The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomes Federal Labor’s commitment to hold a forestry summit to inform a strategic plan for industry, Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton said today.
At Labor’s National Conference today, the Party committed to holding a summit for the forestry sector to inform the development of a comprehensive forestry strategic plan. The changes to the ALP’s National Platform recognise the forest industries’ potential to be part of Australia’s climate change strategy, including through participation in the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI), while maximising benefits to the domestic manufacturing of the timber and wood products sector.
Critically, the policy promises industry will play a central role in developing the strategy, which will help ensure the positive commitments forged by the Federal Government’s National Forest Industries Plan, launched September this year, are incorporated into any new strategic plan.
Labor’s commitment is further worded as follows:
The plans will seek to adequately promote sustainable profitability, local downstream processing, good local jobs and will be developed by government, industry, employers and the sectors trade unions. Under the forestry and forest products industry strategy commercial forestry projects may benefit under the Carbon Farming Initiative and related climate change programs by mechanisms established in a tripartite manner. One of the requirements to benefit in this way will be to maximise local economic benefits by supporting local downstream processing and good local jobs.
“This is an excellent commitment from Federal Labor. If a Labor government is elected next year, AFPA will engage completely with the process committed to at Labor’s National Conference,” Mr Hampton said.
“However, any further policy development needs to build on the National Forest Industries Plan, delivered by the Coalition earlier this year.
“We do of course welcome Labor’s focus on the Carbon Farming Initiative. I look forward to working with all sides of federal politics to create the best possible platform for forest industries, as we approach a federal election year,” Mr Hampton concluded.