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Innovation in forestry.

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Commonwealth of Australia

Media Releases The Hon Wilson Tuckey MP Minister for Forestry and Conservation

AFFA01/10TU 29 January 2001

INNOVATION IN FORESTRY There are exciting opportunities for innovation and product development in the Australian forest and wood products industry, the Minister for Forestry and Conservation, Wilson Tuckey said today.

Mr Tuckey was responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement of the Innovation Action Plan (IAP) yesterday.

Mr Tuckey highlighted the need for a holistic approach to innovation embracing not only forest and wood products, but also the use of trees in addressing environmental problems and the development of non-wood products.

"The Action Agenda for the Forest and Wood Products Industry, launched in November 2000, provides a national strategic framework for value-adding and market development based on innovation," he said.

"The promotion and development of innovative practices within the forest and wood products industry is an important step in building growth in resources and processing capacity, regional development, job creation and environmental services.

"Research and Development (R&D) is a vital component of the Action Agenda, with the Forest and Wood Products Research and Development Corporation playing an important catalytic role in building an innovative industry. From July 2001, the Commonwealth will match industry funding for R&D on a dollar for dollar basis."

The Innovation Action Plan will provide the impetus to develop new products and markets beyond the traditional solid timber, reconstituted product and paper markets. New and alternative forest and wood uses are emerging, including bioenergy and environmental services in areas of low rainfall and land degradation.

"Innovative ways will have to be found to extract and deliver wood waste to biomass markets at competitive prices to take advantage of emerging opportunities for biomass markets.

"Tree planting in dry, salinity-affected areas is another emerging opportunity. But, to be effective, it will need to be carefully planned, drawing on the best available expertise to determine appropriate species, the location and configuration of plantings and appropriate management and silvicultural practices.

"It is vital that landholders, investors and the industry draw on research and trials conducted under a number of Government programs."

Trees, Water and Salt: An Australian guide to using trees for healthy catchment and productive farms was published recently under the joint venture agroforestry program. A related publication outlines a number of trials on tree plantings in low rainfall areas.

Copies of these and other research reports are available from the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation website (

Mr Tuckey called on landholders, investors and companies to also consult the AFFA forestry ( and the Forest and Wood Products Research Development Corporation ( websites for:

a summary of farm forestry projects funded under the Wood and Paper Industry Strategy and the National Heritage Trust; ❍

a directory of farm forestry contacts, organisations and networks; ❍ the Action Agenda for the Forest and Wood Products and related programs; and ❍

Details of research projects relevant to forest and wood products. ❍


Contact: Mr Tuckey's office Graeme Hallett 0419 688 440

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