Revitalising the forestry industry

11 November, 2014

Employment in the forestry sector has risen by almost 10,000 jobs since the Coalition won office last year - a sign that the industry is starting to recover after years of mismanagement.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, today welcomed the ABARES Australian Forest and Wood Products Statistics report which shows employment in the forestry sector has recovered to sit at 70,500 jobs in 2013-14.

This is a significant increase from 2012-13 when job numbers declined to just 61,400 under the previous Labor Government.

"Before the election we released our policy for a competitive and sustainable forestry industry. We recognise the important position forestry has in many regional communities and promised to generate jobs," Senator Colbeck said.

"An increase of almost 10,000 jobs in the first year of the Coalition Government is a great sign that confidence is returning to the industry."

"This is good news not only for the Australian economy, but importantly for the forestry sector, the people it employs and the communities it supports."

Senator Colbeck said the forestry industry was also experiencing strong export growth - a sign Australia is open for business.

"The value of Australian wood product exports increased by 23.7 per cent in 2013-14 to $2.5 billion," he said.

"Exports of Australian woodchips have recovered in the first year of a Coalition Government, growing 25.7 percent to $767.7 million in 2013-14."

"Meanwhile the volume of roundwood exports reached a new high of 2.4 million cubic metres or $292 million in 2013-14."

"Paper and paperboard exports also performed strongly, contributing $852.5 million, or 33.8 per cent of total wood product exports."

The data was released today by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) in the latest issue of Australian forest and wood products statistics.

For a copy of the report visit www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/publications

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