Victoria’s forest industries welcome the four new Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP) Research Hubs, announced by Minister for Education Jason Clare MP today. The significant investment of $17.7 million to develop the hubs cements the role forestry can play in fighting climate change, Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA), Deb Kerr, said today.
Three of the four hubs will, directly or indirectly, support forestry. “Forestry is a future industry – and future-ready. Growing trees and capturing and storing carbon is the most natural process in the world. The fact that wood products keep storing carbon is an often-underestimated bonus of using wood products or building with timber. It’s a continuous cycle because foresters replant trees after harvest. At scale, forestry can be an important part of the fight against climate change”, Ms Kerr said.
The Advance Timber for Australia’s Future Built Environment Hub will also explore the potential of engineered wood while supporting Australia’s efforts to reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
Our industry is already investing in engineered wood projects that aim to keep more of our exported wood here in Victoria, supporting Victorian timber plantations, Victorian jobs, Victorian building and construction businesses and of course underpinning our homes and built environment of tomorrow.
“Forestry plays a big role in our everyday lives. It’s a little-known fact that forestry supports up to 115,000 businesses in Victoria, from builders to carpenters, furniture, and instrument makers to paper manufacturers. We look forward to these research hubs supporting sustainable forestry in the future. And Victorian forestry companies look forward to continuing providing renewable, sustainable materials for generations to come”, Ms Kerr concluded.