FOREST ENTERPRISES Australia (FEA) and Forests NSW have signed a pact to establish and maintain 4,500 hectares of hardwood plantation in the north and north east areas of the State over three years.
Gloucester, Wauchope, Walcha, Lismore and Grafton will benefit from the new agreement with hardwood plantations in these districts planted and maintained by Forests NSW. FEA’s chief executive officer Andrew White said the new arrangement would be a positive for both FEA and the NSW Government and Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald said it would assist Forests NSW diversifying its business services to the community and ensuring continuing development of the timber industry in the north of NSW.
“Forests NSW will now source seedlings and prepare sites so as to establish the initial hardwood plantation of blackbutt and other hardwood species during the current financial year,” Macdonald said.
“It is expected that 1,400 hectares will be planted by 30 June.
“The local community will benefit from the work in establishing the plantations and further in building a renewable resource to be maintained for the benefit of the State and the timber industry,” Macdonald said.
Forests NSW will licence the use of Forests NSW land to FEA, and Forests NSW will manage the establishment and maintenance of the plantations for FEA.
“One of the compelling things about the areas that we are leasing is that as they are currently growing high quality eucalypt plantation trees, and all existing infrastructure such as roads and bridges are currently in place,” White said.
“In recent years, FEA has been busy creating a sustainable plantation forest industry in northern NSW and the ability that this project gives us to re-establish existing plantation forest areas provides us with the security we need to plan our future.
“We are also delighted to be able to work so closely and importantly strategically, with such a respected plantation manager as Forests NSW and this will be a long-term partnership that will provide sound economic and environmental outcomes for both parties,” he said.