Aus­tralia gets jump on NZ with na­tional forestry plan

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Talk -

AUS­TRALIA IS ECLIPS­ING NEW ZEALAND in de­vel­op­ing a Na­tional For­est In­dus­tries Plan with back­ing from its govern­ment.

On this side of the ditch, calls for the govern­ment to come up with a sim­i­lar longterm plan to help our in­dus­try grow have fallen on deaf ears, so New Zealand foresters are putting one to­gether them­selves. But, without govern­ment in­put, it won’t carry the same weight or pro­duce the same re­sults.

Mean­while we look across the Tas­man with envy at the strate­gic plan just an­nounced by Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colom Turn­bull to help in­ject longer term cer­tainty and sus­tain­abil­ity to boost their $23 bil­lion for­est in­dus­try’s eco­nomic out­put – es­pe­cially in the re­gions.

Un­veil­ing the plan at the re­cent Aus­tralian For­est Prod­ucts As­so­ci­a­tion din­ner in Can­berra, Mr Turn­bull an­nounced the Na­tional For­est In­dus­tries Plan would be pur­sued by his govern­ment to en­sure the forestry in­dus­try is a “growth en­gine” for re­gional Aus­tralia.

“Now we un­der­stand that you have long lead times, you need long term cer­tainty and so it’s vi­tal that gov­ern­ments get the pol­icy set­tings right,” Mr Turn­bull told the as­so­ci­a­tion.

“I’m very pleased to an­nounce that (As­sis­tant Agri­cul­ture and Wa­ter Re­sources Min­is­ter) Anne Rus­ton will help us de­velop a new govern­ment plan that will un­der­pin growth in the re­new­able tim­ber and wood­fi­bre 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.”

Sen­a­tor Rus­ton says: “The mod­ern face of for­est prod­ucts is en­gi­neers and chemists – just ask the guys at Visy and Aus­tralian Pa­per.

“Ev­ery­one is re­al­is­ing just how great forestry is and the huge role it can and should play in Aus­tralia’s fu­ture.

“Prob­a­bly the great­est chal­lenge fac­ing our in­dus­try is in­vest­ment in new plan­ta­tions.”

Mr Turn­bull says the For­est In­dus­try Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil’s vi­sion out­lined in its re­cent re­port into how to trans­form the forestry in­dus­try was “sim­ple yet pro­found – ex­pand into the bio-econ­omy to triple your value by 2050”.

“Or put an­other way, ‘the right trees in the right place at the right scale’,” he says.

“Not only do we have a lot of trees – but we have an ex­tra­or­di­nary di­ver­sity of trees. I think there is a lot more that can be done in terms of plan­ta­tions.

“So many more species, Aus­tralian species I’m talk­ing about as well, that can be planted in plan­ta­tions.”

Mr Turn­bull says Aus­tralia should be “a for­est in­dus­try in­ter­na­tional pow­er­house”.

With the Aus­tralian for­est in­dus­try di­rectly pro­vid­ing tens of thou­sands of jobs har­vest­ing from 2 mil­lion hectares of plan­ta­tion forests and 125 mil­lion hectares of na­tive forests, Sen­a­tor Rus­ton says the govern­ment is com­mit­ted to fur­ther col­lab­o­ra­tion to achieve cer­tainty into the fu­ture.

Wel­com­ing the an­nounce­ment, AFPA Chair­man Greg McCor­mack says the guid­ing pol­icy doc­u­ments used by govern­ment to frame re­sponses to the in­dus­try were both de­liv­ered last cen­tury – the 1992 Na­tional For­est Pol­icy State­ment and the 1997 Plan­ta­tions Vi­sion 2020 plan.

But he adds: “Our in­dus­tries have changed dra­mat­i­cally since then and I am de­lighted the Prime Min­is­ter has recog­nised that it is vi­tal that govern­ment and de­part­ments also up­date their ap­proach.

“The new govern­ment Na­tional For­est In­dus­tries Plan will, we trust, out­line ac­tions to sup­port the in­dus­try to es­tab­lish new plan­ta­tions, in­crease in­vest­ment and grasp op­por­tu­ni­ties in the emerg­ing bio-econ­omy to turbo-charge re­gional job cre­ation and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.”

NZL

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