25/11/2021 - 10:05

State ups timber harvest after industry flags shortage

25/11/2021 - 10:05

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The state government has agreed to raise its timber harvesting quota by 12,000 tonnes, after the construction industry warned a shortage threatened to delay projects.

State ups timber harvest after industry flags shortage
The move, announced by Forestry Minister Dave Kelly this morning, comes just months after industry flagged a global shortage of the critical construction material.

The state government has agreed to raise its timber harvesting quota by 12,000 tonnes for the next three months, after the construction industry warned a shortage threatened to delay projects.

The Forest Products Commission will take the additional locally-grown softwood logs from future supply to meet the current demand, with deliveries to Wespine set to begin in the coming weeks.

The move, announced by Forestry Minister Dave Kelly this morning, comes just months after industry flagged a global shortage of the critical construction material, used in residential roof construction and wall framing.

Historically, the WA softwood processing industry has supported about 65 per cent of the state’s housing and construction market, with the remaining timber imported from the eastern states or overseas.

But a global shortage has coincided with the recent construction boom, underpinned by state and federal COVID stimulus packages.

The decision comes after Master Builders Association of WA executive director John Gelavis called for a review of the state's production capacity after 90 per cent of its membership reported grappling with timber supply issues.

MBAWA executive director John Gelavis welcomed the decision but said time was of the essence, pushing for the commission to fast-track deliveries to allow immediate processing and supply.

“Builders around the state have been desperate for structural pine and timber suppliers have had long standing backorders through Wespine, which will now be fulfilled on their current price list as a priority,” he said.

“Master Builders expects other industry sectors to also benefit, as the log use will create an increase in supply of non-structural pine for furniture and residual timber for use in particleboard supporting local trades such as cabinet making and kitchen manufacturing.”

The decision builds on the state government’s commitment to end logging of native forests and commit $350 million over the next decade to expand softwood plantations in the South-West by 33,000 hectares.

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