The upcoming Eden-Monaro by-election will be strongly influenced by which candidate delivers the strongest and most positive approach for the forestry and forest products sector, according to the
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Ross Hampton.
Mr Hampton said that, as one of the biggest industries in the marginal electorate, the by-election will put a spotlight on the significant challenges facing forest industries in regional NSW, and put pressure on the major parties to recognise the urgent need for additional federal support to help the industry get back on its feet.
“The Eden-Monaro electorate encompasses some of Australia’s major timber growing and processing areas. Our businesses have a strong future, but they’ve been battered by the Black Summer bushfires and now face a COVID-19 driven collapse of the housing construction market,” Mr Hampton said.
“Forest industries are spread right across the electorate, from the softwood plantations and sawmills in the Bombala and Tumut/Tumbarumba regions, to the native hardwood industries on the South Coast, including the Eden woodchip mill and Boral Timber’s sawmill in Narooma.
“Thousands of Eden-Monaro voters work directly in our industries, and tens of thousands more in jobs that rely on our industries, and they’ll be looking intently during this by-election campaign to see which candidate truly understands and empathises with their issues,” Mr Hampton concluded.