Working with industry to advance the forestry sector

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, today chairs the 6th Forest Industry Advisory Council (FIAC) meeting to discuss issues affecting the sector.

Minister Ruston said a range of issues would be discussed at the meeting, including the development of a discussion paper on a National Wood and Fibre Plan.

"This forum is continuing to advance the industry, and today we will come together to discuss the future of the sector, and the challenges and opportunities before us," Minister Ruston said.

"Engaging the broader sector in planning for the future is a key consideration for the government, and indeed that is the thinking behind establishing FIAC—to be able to have informed industry input into our policies and programmes.

"FIAC is a key mechanism in working closely with the industry—for instance, FIAC's Strategic Directions issues paper calling for ideas and submissions received more than 70 submissions generating plenty of food for thought.

"We will continue to work with the people our policies affect in planning for a sustainable forest future."

Minister Ruston, who will also speak tonight at an industry dinner to celebrate the Gottstein Forest Science Course, said the industry had a great story to tell.

"Australia's forest and wood product sector is a great contributor to our nation, both in terms of the jobs and wealth created, but also for its principles of sustainability," Minister Ruston said.

"The greatest environmental and economic benefit for Australia comes from managing our forests sustainably, and this is an industry underpinned by sustainable practices.

"The government is equally committed to sustainable management of these resources, and are putting in a range of measures to that end.

"The Australian Government is working toward establishing rolling 20-year RFA to provide security and stability, and we continue to work to combat illegal logging globally, and here at home.

"Groups like FIAC and courses like the Gottstein Forest Science Course help to spread these principles and skills throughout the industry."​

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