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MEDIA RELEASE - Glenelg welcomes historic timber investment

20 February 2019

Glenelg Shire’s profile as a timber capital has the potential to hit new global heights following the Federal Government’s announcement of a comprehensive strategic vision to unlock new investment and growth in the sector.

The Green Triangle has been earmarked as one of nine Regional Forestry Hubs across Australia set to share in $20 million in the Growing a Better Australia – a billion trees for jobs and growth plan, which aims to open new opportunities for infrastructure investment, including potential upgrades to key freight routes.

The ambitious plan aims to work with industry to meet forecast global demand for timber, which is estimated to quadruple over the next three decades.

Mayor Cr Anita Rank welcomed the announcement, stating it would further cement the Glenelg Shire and broader Green Triangle region as an attractive destination for investment, particular from foreign markets.

“Our shire looks forward to working with the Federal Government to ensure our region receives its fair share of this funding given our strong standing in the sector. We have the skills, resources and infrastructure to help supply the forecast global demand for fibre and we welcome any opportunity to unlock new jobs for our communities,” Cr Rank said.

“Importantly, our shire has a strategic advantage to attract future investment because of our access to timber resources and global export markets via the Port of Portland. This has cemented us as the world’s biggest hardwood chip exporters and this position has the potential to reach new levels with this visionary plan for the sectors future.

“We have worked tirelessly campaigning for further infrastructure investment to support our forecast timber growth, particularly in road and rail via the Green Triangle Freight Action Plan, and it is pleasing that such a timber strategy has the potential to further strengthen our already strong business case.”

Cr Rank said the government was predicting 400,000 hectares of new plantations would be required over the next decade to meet Australian demand.

“This places our region in an enviable position given we are already the southern hemisphere’s largest plantation area with land supply and skilled workforce available for future growth,” Cr Rank said.

“Consequently there are also vast opportunities to generate renewable clean and green power from the waste product of our forestry and milling sectors to provide more value-add opportunities.

“Biomass power generation could fuel many of these new investments, or new business opportunities, derived from this plan, creating circular economies whilst ultimately reducing our carbon footprint,” she said.

More information on the National Forest Industries Plan is available at http://www.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/forestry/national-forest-industries-plan.pdf


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