Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (centre) arrives with Senator Richard Colbeck (left) and Tasmanian Minister for Resources Sarah Courtney (right) at Forico Nursery in Somerset, Tasmania, Saturday, February 16, 2019. (AAP Image/Sarah Rhodes)

Securing the future of our forestry industry

Media release
16 Feb 2019
Prime Minister, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

Photo: AAP Image/Sarah Rhodes

The Morrison Government is backing the future of the Tasmanian forestry industry with the roll out of its Regional Forestry Hubs, driving investment and jobs growth for generations to come.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the development of nine initial Regional Forestry Hub sites will provide strategic vision for forest industries in Northern Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

“Today in Tasmania’s north-west forestry belt, we are sowing the seeds for the first of our Regional Forestry Hubs under the $20 million National Forest Industries Plan.

“We want Northern Tasmania’s key forestry industries to be even stronger, and today’s announcement will ensure a brighter and more secure future.

“This plan will protect and grow Northern Tasmania’s vital forestry industry, create more jobs, and open up opportunities to build new and improved roads, rail and port facilities.

“Around 52,000 Australians are directly employed in growing and processing our forest products. Tens of thousands more jobs are indirectly supported by a sector that contributes more than $23 billion to the national economy.”

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Richard Colbeck said the Regional Forestry Hubs were a commitment in the Morrison Government’s National Forest Industries Plan and will support strategic planning of future needs for the industry in the region.

“Timber is the building material of the 21st century and the Morrison Government is beginning the process of creating the initial Regional Forestry Hubs to meet future demand for forest products,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Four trials of nine initial pilot Hubs will be created, and the Government will work with industry, State Governments and Local Governments to deliver maximum benefit from them.

“Our Government has committed $12.5 million to the Regional Forestry Hubs and research and development elements of the National Forest Industries Plan to further grow Australia’s forest industries and set the industry up for the future.

“This Plan ambitiously aims to deliver a billion new trees to meet a projected quadrupling of global demand for timber products by 2050, planting the right trees, at the right scale in the right places.

“The end result will be better returns to business, more investment, more jobs and greater economic prosperity for Australia.”

Through the development of Regional Forestry Hubs and the implementation of the broader set of actions in the Plan, the Government is supporting forest industries as part of our commitment to deliver 1.25 million new jobs over the next five years.

Most of those trees will be in key areas that have clear competitive advantages for forestry, such as access to processing plants, transport routes and a skilled forestry workforce.

The State of the Forests Report released today shows clearly the need to plant more trees to create Australian jobs and increase our access to this truly renewable resource.

Planting a billion trees will also contribute to the removal of 18 million tonnes of greenhouse gas from the atmosphere per year by 2030.

Locations of the pilot Regional Forestry Hubs are:

  • South West - Western Australia
  • Green Triangle – South Australia and Victoria
  • North/North West - Tasmania
  • North East - New South Wales

Locations of Regional Forestry Hubs that will follow the pilot hubs:

  • Gippsland – Victoria
  • South West Slopes - New South Wales
  • Central West  - New South Wales
  • South East  – Queensland
  • North – Queensland.

More information on the National Forest Industries Plan is available here: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/forestry/national-forest-industries-plan.pdf