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New developments in forestry sector



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ABARE

Media Release

Canberra ACT 2601 Facsimile (02) 6272 2001 International code 616 http:/ / www.abare.gov.au

#OL99/17

17 March 1999

New developments in forestry sector

‘The Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) has had immediate and beneficial implications for forest management and supply in Tasmania’, Mr Ian Whyte, Chief Executive of the Tasmanian Timber Promotion Board, said today in Canberra.

Speaking at the Forest Management session of the OUTLOOK 99 conference, Mr Whyte identified the four essential outcomes behind the benefits of the RFA process to Tasmania as ‘certainty with regard to the estate; freedom with regard to the marketing of products; simplification with regard to process; and the term of twenty years’.

Commenting on the RFA process, Mr Whyte said it represents ‘a level of sophistication in government response to the debate (between conservation and timber supply) which we have not seen before and which reflects the evolution of forest inquiries over the years from relatively simple beginnings’.

When discussing the future of plantation development overseas and within Australia, Mr Allan Hansard, Senior Economist with ABARE’s forestry section commented, ‘the increasing cost of accessing natural forests and restrictions on logging would lead to increased use of plantations for industrial wood production’.

Australia is well placed to attract private investment into plantations given our proximity to major markets, suitable species, good growth rates, and a stable political environment.

‘However, the realisation of the apparent potential for private plantation development in Australia depends on, among other things, the development of additional processing capacity and infrastructure’, Mr Hansard added.

Mr Colin McKenzie, Jaakko Poyry Consulting (Asia-Pacific), identified six global issues in forest management as: rationalisation of industry, private ownership of forests, quality assurance, climate change policies, rising institutional investment and the increasing use of technology and mechanisation in processing.

Speakers at the session, Forest management, were: Mr Allan Hansard, Senior Economist, ABARE; Mr Colin McKenzie, Jaakko Poyry Consulting (Asia-Pacific); and Mr Ian Whyte, Chief Executive, Tasmanian Timber Promotion Board.

For further information contact: During the conference, Margaret Day, OUTLOOK Media Centre on (02)6276 5242 or 018 487 825 After the Conference, Allan Hansard, ABARE on (02) 6272 2394

ABARE acknowledges the support o f its major Outlook conference partner, Cisco Systems.