Forestry RD could grow 307 Coast jobs
THE North Coast forestry industry could get over 300 new jobs in research and development if state and federal governments come to the table with funding.
Australian Forest Products Association CEO Ross Hampton said the proposed $100 million National Institute for Forest Products Innovation would deliver 307 new jobs at Lismore, Casino, Grafton and Wauchope alone, in addition to jobs that would also be created in other states.
"What we have said to the Federal Government is if you can find $40 million over four years, we could persuade the state governments to contribute $40 million out of their current resources and the industry would come to the party with the final $20 million," he said.
Mr Hampton said the Australian forestry industry was well placed to capitalise on a growing global market for timber, following breakthroughs in fibre and cell scale bio-energy and cellulose-based biomaterials.
Member for Page Kevin Hogan said he told parliament last year that research and development in the forestry industry was crucial for the industry and jobs in Page, particularly around Kyogle and the Clarence.
"Under legislation now before Parliament, the Federal Government will be able to match voluntary contributions from forestry businesses and thereby encourage more research and development that will create jobs," Mr Hogan said.
"I have spoken to the Treasurer and stressed to him the importance of the forestry industry to Page and I am hopeful that will be acknowledged in the budget with additional research and development funding."