The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed the outcome of the NSW Government’s Bushfire Industry Recovery Package program and thanked the Government for recognising the importance of the state’s forest industries with financial support to help rebuild after the Black Summer Bushfires.

Several forest industry businesses that collectively support tens of thousands of jobs across the state have received grants to support co-investment in innovation and optimising production, in recognition that the forest industries sector was the most impacted by the fires and processors will need to make substantial capital investments to secure their long-term future.

The Chief Executive of AFPA Ross Hampton said the grants will be a massive help to those businesses which are looking at a long-term impact from the bushfires.

“The NSW Government has shown it clearly recognises the contribution the forest products industries make to their local communities and also to the state’s economy,” Mr Hampton said.

“That includes the softwood plantation-based industry around the South West Slopes of NSW which is the biggest employer in this region, supporting nearly $2 billion of economic activity in the region and employs around 5000 people, and which lost about 40 per cent of region’s softwood estate in the fires.”

“The grants will also support native hardwood processors on the North and South Coast who also face enormous long-term resource constraints as a result of the loss of millions of hectares of the state’s native forest estate.”

Mr Hampton thanked Deputy Premier John Barilaro for his invaluable support for forest industries after the fires, meeting several times with AFPA and affected businesses and continuing to work with industry to work through the long-term challenges the sector still faces.

“There is still a lot of work to be done to secure the long-term future of the hardest hit parts of the industry, which still face significant uncertainty over long-term resource supply. We will continue to work with the NSW and Federal Governments to address these challenges and protect the thousands of jobs that are at stake,” Mr Hampton concluded.

You can find the original media release here: Media Release – Forest industries welcome NSW Government bushfire recovery support