The West Australian Government’s announcement that it will cease native forestry from 2024 has been called short-sighted and irresponsible by the Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA).
“We need to ensure, not dismantle, sovereign capability. Timber demand in Australia is high, domestic supply is resource-constrained, and the global timber market means that imports are uncertain. We must strengthen rather than weaken local production capabilities across both plantation and native timber resources,” said Ms Kerr, CEO of VFPA.
“The decision by the Western Australian government is short-sighted. With a significant 25-year wait between planting and harvesting plantation trees that provide the wood for our homes, a phasing-out period of three years is simply not a transition plan.”
“The decision today follows the 2019 announcement in Victoria, where a ban on native forestry by 2030 looms. Like WA, in Victoria, only 0.04% of the native forest area is harvested per year – this is the equivalent of 4 in 10,000 trees. Harvesting native forests is sustainable and renewable, delivers superior carbon sequestration outcomes, and every tree harvested in Victoria is regenerated.
“A long-term plan to deliver our growing timber demands is essential. The ability of wood products to store carbon is well known. Timber is also the ultimate renewable and has a massive role to play in combating climate change. The forestry and building industry are not only major employers but also strengthen communities while managing our forests in a way that actually benefits the environment,” Ms Kerr concluded.
The Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA) represents all elements of the value chain from both sustainable harvesting of plantations and multiple-use natural forest resources. VFPA is a policy development and advocacy group which represents the interests of Victoria’s sustainable forest industries. We collaborate strongly with other industry bodies to ensure the best outcomes for the industry generally and our members more specifically. Our charter provides autonomy to manage State issues. We cooperate with the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) on any issues that transcend State borders and have National implications.