“Australia’s forest industries congratulate the Morrison Government on its re-election. The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) will seek to work proactively and constructively with the new government to better our industries nationally”, AFPA Chair, Mr Greg McCormack said today.

“During the Federal Election campaign, the Coalition made a range of promises directed at the forestry industry, and even more directed at the wider agriculture sector that will provide benefits for forest industries,” Mr McCormack said.

“AFPA will begin work immediately with the new government to see the delivery of the Government’s commitments including the $500 million Plantation Development Concessional Loans Scheme, commitment to fund five initial Regional Forest Industry Hubs (with four to follow next year), the development of announced farm forestry and indigenous forestry strategies, progression of the National Forest Industries Plan, the rollout of at least two more National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI) nodes in WA and NSW (pending State Government agreements) and laws to prevent trespass into agricultural and forestry workplaces.

“The Coalition has also made welcome commitments to no more lockups of native forests currently available for sustainable harvest and regeneration and the delivery of rolling 20-year Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs).

“It was revealed by the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) just weeks ago that Australia’s plantation estate area continues to go backwards, losing 12,400 hectares in the last year. AFPA will work with the Government to reverse this trend, which is also contributing to Australia’s $2 billion trade deficit in wood products,” Mr McCormack concluded.