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Commitment to boost NSW farm forestry could help ease timber shortage

26 April 2022

The NSW Government’s commitment to streamline farm forestry regulations and make it easier for farmers is welcome news for builders struggling to source sustainable, locally grown timber, the Australian Forest Products Association NSW said today.

AFPA NSW CEO Victor Violante said the new Farm Forestry Codes of Practice that regulate hardwood timber operations on private property could unlock vital timber supply for timber mills across NSW, and provide a win-win for farmers.

“Farm forestry, including Private Native Forestry, has the potential to play a much greater role in NSW’s hardwood and softwood timber supply and ease some of the timber shortages that are affecting the construction industry,” 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 shortages mean builders and renovators are turning to imported timber sourced from countries at high risk of illegal logging and deforestation.

“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 seeing the detail of the new codes and working with the NSW Government on ensuring that the new Codes and any legislative changes reduce the red tape that has previously discouraged farmers from forestry.

“AFPA NSW commends Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders and Deputy Premier Paul Toole’s commitment to streamline farm forestry provisions to support more farmers and landowners to supply timber.

“While not part of these reforms, we are also working with the NSW Government to support farmers into plantation forestry, as our softwood timber mills that make our timber house frames are also desperate for more resource,” Mr Violante concluded.



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