The peak body representing the entire forest products value chain in South Australian has today launched its State Election Policy Platform headlined by a call to stop the loss of the estate and for the State’s political parties to back a KPI to plant 50 million trees to ensure South Australian’s have access to cheap, environmentally efficient structural timber framing for decades to come.
“South Australia’s forest products industry has underpinned the State’s growth since the 1800s but with a looming, long-term global fiber shortage, we need our political parties to sign up to a unity ticket of getting more trees in the ground to not just protect the 18,000 people directly and indirectly employed in the industry but also ensure future generations have access to cheap, affordable and green housing into the future” Mr Paine said.
“Our election platform is about reinforcing the importance of the industry to South Australia and the community, to securing the long-term future of the industry in South Australia and the employment it provides and to supercharging a new domestic manufacturing wave to drive local job creation whilst creating a cleaner future for all through sequestering carbon.
“The global COVDI pandemic has shown us the fragility of global supply chains and the importance of ensuring sovereign capability in critical supply chains and fiber is one of those. As human beings we have some basic needs being food and shelter to survive and while Australia produces three to four times the food we need (and exports the rest), we no longer grow enough timber to house our future generations.
“In South Australia alone we have lost around 50,000 hectares of estate through discriminatory policies such as water, planning and infrastructure as well as bushfire. We are now five minutes to midnight and can wait no longer to get more trees in the ground to protect our fiber needs into the future.
“Our policy platform identifies the problems facing the industry and sets out clear and tangible solutions that can be delivered to ensure the long-term growth of the industry into the future and we look to working across the chamber to secure broad bipartisan support for our solutions,” Mr Paine concluded.
THE INDUSTRY AT A GLANCE
Forestry and forest products industries are a major contributor to the South Australian economy and to their regional communities directly. Our industry:
- Directly contributes more than $3 billion to the South Australian economy each year.
- Employs more than 18,000 South Australians directly and indirectly.
The South Australian forest industry ‘builds the nation’ producing:
- 35 per cent of Australian’s housing timber;
- 25 per cent of the nation’s particleboard;
- 48 per cent of the nation’s fibre for packaging;
- 60 per cent of the nation’s agricultural timbers;
- 90 per cent of the potting mix used by South Australia’s horticulture industry; and
- South Australia’s forests sequester 4.64 million tonnes of CO2e each year.
The South Australian Forest Products Association is the peak industry body representing the entire value chain of forest industries in South Australia to all levels of Government.
SAFPA represents members involved with:
- The growing of trees into forests, from which the timber is produced,
- Silviculture (the planting and caring for trees),
- Sustainable harvest of forests,
- Haulage of timber,
- Timber manufacture, and
- Manufacture of pulp, paper and bioproducts.
SAFPA is the State-based body supported by the Australian Forest Products Association; and with sister organisations across the country, represents the interests of the wider Australian sector.
Full Release available here.