Labor’s refusal to commit funding for Australia’s network of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI) has left forestry research out on a limb.

In September last year the Coalition announced its $20 million National Forest Industries Plan, including to deliver at least two more nodes of the NIFPI on top of the Launceston and Mt Gambier nodes, and a national steering body to grow and coordinate cutting-edge forestry research across the country into the future.

Labor’s refusal to commit to the NIFPIs puts at risk upwards of $20 million worth of forest industry R&D.

Cuts to research and development are an attack on the future of the forestry industry, particularly value-adding jobs.

Our Government has already commenced discussions for matching commitments with respective State Governments for new NIFPI nodes in WA and NSW.

The experience of the first two nodes in Tasmania and South Australia show that the Commonwealth and State contributions can be leveraged two- or three-fold with industry.

At this election there is a clear choice for forestry regions: the Coalition which is expanding the NIFPIs as sought by industry to secure the future of forestry in Australia,or Labor who are refusing to support funding for forestry R&D.