New investment a boost for WA’s forestry industry 

The Liberal National Government has announced a $21 million investment to expand softwood plantations in Western Australia.

Image credit: http://www.fpc.wa.gov.au/softwoodstrategy
Image credit: http://www.fpc.wa.gov.au/softwoodstrategy

The WA softwood plantation sector is pivotal to the $1.06 billion per year forest products industry, which directly employs over 5,000 people. WA’s softwood industry supplies up to 70% of the State’s construction roofing timber.

According to the official announcement, the new strategy is focused on six key areas, “with actions including a renewed focus on attaining higher levels of certification, development of new training and employment pathways, improving community engagement and increasing efforts to protect plantations from fire.”

The Softwood Industry Strategy was officially launched by Forestry Minister Mia Davies last week.

“The strategy will double the annual investment in planting on State Government and private land around manufacturing and processing hubs in regional WA, which will strengthen industry development and improve productivity,” said Minister Davies.

“Up to 10,000 hectares of softwood will be planted by the Forest Products Commission to expand our softwood estate over the next five years, the equivalent of two trees for every one harvested, or 2.7 million pine seedlings annually.”

The Minister added that the strategy will also establish a $100,000 innovation fund to stimulate market opportunities.

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