International Day of Forests
Australia’s forest industries are marking today’s International Day of Forests to call on all sides of politics to focus on getting more production trees planted nationally, while guaranteeing a secure future for our sustainable native forest industries, to ensure we have enough timber to build the sustainable homes of our future. Source: Timberbiz
Acting CEO of the Australian Forest Products Association Victor Violante said this year’s International Day of Forests theme is “Forests and sustainable production and consumption” for which Australia is an international model citizen.
“Aussies have been sustainably building new homes from carbon absorbing timber for generations – but without rapid new tree plantings and a secure native forest industry, our ability to continue that is at risk,” Mr Violante said.
“Australia needs one billion new production trees planted by 2030 – otherwise we’ll experience increasingly severe supply shortages for common products like timber house frames in the decades ahead. Our own analysis shows Australia will be 250,000 house frames short of demand by 2035 if no action is taken.
“We need all sides of politics at the federal and state levels to focus on getting more production trees planted. Not only will this secure our housing future – it will play a key role helping Australia achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”
A report released last year found that 400,000 hectares of new plantation timber trees would sequester up to 388 megatonnes of CO2e after three cycles of harvesting and replanting – the equivalent of taking four times the total number of cars in Australia off the road for a whole year.
Continued sustainable multi-use management of designated native forests, including selective timber harvesting, will also result in enhanced carbon mitigation benefits.
“Whether they are plantations or managed native forests – Australia does sustainable forest production and consumption better than just about anywhere in the world. International Day of Forests is a day to celebrate that management while recognising that we need more timber and fibre for our cleaner, more environmentally friendly, carbon conscious future,” Mr Violante said.
CEO of the South Australian Forest Products Association Nathan Paine said South Australia needed 50 million new production trees planted over the next four years.
“Otherwise, we’ll experience increasingly severe supply shortages for common products like timber house frames in the decades ahead,” he said.
“With the election of the Labor Government on Saturday we look forward to working with the Government to deliver on their forestry policy and to engaging with all stakeholders on the need to get production trees planted.”
The new Government has promised that it will create Mount Gambier as a high-status recognised centre of forestry research in Australia.
The new Centre for Excellence would be funded by $15 million over 10 years to create a long-term Forestry Research and Development capability incorporating the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation and other forestry funding streams.
The then-Opposition also promised $2 million over three years to develop a Forest Products Domestic Manufacturing and Infrastructure Masterplan, including a focus on future skills needs and provide $2 million to replace fire towers with new technologies such as camera technology to provide a landscape level fire detection program, while ensuring existing fire towers are serviceable during the transition period.
“Not only will this secure our housing future – it will play a key role helping Australia achieve net zero emissions by 2050,” Mr Paine said.