Victoria is facing a potentially crippling firewood shortage with almost eight weeks still left in winter.


Victoria is facing a potentially crippling firewood shortage, with almost eight weeks still left in winter. Prices are at record highs, and firewood theft is on the rise as households battle to stay warm. 

The cost of fuelling a crackling winter fire has reached record highs. Firewood now costs $550 a tonne. Transport costs and floods pushing up prices, but demand is still huge. A few of my customers have pulled their heaters out, 

put water in their zine. Surging utility costs have seen struggling householders turn back to timber. Theft is rife. We drop a little bit of water on nature strips, and that's been getting knocked off. 

Our national parks are being pillaged. In the past 12 months, Parks Victoria received over a thousand reports of firewood theft. We have issues in all parks across the state. Dead trees up to 200 years old are being felled, 

up to 100 at a time. They were precious habitats for native animals. From our parrots down to reptiles like the inland carpet python, micro bats, even little tree geckos rely on that. 

There's a range of species that need that portion of the ecosystem to persist. Parks officers are patrolling known hotspots with several prosecutions underway. The penalties are severe with thieves 

facing fines of up to $9 ,000 and a year behind bars. Chainsaws, trailers and cars can also be seized. Our areas of greatest concern are illegal commercial operators that are taking firewood from national parks for personal gain. 

Jacketquist, 7 News. 


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