Celebrating the UN International Day of Forests today, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, acknowledged the vital role forests play in sustaining communities, economies and the environment in Australia and around the world.
Speaking ahead of the Australian Forestry Standard Industry function in Melbourne, Minister Ruston said the World Forestry Day was the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the importance of our forests and sustainable forest management.
“About 1.6 billion people around the world rely on forests for their livelihoods—and the Coalition Government certainly recognises the significance of forestry industries to many regional communities across Australia,” Minister Ruston said.
“Forestry makes such a significant contribution to our economy—and arguably the greatest economic, social and environmental benefit comes from ensuring that we are managing our forests sustainably.
“That is why we are putting in place sensible policies and measures to support a strong forestry industry. I’m proud that we’re maintaining our long-term support for Regional Forest Agreements, implementing bushfire mitigation measures, and combating illegal logging.
“The Coalition Government has a key focus on fostering innovation across a multitude of different industries, including forestry. There is huge support for coordinated research and development through Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA), as indicated by our new $4.6 million in new funding to assist with eligible research development.
“We are committed to continuing our philosophy of informed and consultative decision-making, and through the Forest Industry Advisory Council we are making sure that the forestry and wood processing industries are engaged in the policy-making process.
“Like any industry, there are challenges, but I am bullish about the future—knowing what an innovative industry we have here in Australia.
“This Coalition Government is committed to working with industry, and putting the right policies in place to support continued growth on a sustainable footing."