Australian Forestry Group Warns of “Slow Motion” Economic Disaster After Fires
The wildfires will cause significant job losses and long-term economic damage
The wildfires raging across Australia are likely to burn for weeks, but a deeper disaster could extend years into the future if steps aren’t taken to replenish lost forest plantations and make protecting and managing them a national priority, according to a statement this week by the Australian Forest Products Association.
AFPA “is appealing for a clear national consensus that the priority for deployment of resources should be to save lives first followed closely by livelihoods and jobs,” the association said in the statement published Tuesday.
“Large areas of our plantation forest estate in key forestry regions in [New South Wales], Victoria, and South Australia are on fire, and the downstream consequences for rural communities will be severe,” said AFPA CEO Ross Hampton. “These trees take 10 years (in the case of trees for paper and cardboard making) or 30 years (in the case of the pine trees used for house framing) to grow, so when the fires are finally contained, it will be like a slow motion train crash as the full downstream consequences are felt.”
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