A claim made in The Border Watch newspaper on May 10 that the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) in South Australia is “predominantly controlled by forest owners” is not only incorrect, but also damaging to AFPA members and the forestry industry as a whole.
In South Australia, AFPA SA has 15 members across the forestry industries value chain. Five of these are forest growing companies.
The Association has a voting system for leadership positions which does not favour any sector over another.
To suggest that a minority group within AFPA SA is controlling it, is simply not true.
AFPA SA was established as companies across the value chain realised that our failure to stick together as an industry had cost us dearly in recent decades. In effect our fragmentation has allowed state governments to ignore our needs at the best of times and create policy which pushed us backwards at worst.
For us, collective priority focus areas at present include lobbying the State Government to deliver on its pre-election commitment of doubling the economic value of our domestic timber manufacturing sector by 2050. We are also actively involved in ensuring South Australia gets its fair share of a federal commitment to plant a billion new production trees across Australia by 2030.
It is important for the forestry industries to have a united body with a united voice for the betterment of the industry as a whole, and the communities it serves.