The Australian Opposition Leader has pledged the Liberal Party’s long-term support for the country’s sustainable forest industries.
Peter Dutton made the strong commitment during a keynote address to more than 100 industry stakeholders at the Australian Forest Product Association members’ dinner last night.
Parliamentary Friends of Forestry co-convenors Senator Jonno Duniam and Senator Raff Ciccone also attended, underpinning the Australian forest products sector’s vital role in driving the national economy.
The dinner coincided with the launch of the $1.8m Forest Wood Products Australia “The Ultimate Renewable Campaign,” a point not lost on Mr Dutton.
“The resources you manage are the ultimate renewable, and the products you produce are relied upon every day.”
Mr Dutton also reaffirmed the Liberal-National Party Coalition’s commitment to working with the sector to reach its full potential.
Strong national support for sustainable forest harvesting
Yesterday, in two separate polls, Wood Central reported that NSW and WA residents supported the continuation of forest harvesting to support local industries.
In WA, 72% of more than 1100 residents surveyed supported the continuation of local regrowth forests to provide wood for furniture, flooring, decking, heritage and firewood uses.
Whilst in NSW, 69% of more than 2200 residents polled across the state recognised the importance of native forestry in driving the NSW economy.
Crucially, after removing ‘unsure’ respondents, 86% of NSW residents believed that native forestry was legitimate, 68% thought it was ethical, and 67% trusted the NSW native timber industry.
The research found that the cost of living (70%), cost of housing (59%), interest rates (53%) and climate change (47%) are the four major social issues of our time – with sustainable forest management playing an essential role in meeting all four.
The dinner was also the first members’ dinner since former Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon took over from Diana Gibbs as Australian Forest Products Association Chair.
Mr Fitzgibbon has been serving as interim CEO since January, with former Deputy CEO Natasa Silkman stepping up as acting CEO as the Board carries out a “robust and independent recruitment process” for the position.