The Morrison Government is calling on the Western Australian Government to back the forestry industry and invest in establishing a National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI) in the South West.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said he appreciated the WA Government expressing in-principle support for establishing a centre in the South West, but the state government needed to go further.

“The WA Government should commit to matching the Morrison Government’s $2 million commitment to deliver a NIFPI for the South West,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“I recently met with representatives of the forestry industry in WA and they expressed a strong desire to establish a NIFPI as soon as possible.

“A NIFPI centre would support the WA renewable timber industry to remain innovative and expand to meet future opportunities and demand.

“As our nation recovers from the social and economic impacts of COVID-19, there has never been a more important time for the WA Government to commit to creating jobs and boosting the economy.”

Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories and Federal Member for Forrest, Nola Marino, said the renewable timber industry contributes significantly to the economy of the South West and WA as a whole.

“The Australian Government has already committed $20 million under the National Forest Industries Plan to support the Australian forest industry’s continued sustainability and growth,” Assistant Minister Marino said.

“This includes $12.5 million to regional forestry hubs, with the South West selected as one of the five pilot regional forestry hub locations.

“I urge the WA Government to listen to industry, bring forward a proposal for a NIFPI as soon as possible and explicitly commit to matching the Morrison Government’s funding to ensure the WA renewable timber industry does not miss out on this vital opportunity.”