11 May 2010
The Rudd Government will continue to support Australia’s forest and wood products industries to boost productivity and grow export markets.
The 2010-11 Budget will complete a three-year investment of more than $7.0 million in total for projects that add value to our forest resources through the Forest Industries Development Fund.
The program allows businesses in the forest industry to apply for up to 30% of funding for projects that add value to Australia’s forest and wood products industry.
The Government funding is expected to leverage more than $20.0 million worth of investment from the private sector and other sources.
Australia’s forestry and wood products industries generate $23 billion each year, representing 5.8% of the total value of Australian manufacturing production.
These industries also underpin an estimated 120,000 jobs across Australia.
The 2010-11 Budget will also conclude a three year, $6.3 million investment for research into the impact of climate change on our forest systems and industries.
The Rudd Government’s industry skills council ForestWorks is helping to train skilled forestry workers. In addition, an industry skills database is expected to be delivered by mid-2010.
Australia and Indonesia have further strengthened their commitment to combat illegal logging and secure the sustainable use of forest resources.
This agreement builds on work already achieved to establish formal Memoranda of Understanding with China and Papua New Guinea on tackling illegal logging.
The Government stands by its election commitment to restrict the importation of illegally logged timber.