The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s appointment of Member for Wannon Dan Tehan to the Trade, Tourism and Investment portfolio.
Chief Executive Officer of AFPA Ross Hampton said, “Minister Tehan is the right person to place into this role at a crucial time.”
“Minister Tehan’s electorate includes the key forest industries region of Colac and the Port of Portland, which is acutely impacted by China’s suspension of Australian log imports.”
“Minister Tehan has a very good understanding of forest industries already and recognises the growing challenge confronting forest industries regarding log trade with our largest commercial partner, China.”
“Whilst local processors can utilise a portion of the logs which were being exported to China, it will be vital that we rapidly pivot to much greater domestic processing. This may mean support to quickly see panels plants, bioenergy or pulp mills to create plastic replacements.”
“With an annual trade deficit of $2 billion in forest products, having a Trade Minister who understands the importance of our domestic timber and paper processing industries is vital to ensure our manufacturers are not disadvantaged in international trade agreements and that we get the trade balance right,” Mr Hampton concluded.
You can read the original media release here: Media Release – DAN TEHAN A GOOD FIT FOR TRADE PORTFOLIO