The Federal Government’s move to bring forward local manufacturing project funding amid concerns around supply chain disruption is welcomed – but it again highlights why forest industries should be included as part of the Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy (MMS), Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Ross Hampton said today.
“Supply chains internationally are increasingly uncertain and forest industries welcome the Government’s action to support local manufacturing. However, about a quarter of Australia’s timber needs rely on increasingly uncertain imports and we also have a shortage of timber growing domestically, which is why our industries should be part of the MMS,” Ross Hampton said.
“The international uncertainty at the moment is an opportune time to remind the Federal Government that forest industries create essential, environmentally friendly products that provide shelter and security, like house frames.
“The National Farmers Federation agrees that timber and fibre products should be eligible under the MMS.
“It’s not just about Australia having food and fuel security. We need to have sovereign capability to grow timber and manufacture timber products for shelter and other essential purposes like packaging.
“Furthermore, the world is moving to embrace a circular bioeconomy, and advanced manufacturing is our key to success. Forest industries are part of this transition. We have world class researchers making extraordinary developments in the use of fibre for new generation composite building materials, plastic replacements and carbon-neutral chemicals and energy substitutes. But without strong local manufacturing these innovations, and the value they could generate, will not come as quickly as they could,” Ross Hampton concluded.