New Plantations to grow Australia’s timber supply

by | Apr 18, 2024

The Albanese Government is investing in 12 new timber plantations across the country to boost supply which will help build tens of thousands of new homes and provide certainty for the forestry industry into the future.

The new plantations will be established across New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia as part of the Albanese Government’s $73 million Support Plantation Establishment program.

The 10 new softwood and two new hardwood projects, ranging in size from 22.5 to 660 hectares and consisting of both farm forestry and large-scale plantations, will help address the forestry industry’s demand for domestically sourced, sustainable timber.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt, said the new projects would continue to support Australia’s forest industries to improve the capacity and capability of the sector.

“Australia’s plantation forest estate has been in decline for over a decade,” Minister Watt said.

“It is only through action from the Albanese Government that we will be able to increase Australia’s future timber supply and mitigate against future dependence on import timber markets.”

Minister Watt says that an over-reliance on imported timber only heightens the risk that it will be sourced, intentionally or unintentionally, from illegal logging operations.

“The Support Plantation Establishment program continues to provide support for private industry, First Nations businesses, farm foresters and state and territory forestry bodies to increase the future plantation forest resource, while also contributing to Australia’s carbon emission reduction targets by storing carbon in plantation trees.”

“This brings the total amount of grant funding awarded across the program’s first round to more than $10 million,” Minister Watt said.

The next round of the program is open for applications until 27 June 2024, those interested in applying for the grants are encouraged to do so through GrantConnect.