Forestry research hub launched in Mount Gambier

South Australia, the birthplace of the Australian softwood plantation industry and a leader in forestry innovation, has today been further strengthened with the launch of a new National Institute for Forest Products Innovation hub in Mount Gambier.

The Institute, which will be hosted at the University of South Australia's Mount Gambier campus, is backed by AU$4 million funding from the Australian and South Australian Governments, and will be supported by industry contributions.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said the new hub would play an important role in building knowledge on Australia's plantation forests and revolutionising the way they are used.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said South Australia has a long history in plantation forestry dating back to the establishment of some of Australia's first forest plantation trials in the 1870s. "In South Australia there were 178 800 hectares of plantation forests in 2015-16 with logs produced to a value of AU$321 million. The innovation hub will enable the local industry to advance even further."

An industry led committee has been established to determine priority research projects for the forest and wood products industry in the Mount Gambier region. Industry members of the committee are Dr Charlma Phillips, Tammy Auld, Phillip Dohnt, Glen Rivers and David Oliver. The committee will also include Professor Christopher Saint from the University of South Australia, and representatives of the Australian and South Australian Governments.

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