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Five new research projects for Gippsland contribute to forestry sector

Victoria’s forestry industries are set to benefit from five new research projects funded by the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation centre in Gippsland. Source: Timberbiz

Federal Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam, and Victorian Minister for Agriculture Mary‑Anne Thomas congratulated the funding recipients and welcomed the benefits these projects will bring to Gippsland and the wider industry across Australia.

The new projects have been backed by funding from the Federal and Victorian governments, showcasing the valuable partnership between government, industry and the research community to back-in the forestry sector.

“The Gippsland NIFPI centre has funded five new forestry research projects leveraging a total of $4.5 million that will increase the productivity and sustainability of the forestry sector in Gippsland,” Senator Duniam said.

“Gippsland is a proud forestry region and the $2 million of Australian Government funding to the NIFPI, matched by Victoria, is helping to ensure that continues well into the future.

“The research funded under this round will look at opportunities like remote controlled pruning for improved fire management, productivity‑enhancing tree breeding, nursery management and soil research, and the commercial opportunities available for smaller diameter plantation logs in Gippsland.”

Ms Thomas said the funding would help foster best practice in the industry and improve productivity.

“These research projects will drive innovation and collaboration, helping to secure Gippsland’s role in advancing forestry research in Australia,” she said.

“Forestry research is vital to support the future of our local timber industry, create jobs and boost local economies.”

Victorian Forest Products Association CEO Deb Kerr said the projects would invest in research focused on innovative nursery solutions, improved productivity and soil health, along with novel pruning options and improving the use of underutilized small trees.

“Trees are a sustainable, renewable resource right at our doorstep. We appreciate the investment and support of the Federal and Victorian Governments to support research innovation in forestry that will help stretch this valuable resource further,” Ms Kerr said.

“Victoria’s forestry regions are in a unique situation to be part of the global shift to renewable, low-emission wood products, and investment in these projects will underpin the future demand by Victorians for Victorian wood,” she said.

“From reducing waste to increasing yield, forestry is at the forefront of innovation. This investment in forestry R&D shows that the Federal and State Government recognise the potential of Victoria’s – and Australia’s – sustainable plantation forest industries to drive innovation and job creation in Australia.”

The Australian and Victorian government project funding includes:

  • $360,000 for Western Sydney University to develop innovative nursery management solutions to sustainably manage root disease, improve nursery utilisation, and enhance resilience and productivity of planted pines.
  • $362,000 for Treebreeding Australia to look at how single-step genomic sequencing can deliver sustained productivity gains in softwood plantations.
  • $90,000 for Federation University to increase productivity for Radiata pine plantations by better understanding soil resources.
  • $300,000 for Sylva Systems to conduct a feasibility study of a commercially available remote-controlled and high-rate tree pruning unit to create fuel modified zones in softwood plantations.
  • $300,000 for Radial Timbers Australia to evaluate commercial opportunities for laminated veneer lumber from underutilised small diameter resource in Gippsland.

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