$13M boost to protect timber industry

GREAT GRANT: At the announcement of the $13m grant were (from left) Campbell Sanderson (FCNSW), Darren McPherson (Hyne), Mick Ivill (AWU), James Jooste (AFPA), Dr Joe McGirr MP, Dean Hawkins (Visy), The Hon. Tara Moriarty, Brett Webb (AKD), Kristina Kaminski (Hyne), Luke Hayden (CFMEU), Carlie Porteous (SWG), Rab Green (AKD), Jacob Lazarus (Southern Cross Forests).

MINISTER for Agriculture Tara Moriarty last week announced a $13 Million Boost to Protect Critical Timber Supplies in the Murraguldrie State Forest alongside representatives from the NSW timber industry.

The funding announcement significantly improves the region’s readiness for bushfire season.

Strengthening and protecting the State’s softwood forestry industry is a key part 

of the NSW Government’s strategy to provide jobs and stimulate investment in regional NSW. 

This funding will support critical fire prevention, detection, and response initiatives in the Murray Region. The package was developed after extensive consultation with forestry industry groups and government agencies.

The Softwoods Working Group (SWG) has welcomed the announcement of a $13 million forestry funding package aimed at protecting critical timber supplies in the Murray region ahead of the 2024/25 bushfire season.

SWG Chairperson, Peter Crowe commended the Minister on the well-considered funding. 

“The Softwoods Working Group (SWG) commends the minister for well targeted funding for essential projects which will significantly enhance fire protection for the valuable plantation in the NSW Murray,” Mr Crowe said.

“The SWG and its members look forward aiding the Minister and the department on the most valuable infrastructure investments for communities, industry and the region broadly.”

Executive Officer of the SWG, Ms Carlie Porteous, commented on the need for future proofing the region. 

“The 2019/2020 fires are still too fresh for many community members. This funding will allow the industry, communities and critical RFS volunteers to be better prepared and react to future fire events”.

Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty stated said, “The clearest message we have received from forestry industry representative in the region is that all effort needs to be put into protecting the forests from bushfires, this package goes a long way to doing this.

“While the NSW Government has made it clear we are focused on expanding plantation assets, we understand from industry that is also very important that we boost protection of the remaining plantation resource.

“I recognise this is the highest priority for the softwood sector.

“I also want to thank the Forest Industries Advisory Council, the Softwoods Working Group, the Australian Forest Products Association, Forestry Corporation and other NSW agencies and industry representatives for their input and efforts in this important area,” Ms Moriarty said.

Independent Member for Wagga Wagga Dr Joe McGirr said: “As a strong supporter of initiatives that will help protect our region’s valuable plantations from future bushfires, I welcome this announcement and thank the Minister for acting on our representations on this issue.”

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