Labor’s ‘Positive Plan for Agriculture and Regional Australia’ identifies forestry as a priority sector, and lists a number of important forest industry policy areas that Labor would action, if they win the election.
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Mr Ross Hampton said, “Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP has been a strong supporter of the role forest industries can play in a low carbon economy. He has also previously won forest industry applause for reinstating ‘forestry’ in his shadow portfolio’s title, and committing to implementing a National Forest and Fibre Plan.”
“It Is pleasing to see that Labor recognises forestry as a priority sector. Further, Labor’s Plan promisingly proposes to lift R&D effort; expand the plantation estate; finalise the Carbon Farming Initiative for-harvest plantation methodology; identify key infrastructure; and reform government procurement. However, the forest industry needs continuing strong political commitment, more detail and solid action in these key policy areas to help achieve our significant potential,” said Mr Hampton.
During this election campaign, AFPA has sought answers from the major Parties on the forest industry’s nine key policy areas. These are: implementation of a National Forest and Fibre Plan; plantation investment support; 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. Responses from the major Parties on these key policy areas are detailed in AFPA’s ‘policy platform scorecard’.
“The updated scorecard still shows that the major Parties have more to do in clarifying their policies for new forest plantations and investment in R&D, supporting bushfire mitigation initiatives, and encouraging our industries in the renewable energy space,” said Mr Hampton.
The scorecard and explanatory comments can be found on AFPA’s Build the Vote website here.