Saturday’s Braddon by-election has delivered strong support across the political spectrum for growing North-West Tasmania’s vital forest industries, with candidate responses to the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) showing Labor’s Justine Keay offering the best plan to grow plantation forest industries, while the Liberal Party’s Brett Whiteley offered the greatest certainty for native forest industries, promising “no more lock-ups”.
AFPA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ross Hampton, said the near-unanimous support from candidates for growing renewable forest industries showed how important the sector is to the region’s economy, which supports more than 2400 jobs in the electorate of Braddon. An AFPA-commissioned ReachTEL poll last week showed 7 in 10 voters in Braddon favouring candidates with policies that support forest industries.
“Importantly, we have seen the major party candidates recognise the vital role that our renewable forest industries play in their electorate, and their responses have demonstrated bipartisan support for policies that will help our sector grow,” Mr Hampton said. Responses showed support across all six of AFPA’s policy priorities, including:
- Ensuring forestry can compete in the carbon market to support new plantations;
- Certainty for our native forestry industry through the 20-year Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement; and ruling out a Tarkine National Park.
- Recognising wood biomass as a source of renewable energy; and innovation.
AFPA today published a scorecard based on candidate responses to AFPA’s survey on our six-point plan to turbo-charge forest industries in North-West Tasmania. Responses were received from most candidates contesting the by-election and were assessed against AFPA’s six key policy priorities.