Published: 6 Feb 2020
Employers, industry groups and the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union have co-funded a TV advertisement to thank workers in the timber industry who performed and are performing vital work to protect homes and lives during the recent and current bushfires.
The commercial features stunning footage taken by a forestry worker as he and his workmates cleared a containment line in regional Victoria. It will air for two weeks across all major networks and be supported by an expansive social media campaign.
In a powerful show of unity following the bushfire crisis, the Union has come together with the Victorian Association of Forest Industries, the Australian Forest Products Association and the Australian Forest Contractors Association for the campaign.
With years of experience working in the bush across regional Australia, timber workers, their equipment, skills and expertise play a vital role prior, during and in the aftermath of bushfires. As well as working to build containment lines, the skills, expertise and equipment of timber workers is relied on to remove dangerous trees and clear roads following these disasters.
The campaign comes as questions continue to be asked about the viability of Victoria’s timber industry, and thus the maintenance of this vital bushfire mitigation and suppression capacity, following a Victorian Government decision to close down large sections of the timber industry.
Quotes attributable to Michael O’Connor, National Secretary of the Construction Forestry Maritime Mining and Energy Union.
“This remarkable footage shows not just the skills, but also the courage of workers in our timber industry. We’re proud to have so many timber workers as members, and we’re thankful to the entire industry for their work during the bushfire crisis.”
“This vital industry doesn’t just provide the economic lifeblood of many regional towns and communities, it also keeps the people that live in them safe during times of extreme risk.”
Quotes attributable to Tim Johnston, Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Association of Forest Industries.
“The tens of thousands of people who rely on Victoria’s timber industry will already know how incredible these workers are. We’re proud to be part of this campaign to make sure the rest of Victoria knows it as well.”
Quotes attributable to Stacey Gardner, GM of Australian Forest Contractors Association.
“The most important thing about this footage is that, while it’s rare to get it on camera, Forestry Contractors are out during just about every bushfire in Australia without question. They are the first to put their hands up to risk their lives to assist with cleaning up safely. We greatly appreciate their skills and use of equipment and it is vital that we realise the huge contribution that they make.”
Quotes attributable to Ross Hampton, CEO of Australian Forest Products Association.
“Forestry industry workers and contractors are an integral part of local firefighting efforts that help protect communities under threat of bushfires, and we think it’s important to thank them for the role they play.
“These are our Hi Viz heroes who’ve done heroic work alongside volunteer and professional fire fighters all summer. Without their help to remove all the ‘killer’ trees along thousands of kilometres of roads which would otherwise potentially fall on travellers, those roads would still be closed”