Tonight’s Federal Budget does not include any specific measures for the forest products industry. Now, all eyes will be on the major political parties during the run-up to the 2016 election for positive policies to underpin our $22 billion forest products industry.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Mr Ross Hampton said, “Faced with the necessity to reduce carbon emissions and replace carbon intensive materials with renewable and sustainable products, the world is turning to wood fibre as never before. Australia risks missing the boat. We need positive policies underpinned by a comprehensive National Forest & Fibre Plan.”
AFPA urges all political parties to develop positive policies centred around the following nine key policy areas: a National Forest & Fibre Plan; plantation investment; R&D; recognition of thermal heat in the Renewable Energy Target; antidumping reform; continued support for native forest waste renewable energy certificates; farm forestry; Regional Forest Agreements renewal; and bushfire mitigation.
“In the run-up to the 2016 election, AFPA will be carefully watching all the major political parties for policies that recognise the significant role the forest products industry can play in Australia’s future.” said Ross Hampton.
AFPA’s innovative ‘Build the Vote’ website ensures that the 120,000 direct employees across the full forest products value chain are heard, and know what positions their representatives are taking in Federal Parliament.
AFPA will also host a Political Debate at the National Press Club on June 1 featuring the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Joel Fitzgibbon, and Senator Janet Rice Australian Green’s Spokesperson for Forestry. Industry leaders will be gathering in force expecting to see the major parties policies and vision for their industry.