12 June 2020

The Queensland forestry industry is being boosted by a $2.2 million Morrison Government investment in Regional Forestry Hubs.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Senator Jonno Duniam said that establishing two new Regional Forestry Hubs in South-East Queensland and North Queensland would support Queensland’s vital forestry industry to drive new investment and create new jobs.

“The development of new forestry Hubs supports the forestry industry within Australia to be globally competitive,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“The two new Hubs will not only improve the productivity and efficiency of the Queensland forestry sector, it will lead to new opportunities for investment and job creation which is vital to supporting each region and our regional economy.

“All industry stakeholders, including local communities, growers, harvesting and transport operators and mills, will be working together to unlock new opportunities and address the issues for forestry in each region.

“I am delighted we are partnering with Timber Queensland to deliver two Regional Forestry Hubs.”

The Queensland timber industry has welcomed the announcement of funding to establish Regional Forestry Hubs in South-East Queensland and North Queensland.

Timber Queensland CEO Mr Mick Stephens, said this was clear recognition of the industry’s growth potential in the state.

“The Queensland forest and timber industry contributes billions of dollars to the economy each year and supports 25,000 direct and indirect jobs,” Mr Stephens said.

“There is already a well-established industry in South-East Queensland with a diversity of softwood and hardwood processing and value adding operations, while in North Queensland, there is the opportunity to develop and grow a sizeable timber industry.

“The Cooperative Research Centre for Northern Australia study into the northern Australian forest products industry found the industry in Northern Australia could potentially treble its production value to up to $300 million per annum and create 600 new jobs over the next five to ten years.

“We believe the North Queensland Hub will be an important mechanism to assist in realising the identified growth potential of the industry.

“It is important that the sector continues to grow, not just for the employment and wealth generation it offers, but also because of the high order environmental outcomes that wood provides.”