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Official pulp and paper group for sustainable future

The Australian Government will create a new Pulp and Paper Industry Strategy Group to undertake a review of the industry and develop a plan to encourage innovation and attract investment in pulp and paper manufacturing in Australia, a Government statement said.

Members of the Strategy Group will include senior representatives from the leading pulp and paper companies, unions, and all levels of government, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr announced.

The group will be overseen by key industry figures, including Australian Paper executive general manager, Jim Henneberry, and CFMEU’s Forestry and Furnishing Products Division, Michael O’Connor.

“The pulp and paper manufacturing sector employs some 19,000 people and contributes around $1.3 billion a year to the Australian economy,” Senator Carr said.

“It is an important industry, particularly in regional areas, so it is vital we get the balance right between environmental concerns and economic activity in order to take Australia forward on a sustainable basis.

“The industry is undergoing a period of rationalisation, particularly in meeting the challenges of the current global recession.

“We need a full and frank assessment of the challenges and opportunities facing the sector, which is what this Review will provide.

“Industry and Government need to work together to create an operating environment where it makes good business sense for international firms to invest in Australia.

“Innovation and investment are the keys to achieving a world-class pulp and paper industry.”

The Strategy Group will be chaired by Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research head of manufacturing, Stephen Payne, with Henneberry and O’Connor as deputy co-chairs.

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