The establishment of Regional Forestry Hubs is a strategic measure to grow and optimise Australia’s forest industries in key geographic areas into the future. The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has identified 11 geographic locations nationally which are now at various stages ‘Hub’ status.
AFPA has campaigned for all 11 Hubs to be funded at $1 million each by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government has to date provided funding for Hubs in:
- South West WA
- The Green Triangle – SA and VIC
- North East NSW
- South West Slopes NSW
- Gippsland VIC
- South East QLD
- North QLD
- Central West NSW
*North/North West Tasmania and South Tasmanian Hub have now combined into the one hub.
There are two further Hubs (bringing the total to 11) that AFPA will continue to campaign for funding for. They are:
- North NT
- South East NSW
Carbon Farming Initiative Exempt Regions
In 2020 the Governor General formalised a new Regulation (i.e. Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) (CFI) Amendment (Excluded Offsets Projects) Regulations 2020) amending the existing CFI Rule.
The new regulation adds a new provision to clause 3.37 to amend the existing water interception requirements. This change will allow new ERF projects in areas (over 600mm of rainfall) to proceed with registration if they are located in a region declared by the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, the Hon Angus Taylor MP, to be a region where material risks to water availability are likely to be addressed (i.e. an ‘exempt region’).
Minister Taylor declared the following 4 ½ exempt regions: South west WA, Green Triangle (South Australian side), Northern Tasmania from the, North east NSW, and the South west slopes of NSW and Victoria. AFPA welcomed the announcement but also indicated that remaining regions should be rapidly declared exempt, in the first instance the Victorian side of the GT.