The South Australian State Government has announced a $10.46 million grant to grow its forest and wood industry, with funding available to applicants that plan to be innovative, develop new markets and advanced manufacturing in the forestry sector.
According to the news release by Minister for Forests Leon Bignell, the funding is part of the $27 million South East Forestry Partnerships Program (SEFPP) that was specifically designed “to stimulate investment by new or existing wood processors in the region.”
During the first phase of the SEFPP, launched in November 2012, at least $36 million of public and private funding was invested in the forest processing sector.
Aside from generating new job opportunities, the aim of the undertaking is to build and grow a sustainable and productive forest and wood products industry in SA’s South East.
“The grants are being provided on the basis of at least $1 of applicant contribution to each $1 of government funding so the total regional investment for this second phase will be more than $20 million. This funding will drive capital investments, innovation and upgrades by new or existing businesses in the forestry and timber businesses in the South East,” the Minister said.
“It will support the development of innovative new products and technologies to increase sales volume and log throughput, making the entire forestry supply chain in the South East more sustainable.”
Only applicants who are located or intend to locate in the South East of South Australia and intend to provide a dedicated service to the designated region are eligible to apply.
“The new funding phase will support projects which align with recommendations of the Stage Two report of the Cellulose Fibre Value Chain Study, which outlined a short, medium and long-term vision for a thriving forestry industry in South Australia,” the Minister added.
The guidelines and information on how to apply for the South East Forestry Partnership Program are available at www.pir.sa.gov.au/sefpp