A new report from Ernst & Young (EY) has highlighted the significant growth opportunities for Australian forest product industries.
The report, commissioned by forest industry services company, Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA), is bullish about the global demand for fibre, but also warns that Australian industry will need to grow in scale and productivity to take advantage of the opportunities.
Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton said, “The EY report confirms everything AFPA has been saying in recent years. There is no doubt that in a carbon constrained global economy, which is placing an ever increasing premium on renewable and recyclable resource use, forest products are going to play a much larger role. Our industries replant or resow 60 million trees a year, unlike some parts of the world with poor records of deforestation. Nowhere else can claim to be more sustainable.”
“The challenge of this report is that to meet the demand of consumers in years to come we must grow in scale. Our enterprises must become more efficient and we must drive higher productivity, as well as implement technological and manufacturing R&D breakthroughs.”
“Australian politicians must also be held to account because there is little the industry can do when effective and enabling policy is lacking. AFPA has nine big policy asks on our ‘Build the Vote’ website and all candidates in our 32 chosen marginal or forestry seats will soon be asked to provide their answers on each one,” said Mr Hampton.
AFPA is looking for: a National Forest and Fibre Plan; access to the Carbon Farming Initiative to support plantation investment; support for R&D through a National Institute for Forest Products Innovation; recognition of thermal heat in the Renewable Energy Target; strengthening of the antidumping system; promotion of renewable bioenergy opportunities from biomass; funding for farm forestry; bushfire mitigation through a national mechanical fuel reduction program; and renewal of the Regional Forest Agreements.
The ‘Build the Vote’ website can be found here.
The EY report can be found here.