The NSW Government has unveiled a record $28 million Farm Forestry package as part of the 2022/23 State Budget to bolster on-the-ground support for producers, drive innovation and promote best practice in sustainable farm forestry businesses. Source: Timberbiz
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the funding boost follows the introduction of new Farm Forestry Codes of Practice earlier this year, and provides increased support to farmers through enhanced education and training.
“This investment will fund a suite of programs and partnerships to facilitate and expand the development of the State’s sustainable Farm Forestry industry,” Mr Toole said.
“This is the largest investment in Farm Forestry in more than a decade, and it reflects the increasingly important role it will play in supporting our sustainable timber industry.”
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the investment would provide farmers with practical advice and support services to ensure forestry becomes a part of future farm planning.
“Our Australian-grown timber products are something we should all be very proud of, however, access to timber in our state forests has been constrained over the last few years due to fires and floods,” Mr Saunders said.
“This investment will put NSW farmers in the box seat to produce timber to be sold domestically, which will not only directly address timber shortages, but also increases and diversifies income streams for farmers after a tough few years.”
This announcement follows the NSW Government’s recent introduction of new Farm Forestry Codes of Practice (formerly Private Native Forestry) that will ensure long-term sustainability for the industry and provide robust environmental protections across the
NSW private forestry estate.
New changes for landowners under the codes include:
- New harvest and operating standards that provide greater clarity and are easier for landholders to apply – now including pest, weed and fire management;
- Updated planning and reporting with a clear role for Local Land Services to engage with farmers, and options for small scale harvesting; and
- Environmental protections that are clearer for landholders while ensuring long-term environmental sustainability in farm forests.
This investment will also fund a pilot certification scheme to support landholders seeking certification for their timber products under the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification standards. This will increase market access, improve social licence and incentivise the production of sustainable timber in Australia.