29 September 2021

The Morrison Government has welcomed a unified approach from state and territory forestry ministers to work together to grow the forest estate and secure the future of the Australian forestry industry.

Speaking after a meeting of ministers, Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the Morrison Government believed that collaboration with jurisdictions and industry was key to growing the forestry industry going forward.

“I was pleased to bring together forestry ministers today from across the country and hear directly from industry representatives about the opportunities and challenges for the industry going forward,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“Over the last three years the forestry industry has demonstrated its resilience, continuing to kick goals despite the Black Summer bushfires and interruptions to international trade.

“The Morrison Government has been able to provide support to industry in response to these challenges, including the loss of over 130,000 hectares of plantation forests during the bushfires.

“Today’s discussion was about looking to the future and forming partnerships to work together to grow our forest industry.

“Jurisdictions indicated a strong willingness to work together across a number of areas, including investigating opportunities to incentivise the planting of trees and grow the plantation estate, with a number of actions already underway.

“As the managers of productive forests, it is crucial that states and territories and industry are front of mind in future policy decisions.

“Discussions acknowledged the issues faced by industry in meeting establishment costs and the role that forestry could play in carbon abatement efforts, amongst other issues.

“I was also pleased to give an update on the implementation of the $15.1 million Construction Softwood Transport Assistance program announced on 21 September, which will support the transportation of softwood salvaged from the 2019‑20 bushfires to processing mills with spare capacity.”