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Australia’s unique forests provide a sustainable resource base for the forestry sector. The Australian, state and territory governments share an objective of sustainable management of forests to integrate environmental, commercial and community values and uses.
The Australian Government plays an important role in working with the state and territory governments (who are primarily responsible for forest management) and the forest industries on developing forest policy.
This partnership approach between governments and the industry is reflected through major national policy initiatives such as the 1992 National Forest Policy Statement (NFPS) and the Plantations for Australia: The 2020 Vision.
Following on from the NFPS, Australia has spent more than ten years developing, implementing and reviewing a series of Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs), which aim to achieve a balance between conservation and production in native forests. The 2020 Vision aims to promote the expansion of Australia’s plantation estate.
With a strong policy framework in place, government and industry are now looking to address emerging issues impacting on the future viability and sustainability of Australia's forest industries which contribute $23 billion of economic turnover each year.
Emerging issues include:
- Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement — Contractors Voluntary Exit Grants Program
- Australian Government's response to the statement of principles on Tasmanian forests
- National Climate Change and Commercial Forestry Action Plan
- assisting industry in adapting to climate change
- addressing industry skills shortages
- encouraging value adding to forest and wood resources
- improving domestic and international competiveness
- maintaining and improving export markets
- restricting the imports of illegally logged timber
- promoting forest certification and labelling
- continuous improvement in sustainable forest management
- the role of wood waste for bioenergy production; and
- procurement policies and marketing for wood products
25 Oct 2011