Coalition policy to return security to forestry industry

26 May, 2014

Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, said it is disappointing that the volume and value of logs harvested in Australia is at the lowest point in 10 years following a decrease in harvesting from native forests.

The latest forestry figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) show a decrease of 2.2 per cent in the volume of logs harvested in 2012-13.

"Many regional communities around Australia have a long and proud history with the forestry industry. The industry provides an important source of employment and makes a valuable contribution to our economy," he said.

"The gross value of logs harvested fell around 6.9 per cent to $1.5 billion in 2012-13. This will ultimately impact the people and families who rely on the forest industry for their livelihoods."

Senator Colbeck said the decline in value should send warning bells that reducing the amount of native forest available for harvesting will have detrimental impacts.

"As the Prime Minister previously said, Australia needs to be an economy not just a national park," he said.

"We know the Greens have an agenda of destroying the native forest industry in Tasmania. That is why they locked up previously harvested coupes inside the extended Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area as part of a sham process."

Senator Colbeck said forestry was a sustainable industry and Australia's forest management practices were among the best in the world.

He said Australia could have a native forest industry that provided benefits for the community, the environment and the industry.

Today's figures were released in the Australian forest and wood products statistics, September and December quarters 2013 report which is available on the ABARES website:

260514 Coalition policy to return security to forestry industry
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