The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed the re-appointment of the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP as the Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Chief Executive Officer of AFPA Mr Ross Hampton said, “Mr Fitzgibbon has shown a deep appreciation of the opportunity offered by forest industries to both grow jobs, income and add to a cleaner, greener Australia. During the federal election we applauded the Opposition’s acknowledgement of the significant role that the forest industries can play in a low carbon economy. Mr Fitzgibbon delivered strong policies in our area including the backing of a National Forest and Fibre Plan, in response to the Forest Industry Advisory Council’s work, and support for farm forestry incentives.”
“Key specific policy areas where AFPA will continue to urge the Opposition’s backing include: support for R&D through the announced National Institute for Forest Products Innovation; recognition of thermal heat in the Renewable Energy Target; promotion of renewable bioenergy opportunities from biomass including native forest wood waste; and a funded bushfire mitigation through a national mechanical fuel reduction program,” said Mr Hampton.
AFPA will also engage with other Shadow Ministers in key portfolios of Regional Development; Environment & Energy; and Industry, Innovation & Science.
Forest, wood and paper product industries are renewable, recyclable and sustainable. They are a vital part of our regional and rural communities, contributing $20 billion to the national economy and around 120,000 direct jobs across the full value chain.