The Turnbull Coalition has announced a $4 million investment for a National Institute for Forest Products Innovation comprising of two research hubs.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Ruston said that in addition, the Coalition is committed to rolling over the 20-year Regional Forest Agreements.
Senator Anne Ruston and Andrew Nikolic MP, Liberal Member for Bass, said the commitment from the Coalition will help boost opportunities for jobs and growth in the forest and forest products industry into the future.
“The Turnbull Coalition is providing $4 million toward the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation to assist with collaboration in the Forestry R&D sector across Australia. It is expected that this funding will be matched by the Tasmanian and South Australian State Governments ($2 million each) as well as by Industry ($4 million) to create a $12 million institute.
“The Coalition is proud to support the forest industry transition into a smarter, higher value focus industry. The Forestry industry directly employs 64,300 Australians including 3500 Tasmanians across the full value chain, mainly in regional areas.” Senator Ruston said.
The institute will operate as a dispersed network model with one hub in Launceston, based at University of Tasmania, and another based in Mt Gambier in South Australia’s Green Triangle. Each hub will receive $2 million in funding.
“The National Institute for Forest Products Innovation delivers on the Turnbull National Innovation and Science Agenda and will utilise the strengths of each research hub, and will investigate innovation in areas such as forest management, timber processing, wood fibre recovery, advanced manufacturing and the bio-economy,” said Mr Nikolic who also mentioned this as a great outcome for Tasmania.
“The Coalition supports the Forest and Forest Products industry and the announcement demonstrates our commitment to working with industry to ensure a strong future for the industry in Tasmania and all across Australia.”
The negotiations for the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement are in the final stages and may be finalised before the end of the year.
“Regional Forest Agreements provide security of resource for the industry into the future and ensure sustainable management and conservation of Australia’s native forests. I call on Labor to also commit to a 20-year rolling life for each of the Regional Forest Agreements,” Mr Nikolic said.