AFPA members own and/or manage large tracts of commercial hardwood and softwood plantations, as well as natural forest, in all States, supplying wood fibre and products both domestically and for export. In addition, AFPA also represents wood and paper product processors (including sawmillers, engineered wood, pulp and paper product manufacturers) which are dependent on this wood fibre supply for value-added production.
The forest, wood and paper products industry is one of Australia’s largest manufacturing industries with an annual turnover of $21 billion. It contributes around 0.6 per cent to Australia’s gross domestic product and 6.7 per cent of manufacturing output. In 2011-12, approximately 77, 300 people are directly employed in the industry, including 15,000 people in the forestry and logging sectors and 44,000 people in the wood manufacturing and 18,000 in pulp and paper manufacturing sectors (ABARES 2013). A total of 200,000 jobs are supported through flow on economic activity.
The forest, wood and paper products industry is predominately regionally based, sharing common boundaries and policy issues with many other agricultural industries. The industry is also an important contributor to many rural communities, providing employment opportunities, as well as helping to diversify and strengthen regional economies.