Australia's federal budget reflects commitment to competitive and sustainable forestry sector, says spokesman; actions include providing AU$15M for bushfire mitigation program, formation of advisory council to ensure policy makers consider industry views

CANBERRA, Australia , May 14, 2014 (press release) – The Australian Government’s commitment to a competitive and sustainable Australian forestry sector is reflected in the Budget.

Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, said an election promise to create a National Bushfire Mitigation Programme was included in the Budget.

"We are honouring our commitment to provide $15 million in the 2014-15 Budget for a National Bushfire Mitigation Programme to reduce the impact of bushfires, including fuel reduction programs and long-term bushfire mitigation strategies," Senator Colbeck said.

"We are also demonstrating our commitment to the sector by supporting long-term Regional Forest Agreements. We will establish a 20 year rolling life to each RSA."

"As promised, we will reverse the exclusion of native forest sourced wood waste as an eligible source of energy for Renewable Energy Certificates."

"A Forestry Industry Advisory Council is being formed to ensure the views of the forest industry are considered in the development of the government policy and will be announced soon."

"I look forward to working with industry to consolidate a strong future based on sustainable supply from both plantation and native forests."

"We have a strong focus on research and development and the development of new forest based products providing the construction of material of the 21st century." 

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