Commonwealth and State Forestry Ministers today released a report on a development strategy for Western Australia’s timber industry.
The report, commissioned by the Department of Conservation and Land Management’s Forest Products Division and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia, will be used to guide implementation of the joint Forest Industry Structural Adjustment Program (FISAP).
WA Forest Products Minister Paul Omodei said the industry development strategy would help in the allocation of funds from the $38.5 million provided for the WA FISAP by the State and Federal Governments following the signing of the Regional Forest Agreement last year.
“The focus of the strategy, prepared by consultants BIS-Shrapnel and URS Forestry, is to encourage industry to make better and higher-value use of the native timber resource available to it,” Mr Omodei said.
“This means that the industry will have to look at a range of technologies to improve efficiency and ensure they get the maximum return from each sawlog.”
Commonwealth Forestry and Conservation Minister Wilson Tuckey noted that the strategy foreshadows the need for significant investments in downstream processing facilities and a more imaginative approach to how the industry uses high value native forest timbers.
“Current value adding infrastructure in the high value outdoor furniture sector provides a good example and a solid base from which the rest of the industry can build,” he said.
The report describes the current structure of the native forest timber industry in Western Australia and analyses its strengths and weaknesses against future likely demand for wood products.
The analysis is used to propose strategies for development of the industry, and to identify areas where Government assistance should be directed to help the industry achieve its objectives.
Ministers acknowledged that the report contained a wealth of information that would assist the industry to increase value adding, and strongly encouraged the industry to implement the thrust of the report.
Copies of the report are available from CALM Forest Products Division 08 9475 8888.
Minister Tuckey’s office Graeme Hallett 0419 688 440
Minister Omodei’s office Hugh Ryan 08 9213 6700