OPINION: A strong, sustainable forestry industry is essential for the prosperity of Northeast Tasmania.

It’s been great to see both major parties, and local candidates, throwing their support behind the Tasmanian forest industry – committing to support jobs and families across the Northeast. However, with only 10 days until the polls, there’s still more to be done.

Before the election was announced, Tasmanian Forest Products Association (TFPA) released its wishlist for what we hoped to achieve from the 2024 election.

Our wish list contains four key priorities:

  • supporting Tasmanian business;
  • timber trees and productivity;
  • climate change and the fire threat; and
  • reducing red tape.

Both parties have embraced many of our proposals, including our Homegrown Timber Future Policy, but there’s more that can be done.

In the last 10 days of the campaign, we will be continuing to work with all candidates -encouraging them to support some of the other measures on our wishlist.

This includes the establishment of a dedicated long rotation plantation forestry conversion fund, $15 million to retool and reschedule our processing as we move to more plantation estates, and $5 million towards developing new ways to process on island lower category logs.

The forestry industry recognises the two biggest threats to our future prosperity are climate change, and the devastation that occurs after a fire.

That’s why we’ll be continuing to call for all parties to commit to audit the state’s forests to understand opportunities for forestry to harness new carbon sequestration opportunities and a full  account of our emissions profile.

And while it’s been great to have a commitment to include our private estate owners in the TasGRN communications rollout, we’re urging all parties to include the forestry industry in the fire coordination network.

Finally, we need to more to be done to reduce red tape. That’s why we’re calling on all parties to guarantee road infrastructure improvements – especially on primary transport corridors such as between Launceston and Scottsdale.

These important roads need to be upgraded to meet the needs of larger vehicle sizes and increased safety standards to protect all road users.

Forestry is vital to the Northeast. It’s one of the region’s major employees. That’s why the TFPA is working hard to make sure all political parties and candidates recognise the value our businesses – to give your community and the thousands of Tasmanians employed every day in our forests a strong and secure future.


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