15 February 2019
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck, ministers and senior officials responsible for forestry met in Melbourne today, for the sixth Forestry Ministers Meeting.
The ministers discussed a range of issues facing Australia’s forest industries and how governments could continue to support the sector. A major focus of the meeting was the National Forest Industries Plan launched by the Australian Government in September 2018.
In particular, the meeting discussed:
- Regional Forestry Hubs, including potential locations.
- The establishment of additional centres of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation.
- Support for farm forestry, private native forestry and forestry on Indigenous‑owned or managed land.
- Improving the communications about the strength of the forest industries.
- Progress on implementing the Australian Government recommendations in the report of the Forest Industry Advisory Council, Transforming Australia’s forest products industry.
Ministers reiterated their support for Australia’s forest industries, based on sustainable management of Australia's native forests and plantations. Ministers recognised the significant contribution made by the sector to Australia's wellbeing, and its importance to the environment, and to many rural and regional economies. Ministers agreed to include a discussion on forest recreation at their next meeting.