19 June 2022
The NSW Government’s $28 million funding injection to grow farm forestry will help NSW farmers to become foresters and ease the state’s timber shortages amid record demand, the Australian Forest Products Association NSW said today.
AFPA NSW Chief Executive Officer Victor Violante said farm forestry could play a much bigger role in supplementing the state’s hardwood timber resource, and additional support for farmers through enhanced education and training could unlock vital timber supply for sawmills across NSW.
“AFPA NSW welcomes the NSW Government’s investment announced today that will provide additional income for farmers, support local manufacturing jobs and provide more locally-made timber products to build our homes – a win-win-win for NSW,” Mr Violante said.
“Our hardwood timber sawmills that make high-end timber products such as floorboards, decking and joinery are experiencing record demand for their products, but timber shortages mean builders and renovators are turning to imported timber sourced from countries at high risk of illegal logging and deforestation.”
Mr Violante welcomed the funding of a pilot group certification scheme that will help market access and reinforce the fact that NSW’s forest industries operate to the highest environmental standards in the world.
“Sourcing more timber from our sustainably managed regrowth forests – whether private or public – ensures no net loss of forest area, strong environmental protections, and supporting thousands of local jobs. Meanwhile, farm foresters can boost their on-farm income without affecting on-farm productivity.”
Mr Violante said he looked forward to working with the NSW Government on the delivery of the farm forestry reforms to ensure that they succeed in boosting farm forestry across NSW.
“AFPA NSW commends Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders and Deputy Premier Paul Toole’s recent regulatory and funding commitments to streamline farm forestry provisions to support more farmers and landowners to choose timber, which really is the ultimate renewable building material,” Mr Violante concluded.