As we commemorate Australian Made Week from May 15 to 21, the CEO of the Australian Forest Products Association, Joel Fitzgibbon, underlines the need for domestic timber. “Australia needs one billion new timber trees planted to meet growing future demand for our products,” he says, highlighting the sector’s role in achieving the nation’s emission reduction targets.
Fitzgibbon points to an urgent need for policy action: “We also need better recognition of the potential our sector has to meet the nation’s emission reduction targets to achieve net zero by 2050.” A critical step is to remove ‘water rule’ barriers, enabling the industry to access carbon markets more freely.
The forest products sector makes a significant economic and employment contribution. Fitzgibbon proudly states, “We are proud at AFPA to represent a sector that focuses heavily on essential Australian-made and produced timber and wood fibre products.”
Beyond timber production, the sector supports a wide range of products. “From timber house frames to floorboards and furniture, right across to paper and packaging products that are vital to delivering other Australian-made items, our sector embodies the Australian-made way,” Fitzgibbon notes.
Ash Barty: Ambassador for Australian Made Week 2023
Australian Made Week proudly announces Ash Barty, former Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon champion, as their ambassador this year. Barty echoes Fitzgibbon’s sentiments, stating, “There are so many benefits to buying Australian made, including creating and supporting local jobs and boosting the economies of cities and towns where the goods are produced.”
Reminiscing her roots, Barty adds, “I grew up on some iconic Aussie brands, so I’m incredibly excited to have this opportunity to be part of the Australian Made campaign and spread the word about homegrown favourites and newcomers.”
Ben Lazzaro, the Australian Made chief executive, lauds Barty’s appointment: “Ash is the perfect ambassador to highlight the best this country has to offer. She is an inspiration and loved by Australians.”
Support from AKD Softwoods and Responsible Wood
AKD, owners of over 12,000 hectares of sustainably grown radiata pine plantations, is an approved license of the Australian Made Campaign (AMCL) and proudly displays the green and gold kangaroo across the business.
“At AKD, we’re proud to say that we are 100% Australian Owned and Made with our operations in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland, all producing locally sourced timber for Aussie homes,” according to a company statement.
Simon Dorries, Responsible Wood CEO, expresses, “The famous Sustainably Grown, Australian Made certification trademark is the true mark of Aussie authenticity, recognised widely and underpinned by a third-party accreditation system.”
Dorries further outlines the reach of their certification: “Responsible Wood certification is used right across the Australian forest products value chain and demonstrates to customers and buyers that timber and paper-based products are grown in sustainably managed forests and manufactured, retailed and sold through Australian businesses.”
As the celebration of Australian Made Week unfolds, let’s remember the significance of the domestic timber industry and the broader Australian manufacturing sector. Supporting Australian-made and grown products is an investment in our local economy and environment. After all, the ‘Australian-made way’ is all about sustainable production and consumption, and that’s a cause worth championing.