The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has congratulated the federal Labor Party for reintroducing ‘fisheries’ and ‘forestry’ to the Shadow Agriculture portfolio title in the just-announced Shadow Ministry reshuffle.
Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton said, “Forestry and forest products industries are proudly part of our national primary industries family. They are, however, on their own a significant part of the national economy – especially in our rural and regional communities. The forest, wood and paper products industry adds over $21 billion to the economy and directly employs, through the full value chain, some 120,000 people.”
“It was a retrograde step by the current Government to remove ‘forestry’ from the Department of Agriculture’s formal title and it is therefore a very welcome announcement from the Hon Bill Shorten that the ALP has effectively reversed that decision in the naming of Shadow Ministry titles and portfolio responsibilities”.
“The Hon Joel Fitzgibbon is now the ‘Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’.”
“It can be presumed that the ALP will also therefore re-instate the full Department title of ‘Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’ should it win government in 2016.
“AFPA encourages the Turnbull Government to also rethink its current stance and re-instate the Department’s full name as soon as possible,” said Mr Hampton.