Govt to cut log exports by 50pc


FORESTRY Minister Walter Schnaubelt says the Government plans to introduce downstream processing with the focus on developing reforestation and plantation.
Speaking in West New Britain recently, Schnaubelt said as part of the Government’s aim to take back the forestry sector, investors would be given only 50 per cent for export permits.
“The new permits that we will be giving out will only be 50 per cent for export and the other half must be processed in the country,” Schnaubelt said.
“There will be disgruntled developers because most of them would want 100 per cent export but under the agreement for permit, it clearly stipulates that 20 per cent must be downstream processing.
“As Forest Minister, I must make a contribution to this sector.
“The buck stops with me.”
Schnaubelt said he wanted to see downstream processing taking place in a big way in the province.
“We need investors who will come and work together with PNGFA to invest their capital in this country. This is just one of the initiatives that we are working on at the PNGFA head office but I will soon make announcements on these developments,” he said.
Schnaubelt said downstream processing could not just be for sawn timber.
“I want some time in the near future that papers and even toilet rolls must be produced in PNG.”