Plantation grants available

THE second round of grants for the $74 million Support Plantation Establishment Program is now open for applications.​

Farm foresters, First Nations businesses and the forestry industry are among those who will benefit from funding to support more new plantation forests in Australia.​

Acting Deputy Secretary of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Policy Group, Dr Jared Greenville, said the grants aimed to increase domestic timber supply, particularly construction and manufacturing timber.​

“Australia’s plantation forest estate has been in decline for over a decade,” Dr Greenville said.​

“Estimates from 2019 predict a shortfall in domestic production of softwood logs of 3.4 million m3 by 2050 based on 2015/16 production levels.​“

The federal government is providing funding of $2000 (GST exclusive) per hectare of new long-rotation plantation forest established.

“It can take some tree species 20 to 30 years of growing before they are suitable for harvest and can be processed into structural timber.​ This growing time is even longer for some hardwood species,”​ DR Greenville said.

Projects can run for one, two or three years and must be concluded no later than June 30, 2027.​

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