The Coalition has currently positioned itself to win votes from the 120,000 workers in the forest industries supply chain by trumping the ALP on investment in Research and Development (R&D). The Coalition announced it will provide $4 million to kick-start a National Institute for Forest Products Innovation, with the first hubs based in Launceston and Mt Gambier.
The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has sought answers from the major parties on nine key policy areas. With a week until polling day we have now released an updated “policy platform scorecard” which can be found on the “Build the Vote” website.
Chief Executive Officer of AFPA Mr Ross Hampton said, “It is terrific to see that the Coalition, the ALP and the Greens are all strongly backing our industries. This is evident through the universal promise to deliver a National Forest and Fibre Plan – although disappointingly the Greens limit their support to plantation forestry. We can be a clean, green, jobs growth engine but we need a national framework. The last occasion this happened was 1992 and it is beyond time for an updated plan.”
“The scorecard shows the Coalition has pulled ahead of other parties in R&D, but all parties have more to do in encouraging our industries in the renewable energy space. It is disappointing that the ALP has sided with the Greens when it comes to the continued eligibility of native forest residues and wood waste in the Renewable Energy Target.”
The scorecard and explanatory comments can be found on AFPA’s Build the Vote website here.