The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has strongly welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of a $50 million bushfire recovery package to support fire-impacted forest product industries, announced today in Eden by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
AFPA Chief Executive Officer Mr Ross Hampton said the support package will go a long way to helping forest product industries in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, which were devastated by the Black Summer bushfires and now face unprecedented long-term resource shortages.
“We are pleased that the Federal Government has listened and responded to the crisis facing our industry as a result of the bushfires,” Mr Hampton said.
“The $40 million Forestry Recovery Fund will support timber processors facing significant, long-term reductions in log supply to retool and upgrade their mills, while the $10 million Salvage Log Storage Fund will boost mills’ capacity to process and store the short-term surplus in burnt logs, particularly in the NSW South West Slopes region where around 40 per cent of the softwood plantations were fire-damaged.”
“I was pleased to join the Prime Minister, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, Liberal candidate for Eden-Monaro Fiona Kotvojs, Nationals candidate Trevor Hicks, and State Member for Bega Andrew Constance, at the ANWE woodchip mill in Eden today for the announcement, and to see first-hand the resilience of our forest industries and our importance to regional communities.”
“We are also very grateful to Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam who has been working closely with our industry to understand the magnitude of the crisis as a result of the fires, and this package delivers some of the key initiatives we have identified to help forest industries navigate these challenges.”
“I look forward to continuing to work with the Government to ensure Australia’s sustainable forest industries can continue to thrive and employ tens of thousands of people in fire-affected regional communities,” Mr Hampton concluded.