- Significant progress made on 10-year $350 million investment plan to expand State's softwood plantation estate
- Nearly 3,000 hectares of land has been purchased so far this year
- New plantations will produce timber for the local construction industry and contribute to WA Government's response to climate change
Land acquisitions to expand Western Australia's softwood estate are progressing well, despite the current highly competitive real estate market in the State's South-West.
The McGowan Government announced a record $350 million investment in September 2021 to expand the State's softwood plantation timber estate, to ensure a sustainable future supply of timber for the WA construction industry and increase the State's carbon sequestration.
The Forest Products Amendment Bill 2021 was passed in June this year to allow the Forest Products Commission (FPC) to purchase freehold land and trade in carbon.
Since the Amendment in June 2022, seven properties have been purchased, providing nearly 3,000 hectares of additional land for pine plantations.
Several other blocks of land are currently under negotiation, and the FPC will continue discussions with real estate agencies and private landowners to identify and place purchase offers on suitable properties that meet the scope of the 10-year expansion project.
The timber harvested from plantations supplies about 70 per cent of the pine products used in the State's housing and construction market.
As well as supporting direct and indirect jobs in WA's timber industry, softwood plantations significantly contribute to the capture and storage of carbon, assisting in the State's response to climate change.
Alongside the land acquisition process, the FPC nursery workers and silviculture team are planning for the 2023 planting program and ramping up for the increased planting program going forward.
Comments attributed to Forestry Minister Dave Kelly:
"Expanding the State's softwood plantation estate is a critical investment to ensure a sustainable future supply of timber for the WA construction industry, as well as an increase in the State's carbon sequestration in response to climate change.
"Significant progress has been made on the 10-year plan for a $350 million investment to expand Western Australia's softwood plantation estate.
"Land acquisitions are progressing well despite the current, highly competitive real estate market that is driving sharp increases in land prices throughout the South-West.
"In the less than six months since the Forest Products Amendment Bill 2021 was passed, seven freehold properties have been purchased, providing nearly 3,000 hectares of additional land for the plantation estate.
"This is a record investment and the necessary steps have been taken to ensure long term success, so seeing momentum building with regular negotiations on land purchases is exciting for the State's sustainable timber industry."
Minister's office - 6552 6100