Shaping forest policy

PLAYERS in the Northern NSW timber industry gathered in Grafton yesterday to ensure their views help shape forest policy in the years to come.

Timber products and forestry industry representatives, academics, conservationists and politicians addressed the Federal Parliamentary Forestry Industry Inquiry when it held court in the Clarence Valley Council chambers.

Committee chairman Dick Adams said the inquiry’s brief was to look into contemporary issues facing the industry as well as its long-term future.

“If Australia grows to a population of 40 million by 2050, then we’ll need to find a lot more wood than we’re using now.”

Mr Adams said there was tension between the conservationists and industry groups.

“The conservationists are concerned about over-culling of native forests, while industry believes too much wood is locked up in national parks,” he said.

Mr Adams said one of the major considerations of the inquiry was to find a model to encourage investment into timber plantations for saw logs and saw milling.

He said the inquiry would report to the Federal Parliament in November, which had three months to consider the recommendations before getting back to the committee.

The committee will visit at least two timber mills today before flying out.



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