Prime Minister Turnbull backs woodchips and fibre as drivers of new economy

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has drawn on new export statistics to rightly nominate woodchips (used in paper making) and other fibre exports as key parts of the economy. Prime Minister Turnbull told Parliament yesterday that Tasmania was rapidly becoming a major provider of rural produce and commodities to China, noting that woodchips and timber had grown by 102% in the last twelve months, far outstripping seafood export growth (78.6%), meat (48.7%) and fruit and vegetables (11%). The Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Mr Ross Hampton said in a media release, “These Tasmanian figures are a reflection of the national picture. Last year Australia exported 5.82 million tonnes of woodchips, valued at more than $1 billion dollars. This is up 11% in volume and more than 25% in value on the previous year. Australia’s sustainable forest product industries employ some 120,000 people across the full value chain. The world is turning to this sustainable resource as a substitute for materials which are not able to be regrown and we are reaping the benefits.”