Thursday 11 November 2021

FORESTERS AND FARMERS CAN UNITE TO ‘BUILD THE NATION’

The Green Triangle has the ability to “build the nation” and is setting on a new partnership with landowners to realise growing market opportunities.

With national and global demand for wood products set to quadruple by 2050, the Green Triangle Forest Industries Hub (GTFIH) has committed to optimise the use of its existing resource and understand new opportunities to expand its plantation timber base.

GTFIH chair Cam MacDonald said for 12 months industry has been investigating the consolidation of its existing available resource in a bid to achieve 100 per cent utilisation.

“Our study has illustrated that current demand for the region’s resource exceeds supply by 600,000 m3 annually. The gap between supply and demand is continually growing,” Mr MacDonald said.

“Our existing plans and developments will absorb almost all of the available and suitable softwood plantation resource with demand anticipated to grow to 1.6 m3 over the next decade, unless additional production and processing capacity comes online.

“Industry is also keen to explore how it can utilise existing hardwood resource, which is all currently exported, to manufacture wood-based domestic building products. There is also opportunity to use this fibre to supply Australia’s growing demand for wooden packaging and industrial products creating new jobs for the future.”

The GTFIH recruited two of the countries leading industry experts, IndustryEdge managing director Tim Woods and Sylva Systems managing director Braden Jenkin, to assist in building new strategies to understand how to meet this growing market demand.

Woods has investigated the region’s wood flow to identify efficiencies and future market growth whilst Jenkin is building a new business case for growers to partner with Green Triangle farmers to plant new trees. Both are presenting their work at an upcoming University of South Australia lecture series at the Mount Gambier campus on 2 December 2021 at 5.30pm.

Mr MacDonald said collectively the research was providing a new business pathway for industry to explore opportunities to create new wood products and grow its plantation estate.

“Tim Woods research has illustrated that the Green Triangle is already building the nation producing a third of Australia’s framing and interior sawnwood and half of its packaging products; but we have capacity to do far more,” he said.

“There is huge potential to take a percentage of our export market to create new domestic value-add which will translate to more jobs to grow our region. This must correlate with getting additional resource in the ground and we recognise that working with landowners is one pathway to increase supply.

“With Australia moving towards net zero emissions, plantation forestry can be a big part of the solution and we recognise there is opportunity to partner with landowners to gain from this new carbon cash flow.”

Tickets are now available to the Trees into Farming Launch on 2 December 2021 as part of the University of South Australia public lecture series at the Mount Gambier campus.

To register click here