MEDIA RELEASE

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) congratulates the West Australian Government and the Forest Products Commission (FPC) on today’s launch of the Softwood Industry Strategy, which includes a $21 million investment in new plantation establishment over the next five years.

The Softwood Industry Strategy has identified six key steps to provide a foundation for the forest industry’s future: new plantings will be closely connected to the value chain; value will be added through industry-wide certification; assets will be better protected from bushfires; downstream integrated value and innovation will be pursued; and the community benefits of forestry operations will be better promoted.

Chief Executive Officer of AFPA Mr Ross Hampton was present at the launch at Wespine Industries near Bunbury.

Mr Hampton said, “This strategy demonstrates the State Government’s commitment to forestry as an important and sustainable industry in the state’s future,”

“This is a step in the right direction given the growing demand for renewable and recyclable materials. Much of the strategy is in line with the recommendations in the final report by the Forest Industry Advisory Council, delivered to the Federal Government in May,”

“We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with the FPC and the West Australian Government. With supportive policies, our renewable forest products industry can continue to deliver lower carbon emissions, while also providing much needed investment and regional jobs in forestry, wood and paper product manufacturing,” said Mr Hampton.

The announced funding will double the annual investment in establishing forest plantations and will see an additional 2.7 million new seedlings planted annually for five years, adding an extra 10,000 ha to the existing plantation estate.