11 November 2019

Consultation begins on plantation loans

Consultation is now underway to inform the delivery of the Australian Government’s commitment to provide Plantation Development Concessional Loans and meet the growing demand for our wood and fibre.

Our Government committed to providing $500 million in concessional loans to support our National Forest Industries Plan, which includes the ambitious goal of a billion new plantation trees over the next decade to meet Australia’s demand for wood into the future.

We want to hear directly from the industry on the best and most effective way to deliver the concessional loan program and encourage plantation expansion, and a consultation paper is now available for all interested parties to let us know the best way to achieve this.

New plantation forests with the right trees, at the right scale, and in the right places, will support the Australian forest industries to continue to grow, which in turn will grow Australian jobs and regional and rural communities.

Australia’s forestry industry is world-class and sustainable, and we want to pull all the levers we can to enable it to grow.  The industry already directly employs more than 50,000 people, many of them in rural and regional communities, and contributes nearly $24 billion to Australia’s economy each year.

The concessional loans have the potential to support expansion in Australia’s plantation forests, while delivering a sustainable resource that will support the many jobs dependant on this vital industry.

The Department of Agriculture will be undertaking public consultation during November and December 2019 to best understand how the loan program may work and meet the needs of industry.

Programs like this will be vital in achieving our goal to lift Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to a $100 billion industry by 2030.

I encourage everyone interested to jump online, check out the consultation paper, and give feedback so that we can deliver a program that works as efficiently as possible to grow the industry.

The paper can be found here: https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/plantation-development-concessional-loans