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AUS: Direction For Timber Industry

Media Releases The Hon Wilson Tuckey MP Minister for Forestry and Conservation

18 August 1999

Canberra Workshop Sets Direction For Timber Industry

A major advance in the development of an Action Agenda for the forest and wood products industry took place today when a broad cross section of industry representatives met with the Federal Minister for Forestry and Conservation, Wilson Tuckey, at Parliament House.

"The workshop builds on a highly successful meeting of industry stakeholders in Melbourne nine months ago, and the many submissions received by the Government since on an Issues and Options paper for the industry," he said.

"Priorities include tackling our $1.5 billion trade deficit in forest, wood and paper products with a program of market and export development, and promoting Australia's sustainable forest industry in the international marketplace.

"The Government will now work with industry to develop actions on specific issues, aiming to announce the Agenda in March next year."

The workshop was addressed by Professor Jane Marceau, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Western Sydney, who urged participants to encourage innovation across the industry - from growing trees to marketing wood and paper.

Action Agendas are a key part of the Commonwealth Government's long term strategy to develop Australian industry to 2010. They focus on:

developing a common vision for the industry sector;

identifying impediments to higher productivity and growth;

reviewing new opportunities and identifying gaps in industry's capacity to respond to those opportunities; and

generating momentum for industry-based reform and action.

Six focus groups will now develop specific actions to underpin future industry growth and enhance our international competitiveness.

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