been granted until March 31, 2020 by the Victorian and federal government in state's East Gippsland, Central Highlands and North East regions. It brings them into line with existing agreements in West Victoria and Gippsland and paves the way for longer-term extensions.

"The signing demonstrates our governments' shared interest in ongoing native timber industry, and the jobs and economic prosperity it creates," Assistant Agriculture Minister Anne Ruston said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Victorian native forests produce high quality, appearance-grade timber, and the RFAs ensure this is done sustainably." The federal government wants to provide 20-year rolling extensions for all Regional Forest Agreements, which have repeatedly come under fire from environmental groups.

Source: Australian Associated Press

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