Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese’s announcement today that a Labor Government would commit $500 million to agriculture, forestry and fisheries from its flagship $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund is welcome recognition of forest industries’ crucial role in Australia’s renewable economy, Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) CEO Ross Hampton said today.
Speaking at the National Farmers Federation National Conference in Canberra today, Mr Albanese said:
“Labor will reserve $500m of funding within our National Reconstruction Fund specifically for Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Food and Fibre…. We should make things in Australia using the food and fibre we produce in Australia….
“I see a future in which we not only grow demand for bulk exports, but process more of that produce in regional centres where new businesses will add value for domestic sale and export.”
Ross Hampton said he looked forward to seeing the detail in the coming weeks of how the policy will directly support Australia’s $24 billion forest industries sector.
“Australia’s forest industries are uniquely placed to play an even greater role in a low-emissions future and the circular economy, while securing Australia’s renewable timber and fibre needs,” Ross Hampton said.
“Forest industries must be at the centre of Australia’s Net Zero by 2050 and zero waste strategies. The bipartisan One Billion Trees national program is recognition that we need more forestry in Australia to ensure that we have enough timber to build our homes, and renewable fibre for sustainable paper and packaging solutions.”
With the federal election expected to be called within days, Ross Hampton said he looked forward to seeing the detail of how Labor’s policy will directly support forest industries, and Labor’s plan to achieve the One Billion Trees goal.
“The Federal Government’s recent $86 million program to grow the plantation estate is a welcome start, but more is needed if Australia is to achieve the one billion trees needed to meet our future timber and fibre needs,” Ross Hampton said.
AFPA has released its 2022 Federal Election ‘Plan for Growth’ which outlines what forest industries need from the next federal government to build the country, help fight climate change and provide sustainable wood fibre solutions for the future.
“This election campaign AFPA will work with all sides of politics to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of Australians who depend on our forest industries have a clear vision from both major parties on how they will deliver on industry’s Plan for Growth in its entirety,” Ross Hampton concluded.