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Friday Analysis: imported timber to double if we don’t plant one billion more trees

So, Australia faces a ‘critical housing timber shortage’ by 2050.

An interim report by Forest & Wood Products Australia has found that our reliance on imported timber will double by 2050 if our nation falls short of the plan to plant an additional one billion production trees.

This, really, shouldn’t come as any great surprise.

As Shadow Agriculture Minister Julie Collins, and others, has pointed out the Federal Government had already been forced into an embarrassing back down on the pledge to plant one billion trees, with a new commitment of 150 million trees announced in February.

She says it is clear the Federal Government has not done nearly enough to support the forestry industry to help meet its goals.

Three years ago, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited Somerset in Tasmania promising to plant a billion trees by 2030.

Wind the clock forward to 2022 and the question is how many trees has the Prime Minister delivered?

Ms Collins points out that so far little more than 1% of this target has been met since 2019.

In February this year the Prime Minister was back in Tasmania with a re-jigged tree planting policy.

The Prime Minister promised to plant just 150 million trees by 2027 – 850 million less than what he committed to in 2019.

Ms Collins simply poses the question – how do you go from a billion trees to 150 million trees in just three years?

Meanwhile, at a forum in Heyfield this week, community members, harvesters, industry groups, local Councillors and Gippsland’s state and federal MPs demonstrated a much-needed show of strength against the Andrews Government’s native timber transition plan.

The Nationals and Liberals have committed to overturn Daniel Andrews decision to shut the native industry if they win the state election in November.

Next month’s Federal Election should provide an indicator as to how difficult, or perhaps easy, that may be.