Forestry and timber to benefit from LNP's $6m program

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The LNP will deliver an innovative $6 million package for broad industry R&D and to establish a dedicated Farm Forestry Centre to expand private farm forestry to better support the state's forest and timber industries.

LNP Shadow Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Dale Last said the LNP recognised the value and potential of the state's forest and timber industries.

"Unlike Labor, the LNP values of our forest and timber industries for the wealth they generate and the tens of thousands of jobs they support," Mr Last said.

"In government, the LNP worked closely with industry on the Timber Plan and made common sense decisions on native hardwood and native softwood access.

"Labor dumped reference to 'Forestry' in the portfolio title – hardly fair for a sector worth $3 billion a year to our economy and that underpins more than 25,000 direct and indirect jobs, particularly in Regional Queensland."

Mr Last said the LNP would build on the Timber Industry Plan and provide $2 million to support extension of both the softwood and hardwood forestry sectors which are vital to our regions.

"The LNP will also invest up to $4 million for a Queensland Farm Forestry Centre to support increased private native (hardwood) forest production with tree planting for integrating with beef and livestock production.

"We will also return Forestry to the Department's title to ensure industry had a strong voice.

"Unlike Labor, who are beholden to inner-city Green groups, the LNP wants to expand our forest and timber industries.

"We want to improve the timber industry's supply chain, from growing and harvesting to transport logistics, log processing, advanced timber and engineered wood products to wholesale and retail sales."

LNP Gympie Member Tony Perrett, addressing the Private Native Forest Industry Forum today, announced the Farm Forestry Centre would be based in Gympie.

"Gympie and many other regional centres will benefit from this initiative," Mr Perrett said.

"This is about putting Queensland on the map for sustainable, private farm forestry.

"Under the LNP, our forest and timber businesses and their thousands of employees will have a strong voice at the Cabinet table – someone who understands and appreciates their contribution, and will stand up for their interests.

"LNP sees a very bright future for our timber and forestry industries from expanding private forestry through harvesting, processing, value-adding and the emerging science of timber engineering – which is really putting sustainable, carbon-neutral into building and construction.

"I call on the Greens to support this initiative.

"This is about local and regional sustainable jobs in an industry that's vital to centres from Caboolture to Gympie to Maryborough and Wide Bay Burnett, through to Mareeba and Cape York in the Far North, and Dalby and Injune in the south west and Theodore and Wandoan in Central Queensland.

"The Greens need to be a fair dinkum and get behind this initiative to boost research capacity for forestry and wood science technology.

"This is about making a Queensland a national centre for farm forestry and sustainable, low carbon and renewable building materials which can deliver real environmental benefits and long-term jobs for regional Queensland.

"Regional Queensland will have an LNP Government that understands and supports our forest industries – a government that will work to expand private forestry to secure timber resources for future generations."

LNP : Liberal National Party :
PO Box 940, Spring Hill QLD 4004, Queensland Wide
07 3844 0666
07 3844 0388
LNP :  Liberal National Party
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