Australian Premier announces softwood investment

The Forest Products Commission (FPC) has  welcomed the announcement by the West Australian Premier, The Honourable Mark McGowan MLA, to invest a record $350 million to expand Western Australia’s softwood plantation timber industry.

This record investment is expected to provide at least an additional 33,000 hectares of softwood timber plantation, with up to 50 million pine trees planted, sequestering between 7.9 and 9.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

It is estimated that around 60 direct timber industry jobs and 80 indirect jobs will be created as part of the expansion plan, with the new jobs initially associated with the plantation establishment program.

The expansion plan will also protect 860 direct jobs and 1,120 indirect jobs, mostly in the South West timber industry, as well as support the many thousands of jobs in the State’s construction industry that depend upon the reliable supply of softwood timber.

The softwood processing industry currently supplies the majority of pine products used in the State’s housing and construction market. It also supports a range of other markets such as particle board, pallet timber, fence posts and power poles.

The State government also announced at the conclusion of the current Forest Management Plan 2014 – 2023, all timber taken from native forests will be limited to forest management activities that improve forest health and clearing for approved mining operations. It is expected these activities will produce a limited volume of native timber that will be subject to the normal tender processes of the Forest Products Commission.

Government have committed $50 million to support a Just Transition Fund, that will assist workers, businesses and communities, of the South-West in this transition. The FPC will work with industry to make the necessary adjustments for the future.

The FPC’s role is to deliver sustainable management and development of Western Australia’s forest products industry. While our industry will look different into the future, our role remains. The FPC look forward to supporting the expansion of the plantation sector and continuing to deliver sustainable forest management activities for the State.

For more information contact:

Rebecca Miniken
Communications Branch
Phone:       (08) 9363 4600
Mobile:      0438 903 289