A$13 million boost to protect critical NSW timber supplies

Friday 7 Jun 2024

The Softwoods Working Group welcomes the announcement of a A$13 million forestry funding package aimed at protecting critical timber supplies in the Murray region ahead of the 2024/25 bushfire season. This funding will support critical fire prevention, detection, and response initiatives in the Murray Region. The package was developed after extensive consultation with forestry industry groups and government agencies.

Strengthening and protecting the State’s softwood forestry industry is a key part of the NSW Government’s strategy to provide jobs and stimulate investment in regional NSW. Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty announced the funding yesterday in the Murraguldrie State Forest alongside representatives from the NSW timber industry.

The funding announcement significantly improves the region's readiness for bushfire season.

SWG Chairperson, Peter Crowe commended the Minister on the well considered funding. "The Softwoods Working Group (SWG) commends the minister for well targeted funding for essential projects which will significantly enhance fire protection for the valuable plantation in the NSW Murray. The SWG and its members look forward to aiding the Minister and the department on the most valuable infrastructure investments for communities, industry and the region broadly."

Ms Porteous, Executive Officer of the SWG commented on the need for future proofing the region. “The 2019/2020 fires are still too fresh for many community members. This funding will allow the industry, communities and critical RFS volunteers to be better prepared and react to future fire events”.

Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty stated: "The clearest message we have received from forestry industry representatives in the region is that all effort needs to be put into protecting the forests from bushfires, this package goes a long way to doing this.

While the NSW Government has made it clear we are focused on expanding plantation assets, we understand from industry that it is also very important that we boost protection of the remaining plantation resources. I recognise this is the highest priority for the softwood sector."

The Minister also said, “I also want to thank the Forest Industries Advisory Council, the Softwoods Working Group, the Australian Forest Products Association, Forestry Corporation and other NSW agencies and industry representatives for their input and efforts in this important area."

Independent Member for Wagga Wagga Dr Joe McGirr said: "As a strong supporter of initiatives that will help protect our region’s valuable plantations from future bushfires, I welcome this announcement and thank the Minister for acting on our representations on this issue."

NSW Government media release

Source: The Softwoods Working Group

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