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20 April 2023

More than $10 million in funding will be allocated to timber manufacturing companies across the state to encourage further innovation in the industry.

The Albanese Government today announced the successful recipients of the Accelerate Adoption of Wood Processing Innovation (AAWPI) grant program.

These grant recipients will undertake a wide range of projects which will see the implementation of upgraded and innovative work practices across various industries, including production of activated carbon, housing and construction, packaging, and culturally significant timbers to higher end markets.

Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters made the announcement at a meeting on country with one of the Victorian grant recipients, Dja Dja Wurrung Aboriginal Clans Corporation (DJAARA), in Bendigo.

A total of 4 grants will be made across the state, selected by an independent panel, including DJAARA which will receive $1.44 million towards its Galk–galk sustainable timber business.

In the October budget, the Federal Government committed more than $300 million to support Australia’s forest industries to innovate and improve the capacity and capability of the sector.

In addition to this, the government is establishing the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation and has committed support for specific training for the forestry and wood products industries.

The AAWPI program will support wood processors by stimulating investment in upgrades to existing manufacturing lines and innovation to diversify domestic products.

Grant funding of between $1 million to $5 million will be awarded to the 34 successful applications across Australia from 2022-23 to 2025-26.

Recipients are required to provide 60% of the total project costs. This brings the total new investment, including public and private sector funding, to $361 million across the country.

Quotes attributable to Lisa Chesters Federal Member for Bendigo

“These grants are about creating more, long term, jobs in the forestry sector.

“Our government understands how important the forestry industry is for communities around the country, but particularly here in Victoria.

“Enabling wood processing facilitates to use innovative technologies in their production will enhance the forestry industry’s ability to supply more of Australia’s wood demands into the future.

“Here in Victoria that includes projects that improve production processes, and value add to existing operations.

“Here they will source and process timber from Djaara Country, focusing on local use and helping the Dja Dja Wurrung continue to heal Country through Galk-galk Dhelkunya."