The Morrison Government has delivered an increase to forest grower levies that will improve plant health and fund research and development.
Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the increased investment was the result of extensive consultation and communication, led by industry.
“We’re expecting these levies will increase the investment in forest grower research and development by $4 million a year, while biosecurity funding through Plant Health Australia will increase by $900,000 a year,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.
“We were approached by the industry with a detailed proposal to increase the research and development and Plant Health Australia levies, which we have now delivered.
“We were able to commit funding through the 2021-22 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, and the Governor-General has now signed the legal instruments for these levy increases, so they are locked in.
“These payments directly benefit the industry and compliment the broader work we have been doing to boost investment in forestry research and development.
“This includes the $6 million we have already invested in three regional forest products innovation centres, which has been matched by participating state governments and industry.
“These investments in research and development aim to boost the productivity and profitability of our forestry industry, and increase the quality and quantity of timber they can supply.
“These benefits will then flow on to harvesting, processing and construction industries who rely on quality Australian timber – not to mention the public who want to buy quality timber products.
“Supporting growth of the timber industry does more than just expand a local industry. It builds jobs in rural and regional areas, produces more carbon-sequestering wood, and finances sustainable forest management.
“This is an important investment for our Australian foresters and I am pleased that the Morrison Government has been able to deliver it in consultation with industry.”
The forest grower levies will be increased from 1 July 2022.
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will contact levy payers about the new rates ahead of the 1 July 2022 start date.