Australia awards AU$108M in grants to timber and wood processors as part of Accelerate Adoption of Wood Processing Innovation program; aim is to boost innovation and productivity in the sector, address housing shortage and climate change

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DEAKIN, Australia , April 21, 2023 (press release) –

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomes the Albanese Government’s delivery of the more than $108 million awarded across 34 separate grants to timber and wood processors as part of the Accelerate Adoption of Wood Processing Innovation (AAWPI) program, Chief Executive Officer of AFPA Joel Fitzgibbon said today.

 

“Today, the Albanese Government has delivered on a key election commitment to drive innovation across timber and wood manufacturing through the AAWPI grants program. Australia has a shortage of timber to meet our housing needs and the delivery of these grants means Australia’s local manufacturers can maximise productivity of our existing resources while we grow our domestic supply. This program will not only support jobs but also help fight climate change through the creation of more renewable and sustainable products,” Joel Fitzgibbon said.

 

The AAWPI grant recipients will undertake a range of innovative projects with the funding including manufacturing products for use across housing and construction, packaging, timber for higher end products and production of activated carbon. Of the 34 grants, four will be going to projects involving first nations organisations.

 

“AFPA campaigned ahead of last year’s Federal Election for such a manufacturing innovation fund and we were pleased to get a bipartisan commitment for this grants program. Additionally, it will allow processors and manufacturers to pivot and make the most of the opportunities emerging from the national and global boom in demand for sustainably sourced timber and wood fibre products. Over 25 per cent of Australia’s  emissions come from construction and using more timber will help Australia meets its emission reduction targets,” Joel Fitzgibbon said.

 

“I thank Forestry Minister Murray Watt for his determination to deliver this program, as well as the Government’s broader plan to strengthen Australia’s forest industries. I look forward to working with the Government on its continued delivery of policy and funding commitments for the forestry sector,” Joel Fitzgibbon concluded.

 

Grant funding of between $1 million and $5 million will be awarded to the 34 successful applicants from this financial year until 2025-26, under the AAWPI.

 

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