5 November, 2014
The varied nature of forestry in Australia is highlighted in the 2014 Australia's forests at a glance 2014 booklet, released today by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, welcomed the booklet and said it gave a detailed snapshot of Australia's forestry and forest products manufacturing sectors.
"Australia's 124.7 million hectares of forest covers about 16 per cent of the continent. This includes native forests and industrial plantations of various softwoods and hardwoods," he said.
Senator Colbeck is today travelling to Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, to meet with the Forestry and Forest Products Committee and tour the Western Australian goldfields woodlands which contain the highly valuable sandalwood.
"Sandalwood extends across the southern half of Western Australia, from beyond the border with South Australia and up to the Hamersley Ranges. The sandalwood industry is more than a century old with sandalwood extracts used in the production of incense, perfumes and soaps," he said.
"The timber is also highly valued by Indians for use in funeral pyres, which would have to be one of our more unusual export industries."
It is a great example of the diversity of Australia's forestry industry which makes a significant contribution to the Australian economy and regional communities, with more than 61,000 people employed in the industry in 2012-13."
The Coalition is committed to revitalising the forestry industry and creating a sustainable long-term future with benefits for the industry, community and environment.
To view Australia's Forests at a glance 2014 visit www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/publications