WAFARMERS has welcomed a new Western Australian Government scheme designed to promote tree farming.
The Government has described the Infinitree program as the most complete commercial farm forestry package ever offered to farmers in Australia.
“Infinitree involves farmers providing land in return for upfront cash payments and a share of the timber crop at harvest time,” Forest Products Commission general manager Paul Biggs said.
“The level of payment depends on soil productivity, planting area size and the haul distances to ports and processing centres.”
The scheme is focused on four cells, around Albany-Mt Barker, Esperance, Collie and Moora.
WA Farmers Federation land management and conservation spokesman Garry English said the scheme was a big improvement on earlier versions.
“They are looking at a far more targeted strategic focus and they now provide a community benefit,” Mr English said.
He highlighted the beneficial impact on water catchments as a result of clustered tree plantings.
Mr English said this community benefit could tip the balance for many farmers who might otherwise not participate.
He said that previous schemes had raised expectations unreasonably among farmers whose land would not be able to sustain tree-farming activities.
Farmers participating in the scheme can plant maritime pine, eucalypts or sandalwood trees, depending on the soil and rainfall conditions on their farm.
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