The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomes the announcement of a $14 million training centre for forest value to be developed at the University of Tasmania.
The Australian Government awarded $3.6 million to the University of Tasmania for the Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Forest Value as part of the Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP). This funding will be matched by industry and University contributions, bringing the total to about $14 million.
The ARC Training Centre for Forest Value aims to transform the Australian forest products sector through training and research, with the goal of increasing the industry’s productivity, profitability and sustainability.
AFPA Chief Executive Officer Mr Ross Hampton said, “This funding is a promising start and a step in the right direction for R&D investment. The rest of the globe is focused on the prospects of forestry and forest products to save the planet as the greenest of industries and are investing in new uses of timber for everything from building systems, to biomaterials, to smarter packaging. Australia has the potential to be a key innovative leader, and a major player in the global fibre demand, if more funding and support for research and development were to be prioritised”.
“The Coalition Government has said it wants to see a stronger and brighter future for the forestry and forest product industries which directly support some 120,000 jobs, mostly in rural and regional Australia. This funding announcement is an indication that the Government believes the forestry and forest products industries can play an important role economically and environmentally, and we look forward to further investment in this country’s sustainable future,” said Mr Hampton.