Growing northern Australia’s forestry industry

Friday 8 Mar 2019

Local stakeholders are the central plank of a new Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) project to identify the growth potential for northern Australia’s forestry and forestry products industry.

Speaking in Cairns on Thursday, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator Matt Canavan announced the AU$209,300 CRCNA research collaboration with Timber Queensland (TQ), the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Resources (NT DPIR), Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC).

The 10-month project will also work with several key industry stakeholders including the Forest Products Commission Western Australia, Plantation Management Partners, Midway, HQPlantations, Simms Group, DTM Timber/Branch 95, Quintis Ltd and Alpha Santanol, to deliver a comprehensive overview of the current challenges and opportunities facing the industry.

Senator Canavan said given the goal of growing the national forestry industry, the north could present new opportunities for the industry. “This project will look at northern Australia as an important part of Australia’s forestry story and provide a road map for the industry to really look at what they need to do to stimulate and drive future industry growth,” he said.

Timber Queensland’s CEO Mick Stephens said the project will review key strategic documents and regulatory frameworks in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland, and will identify the extent of commercially productive resources including native, plantation and farm forests.

“Once we’ve established this baseline of information, we will seek input from industry players, representatives of indigenous communities and other rural stakeholders, regional business groups, government agencies and academic institutions,” he said.

“A project Steering Committee comprising relevant representatives will be announced in early April and regional forums will be held in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia in June and July,” said Mr Stephens. It is expected this Steering Committee will assume the role of an Industry Development Alliance and continue to provide oversight regarding the ongoing growth and health of the industry beyond the life of the project.

Source: CRC for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA)

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