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McGowan’s $36M to help forestry out-of-workers but mining can still cut trees

The McGowan Government will deliver $36 million through the 2023-24 State Budget to create dozens of new jobs to help deliver on the historic decision to end native logging in Australia’s South-West. Source: Timberbiz

The additional resources will assist in implementing the Forest Management Plan 2024-33 to improve forest resilience in a changing climate.

The native logging ban aims to preserve at least 400,000 hectares of karri, jarrah and wandoo forests, an area 1,000 times the size of Kings Park. This is in addition to the 1.6 million hectares of forest already protected.

The only timber to be taken from the native forests will come from management activities designed to improve forest health and clearing for approved mining operations or infrastructure maintenance.

“Western Australians overwhelmingly support the protection of our native forests. This funding will provide jobs and resources for management activities that improve forest resilience.

“We must act now to conserve the precious biodiversity of the South-West forests over the next decade. The impact of climate change on our forests can’t be ignored.”

“We’re delivering on the decision to end large scale commercial logging in our native forests which reflects the changing attitudes of our community,” said Forestry Minister Jackie Jarvis:

“This new funding builds on the McGowan Government’s $80 million Native Forestry Transition Plan supporting workers, businesses and communities linked to the native forest industry.

“We have also committed a record $350 million investment in new softwood plantations across the South-West, which will create more regional jobs in WA.”

The investment in the 2023-24 State Budget will provide 50 full-time positions as well as operational funds to enable the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and the Forest Products Commission to carry out their work.

The Forest Management Plan 2024-33 reaffirms the McGowan Government’s commitment to act on climate change and protect biodiversity. Maintaining a healthy and resilient forest ecosystem is one of the most effective ways to mitigate against climate change.

Hundreds of submissions from thousands of individuals and groups were received during public consultation. That feedback is being considered in finalising the plan.

The final Forest Management Plan will be released later this year and will take effect from January 2024.

“This investment highlights our Government’s commitment to preserving WA’s forests for future generations and to act on climate change,” said Environment and Climate Action Minister Reece Whitby.

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