Government comes good with Institute funding
A PRE-election pledge of $4 million in the Federal Budget to establish a National Institute for Forest Products Innovation has come to fruition..
Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Chief Executive Officer Ross Hampton said work was already under way to establish two key nodes of the Institute in Launceston, Tasmania and Mt Gambier, South Australia.
“This investment is recognition that in a carbon constrained global economy in which renewable resources are at a premium, the forest products industry can play a key role in Australia’s innovation agenda,” he said.
“With commitments from state governments and industry over time, the Institute has the potential to become the focal point of a strategic network of research ‘nodes’ that reflect industry priorities, and reinforcing the good work being done in other industry-led R&D efforts.
“The major pathways for our industries to contribute to climate change policy and Australia’s innovation agenda include:
the carbon sequestered in growing forests;
the carbon stored in harvested wood and paper products;
the substitution of high emissions materials (e.g. steel, concrete) with wood and other fibre based products that have low embodied energy, including new innovative bioproducts; and
the use of woody biomass for renewable and baseload energy generation (including for renewable heat and biofuels), thereby displacing fossil fuels.
“AFPA looks forward to working with the Federal Government and other partners to ensure that the Institute becomes a permanent fixture in our industry’s R&D landscape,” Mr Hampton said.