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North Queensland Forestry Hub funding extended to 2025

19/November/2021

North Queensland is set to benefit from $900,000 new Australian Government funding to support growth in its forest industries.

 

Nine forestry hubs have been identified around Australia with the aim of identifying new plantation opportunities, ensuring that the right trees are planted in the right places, adding value to existing infrastructure and processing capability, and maximising community participation while adding value to our wood and fibre industries.

 

The North Queensland Forestry Hub stretches from just north of Rockhampton out to near Boulia, up to the Gulf of Carpentaria and includes of all Cape York taking advantage of a timber port at Mourilyan just south of Innisfail.

 

Regional Forestry Hubs are working with the broad forestry industry, state and local governments, stakeholders and the community to undertake assessments of the production forestry resources, processing capacity and infrastructure needs, opportunities and limitations in their region.

 

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the Australian Government’s investment in the Regional Forestry Hubs was a show of faith in our forest industries and the benefits that they deliver for regional communities and the Australian economy. 

 

“The Australian Government is providing more than $10.6 million over 4 years for existing Regional Forestry Hubs and the establishment of two new hubs in Eden NSW, and the Northern Territory,” Minister Littleproud said.

 

“We are committed to delivering positive outcomes for the industry Australia-wide and are backing those who rely on the productivity of the sector every step of the way.

 

“North Queensland is a key forestry area with strong potential for growth and innovation, with skilled forestry workers, transport routes and processing plants.”

 

Townsville-based Senator and Special Envoy for Northern Australia, Susan McDonald said local sources of timber need to be secured to put downward pressure on costs, which are about double those in southern centres.

 

She added that the length of time required to grow plantation estates takes time and this funding demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to long-term, sustainable investment in forestry in North Queensland.

 

“This new funding will secure the future of our forestry hub and its important work with industry, state and local governments, key stakeholders and the community,” she said.

 

“It builds upon the $1 million of funding the hub received when established in 2019.

 

“The hub is assessing production forestry resources, processing capacity and infrastructure needs and limitations and finding ways to support innovation and growth in our region.

 

“The North Queensland Hub is in a unique position to work with traditional owners who own and manage much of the forest area.

 

“The hub in North Queensland is well placed to help meet Australia’s future timber demands.”

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