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A$100m Australian Forest and Wood Innovations program

31 March 2024

The future of sustainable forestry received a significant boost today with the official launch of the Albanese Government’s A$100 million Australian Forest and Wood Innovations (AFWI) program.

AFWI is a collaboration between the Albanese Government and the University of Tasmania, committed to advancing research and innovation in Australian forest and wood products.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt, said the University of Tasmania AFWI Headquarters in Launceston would support a local AFWI research centre, with further centres planned for the University of the Sunshine Coast and the University of Melbourne.

Establishing AFWI was an election commitment which we are proud to deliver and forms part of our record A$300 million investment in the Australian forestry and forest product sector,” Minister Watt said.

“This program will support sustainable forestry, while also helping to deliver a future made in Australia.

“It’s an exciting time for forestry research as we work towards unlocking the full potential of wood as the ultimate renewable material and growing our forests and forestry industry.

The three research centres will undertake research to enhance our production forests and the wood products sourced from them – managing and sustainably expanding our Australian forestry resources, transforming wood residues into renewable products and energy solutions – all while helping to address the threat of climate change.

“We saw demand for forest products significantly increase during the Covid-19 pandemic — increasing production in our sustainably managed plantation estate and product recovery from our sawmills and wood and fibre processing plants will see us better positioned to meet demand into the future.”

Minister Watt said AFWI would also shortly be announcing the opening of the first of four, A$5 million annual national open calls for forestry research projects. The annual national open calls will be open to applications from all Australian-based researchers supporting the forest industry, and not be limited to the research centres established by AFWI.

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Source: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry