Long term plan needed to support homeowners and builders.

Media Release – 5 October 2021

Tasmania faces timber deficit of 5,100 house frames in 15 years if an urgent, national plan is not implemented to grow timber plantation estate.

The warning comes as a new report shows a major sovereign capability gap in the production of timber house frames by 2035 – further signalling how crucial it is for the federal and state governments to deliver policies to urgently drive new production tree plantings.

The landmark new report by Master Builders Australia (MBA) and the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) shows Tasmania is headed towards a major cliff in timber framing production, concluding we will be 5,100 house frames short by 2035 – more than the equivalent the of Kingston LGA.

CEO of the Tasmanian Forest Products Association Nick Steel said, “This report shows that state and federal governments need to seriously tackle the policies which will drive forward new plantings of the right types of trees at the right scale and in the right places.”

“Australian governments need to work together on a national plan that delivers an immediate increase in our plantation estate to ensure Australia can meet its future housing construction needs. Future generations of Aussie homeowners are counting on it.”

CEO of Master Builders Tasmania Matthew Pollock said “an adequate timber supply is crucial to securing the long-term housing needs of Tasmania. “This analysis is a wake-up call for decision makers to act now to avoid a construction industry crisis in the next decade. We can’t build houses if we do not have the timber to build frames.

“It’s in Tasmania’s interest to secure our local timber supply by ensuring our timber plantation stock can meet future housing demand. The housing construction industry is the engine room of the Australian economy and has been called upon to lead our recovery out of covid.

“Timber shortages are handbrake on our recovery, limiting our ability to meet community
demand for housing. As the timber shortages of the past 18 months have shown, we cannot rely on imports to
fill the gap when we have increased construction activity – we need to act now.” Mr
Pollock said.

TFPA represents forest growers, harvesters, and manufacturers of timber and paper products.


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