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.
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.
“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.
|Hyne & Son Pty. Limited||QLD||$5,000,000|
|Timberlink Australia Pty Ltd||TAS||$5,000,000|
|Capital Battens Pty Ltd||ACT||$4,985,250|
|Wesbeam Pty Ltd||WA||$4,486,478|
|Wespine Industries Pty Ltd||WA||$3,509,857|
|Western Junction Sawmill Pty Ltd||TAS||$1,984,000|
|XLAM Australia Pty Ltd||VIC||$5,000,000|
|A.J Forster Pty Ltd||SA||$1,421,112|
|AKD Queensland Pty Ltd||QLD||$5,000,000|
|Kennedy’s Classic Aged Timbers Pty Ltd||QLD||$1,654,285|
|NSFP Southwood Pty Ltd||TAS||$4,957,570|
|Duncan’s Holdings Ltd||NSW||$3,253,890|
|Gidarjil Development Corporation Limited||QLD||$3,217,000|
|Mareeba Sawmills Pty Ltd||QLD||$1,793,640|
|Tilling Timber Proprietary Limited||NSW, VIC, QLD||$4,495,583|
|Dyna Group Australia Pty Ltd||QLD||$1,194,186|
|Highland Pine Products Pty Limited||NSW||$4,019,325|
|Whiteheads Timber Sales Pty Ltd||SA||$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 Ltd||QLD||$4,200,000|
|Worldwide Truss & Frames Pty Ltd||WA||$2,370,157|
|AKD NSW Pty Limited||NSW||$5,000,000|
|Mcdonnell Industries Pty. Ltd.||SA||$4,005,687|
|KSI Sawmills Pty. Ltd.||SA||$1,440,000|
|Weathertex Pty Ltd||NSW||$2,400,000|
|AKD Victoria Pty Ltd||VIC||$2,556,000|
|Dindas Australia Pty Ltd||QLD||$1,049,100|
|Albert Johnson Pty Ltd||NSW||$1,994,544|
|Bedford Phoenix Incorporated||NSW||$3,140,000|
|CLTP Panel Products Pty Ltd||TAS||$2,070,000|
|Project.E Pty Ltd||NT||$5,000,000|
|Stronach Industries Group Pty Ltd||TAS||$1,000,000|
|Ashborn Pty Ltd||SA||$2,709,941|