WA Timber industry: peak body predicts supply shortfall within a decade

The State’s key timber industry body has used National Forestry Planting Day to highlight a potentially devastating shortfall in supply in WA’s $1.4 billion timber industry, calling on the State Government to do more.

Forest Industries Federation WA chairman Ian Telfer voiced concerns about WA heading towards “a major shortfall of timber in the 2030s”, which he believes will be worse than anything the State has ever seen.

Mr Telfer’s comments came as he helped plant some of the six million plantation tree seedlings that WA’s forest industries will plant this season.

Mr Telfer said while the industry had stepped up to meet the demand for timber, he believed the State Government needed to do the same.

“We are heading towards a major shortfall of timber in the 2030s, worse than what is currently being experienced,” Mr Telfer said.

“Planting now will ensure a supply of timber for future generations, and it should be a priority for Government.

“We need to be establishing a minimum of 10,000 hectares of new pine plantings each year for the next seven years to meet our target of 100,000ha.”

Forrest MHR Nola Marino joined Mr Telfer in planting pine seedlings as part of the National Forestry Planting Day celebrations, but backed his concerns about the South West’s timber industry.

“The South West Timber Hub was one of the first of the regional forestry hubs formed under the previous Federal Government in 2018,” Mrs Marino said.

“With shortages of sustainably produced timber ahead, the six million seedlings planted by the industry this season are critical for our future.”

FIFWA has represented the interests of the Western Australian timber industry since 1895, an industry responsible for about 6000 jobs in WA, more that 90 per cent of these in regional areas.

Source: South Western Times