AFCA welcomes the initial steps required to strengthen workplace laws protecting Victorian forestry workers from workplace trespass. Yesterday's introduction of the Sustainable Forests Timber Amendment (Timber Harvesting Safety Zones) Bill 2022 is welcomed, with effective consultation with AFCA and other industry groups. The industry hopes this will be a successful instrument in banning the dangerous interference, including the use of potential weapons such as PVC pipes to be brought into these workplaces by extreme activists.
AFCA's members continue to be impacted by these workplace invasions and have so for many years. There are significant costs associated with these unsafe workplace interruptions such as forfeited work hours, paid production and increasing health and safety concerns.
"Changes to strengthen penalties to illegal and dangerous acts and groups is welcomed. Our members have endured this sort of activity for many years, not just in Victoria, but in other states. It is good to see Victoria is now strengthening its position on this issue." states General Manager for AFCA, Ms Carlie Porteous.
AFCA will continue to keep its membership informed on the changes to the Bill as this progresses.