Around $24m will go towards the creation new forest plantations to increase timber supply.
Around $24m will go towards the creation new forest plantations to increase timber supply. Forestry Corporation of NSW

Funding boost for timber industry proves divisive

THE National Parks Association is set to put forward a plan, which seeks to end industrialised logging on public land in NSW.

This comes after the State Budget allocated $72-million to the timber industry.

The funding commitment has been earmarked for forestry industry initiatives, including a $24-million investment in new forest plantations to increase timber supply.

Chief Executive Officer of Timber NSW, Maree McCaskill, welcomed the investment.

"NSW's forest industries contribute $2.4 billion annually to the NSW economy and directly employ over 22,000 people across the value chain, with almost half of the workforce based in regional and rural NSW," she said.

"This funding package is welcome and will underpin renewed industry investment, economic development and important regional jobs in NSW.

"We hope that some of the money earmarked for plantations can assist with increasing the supply of quality hardwood and softwood."

Meanwhile, NPA is releasing an economic case for change with its Forests For All plan today, seeking to demonstrate to the Government there is 'an economically viable alternative' to industrialised native forest logging.

The preliminary business case has come soon after the NSW Government released its proposed changes to logging rules which would see the logging of oldgrowth forests and clearfelling on the east coast.

"New Zealand successfully transitioned away from native forest logging on public land after public concern over the environmental impacts of logging became apparent. New Zealand has thrived ever since. We can do the same," NPA CEO, Alix Goodwin, said.

"The forestry industry essentially is now the plantation industry. The case for change shows that native forest logging now supports very few jobs, and that implementing Forests For All is likely to have significant economic and employment benefits.

"We are asking the NSW Government to think again before implementing its proposals to log old-growth forests and clearfell koala habitat just to get the last remnants of timber for a declining industry."



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