The latest data confirms that Australia needs to plant more trees to meet growing demand for renewable fibre-based products, both in Australia and overseas, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Mr Ross Hampton said today.

There is strong domestic demand for wood products with a 4.4 per cent increase in house commencements compared to the previous year. Growth in domestic log harvest volumes has stabilised after four years of growth, but the volume of softwood sawn timber imports has increased by 32 per cent on the previous year.

“It’s great news that demand for wood products is increasing, but unfortunately we can’t keep up with demand, and imports are filling the gap,” Mr Hampton said.

“Earlier in 2018, the federal government committed to planting one billion new production trees, an announcement which has been applauded by forest industries across the nation. It’s imperative that the government now announces the policies that will kickstart a new era of plantings, as part of its commitment through the National Forest Industries Plan.

“The government has explained today that demand for timber products will quadruple by 2050. We need action that will establish new trees as soon as possible so Australia can take advantage of the ongoing renewables boom and deliver jobs and growth to regional communities,” Mr Hampton concluded.