SEVEN logging contractors remain out of work following the abrupt Supreme Court injunction last month which halted most native forest harvesting in East Gippsland and the Central Highlands where Greater Glider possums have been sighted.
Timber industry representatives fear the court order - which cites any coupe with one or more Greater Glider sightings within 240 metres of a coupe would be shut down - would impact most Victorian sites.
In a report prepared by Deloitte Financial Advisory chartered accountant Julia Kaye for Justice Richards of the Supreme Court of Victoria, the logging restraint, if continued until May 2022, would cost VicForests a gross amount of $2,399,530 in the Central Highlands and $57,944 in East Gippsland.
After a further year, the estimated loss of gross profit would be more than $24 million in the Central Highlands, and nearly $800,000 in East Gippsland, if replacement coupes were not identified instead.
Australian Forest Contractors Association general manager Carlie Porteous told the Victorian Country Hour up to 30 harvest and haulage contractors' work was impacted by the December 22 decision, with the ongoing work uncertainty "stressful for business operators".
"Immediately 58 coups were affected, which meant either there was a sighting of a Greater Glider or sighting within 240 metres of a coup," Ms Porteous said.
"There were seven contractors immediately out of work... they are still stood down with a further two harvest crews with a really uncertain future in the next two weeks.
"We are talking quite a number of people immediately affected."
VicForests recorded a $4.7 million loss last financial year, attributed to court challenges from environment groups, as well as the destruction of timber in the Black Summer bushfires.
The loss was despite being given $18 million by the state government and making $84 million from selling forest products.
In a statement, VicForests spokesperson said the company was working closely with stakeholders and were aware of the impact of the court's decision on industry.
"We are continuing to work and communicate with affected crews and customers," they said.
"VicForests is working hard to accelerate planning for alternative coupes.
"As these proceedings are currently before the court, we will not be commenting further."