Facilitating productive, competitive and sustainable forest industries
Resource security underpins the long-term direction of Victoria’s timber industry under a new strategy released in December 2009.
The Timber Industry Strategy outlines four priority areas and 13 broad actions to support a competitive, productive and sustainable Victorian timber industry.
The four priorities are:
- the development of a productive, competitive and sustainable timber industry
- the development and support of efficient timber markets
- innovative forestry science, technology, and practice change
- strong timber industry communities.
Other key aspects relate to well-regulated forest activities, secure and competitive investment frameworks, strong governance, improved infrastructure and logistics, a safe and skilled workforce, and assistance to enable the industry to adapt to environmental, social and economic change.
The strategy will assist industry to raise the economic value of Victoria’s timber production and processing in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner.
More than 50 industry, environment and community stakeholders had input into the strategy’s development. Three stakeholder round-table meetings addressed issues arising from the formal submissions.
Victoria’s timber industry has an annual turnover of $3 billion, which equates to 37 per cent of the net value of the Australian industry.
On 29 April 2010, the Minister for Agriculture became the relevant Minister for VicForests, a state-owned business corporation responsible for the sustainable harvest and sale of native forest timbers from Victoria’s public forest estate.
The Minister takes on many of the roles previously assigned to the Treasurer relating to government oversight of VicForests’ operations, including its commercial charter and customer relationships.
The Treasurer retains responsibilities primarily relating to the financial oversight of the company.
The new governance arrangements will ensure that each Minister is accountable for matters more closely aligned to their portfolio responsibilities.
DPI will provide support services to the Minister for Agriculture.