Meeting of Australian Forestry Ministers

31 March 2017

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston met with Ministers and senior officials from the states to share ideas and to discuss challenges and priorities for the forest and forest products industries.

The ministers discussed a range of national issues facing Australia’s forest and forest products industry sectors, including:

  • the importance of progressing the Regional Forest Agreements (RFA) reviews and extensions across the four RFA states
  • support for the Transforming Australia’s forest products industry report by the Forest Industry Advisory Council, and noting its recommendations to government and industry
  • the need for collaboration across governments to implement the relevant recommendations, particularly in relation to RFAs and forestry research and development
  • the importance of improved communication and engagement on the positive future of the forestry industry
  • work to develop a joint statement of support for the forest and wood products industry.

The Ministers agreed that:

  • the work of the Regional Forest Agreement officials group, established as an outcome from the first Forestry Ministers Meeting, should continue and its results be shared between the Regional Forest Agreement parties
  • the Forestry and Forest Products Committee would develop a detailed draft implementation plan for the Forest Industry Advisory Council’s recommendations relevant to governments
  • a draft joint statement of support for the forest and wood products industry from Forestry Ministers should be developed
  • senior officials will work to facilitate better information sharing between governments on forestry communication strategies and activities
  • the New Zealand forestry minister would be invited to future meetings
  • working together they could support the exciting future of Australia’s forest industry.