Today, 1 August, is National Forestry Planting Day, and a time to celebrate Australia’s most sustainable and renewable industries, our forest industries, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Mr Ross Hampton said today.

“Each season, winter in southern Australia and summer in northern Australia, around 70 million new and renewable trees are planted to support our sustainable forest industries. These are trees that, as they grow, will absorb carbon from the atmosphere before they are harvested to create a range of sustainable and renewable fibre products, which continue to store carbon,” Mr Hampton said.

“We should celebrate the fact that our forest industries, which support both regional and metropolitan communities, and provide income for tens of thousands of families nationally, also make an enormous positive environmental contribution.

“Every year, enough tree seedlings are planted to cover an area equivalent to 136,000 football fields. This is an enormous annual task for forest industries, and they should be congratulated for the effort.

“Forest industries contribute about $24 billion to the economy each year and provide tens of thousands of jobs across the value chain.

“The tree planting season ensures Australia has a continual, renewable biological resource that contributes to long-term carbon emissions abatement. In fact, Australia’s current plantation estate stores an estimated 258 million tonnes of carbon.

“National Forestry Planting Day builds on the great work of National Tree Day, spearheaded by Planet Ark, and is a reason to stop and think about how thriving forest industries make a positive environmental contribution, and I encourage everyone to express their support,” Mr Hampton concluded.