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It’s official! Forest growers levy boost passed.

Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) and other members of the Australian forest and wood products sector welcome the news that a forest grower levy increase, with matched funds from the federal government, has been enabled through regulatory changes.

The additional funds generated through the increase will be managed by FWPA and used to boost industry investment in research, development and extension (RD&E) by approximately $1.7 million in 2022–23, $3 million in 2023–24, and $4.2 million from 2024–25, based on current log production.

Craig Taylor, FWPA Chair, said the aim of the grower levy increase is to improve the industry’s capacity to invest in vital forestry research and development, and drive industry innovation for a successful future.

“Investment in forestry research and development is increasingly important as we look for ways to increase forest productivity and value, reduce risk and create new carbon friendly products using wood and biomass,” said Taylor.

Following a process of widespread industry consultation and collaboration, led by the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) during 2020–21, a massive 90 per cent of Australia’s forest growers supported the request for the grower levy increase.

The resultant proposal received support from the Australian Government in late 2021, with a commitment to match the extra funding generated through the levy increase.

The government has since taken the steps necessary to legalise the levy increase and allow for matched funding through amendments to the associated regulations.

“The commitment demonstrated by the government will ensure financial support for research projects designed to meet the priority areas identified by Australia’s forest growers,” said Taylor.

“Amongst these priorities are the continued investigation of remote sensing and machine learning for smart, safe and efficient forest management, as well as genomic techniques that will significantly advance tree breeding.

“Meanwhile, understanding soil microbial processes in forestry nurseries, and developing technologies and practices that enable better detection and protection from fires, pests and diseases will help build resilience against climate change.

“Addressing these priorities will help grow logs and wood fibre with higher quality characteristics and greater utility, which are essential for the sector’s continued growth, development and success.”

FWPA thanks AFPA for its tireless efforts in successfully leading this process, and acknowledge the funds provided by levy payers and the Australian Government to support industry research, development and innovation.

“We remain committed to validating the trust placed in us by the industry and government through the effective development and management of industry driven research projects,” said Taylor.

The grower levy increase has been legislated to commence from 1 July this year.


Posted Date: June 14, 2022

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