Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, has a strong message for the forestry industry when she addresses the Australian Forest Product Association dinner tomorrow night.
"There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in the forestry and wood products industry, and the Turnbull Coalition Government will continue to remain in step with industry on policy development," Minister Ruston said.
"This is an industry that has demonstrated its willingness to innovate to meet the challenges of the future—and as purveyors of a truly renewable and recyclable product the industry can look forward to an increasingly important role in providing the materials of the future.
"The Forest Industry Advisory Council will deliver a strong discussion paper that will position our forest and wood products industries to take full advantage of future opportunities.
"The council has welcomed the strong level of industry engagement in preparing this paper, and is now carefully considering the nearly 80 submissions it has received – and is committed to delivering a paper that represents the view of the collective industry.
"The Turnbull Coalition Government stands with our forestry industry in committing to a profitable and sustainable future."
"The Coalition Government is maintaining resource security and investment confidence for the forestry industry by establishing 20 year rolling lives for each of the Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs).
"We've invested $15 million over three years to implement the National Bushfire Mitigation Programme—and I want to acknowledge the contribution the AFPA has made in supporting the mechanical fuel reduction work.
"And we remain completely committed to combating the illegal logging trade while working to minimise unreasonable and unnecessary costs on business.
"We've committed an additional $4.6 million, to be matched by industry voluntary contributions, over four years for research and development—this on top of the $3.3 million in matched funding for forestry research and development we invested in 2014-15.
"The Coalition Government has runs on the board in working with the forestry industry to secure a strong future, and we will continue to do so," Minister Ruston said.