A joint analysis by Master Builders Australia and the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) was released yesterday and reported in the Australian.
The analysis shows that unless action is taken to enlarge the nation’s sovereign timber plantation estate in the immediate term that the industry will face a cumulative shortage of timber equivalent to 250,000 timber housing frames by 2035.
The MBA/AFPA report makes recommendations to incentivise the planting of an additional 400,000 hectares of plantations by 2025 including:
Short term measures to ease the timber shortage
- Support for sawmills which have extra processing capacity to transport logs from further afield.
- Support for shovel-ready projects that would drive innovation and increase sawlog recovery from existing log volumes i.e., engineered wood solutions.
- Inclusion in the Federal Government’s $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy.
Medium & longer-term measures to fast track the National Billion Trees Plan and plant another 400,000 hectares of plantation timber by 2030
- An urgent COAG-level strategy to grow our timber plantation estate, including joint commitments to establish new tree plantings in key strategic timber processing regions and achieve the One Billion Trees goal.
- Removal of barriers preventing new plantation projects from accessing carbon credits under the Federal Government’s Climate Solutions Fund.
- Policy initiatives to expand plantations/farm forestry to develop sovereign capability.
- Prioritise a new Climate Solutions Fund methodology for avoided emissions from using timber products in construction, which will support growth in Australia’s engineered timber manufacturing capacity.
The release of the MBA/AFPA report was timed to coincide with the meeting of federal, state and territory forestry ministers yesterday. The ministers pledged to work to develop an approach to incentivise growing the timber plantation estate.
Read more from the Federal Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries here.