Forest industries in the South West Slopes (SWS) region of NSW have been given a huge boost with the launch today at AKD Softwoods sawmill in Tumut of the SWS Forest Industry Hub. The work program of the Hub is underpinned by Federal government funding of $1 million over three years.
“We need to plant new production trees and invest in our forest industries to provide the necessary wood fibre to meet Australia’s increasing demand for renewable forest products’, said the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) CEO, Ross Hampton.
“Thanks to the great advocacy from the Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Senator Duniam, the Government funding commitment, coupled with industry working together, will enable the SWS Regional Forest Industry Hub to make real progress on growing new production trees, planning new infrastructure investment and manufacturing innovative new products. Industry will look at the key constraints that need addressing and opportunities that we can grasp.”
The SWS region of NSW is based around the key regional areas of Tumut and Tumbarumba extending south into Victoria. The region has significant competitive advantages in forestry, including a critical mass of forest plantations, transport and processing infrastructure as well as a skilled forestry workforce and supportive local governments.
“AFPA is proud of the rollout of Regional Forestry Hubs around Australia and appreciates the Government’s ongoing support for the Hubs program. The SWS Forest Industry Hub and the participating companies are a great example of our renewable forest industries potential and the positive impact we can have on regional jobs and economic growth,’ said Mr Hampton.