Australia’s forest industries have been assured more than $300 million in new funding, including a new National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI) to be based in Launceston, new measures to boost the billion timber trees program and support for timber mill innovation to help tackle the nation’s timber shortages.
Last night at the National Forest Industries Election Forum in Launceston, a packed crowd heard from Assistant Minister for Forestry, Senator Jonno Duniam, and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Julie Collins about the Coalition and Labor’s respective plans to help drive the future of forest industries if elected with Tasmania set to play a critical role.
Key outcomes, agreed to by both parties include:
- $100 million for a new NIFPI to be headquartered in Launceston
- $112.9 million of grants to boost adoption of new wood processing technologies to get more timber into the hands of builders
- $86.2 million to kickstart stalled new plantation growth
Both the Coalition and Labor also committed to fast-tracking the removal of regulatory barriers in the Emissions Reduction Fund including in southern Tasmania, that are currently excluded from accessing carbon credits.
Labor also agreed to match the Government’s announced $6.6 million for ongoing Regional Forestry Hubs Funding and $4.4 million to strengthen Australia’s illegal logging and timber traceability ID systems.
Labor also committed $10 million for skills and training specifically for the sector.
Tasmanian Forest Products Association CEO Nick Steel said “These commitments demonstrate the significance of Tasmanian forestry to the national wood supply and the economy with both major parties determined to ensure the future of sustainably harvested and regrown native forestry.
“The tens of thousands of Australians who work directly in our industry or with the products we create, we thank Senator Duniam and Shadow Minister Collins for their leadership, and we look forward to working with the next Federal Government on implementing these announcements to get more timber into the hands of home builders and make an even larger contribution to Australia’s target of being net zero emissions by 2050,” Nick Steel concluded.