SA Parties and candidates are being urged to commit to a 10-point plan that will double the economic value of timber manufacturing in SA, drive innovation and create thousands more regional jobs in our Forest Industries in the State’s South East.

The broad membership of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) SA Branch, which covers the full value chain and 90 per cent of Forest Industries businesses operating in the South East, have delivered their blueprint for candidates in the lead up to the South Australian Election on March 17.

The plan will be launched in the forestry industry hub of Mount Gambier today by AFPA national CEO, Mr Ross Hampton.

“The Building Blocks for Growth is a plan to turbo charge South Australia’s Forest Industries, which are so important for regional economies and jobs across the state but particularly in the electorates of Mount Gambier, Mawson and MacKillop,” Mr Hampton said.

“Forest Industries contribute $2.8 billion annually to the SA economy and employ more than 13,000 South Australians. These are big numbers, but they should be bigger.  Forest industries are largely taken for granted.  Given the right political and policy attention however we are convinced that our industries can become a much-needed job generation engine for the state.

“That’s why the key ask in this $77 million, 10-point plan, is that candidates and Parties commit to measures that will double the economic value of timber manufacturing in SA and commit to a domestic manufacturing first policy,” Mr Hampton said.

The largest part of the funding request is for roads, bridges, power upgrades and support for councils for streamling heavy vehicle movements.

“The South East is a special region with special transport needs. It is high time the policy makers in Adelaide dedicated real attention and allocated specific support to the area based on its ability to grow income for the state,” Mr Hampton concluded.

ENDS

Note to editors:

Mr Hampton will be launching the Building Blocks to Growth at One-Forty-One Wood Products Mill, 1760 Jubilee Hwy, Mount Gambier at 10:30am. In attendance will be candidates and forest industry business leaders. The Building Blocks for Growth document is available here.