Forestry research in South Australia will get a $2 million boost with the State Government committing the funding over four years to the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation Mount Gambier centre. Source: Timberbiz
Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said this extension of support for the Institute delivered on a recommendation by the Forestry Industry Advisory Council of South Australia.
“This funding builds on a long history of government support for forestry research in South Australia that dates back to 1882 with the state widely recognised as the birthplace of the Australian plantation forestry,” Mr Basham said.
“Forestry is a vitally important regional industry, contributing more than $1.6 billion to the state’s economy, directly employing approximately 5500 people and indirectly supporting the employment of another 12,500.”
The Green Triangle region is also home to 18% of Australia’s total plantation estate.
“Not only are the research projects occurring in Mount Gambier benefitting existing local forestry operations, but they are also continuing that proud legacy of cutting-edge forest management and wood production nationally,” Mr Basham said.
Research areas currently being studied at the NFPI Mount Gambier include worker safety, carbon emission targets, forest management, advanced remote sensing, forest water use, biosecurity, fire detection and genetics.
“Supporting the important research occurring out of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation Mount Gambier research centre ensures the industry’s growth and sustainability into the future as it meets the challenges of the 21st century,” Mr Basham said.
“Retaining the forestry research capability that has been developed in the Green Triangle region through NIFPI will help to drive the emergence of new and innovative products.
“Global demand for timber products is expected to quadruple by 2050 and this research work, in liaison with industry will go towards meeting that demand.
“This support continues the Government’s partnership in forest research with the University of South Australia through its Forest Research Mount Gambier program.”
The Australian and South Australian governments established the NFPI Mount Gambier Centre to investigate forestry innovation and strengthen the ties between research and industry’s strategic needs.
South Australian Forest Products Association CEO Nathan Paine said SAFPA had worked closely with the State Government and especially Mr Basham to secure this new funding commitment to ensure the light of forest products innovation continues to burn brightly in the south-east.
“The NIFPI model has been hugely successful and it’s critical the research centre continues in the Green Triangle,” Mr Paine said.
“The Mount Gambier NIFPI centre has partnered with a range of institutions including the University of South Australia on numerous research projects focusing on such things as health and safety, improving industry productivity, recognition of carbon storage and fire management.
“Thousands of South Australians are proudly employed in forest industries across the State and increased NIFPI funding means work can be done to keep them at the forefront of innovation into the future,” Mr Paine said.
For further information on the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation visit www.nifpi.org.au