As the ALP and Coalition have each announced their forest policies this election campaign, Australia’s peak forest industry body has welcomed the support shown by both major parties.
CEO of the National Association of Forest Industries (NAFI), Allan Hansard, said the major parties recognise the important contribution made by the forest industry to the economy and regional communities.
“NAFI is pleased that both parties have accepted many of the principles laid out in our recently released Forest Industries Growth Plan,” said Mr Hansard.
“We note and welcome the leadership shown by the Coalition in announcing a $20 million package to assist Tasmanian forest contractors requiring urgent assistance. This has been a key issue for NAFI over the election period, and we are pleased that calls by the contractors have been heard and acted upon. We also welcome the ALP’s decision to match this funding,” he said.
“The ALP and Coalition have outlined their support for the renewal of Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) which underpin a stable and certain future for the native forest industry in Australia.
“Both major parties recognise the need for resource security to underpin investment in the forest industries. This process will require a significant amount of resources to underpin the necessary assessments.
“We also welcome bipartisan support for the Managed Investment Schemes (MIS) forestry arrangements. However, we would like to see more policy detail on how each side intends to create an effective investment mechanism for developing long rotation sawlog plantations to complement investment from MIS and to help address the future shortfall in availability of sawn timber.
“We welcome the bipartisan support to legislate against illegal log imports and the restoration of the Greenhouse Friendly Scheme which is essential for Australia to continue to reduce emissions and build carbon stores for the future.
“We also welcome the Coalition’s clear support of wood biomass for renewable energy and bushfire mitigation. We would like to see this support matched by the ALP.”