The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomes and congratulates new Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, The Hon Richard Colbeck who assumes Federal Government responsibility for forest industries. Senator Colbeck takes over from The Hon Anne Ruston, who takes up a new role as Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton said today.

 “This latest ministerial reshuffle means a changing of the guard for Federal Government forestry responsibility, very close to the delivery of the National Forest Industries Plan. I sincerely thank Assistant Minister Ruston for her enthusiasm for our industries demonstrated over the past three years and wish her well in her new role,” Mr Hampton said.

“I welcome back Assistant Minister Colbeck who has previously served as a Parliamentary Secretary and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for forestry and who initiated the development of the Government’s National Plan.

“Senator Colbeck is well acquainted with the challenges faced by our industries and the need to provide the policy settings to allow our industries, which employ some 120,000 people across the full value chain, to thrive into the future.

“I will meet with our new Minister as soon as practical to ensure the smooth delivery of the National Plan,” Mr Hampton concluded.

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