Opal Australian Paper stands down workers
Friday 20 Jan 2023A number of Australians learned just two days before the new year that they would be stood down starting from 2023. A paper company in Victoria, Opal Australian Paper, in late December informed 35 of its workers that they were going to be stood down with full pay for an indefinite period of time. The stand downs have been effective from 1 January.
According to AAP, a further 120 workers are facing also being stood down later this month or early next month. The stand downs had been looming for some time at the Maryvale-based paper mill, in rural eastern Victoria, following a supreme court ruling and a timber shortage.
The workplace was reportedly devastated by a court decision which crippled its ability to make paper. In early November, government-owned timber business VicForests lost a Supreme Court case which found it was not doing enough to protect endangered wildlife including two possum species. As a result, the company was ordered to scale back its timber harvesting in parts of rural Victoria.
VicForests was a large supplier for Opal Australian Paper and they have been unable to obtain the necessary materials since for paper to be created. After the court order, the paper producer flagged that stand downs was a very real possibility. VicForests has appealed the Supreme Court decision.
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