The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s extension to the timeframe for construction commencements under its HomeBuilder program, Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Ross Hampton said today.

As the end of March 2021 deadline for applications under HomeBuilder approached, AFPA called on the Federal Government to extend the construction timeframe permitted under the program as a means of taking the heat out of the market and allowing our structural timber supply chain to more easily meet demand.

“Australia’s forest industries welcome the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder changes. By making this sensible, practical change the Government has ensured that the HomeBuilder stimulus can continue to contribute to Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID pandemic,” Mr Hampton said.

“The domestic industry supplies around 80 per cent of timber used in Australian home construction and ramped up production to keep pace with record the demand, spurred in part by HomeBuilder. Extending the timeframe for new builds will take the pressure off and allow more time for stock to be produced and delivered to builders.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic’s onset in 2020, HomeBuilder was a welcome stimulus during uncertain times, and while the boom it has in part fuelled certainly is welcomed by our forest industries, it highlights the significant supply constraints of Australian timber.

“We don’t have enough trees in the ground right now to meet future demand and the Federal Government urgently needs to do more to incentivise new plantings. That includes removing Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) water rule barriers so forest growers and farmers can access payments under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) in all Regional Forestry Hubs.  

“Aussie timber is the number one choice for builders because it’s easy to use, low cost, versatile and environmentally friendly, and this current demand surge should be a wake-up call to the nation that unless we kick-start new tree plantings, these products we take for granted today may not be so accessible in the future,” Mr Hampton concluded.

 The original media release is here: 210417_AFPA_welcomes_Federal_Government_extension_of_HomeBuilder_start_date________