The peak body for the forest and wood products industry in Victoria, the Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI), has welcomed the news from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) that shows the Australian forestry sector had grown strongly overall in 2014-15.
Tim Johnston, CEO of VAFI, said the Australian forest and wood products statistics: September and December quarters 2015 report shows that demand for timber continues to be strong, and highlights the competitiveness of the sector in both domestic and international markets.
“These figures are extremely positive for the forest and wood products industry, both Australia wide but also locally for Victoria,” he says.
“We continue to see an increase in the value of the logs harvested in the state, particularly across the hardwood and softwood plantation sector, and with strong domestic demand we can hope to see this continue.”
The forest and wood products industry is an important economic contributor in Victoria, generating more than $6 billion of sales and service income annually, and provides opportunities for encouraging growth, population diversity and maintaining a sustainable local industry. Much of the income generated by the industry remains in local communities, particularly so in regional areas.
The industry also creates and supports a large number of jobs, directly employing around 21,000 people across Victoria and indirectly supporting another 40,000 to 50,000 jobs through flow on economic activity.
“Timber is renewable, recyclable and an excellent substitute for more carbon-intensive materials, offering us a positive and sustainable future and it is encouraging to see the industry continue to be strong and I look forward to seeing more growth in the future,”
Mr Johnston said.
For a copy of the report visit the agriculture.gov.au site