Forestry Minister Mia Davies has launched a Softwood Industry Strategy for Western Australia, which will provide ongoing job security, supply continuity for the building and construction sectors and sustainability of the State's forest estate.
Ms Davies said the strategy was underpinned by a $21 million investment in expanding the softwood estate and the establishment of manufacturing and processing hubs in the South-West.
"The strategy will double the annual investment in planting on State Government and private land around manufacturing and processing hubs in regional WA, which will strengthen industry development and improve productivity," she said.
"Up to 10,000 hectares of softwood will be planted by the Forest Products Commission to expand our softwood estate over the next five years, the equivalent of two trees for every one harvested, or 2.7 million pine seedlings annually."
The strategy is focused on six key areas, with actions including a renewed focus on attaining higher levels of certification, development of new training and employment pathways, improving community engagement and increasing efforts to protect plantations from fire.
The Minister said sufficient scale in forest estate was essential to safeguard jobs, avoid a dependency on imported timber and contribute to a domestic industry with significant economic and environmental value to regional WA.
"As well as building the estate, the strategy will establish a $100,000 innovation fund to stimulate market opportunities and appoint a forestry adviser to support and work with farmers looking to develop forestry enterprises," she said.
Minister's office - 6552 5500