A major call of the Australian Forest Products Association’s (AFPA’s) Growing Your Future Federal Election Campaign is for political parties to commit $13 million for 13 individual Regional Forest Industry Hubs (Hubs) around Australia, Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton said today.

“Following many years of policy research and advocacy and in consultation with industry stakeholders, AFPA has mapped out the 13 key forestry regions that should be formalised as Hubs,” Mr Hampton said.

“In February, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced nine of those Hubs, with funding only committed to four of them. AFPA is urging all political parties to fund the 13 Hubs to ensure an adequate future timber supply in Australia, with funding of $1 million each over four years. Without adequate funding for all 13 Hubs, industry will not be able to deliver on the Federal Government’s goal of one billion new plantation trees by 2030,” Mr Hampton concluded.

The $1 million over 4 years for each Hub will support a steering committee to analyse constraints that affect the productivity and efficiency of the forestry sector and help to unlock growth. This could include identifying opportunities for future investment in infrastructure and technology, mapping potential land availability for plantations, engaging with farmers to establish farm forestry plantings, meeting with private native forest owners and Indigenous communities and supporting business cases for investment in new infrastructure such as roads, bridges, ports and telecommunications.

The shading area of the Hub regions on this map are only a representation made by AFPA and not official. Hub boundaries are to be determined by each individual Hub. AFPA’s full ‘10 Actions for Growth’ and underpinning policy ‘asks’ can be found the campaign website: growingyourfuture.com.au here.