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Ed Husic replaces Joel Fitzgibbon as Shadow Ag Minister

Ed Husic

The Australian Forest Products Association has congratulated Ed Husic on his appointment as Australia’s Shadow Agriculture Minister following the resignation this week of Joel Fitzgibbon. Source: Timberbiz

AFPA CEO Ross Hampton said the AFPA looked forward to working with Mr Husic and briefing him on the opportunities and challenges facing Australia’s forest products industries and the 180,000 workers across supports across its full value chain.

“AFPA and our members have a positive working relationship with the Federal Labor Party and many of its MPs and Senators who represent key forest industry regions across the country, and we look forward to Mr Husic continuing Joel Fitzgibbon’s good work in this role,” Mr Hampton said.

“I hope to meet with Mr Husic soon to brief him on our work positioning Australia as a global leader in innovative and sustainable solutions from our renewable, sustainably managed, plantations and native hardwood resources, and the challenges we face ahead and also during 2020 with the forest products industry working to ensure the supply of essential goods for essential services right through the worst of the pandemic.

“Like many industries, 2020 has been a challenging year for forestry, with immediate and long-term challenges facing our sector as a result of the Black Summer bushfires, the impact of COVID-19 on the housing market and other commodities, as well as the current trade tensions with China.”

“I am confident that Mr Husic will build on the Federal Labor Party’s pro-forestry platform that has led to bipartisanship on key issues ranging from the Regional Forest Agreements, to allowing plantations to participate in the carbon market.”

Mr Hampton paid tribute to Mr Fitzgibbon for his support for forest industries during his time as shadow agriculture spokesman.

“I would also like to acknowledge Mr Fitzgibbon’s contribution to forestry, agriculture and rural issues during his seven years in the agriculture portfolio, and I’m sure he will continue to be a passionate advocate for them and the communities which rely on them,” Mr Hampton said.

Mr Hampton said that under Mr Fitzgibbon’s leadership the Federal Labor Party had shown strong support for Australia’s forest industries.

“Mr Fitzgibbon has been a tremendous supporter of our sustainably managed forest industries and under his leadership the Federal Labor Party has recognised the importance and potential of the sector,” Mr Hampton said.

“Especially the native forest sector and those working in it. Something which, unfortunately, other parts of the Labor Party have at times under-valued.”

Mr Hampton said he expected that while Mr Fitzgibbon was moving to the opposition backbench, he would continue to be a passionate advocate for regional jobs and communities, and for the forest industries.