The Victorian government’s announcement today that it will exit native forest logging in 2024, six years ahead of what it had previously planned, is a major win for the climate and economy, experts from The Australian National University (ANU) say.

Leading forestry ecology researcher Professor David Lindenmayer welcomed the Victorian government’s decision.

“This early exit is good, not only for forests and threatened species but also for the economy and the climate,” Professor Lindenmayer, one of the world’s most highly-cited researchers on forests, said.

“The decision shows that the Victorian government is serious about climate change, with the cessation of logging equivalent to preventing emissions from 730,000 cars every year.

“This decision means Victoria and Australia have a far greater chance of meeting their emissions reductions targets.”

Dr Chris Taylor, a spatial analyst and forest ecologist also from ANU, said Victorian forests have suffered significant damage and degradation as a result of decades of clear-fell logging.

“An urgent task now will be to start targeted forest restoration across the state,” he said.

“Restoring forests will boost their carbon storage value and provide a large number of jobs for regional Victorians.”

Professor David Lindenmayer said the decision will help create new jobs.

“A rapid and well-managed transition out of native forest logging will be jobs positive,” Professor Lindenmayer said.

“A major workforce will be needed to build new tourism infrastructure, protect and then boost carbon stocks, tackle problems with exploding numbers of feral deer and develop elite fire-fighting crews to make rural communities safe.”

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