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Study confirms economic potential for regional plantations.



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Media Release

The Hon Wilson Tuckey, MP

Minister for Forestry and Conservation

 

15 SEPTEMBER 1999

AFFA99/99TU

 

STUDY CONFIRMS ECONOMIC POTENTIAL FOR REGIONAL PLANTATIONS

 

Expansion of the farm forestry and plantation industry has significant potential t o generate jobs in regional Australia, the Minister for Conservation and Forestry, Wilson Tuckey, said today. Opening a Farm Forestry Marketing Forum in Melbourne, Mr Tuckey announced the release of the latest in a series of studies by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) on the plantation and farm forest industry.

 

The report, Forest Plantations on Cleared Agricultural Land in Australia: A Regional Economic Analysis, says expansion of the industry depends on the availability of suitable cleared agricultural land and the competitiveness of forest plantations against other alternative land uses.

 

“The report is far reaching and provides indicative data on opportunities for regions to develop their plantation and farm forestry industries,” Mr Tuckey said.

 

“It confirms that if industry, governments and regional communities can work together to grow our plantation based industries, the rewards will be significant in rural Australia.

 

The study found that Western Australia, Tasmania and the Green triangle region of South Australia and Victoria each have a relatively well developed processing infrastructure, although the Green Triangle has a relatively small proportion of high productivity land.

 

It also found there was strong potential for expansion in the Murray Valley region of New South Wales and Victoria, the Central Gippsland region of Victoria and the South East Queensland region, despite the relatively high estimated values of agricultural land.

 

The Central Tablelands region of New South Wales and other regions also had the potential to expand plantation operations, Mr Tuckey said.

 

‘This report will help policymakers, industry and growers chart the future and development of the industry, as it provides comprehensive data on plantation potential based on biological, economic and area specific factors for key regions in Australia, he said. “It also provides information on other factors likely to influence plantation development, such as the outlook for forest product markets, technological change, land availability, government regulation and the emergence of new markets, including carbon.

 

“Most importantly the report highlights the crucial role industry must play in developing domestic processing capacity if we are to achieve the Vision 2020 of trebling our plantation estate,” he said.

 

The report was developed with funding from the Commonwealth’s Wood and Paper industry Strategy, the forerunner to the Vision 2020 and the Action Agenda for the Forestry and Wood Products Sector.

 

Media Contacts: Graeme Hallett (Mr Tuckey’s Office): 041 9688440

 

 

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