$108M Grants Drive Innovation in Australian Forest Products

Industry welcomes Accelerate Adoption of Wood Processing Innovation program. Scroll down to search the successful recipients

Thu 20 Apr 23


The Australian Government has awarded more than $108 million across 34 separate grants to timber and wood processors.

Reported in Mirage News, the funding will encourage more value adding and innovation in the industry.

The Accelerate Adoption of Wood Processing Innovation Program (AAWPIP) supports wood processing facilities in implementing projects that maximize timber utilisation, improve product value, develop new products, and/or reduce the sector’s carbon footprint.

Grant recipients will undertake a variety of innovative projects using the funds, including the creation of products for the housing and construction industries, packaging materials, high-quality timber, and activated carbon production. Among the 34 grants, four are designated for projects involving first nations organizations.

Click on the image to read more about the program
Click on the image to read more about the program. The program offers co-funding of up to 40 per cent of total project costs, with the remaining 60 per cent to be met by the applicant.
Announcement by Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Murray Watt

Yesterday, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Murray Watt and local MP Brian Mitchell announced the news at Western Junction Sawmill near Launceston.

Minister Watt stressed that the program’s execution showcases the Albanese Government’s strong dedication to Australia’s sustainable forestry industry.

“Our government understands how important the forestry industry is for communities around the country, but particularly here in Tasmania,” Minister Watt said.

“A total of 34 grants will be made, selected by an independent panel, including funding for 4 projects involving First Nations organisations, enabling the use of sustainably sourced timber from traditional lands.

“These grants are about creating more long-term jobs in the forestry sector.

“In the October budget, we committed more than $300 million to support Australia’s forest industries to innovate and improve the capacity and capability of the sector.

“In addition to this, the government is establishing the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation and has committed support for specific training for the forestry and wood products industries.”

The Australian Government, in collaboration with the South Australian, Tasmanian, and Victorian State Governments, has jointly invested $12 million to create three National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI) centres located in Gippsland, Mount Gambier, and Launceston.

Mr. Mitchell, who represents the Lyons electorate, which encompasses the Launceston centre, stated that the grant program will aid wood processors by encouraging investments in upgrading current manufacturing lines and fostering innovation to expand the range of domestic products.

“Enabling wood processing facilities to use innovative technologies in their production will enhance the forestry industry’s ability to supply more of Australia’s wood demands into the future,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Here in Tasmania that includes projects that improve production processes, and value add to existing operations. More than $15 million in government funding will be spent across five projects, with the total value of new investment set to reach over $45 million.”

AFPA welcomes announcement: government delivers on key election promise

In a media statement, Joel Fitzgibbon, CEO of the Australian Forest and Wood Products Association (AFPA) thanked the government for delivering on its key election commitment.

“Today, the Albanese Government has delivered on a key election commitment to drive innovation across timber and wood manufacturing through the AAWPI grants program.”

Fitzgibbon thanked Minister Watt for his determination to deliver the program as well as the Government’s broader plan to strengthen Australia’s forest industries – which includes up to $500 million for forestry and fibre in the National Reconstruction Fund which passed the senate last month.

“AFPA campaigned ahead of last year’s federal election for such a manufacturing innovation fund, and we were pleased to get a bipartisan commitment for this grants program,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

Earlier this week Wood Central reported on the timber shortage and challenges in meeting current housing demand, and according to Fitzgibbon the grants will enable local manufacturers to use innovation to optimise productivity to meet growing demand.

“This program will not only support jobs but also help fight climate change through the creation of more renewable and sustainable products,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

The announcement coincides with a new report released by Net Zero Australia, supporting greater efforts to plant more trees to carbon targets.

The World Bank has forecast that global demand for timber will quadruple over the next 30 years, with the grants playing an important role in helping processors and manufacturers pivot to a low carbon economy.

“Additionally, it will allow processors and manufacturers to pivot and make the most of the opportunities emerging from the national and global boom in demand for sustainably sourced timber and wood fibre products.

“More than 25% of Australia’s emissions come from construction; using more timber will help Australia meets its emission reduction targets.”

Grant funding of between $1 million and $5 million has been awarded to the 34 successful applicants from this financial year until 2025-26.

Grant Recipients
Hyne & Son Pty. LimitedQLD$5,000,000
Timberlink Australia Pty LtdTAS$5,000,000
Capital Battens Pty LtdACT$4,985,250
Wesbeam Pty LtdWA$4,486,478
Wespine Industries Pty LtdWA$3,509,857
Western Junction Sawmill Pty LtdTAS$1,984,000
XLAM Australia Pty LtdVIC$5,000,000
A.J Forster Pty LtdSA$1,421,112
AKD Queensland Pty LtdQLD$5,000,000
Kennedy’s Classic Aged Timbers Pty LtdQLD$1,654,285
NSFP Southwood Pty LtdTAS$4,957,570
Duncan’s Holdings LtdNSW$3,253,890
Gidarjil Development Corporation LimitedQLD$3,217,000
Mareeba Sawmills Pty LtdQLD$1,793,640
Tilling Timber Proprietary LimitedNSW, VIC, QLD$4,495,583
Dyna Group Australia Pty LtdQLD$1,194,186
Highland Pine Products Pty LimitedNSW$4,019,325
Whiteheads Timber Sales Pty LtdSA$3,947,225
Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (trading as DJAARA)VIC$1,441,915
Parkside Building Supplies Pty. Ltd.QLD$3,480,000
Superior Wood Pty LtdQLD$4,200,000
Worldwide Truss & Frames Pty LtdWA$2,370,157
AKD NSW Pty LimitedNSW$5,000,000
Mcdonnell Industries Pty. Ltd.SA$4,005,687
KSI Sawmills Pty. Ltd.SA$1,440,000
Weathertex Pty LtdNSW$2,400,000
AKD Victoria Pty LtdVIC$2,556,000
Dindas Australia Pty LtdQLD$1,049,100
Albert Johnson Pty LtdNSW$1,994,544
Bedford Phoenix IncorporatedNSW$3,140,000
CLTP Panel Products Pty LtdTAS$2,070,000
Project.E Pty LtdNT$5,000,000
Stronach Industries Group Pty LtdTAS$1,000,000
Ashborn Pty LtdSA$2,709,941


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