Opal Australian Paper says the Victorian government’s decision to end native forest logging in December 2023, six years earlier than planned, is an “extremely disappointing decision for the industry and its workers.”


The announcement in last Tuesday’s state budget to stop native logging from December 2023 followed last year’s Supreme Court judgment that found state-owned logger VicForests broke the law by failing to protect endangered species.

A couple of months later, Opal owner Nippon Paper Group announced it would end paper manufacturing at Australia’s last white paper mill - the Maryvale Mill in the Latrobe Valley - after being “unable to source viable alternative wood supplies to replace the shortfall from VicForests.”
opal_maryvale_23a.pngThe former paper making operation at Maryvale

 In a statement in response to last week’s budget announcement, Opal, said:
“Based on the failure of supply from VicForests following the Supreme Court decision late last year, Opal had already made the difficult decision to permanently close the white paper manufacturing component of our Maryvale Mill operations. Today’s decision in no way changes this.

"As we continue to work through a complex and difficult transition, today’s announcement in no way goes far enough for the Maryvale Mill and the industry.

"Opal recognises that this is an extremely disappointing decision for the industry and its workers and this situation continues to have serious implications for our business and the local Gippsland community.”

Meanwhile, Chris Schuringa from Victorian Forest Alliance described the government’s decision as “a monumental win for forests, for wildlife, for climate, and for the hard-working people who have spent countless hours surveying for endangered species, preparing evidence for court cases, lobbying, and campaigning. Some have been fighting for this for over three decades.”

Pin It