With the commencement of the Federal Election campaign today, the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) is poised to launch its own campaign titled ‘Growing Your Future’, to ensure that forest industries across Australia are firmly on the radar of political parties and candidates.

Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton said, “This will be a tight election and the major Parties will be fighting hard for every vote in marginal seats. Many of those seats are in regional Australia where forest industries provide a significant proportion of the employment and are the life-blood of communities. AFPA is determined that our voice will be heard in the coming five weeks and will be focusing on marginal seats with strong forest industries.”

Key seats where AFPA will have a strong presence include Braddon (Tas), Bass (Tas), Lyons (Tas), Eden-Monaro (NSW), Longman (Qld), Gippsland (Vic) and several others.

“Our campaign is underpinned by key election policy requests which will be put to political parties, along with a sophisticated campaign utilising traditional messaging such as billboards and newspaper advertising as well as cutting-edge approaches such as the ‘Viewa’ App which will enable voters to hover a phone over our document and watch a video message.

“We will be producing and hosting the national debate for forest industries in Launceston. Assistant Minister with responsibility for forestry, Senator Richard Colbeck and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Joel Fitzgibbon have been invited to participate.

“Forest industries have a very clear and united view of the opportunities to drive growth in our industries, especially in the regions. Our ten-point plan offers the promise of 20,000 more jobs in Australia’s ‘ultimate renewable’ industry. Key in those policy requests are; no more lock-ups of native forestry, removing barriers to the establishment of new plantations, renewing investment in research and development and kickstarting the bio-economy,” Mr Hampton concluded.

Further information, including AFPA’s policy requests document, will be available on the campaign website: www.growingyourfuture.com.au from next week.