The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomes the Victorian Government’s $110 million investment in the 2017-18 Budget to establish plantations in the Latrobe Valley.
AFPA CEO Mr Ross Hampton said today’s announcement will provide a major boost to Victoria’s plantation estate and if properly targeted, strengthen Victoria’s long-term wood supply.
Softwood and hardwood plantations provide more than 80 per cent of the wood fibre and timber for our national forest product industries, and in 2016 plantations added $778 million to the Victorian economy. However, investment in new plantations in Australia has effectively come to a standstill.
Mr Hampton said, “Although we are experiencing strong demand for wood fibre, much of the growth has been filled by imports. This is, in part, because we aren’t providing sufficient plantation resource in this country for our domestic manufacturers.
“The forest products industry looks forward to working with the Victorian Government to ensure that that this investment is directed towards projects that help grow our sustainable industry and the tens of thousands of regional jobs we support.”