Forest plantation establishment grants announced today by the Albanese Government will help Australia grow much needed timber and wood fibre supply for the nation’s future, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Natasa Sikman said today.
Almost $74 million was committed to the Support Plantation Establishment Program through the 2022-23 Federal Budget with the grants process opening this month. Grants will be open to private operators and state and territory forestry enterprises with the target of establishing new plantations and farm forestry operations.
Natasa Sikman said, “It’s great news that the federal bipartisan commitment to grow more timber production trees is starting to be rolled out. We welcome the Albanese Government carrying through on this program and thank Minister for Forestry Murray Watt for his ongoing commitment to ensure delivery. We will continue to work with the Government throughout the rollout,” Natasa Sikman said.
“Australia has a shortage of timber and wood fibre growing in the ground and we need one billion new production trees to ensure we have enough supply to meet our needs as a nation in coming decades. These plantation grants will help in boosting some of that future supply.
“These grants will not only help secure Australia’s sovereign capability in everyday timber and wood fibre products, but new trees planted under the scheme can help Australia fight climate change and contribute to our emission reduction targets. They will also underpin many jobs across forestry in key regional areas nationwide,” Natasa Sikman concluded.
Funding for the program will be available across multiple rounds from 2023-24 to 2026-27 with $2000 per hectare to be provided by the Government for every hectare of long rotation plantation established. Applicants will be required to co-contribute.
More information about the program can be found at the Community Grants Hub.