Labor has a strong record of supporting the forest industry, particularly through challenging times.
We can’t keep doing things the way we always have and expect the world to stay the same. The smart, efficient and effective use of our natural resources is essential to supporting jobs and future economic growth.
Labor has a plan to support growth in forestry.
Maximising Our Forests
Utilisation of forest residues is a major challenge for the forest industry. The days of large scale woodchip exports are over – we need to find smarter ways to utilise and value add residues in Tasmania.
Labor would work with the Federal Government to establish an application process for small to medium scale bio-energy projects that utilise genuine residues from sustainably harvested forests to be included in the Renewable Energy Target or a similar incentive scheme.
We are not talking about building large scale power stations in the middle of the forest that burn trees to create electricity. But there are many businesses that could benefit from utilising genuine wood waste onsite to generate thermal energy on a small to medium scale.
This could include a small sawmill burning wood waste on site to fire kilns or an industrial operation utilising biomass to fuel boilers in place of coal or gas, with the possibility of some small scale electricity generation.
Labor would establish a $7 million Bio-Fuels Innovation Fund offering dollar for dollar investment with the private sector in residue processing solutions.
This fund will encourage projects like wood pellet plants, which would create jobs and contribute to solving the problem of utilising residues from the Southern forests.
Labor will channel funds available within the Tasmanian Forest Agreement for this purpose.