The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has deplored the Federal Government’s recent decision to cut support for the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Forestry when the industry was at a crossroads.
AFPA Chief Executive Officer David Pollard said the work of the CRC for Forestry was crucial given
the current debate around the future makeup of the industry and climate change. “The Australian forest industry has faced a challenging period as the debate over the future supply of wood from native forests and plantations is carried out,” he said.
“The CRC for Forestry is focused on areas essential to the future of the industry such as value-adding
to plantation resources, tree species genetic improvement and socio-economic studies. It is one of the only research facilities focused on improving efficiencies in timber transport and harvesting.
“These are all crucial areas for the ongoing efficiency and productivity of the industry. R&D is also important in maximising positive role the forest industry can play in mitigating climate change.
“The decision not to support the CRC is equivalent to losing 50 full-time positions and will affect
around 40 research partners, companies and universities. This represents a real threat to forest
research capacity. Once it is lost, it is very hard to recoup.
“While feedback from the CRC Committee is being sought, AFPA is extremely disappointed in the
government’s lack of support for the forest industry.”
Greg Haraldson, AFPA Communications Manager
Mob: 0419 428 646 Ph: (02) 6285 3833