The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) and Timber NSW have welcomed today’s announcement from the Commonwealth and NSW governments to extend the State’s Regional Forest Agreements for an additional 20 years, Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton and General Manager of Timber NSW, Ms Maree McCaskill said today.

“Forest and timber industry stakeholders in NSW have been waiting a long time for this extension. It’s important that forestry and timber businesses are given certainty to plan for the future,” Ms McCaskill said.

“The extension is also a vote of confidence from both governments of the importance of forest and timber industries across the state, but particularly in NSW’s rural coastal regions,” Ms McCaskill concluded.

“This decision is a strong endorsement of timber as the ultimate renewable,” Mr Hampton said.

“Under NSW law, replanting and regeneration occurs whenever and wherever trees are harvested under RFAs. This means that actually more trees have been planted than have been harvested since the original agreements came into being. The trees replanted at the beginning of the last RFA period are well on their way to harvesting age when they too will be replaced by more planting and the cycle can continue indefinitely.

“In NSW, our industries provide jobs for more than 22,000 people and underpin numerous regional economies. Today’s RFA extension in NSW will give certainty for those who work with timber products in country towns and in the outer urban centres where the downstream processing takes place.

“Those people can now be assured that whilst forestry will continue to operate to the highest environmental standards in the world, the Morrison and Berejiklian Governments have also decided to provide them certainty that their children will have jobs,” Mr Hampton concluded.