We are helping Australia’s forestry industries recover from the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires through these 4 measures:
- Construction Softwood Transport Assistance Program
- Forestry Recovery Development Fund Program
- Forestry Transport Assistance
- Salvage Log Storage Fund
Construction Softwood Transport Assistance Program
On 20 September 2021, the Australian Government announced a new $15 million Construction Softwood Transport Assistance Program.
The program will enable the transportation of bushfire-salvaged softwood to timber mills that have capacity to manufacture structural timbers for the domestic building industry.
While the program is focussed on around 300,000 cubic metres of softwood on Kangaroo Island, any remaining construction-grade softwood that has been affected by the 2019-20 bushfires will also be eligible.
Forestry Recovery Development Fund Program
$40 million will be provided from 2020-21 to 2022-23 to assist privately-owned wood processing facilities to recover and rebuild using innovation and product diversification.
Privately-owned wood processing facilities were able to apply for grants from $1 million to $5 million.
- To deliver funding to privately owned wood processing facilities that have been directly or indirectly impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires.
- Enable wood processing facilities to develop new processing lines for their business, including upgrades to existing facilities and technologies, and new facilities that complement existing activities.
- To support industry to adopt smarter, more efficient practices in product processing and forestry operations
- To provide regional jobs and support regional communities.
Applications for the Forestry Recovery Development Fund Program (the Program) closed on 13 October 2020.
Forestry Transport Assistance
$15 million was allocated to help with the increased costs of transporting burnt salvaged logs further distances to surviving timber mills or storage sites. Programs which have now been delivered by New South Wales and Victoria c overed transport in bushfire affected areas.
A total of 944,648 tonnes timber was recovered and transported from bushfire affected areas to mills under this program.
The grants ensured that valuable timber resources were not wasted, reducing the impacts on supply as well as supporting the retention of long-term employments for contractors and sawmills.
Salvage Storage Fund - Securing Forestry Resources for Economic Recovery
$10 million in funding, provided through the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, for establishing storage facilities for fire-affected timber including:
- processed timber products
- other forestry products.
A total of 701,390 tonnes of burnt timber was stored under the program.
The program provided extra certainty for mills. It helps businesses to plan their long-term recovery. New South Wales and Victoria have delivered their programs.