New forestry measures
The Australian Government’s A Better Future for our Regions and A Future Grown in Australia policies, establish the government’s commitment to Australia’s forest industries. They aim to strengthen, support and continue a sustainable forestry sector now and into the future.
The government will deliver a suite of initiatives totalling over $300 million to support Australia’s forest industries to innovate and improve the capacity and capability of the sector. The government will also reserve $500 million of its $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund specifically for agriculture, fisheries, forestry and food and fibre.
Australia-wide National Institute of Forest Products Innovation
The Australian Government has committed $100 million over 5 years to establish an Australia-wide National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI) to be hosted at the University of Tasmania and supported by three regional research centres.
The Australia-wide NIFPI will support transformative research, development and innovation for Australia’s timber industry. It will create opportunities to commercialise new knowledge in the forest industries while supporting the development of forest industries researchers for both today and the future.
Investing in forestry research and innovation will allow Australia to make better use of our production forests, value-add to these resources and increase the economic contribution of the forest and wood products sector to the Australian economy.
Extending the Regional Forestry Hubs
An additional $8.6 million over 3 years has been committed to continue the 11 Regional Forestry Hubs to June 2027.
This additional funding will allow the Hubs to continue to provide strategic planning, technical assessments and analyses to support growth in their regions. The role of the Hubs is being expanded to include extension services to enable the Hubs to inform local industries and landholders of the outcomes of the research and innovation work, in particular from the Australia-wide NIFPI. The Hubs will not provide individual business advice.
Forestry Workforce Training Program
The Australian Government has committed $10 million over 4 years to support the delivery of qualifications, competencies or credentials to meet the specific training and accreditation requirements of the forestry and wood products industries.
A diverse and highly skilled workforce supports the forestry and wood products industries. As businesses increase production to meet demand and transition towards new technologies, expert knowledge and training requirements will increase and become more specialised.
The Australian Government is committed to supporting the forestry and wood product sectors achieve and maintain appropriate skill levels within the workforce. This investment will improve training pathways for incoming workers and create greater career progression.
The delivery of this program will be informed by a scoping study and engagement with the forestry and wood products industries, training providers and relevant government agencies to be completed in 2022-23.
Accelerate Adoption of Wood Processing Innovation Program
The Australian Government has committed to continue this measure by providing $112.9 million over five years from 2022-23, to co-invest with wood processors to adopt new and upgraded wood processing facilities.
Grants are available to wood processors to upgrade or adopt innovative technology that will improve domestic wood processing efficiency and capacity – producing higher value products, using more from our wood resources and contributing to the industry’s capacity to reduce its carbon footprint.
The program offers co-funding of up to 40 per cent of total project costs, with the remaining 60 per cent to be met by the applicant.
Further information on the Accelerate Adoption of Wood Processing Innovation Program is available through the Community Grants Hub. Apply today.
Support Plantation Establishment Program
The Australian Government has reframed the Support Plantation Establishment program and committed through the 2022-23 Budget the $86.2 million in support over five years from 2022-23. The program will support the establishment of new plantations. This program has been reframed to a grants program to ensure the private sector and farm foresters have the best opportunity to establish new plantations to secure future domestic wood supply
The grants will be open to private business and state and territory government forestry enterprises. The grants will require applicants to provide a co-contribution equal to the grant amount.
Further information on the Support Plantation Program will be available through the Community Grants Hub in the near future.
Protecting Australia from illegally logged timber products
This Australian Government is investing $4.4 million over two years to combat illegally logged products from entering the Australian market. The investment will trial timber testing technologies under Australia’s illegal logging laws that can expose illegally logged timber and false claims made by traders.
This will be complemented by measures advancing the profiling of problematic timber imports through earlier data collection. It will be further strengthened by measures to accredit Australian testing labs and expand their databases for timber species of most concern.
The Australia's State of the Forests Report states Australia has 134 million hectares of forest, covering 17% of Australia's land area. This is comprised of 132 million hectares of native forest and 0.47 million hectares of other forest.
ABARES' forest and wood products statistics, report Australia has 1.74 million hectares of commercial plantations.
Australia has around 3% of the world's forests and globally has the seventh largest forest area. Australia's native forests are dominated by eucalypts (77%), acacias (8%) and melaleucas (5%). About half of Australia's plantations are exotic softwood (predominantly Pinus radiata), while the other half are hardwood (predominantly eucalypt species such as Eucalyptus globulus).
Australia’s forests are diverse, extensive, and highly regarded for their ecological, economic and social values. They provide a range of benefits including wood and non-wood forest products and ecosystem services including:
- water protection and supply
- soil protection
- carbon storage and sequestration
- habitat for flora and fauna species
- tourism and recreation
- cultural values for both non-Indigenous and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Australia has a well-established institutional framework to support the conservation and sustainable management of forests.
The Australian Government aims to foster and enable productive, profitable, internationally competitive and sustainable Australian forest and forest products industries.
Detailed information on Australia's forests is available from the Australia’s State of the Forests Report series that are published every 5 years. Preparation of the reports is a commitment made by governments in the National Forest Policy Statement. Reports have been published in 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2018.
ABARES also publishes comprehensive datasets relating to Australia's forestry sector in its biannual Australian Forest and Wood Products Statistics report, including time series of data on:
- forest and wood products resources