Australian governments back ‘Transforming Australia’s forest products industry’ agenda
Tuesday 12 September was a red letter day for the relationship between Australia’s forestry industry and Australian governments. Federal, state and territory forestry ministers combined to release a joint statement of support and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gave an address to the third biennial Australian Forest Products Association gala dinner, backing the industry and its 120,000 workers.
Ministerial Forestry Statement
Following a meeting with my state and territory forestry minister colleagues I was proud to sign, on behalf of the Australian Government, an historic statement backing the Australian forestry industry and its workers.
The statement backed the Forest Industry Advisory Council’s report, ‘Transforming Australia’s forest products industry’ and the future it envisions.
“We, the Commonwealth, state and territory forestry ministers, strongly support Australia’s forestry industries. We believe that they have an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and prosperous future.
We collectively endorse the objectives of the Forest Industry Advisory Council’s report, ‘Transforming Australia’s forest products industry’. We strongly support its vision that the forestry industries will lead the transition to a bio-economy of which Australians can be proud and the objectives of:
• having the right trees in the right place at the right scale
• producing bio-products using all parts of the tree to a cellular level
• being environmentally friendly, socially responsible and valued by the community. We value the industries’ significant contribution to Australia’s wellbeing. The forestry industries provide jobs in regional economies across Australia. It is an innovative sector, providing new products and ongoing employment in regional Australia, today and into the future.
We recognise that the industries source wood from sustainably managed forests.
We support the sustainable management of Australia’s native forests, and through this, providing timber resources for industry while protecting high value native forests.
We recognise that the forestry industries strive to balance their resource use with the maintenance of environmental and societal values.
We believe that Australia’s forestry industries have an important role to play in transitioning to a lower carbon economy. Sustainable forest management and the use of emerging forest products and technologies will play an important role in delivering this future for all Australians.
We support collaboration and cooperation among all governments and industry to achieve shared outcomes.
We commit to working together to ensure the ongoing future of Australia’s forestry industries.”
The statement reaffirmed our strong support for the sector, and our ongoing commitment to work together to achieve certainty into the future for the industry.
Prime Minister’s address to 2017 gala industry dinner
The Great Hall at Parliament House hosted the third biennial Australian Forest Products Association gala industry dinner. Prime Minister Turnbull expressed the Government’s strong support for industry plans to increase exports.
“… in many respects its greatest resource is you and it’s wonderful that you’re so committed, you’re so inspired, you’re so determined to do more. The ambitions you’ve described of exporting more is so important.
“We should be a forest industry international powerhouse. We have the trees, we have the great industry, we have the science …”
In committing to help the industry the Prime Minister stated:
“… tonight I am very pleased to announce that Anne Ruston to help us develop a new government plan that will underpin growth in the renewable timber and wood fibre industry”..
“Anne’s work and our new government plan will give you the vision and certainty you need. We’re committed to developing this industry as a growth engine for regional Australia”.
I am deeply honoured to have been asked by the Prime Minister to lead the government’s efforts to develop a new plan and strategy for the forestry sector in Australia.
The Forest Industry Advisory Council’s report ‘Transforming Australia’s forest products industry’ outlined a strategy ‘to triple the economic value of the forest industry by 2050’. Our new government plan will be developed with the goal of assisting the Australian forestry industry reach its potential over the coming decades.
With the support of Australia’s federal and state and territory forestry ministers, the development of this new plan, and the innovations and changes that the forestry industry are already undertaking we can work collectively to achieve this important goal of tripling the value of the industry over the next 30 years.
As the Assistant Minister with responsibility for forestry, I will continue to collaborate with anyone who shares the ideals of supporting Australia’s forestry industry and their significant contributions to Australia and our regional communities.
This is an exciting time for forestry. Its industries will play an important role in delivering an innovative and prosperous future for all Australians.