14 April, 2015
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, today opened the Australia New Zealand Institute of Foresters conference in Victoria and used his speech to urge professional forest scientists to speak up and promote the attributes of the industry.
Senator Colbeck said the Australian forest and forest products industries are sustainably managed and have a good story to share with the broader community
"This is an industry that has unfairly suffered from misinformation and fear campaigns for many years. So I urge professional forest scientists to use their voice and deal with some of the myths and scare campaigns that are out there. We have a positive story to share and we need to be speaking up," he said.
During a recent address to the National Press Club, Australia's Chief Scientist said the general public needs to understand the difference between an expert and a ranting celebrity. I think this message is very important and we need to ensure the voice of common sense is loud and clear when it comes to our natural industries."
Senator Colbeck said the Government is focussed on returning common sense to forest policy in Australia and highlighted the work of the Forest Industry Advisory Council (FIAC) which recently released an issues paper looking at the future of the industry.
"The FIAC issues paper is the first step in developing a plan for the future of the industry. I envision that this document will help guide forest policy in the future and will be a document that can be used by future governments of any persuasion," he said.
ABARES today released a report, Outlook scenarios for Australia's forestry sector: key drivers and opportunities, which describes a range of outlook scenarios for the forestry sector and analyses the availability and use of logs, opportunities for primary processing, and the importance of factors affecting these outlooks to 2050.
Senator Colbeck said the findings highlighted in this report and the ideas proposed in the final FIAC discussion paper due out later this year will contribute to the position of Australia's forestry industry for the future.
ABARES' Outlook scenarios for Australia's forestry sector: key drivers and opportunities is available online, visit www.agriculture.gov.au/ABARES/publications