Victorian Forestry Plan plantations and timber innovation underway
Published: 14 October 2020
The Victorian Forestry Plan is in full swing with the latest rounds of grants and activities coming online earlier this month to support the forest industry’s transition out of native timber harvesting to a plantation-based supply by 2030.
Gippsland Plantations Investment Program
Expressions of Interest are now open for the $110 million Gippsland Plantations Investment Program. The program provides incentives for plantation investors to undertake industrial-scale planting to bolster Victoria's timber supplies and will result in more the 30 million trees being planted over the next decade.
Interest is being sought from experienced and capable plantation investors, developers and managers to invest in Victoria’s future plantations in a way that is sensitive to the environment and local communities and creates jobs.
More information and expression of interest registrations for the Gippsland Plantations Investment Program can be found on the Buying for Victoria platform.
Victorian Forest Nursery
The development of the plantations will be supported by the establishment of the $10 million Victorian Forest Nursery.
The nursery will be established and managed by VicForests at the former P.R Adams Mill site at Nowa Nowa in East Gippsland. It is expected to produce five million eucalypt seedlings per year, which could support plantings and reforestation of around 5,000 hectares annually, including bushfire recovery planting.
The nursery will create up to 30 jobs and create education opportunities through the Forestec campus of TAFE Gippsland.
Timber Innovation Grants
To assist with putting plantation timber into commercial practice, the first round of Timber Innovation Grants is now available to help native timber mills transform their operations to begin to use plantation timber.
Timber mills will be able to access up to $100,000 as an early step to exploring shifting to plantation fibre or other timber manufacturing opportunities.
These grants are a part of the Victorian Timber Innovation Fund. More information and how to apply for the grant can be found on the Regional Development Victoria website.
Five-out-of-six trees harvested in Victoria are already from plantations, with the state having the largest area dedicated to timber plantations in Australia. Through the Victorian Forestry Plan these initiatives will support business to transition and diversify into plantation-based models and will ensure that there is a Victorian timber industry for years to come.