Working with Government
Australia’s forest industries are working with the Government on a National Forest Industries Plan, including a range of reasonable requests by industry. To progress the 18 by 2030 Climate Change Challenge the following requests of Government would be needed:
Establish 300,000ha of new softwood plantations
- Review the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) Regulation to remove the 600mm rainfall restriction for new plantation forestry projects under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).
- Earmark $100 million of the Emissions Reduction Fund over the next 4 years for plantation forestry projects.
- Establish low interest loan mechanisms for plantation establishment.
- Establish additional carbon-related financing programs, including carbon pricing mechanisms and purchasing of the rights to stored carbon.
- Enhance incentives for investment in plantations by the broader investment sector, including institutional investors and industry super funds.
- Investigate treating plantations as ‘infrastructure’, thereby enabling them to be funded by issuing infrastructure bonds.
Encourage 100,000ha of new farm forestry plantings
- Review the existing ERF farm forestry method to encourage aggregation, reduce audit and transaction costs, and remove the rainfall restriction, which limits farm forestry to 100ha where rainfall is of 400mm or more.
- Provide initial funding of $700,000 for a collaborative industry-run Forest Industries and Agriculture cross-sector strategy to deliver an integrated farm forestry program.
- Provide $1 million seed funding for the establishment of farm forestry co-operative development.
Unleash a Biofutures Revolution
- Provide $1 million to develop a National Biofutures Roadmap.
- Provide $10 million to establish a National Biofutures Industry Development Fund and $10 million to establish a National Biofutures Commercialisation Fund, to underpin early stage commercialisation of leading edge bio-based technologies.
- Provide $10 million over 4 years to add a ‘Bioproducts Innovation Hub’ to the existing Industry Growth Centres initiative that looks at research and development, technology transfer and bridging the investment and industry deployment gap for bioproducts in Australia.
- Fast track the development of Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) methodologies for accounting of carbon:
- harvested wood products in landfill using life cycle assessment principles;
- enhanced management of existing sustainable native forests;
- renewable use of wood harvest and processing residues; and
- supporting low emissions-intensive wood building materials substituting for existing fossil fuel-based building solutions.
- Recognise and incentivise bioenergy and renewable heat in the design of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) or any such energy policy mechanism – this is of huge importance in the ongoing energy crisis to our energy intensive, trade exposed industrial facilities.
Renew Research Capacity
- Remove the arbitrary cap on Government matching of voluntary industry contributions to Forest & Wood Products Australia to reinstate the cap of 0.5% of the sector’s Gross Value of Production.
- Provide $8 million over 4 years to extend the operation of the newly commenced Mt Gambier and Launceston nodes of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation.
- Provide $8 million over 4 years for two new research nodes under the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation.