Victoria becomes latest state to host a forest products innovation centre, supported by $4m in Australian Government funding


The Victorian forestry industry is set to reap the rewards of an additional $4 million investment in new research, thanks to the establishment of a new National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI) centre in Gippsland, funded by the Australian Government.

The Gippsland centre will complement established centres already operating successfully and having a positive impact in Launceston, Tasmania, and Mount Gambier, South Australia.

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the investment would provide a major boost to the forestry industry and the jobs it supports in the Gippsland region.

“Funding a centre in Gippsland will be important in the recovery from the devastating bushfires and is a further commitment to the native forestry industry in Victoria,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“The centre will play a vital role in supporting cutting-edge research, fostering collaboration, boosting innovation, increasing profitability, growing the market and securing Gippsland’s role in driving forestry research in Australia.

“This investment will grow Australia’s forest and forest products industry by supporting innovation in the sector in areas such as forest management, timber processing, wood fibre recovery, value adding, advanced manufacturing and the bio-economy.

“The Morrison Government is providing $2 million, which will be matched by the Victorian Government, and will be supported with additional funding and in-kind contributions by industry and research agencies.”

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said after a difficult first half of the year, the announcement represented some much needed positive news for the Gippsland region and its communities.

“Gippslanders are a resilient bunch and we will continue to work together with the support of government to build back better than ever,” said Mr Chester.

The establishment of this latest centre demonstrates the Australian Government’s support for a sustainable and economically viable native timber industry in Gippsland, and flow on benefits including local jobs and thriving local communities.

This funding is a core part of the implementation of the Australian Government’s $20 million National Forest Industries Plan, which includes establishing nine Regional Forestry Hubs across Australia, reducing barriers to forestry expansion and developing an agroforestry strategy.

The first round of applications for funding proposals is now open, and will close on Friday 14 May 2021. The Gippsland Centre Committee, which comprises six local industry stakeholders, will be responsible for selecting the successful projects.

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