VFPA welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement to reverse the highly contested rainfall regulation, known as the ‘water rule’, under the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI).
The Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA) welcomed today’s decision as a win for forestry and the environment, and importantly, the decision will improve Australia’s sovereign timber capability. The amendment clears the way for planting up to 100 million trees Australia-wide by 2030.
“After massive advocacy efforts from VFPA, the so-called water rule was removed in Victoria in 2021 by Ministerial exemption. Today’s announcement means the Australian Government will permanently remove this perverse rule from the Carbon Farming Initiative Regulation from 1 June 2024. The regulation treated forestry unfairly compared to environmental and carbon plantings at a time when it is crucial to plant trees to supply our future housing needs”, explained Deb Kerr, CEO of VFPA.
The rule prevented plantation and farm forestry projects from access to the carbon market, held up much-needed investment in new plantations, and disincentivised replanting trees sending the total estate into decline.
Access to the carbon market will grow Victoria’s plantation and farm forestry estate and improve our sovereign timber supplies, which are urgently needed to satisfy future timber and wood fibre demand while making a significant contribution to Victoria’s emissions reduction targets.
“We commend the Federal Government, who stood alongside our plantation industry and drove this issue on a federal level. Today’s decision is an important milestone for forestry that will allow us to get on with the job of getting trees in the ground across the Green Triangle, Gippsland and NE Victoria”, Ms Kerr concluded.