The Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI) has welcomed the federal budget commitments to support the forestry industry Australia wide. Source: Timberbiz
These measures include strengthening the approach to illegally sourced timber entering Australia, the matched contributions to Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA), and the policy to allow immediate tax deductions for small businesses for each item purchased up to $20,000.
Despite these broader budget measures, there were no strong commitments nor direct investment in the future of the forest and wood products industry from either the Federal or State Government.
According to VAFI CEO Tim Johnston what the industry needs from Government, both State and Federal, is clarity of decisions around the future of the forest and wood products industry in this country.
He said that forward estimates and four-year time horizons do not do sufficient justice to the investment, employment provided, and level of patience required to succeed and prosper in this industry.
This is especially so in terms of resource security. At the moment, current and future resource supply is not available to the level needed to encourage an adequate level of investment capital in a large number of new operations and new employment opportunities.
Mr Johnstone said that security of resource is paramount for a successful forest and wood products industry in the future and Government must recognise that this security is required if the industry is to invest in new innovations and value-adding processes.
Ultimately the VAFI would like to see investment from Government in the future of the industry, so that the 21,000 direct employees in Victoria alone can be assured of a strong, sustainable future for the industry.