Australian Forest Research to reinvent itselfIn Australia there has been a stay of execution for the CRC for Forestry. Work is set to continue under the government's, yet to be decided, extension of the closure deadline. In a news release to the Australian industry earlier in the week Gordon Duff, CEO of the current CRC for Forestry, announced that there are now two new initiatives set to continue the work in this area. A new National Centre for Future Forest Industries (NCFFI) is budgeted for establishment and another alliance is set to be created in Queensland by CRC research manager Mark Brown.
The CRC for Forestry has reached the end of the seven-year Commonwealth contract, having successfully delivered against all contracted outputs and milestones. Meanwhile the Australian Government, via the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE), has agreed to provide AU$2.5 million of seed funding to help establish the National Centre.
The new centre will initially focus on three main themes:
Future options: Options and opportunities for higher value uses of the now-maturing plantation hardwood resource, in the context of declining industrial access to native forests.
Productivity: Urgently needed solutions to second rotation productivity decline in hardwood
plantations, developed in a multi-rotation, economic framework. Innovations in logistics and
applications of emerging technologies to forest operations will be a key focus.
Risk Mitigation: Reduction of the investment risk associated with new species/environment combinations in industrial, farm-forestry and environmental services (e.g. carbon,
biodiversity, salinity management) tree plantings.
While all this has been taking place, in Queensland Mark Brown has been working towards the
establishment of the Australian Forest Operations Research Alliance (AFORA), which grew out of the CRC for Forestry Program 3—Harvesting and Operations. AFORA is similarly national in scope, with the headquarters located at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Brown and Duffy are in agreement that there will be a close affiliation between AFORA and the new Centre.
Source: CRC for Forestry
Copyright 2004-2013 © Innovatek Ltd. All rights reserved.