Victorian government timber supply failure worsens national problem as Christmas approaches

The timber crisis in Victoria is exacerbating a worsening national pallet shortage, which fears will lead to shortages in supermarkets before Christmas.

The union representing forestry and forest products workers, CFMEU Manufacturing Division, has called on the Prime Minister of Victoria to ensure that wood pallet manufacturers in Victoria are able to get the logs they need to make the wooden pallets they urgently need.

The timber supply crisis in Victoria is the result of the state government’s failure to guarantee the supply of logs that were guaranteed in the Victorian Forestry Plan.

The union’s national secretary, Michael O’Connor, said the hardwood industry is in chaos due to the government’s failure to stop litigation with third parties, resulting in the shutdown of timber production. Last week, the union wrote to the Prime Minister to seek a legislative solution. The union wrote to the Prime Minister again to demand action to protect jobs and avoid critical shortages in supermarkets before Christmas.

“The Prime Minister must act urgently to get pallet production back on track in Victoria, so that the problems affecting the nationwide pallet supply are not compounded by a log supply crisis here”, said Michael O’Connor.

The state’s largest wooden pallet production plant, Dormit in Dandenong, produces 70,000 pallets per month.

The factory is running out of logs due to chaos in the industry and is shutting down production. About 40 workers are facing layoffs.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council told unions and the government this week that supermarkets could experience a serious shortage of goods heading into Christmas due to the shortage of pallets.

The union also warns that the shortage of pallets is forcing some manufacturers of products, including packaging, drinks and toilet paper, to slow production.

“It turns into a perfect storm before Christmas: job losses, a manufacturing slowdown and potential critical shortages in supermarkets.

“The situation would be greatly alleviated in Victoria if the government adopted the union’s plan. “

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