Short timber supply stokes Vic job worries

Timothy Cox

Victorian timber businesses fear their industry, along with thousands of rural jobs, is close to collapse and are demanding government action.

Industry workers met at state parliament on Tuesday to lobby their concerns of dwindling supplies and insufficient government protection.

More than 2000 people have signed a petition, tabled in parliament, which says about 50,000 flow-on jobs are in danger and more than 20 towns would be affected by the industry's decline.

Leonard Fenning, of Fenning Timbers, said the uncertainty was causing distress and discouraging investment.

"People like to think they've got a permanent position wherever they are," Mr Fenning said.

"I'd just like to know where we're going - that's all."

Deputy Nationals Leader Steph Ryan told reporters the Labor government's focus on holding inner city seats comes at the detriment of the $7.3 billion timber industry and rural family businesses, many of which have been forced to consider closing.

"For any business, this is incredibly distressing" Ms Ryan said.

"These millers more than anything else need certainty."

Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford's office was contacted for comment.