A major State Government-owned tree plantation west of Gingin will be named today in honour of one of the most prominent figures in Western Australia’s landcare industry.
WA Forestry Minister Kim Chance said at the ceremony today that the young 237ha plantation of Maritime pine trees, about 80km north of Perth, would be named Chatfield Plantation in honour of the late Dennis Chatfield of Tammin.
Mr Chance described Mr Chatfield as a highly awarded farmer, self-taught engineer, inventor and nurseryman, who had furthered the cause of landcare through a lifetime’s commitment, hard work and innovative genius.
“His greatest invention, among many, was the revolutionary Chatfield Tree Planter which greatly simplified and reduced the cost of planting trees, placing this vital activity within the reach of many farmers and landcare groups,” he said.
“The family’s nursery on Dennis and wife Jos’s farm at Tammin has also produced millions of trees suitable for planting in low rainfall areas, particularly the Wheatbelt.”
Mr Chatfield passed away in March this year after a long battle with cancer. He was 66.
Chatfield Plantation is operated by the Forest Products Commission, which purchased the property in 2004 as part of its Infinitree™ program, aimed at planting trees throughout WA’s cleared agricultural areas to control rising water tables, reduce salinity and provide timber for various industries.
Properties were also purchased near Mt Barker, Collie and Esperance. Tree farming agreements are being established with farmers across the State.
Planting at Chatfield Plantation will be completed in 2006, bringing the total area to 320ha. The trees will be harvested in 28 years and used by Wesbeam’s plant at Neerabup, north of Wanneroo, for production of Laminated Veneer Lumbar.
“These are triple bottom line trees,’ Mr Chance said.
“They will serve a vital environmental purpose and then be harvested to provide economic and social benefits for the community.”
“The Gallop Government is protecting and enhancing WA’s unique environment.”
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