As Shadow Minister for Agriculture, what issues are of interest and concern to you?
I am proud to be Labor’s Shadow Minister for Agriculture and have greatly enjoyed representing this critical part of our national economy. There are a number of serious issues facing Australia’s agriculture industry. This includes the transition to net zero emissions; ongoing workforce and skilled labour shortages; and Australian agricultural exporters having access to markets across the globe.
What is your interest in the Tasmanian forest sector in particular?
Julie Collins MP at the Tasmanian Timber Awards, alongside Labor colleagues Brian Mitchell MP and candidate for Bass, Ross Hart.
I see a big role for governments in helping to solve these issues, and work with industry and workers, to put Australia’s agriculture industry on a pathway to sustainable, long-term growth. Because of this, I was particularly excited to take on the role of Shadow Minister for Agriculture – I know just how important the forestry sector is to the future of Tasmania and my own electorate of Franklin.
What do you think the industry does well?
The forest sector has a proud history in Tasmania, helping to create world-class products and supporting thousands of jobs across the state. The industry is at the centre of thriving regional communities and it is therefore critical for governments to work hard with industry in the best interest of these communities.
What do you consider the greatest challenges for the Tasmanian forest and forest products industry?
We know the Morrison Government has fallen well short of its stated goal to grow 1 billion plantation trees by 2030. In fact, the latest figures suggest there has been no growth in Tasmania’s plantation forests since Scott Morrison committed to this goal.
This has serious impacts, with our construction industry already facing significant timber shortages. It is time for the Morrison Government to start delivering on its promises or timber shortages will only grow more dire. I will continue to work with industry to make sure everything is done to grow Tasmania’s forest industry and support jobs across the state.
What is your vision for the forest sector?
My vision for Tasmania’s forest industry is to help the transition towards a sustainable pathway of growth, and further value-adding of our timber, where good jobs are supported across the state. Sadly, I don’t think the Morrison Government has done enough to help support this transition.
When I’m not wearing my parliamentary hat, I…
Like to read a lot and bake to relieve stress. I also can’t miss the gym most mornings.