Australia’s forest industries will benefit from newly-opened federal government grants that aim to drive innovation in timber and wood fibre processing, encouraging manufacturers to value-add by upgrading processing facilities or creating new products
Australian Forest Products Association CEO Ross Hampton says the government committed $113 million for these new grants ahead of last year’s federal election and it’s excellent to finally see the application process open.
AFPA campaigned at the election for a manufacturing innovation fund for timber processors to boost onshore value adding in Australia’s forest industries, allowing a better utilisation of current resources and the creation of new manufacturing and jobs in regional Australia.
“We were pleased to get a bipartisan commitment to this grants program and the potential for processors to get more from their resource is huge,” Mr Hampton said.
“These grants will allow manufacturing businesses to pivot and make the most of the opportunities. With global timber and wood fibre demand forecast to quadruple by 2050, the domestic and international market opportunities are vast”
Mr Hampton thanked Forestry Minister Senator Murray Watt for his strong engagement post-election on delivering the government’s commitments for forest industries.
Funding of between $1 million and $5 million will be available. The grants will be a co-contribution with applicants contributing a minimum of 60% of the overall project value.