The Australian Parliament’s Agriculture and Water Resources Committee has published its report Aussie logs for Aussie jobs: inquiry into timber supply chain constraints in the Australian plantation sector.
The Committee’s inquiry considered challenges preventing growth in Australia’s timber industry and investigated potential solutions to current issues.
The Committee Chair, Mr Rick Wilson MP, noted the ongoing decline in the extent of the domestic plantation estate, and stated that ‘more needs to be done if the timber industry is to flourish into the future.’
‘From greater investment in forestry research and development capabilities, farm forestry, and the exciting new possibilities presented by carbon storage initiatives, the industry is ripe for innovation and growth. With the appropriate policy settings, the plantation industry may once again have the potential to expand, and indeed thrive.’ Mr Wilson said.
Mr Wilson also highlighted the importance of encouraging greater transparency in softwood pricing. The Committee recommended the Australian Government support stakeholders to develop a voluntary code of conduct for the timber industry to facilitate long-term supply contracts between producers and processors for the mutual benefit of both. Mr Wilson added ‘it is anticipated that such an arrangement would better support the growth of an efficient domestic processing sector, while reducing the risks associated with reliance on export markets for plantation owners.’
The Committee’s report can be found at the inquiry website.