South Australia’s forest industries will be winners from Saturday’s election regardless of the outcome, thanks to major policy commitments from parties and candidates that will support domestic manufacturing and economic activity across the state.
A concerted effort by Australian Forest Products Association SA and its members in the key forestry seats of Mount Gambier and MacKillop in the lead up to the SA Election has resulted in strong support across parties and candidates for the suite of policies outlined in in our “Building Blocks for Growth: $77 million Plan” Asks document.
CEO of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton, said today that the forest industries’ efforts to engage candidates and party leaders across the political spectrum had paid dividends, with all key players providing comprehensive policy commitments in writing that could play a crucial role in deliberations around who will be SA’s next Premier.
“Not only has our industry succeeded in raising the profile of forestry as an election issue at a local and state level, we also have key commitments from candidates and political parties, based on our requests in our Asks document, which they will be expected to deliver on in the next parliamentary term,” Mr Hampton said.
“For example, Independent candidate and sitting MP for Mount Gambier, Troy Bell, has committed to $21 million for biomass investment, as a non-negotiable commitment, should he be in a position to form a government. This is a huge win for the Mount Gambier region.
“Importantly, there was also unanimous support for our industries’ goal of doubling the economic value of the domestic timber manufacturing sector. And, most parties – including the Liberals, SA Best, the Australian Conservatives, Dignity for Disability, Independent Richard Sage and Labor – have committed to a range of policies that will help forest industries, including an industry advisory council reporting to the government, affordable and renewable energy policies and targeted infrastructure investment. The Greens have also committed to using their status as a crossbench party to delivering favourable forestry policies.
“Forest industries are responsible for more than 13,000 jobs across South Australia and a $2.8 billion annual injection into the state’s economy. There are opportunities to help (continued overleaf)
drive the industries and AFPA SA has helped lock in commitments and raise the awareness of the need for progress and policy improvement.
“AFPA SA looks forward to working with the state government in South Australia, post-election, to ensure legislators are connected with the needs of forest industries, particularly in the South-East,” Mr Hampton concluded.
Mr Hampton thanked all the candidates and parties that engaged with AFPA SA during the campaign, including responding to our key policy asks and participating in the Mount Gambier candidate debate on 22 February.