Senate stands up for plantation forestry

The Coalition, the Australian Greens and key Senate crossbenchers have stood up for Australian plantation forestry, fixing laws that would have hampered investment in much needed new forestry plantings, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Diana Hallam said today.

The Treasury Laws Amendment Bill was amended in the Senate yesterday (Wednesday) to remove completely unintended negative consequences on plantation forestry in Australia.

“In a united front for common sense and good policy, the Coalition, Greens, Jacqui Lambie Network, and United Australia supported a Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Amendment to fix the unintended consequences of the Treasury Laws Amendment Bill on the plantation forestry sector,” Diana Hallam said.

“I thank Pauline Hanson’s One Nation for moving the amendment and standing up for the Australian forestry sector. I thank the Coalition, the Greens and key crossbenchers for their support and recognition that new forestry plantations are vitally important for Australian jobs and investment.

“Despite the Department of Treasury revealing that plantation forestry sector companies were not intended to be captured by the Bill, and being aware of the unintended negative consequences on the plantation forestry sector, the issues remained unresolved prior to the Bill’s introduction to Parliament, or after two Senate inquiries into the Bill.

“If the Bill had passed as drafted, it would have undermined prospects for jobs and investment, and the Government’s own plantation forestry expansion goals and international commitments to increase the use of timber in the built environment.

“Globally, there is not enough timber being grown to meet demand. Australia is facing a long-term shortage of home-grown timber for house-frames, flooring and paper and packaging products. We need more investment in new forestry plantations to ensure in the decades ahead, we have enough resource to create these essential and everyday items that Aussies need.

“Yesterday’s vote in the Senate was a win for Australia’s sovereign capability in timber and wood supply, a win for jobs in rural and regional areas, and a win for common sense,” Diana Hallam concluded.


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