Growing Forestry Jobs Through Innovation

14 July 2020

The Victorian Government is supporting our timber industry and securing future jobs by establishing a centre for timber and forestry innovation in Gippsland.

Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today announced that the Victorian Government, in collaboration with the Commonwealth, will provide $4 million to Forest and Wood Products Australia over the next four years to establish the Gippsland Centre of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI).

Opening later this year, the centre will be created as part of the Victorian Forestry Plan to promote research and development opportunities that will help to diversify the sector.

The initiative will complement future grants to individual businesses under the Victorian Timber Innovation Fund, assisting the industry to transition from native timber harvesting to plantation timber.

In addition to becoming a hub of expertise and fostering collaboration, the NIFPI will provide grants to forestry initiatives.

Projects funded under the NIFPI are expected to cover areas such as plantation management, timber processing, wood fibre recovery, advanced manufacturing and the bioeconomy. These projects have the potential to strengthen the sector as it transforms.

The NIFPI will receive ongoing administrative support from Forest and Wood Products Australia and is expected to promote cutting-edge research that leads to targeted investment to boost the sector, enabling potential future job growth in Gippsland.

It will be the third NIFPI established, joining other centres in Launceston and Mount Gambier. Previous research by NIFPI centres has helped plantations to reduce stock loss by better understanding the influence of time taken to dry the timber.

Research has also resulted in new sawing and gluing techniques that produce more attractive and structurally stronger products at cheaper prices.

The Victorian Forestry Plan sets out the Victorian Government’s approach for managing the native timber industry over the next decade, providing $120 million to support the transition to 100 per cent plantation timber harvesting by 2030.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes

“Establishing the Gippsland Centre of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation sends a clear message that the Victorian Government is supporting the future of our local timber industry by driving innovation.”

“This forestry innovation hub will encourage ingenuity as the sector transitions from native timber harvesting to plantation timber, ensuring regional jobs in the years to come and delivering positive outcomes for Gippsland.”

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“This is a critical investment in our forestry industry that we are proud to support, backing innovation and research right here in Gippsland.”

Reviewed 19 July 2020

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