21/09/2021 | David Basham MP | More Jobs | Better Services

SA's housing construction industry will get a significant boost with tens of thousands of tonnes of structural timber from Kangaroo Island to be made available thanks to a transport subsidy jointly funded by the Morrison Coalition Government and Marshall Liberal Government.

The $15.1 million Commonwealth package will provide assistance to freight logs salvaged from bushfire-affected plantations on Kangaroo Island to get to the South Australian mainland and then to sawmills with immediate capacity to process structural timber.

The timber made available thanks to the subsidy package will help build up to 10,000 more houses and support jobs in the timber and home building industries.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the South Australian Government had pledged up to $3 million to bring additional timber to the local housing industry and welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s new support package.

“This will be a game changer for South Australia’s housing construction industry and will significantly increase the amount of structural timber currently available,” Minister Basham said.

“The South Australian Government is ready to be the first state to sign up to accept the Commonwealth package. The booming local housing industry has been great news for our economy but the increased demand for timber has put real pressure on our supply chains.

“With a valuable resource on Kangaroo Island ready for harvesting, the Marshall Liberal Government has been working closely with the Morrison Coalition Government to deliver a viable solution to getting this timber to market.

“This transport subsidy will maximise the amount of sawmill quality log available to local processors which will boost supply and support local jobs in our regions and across metropolitan Adelaide.

“The community now needs Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers to open up access to its bushfire affected pine plantations for harvesting and allow local sawmills to get busy.

“Unfortunately the former Labor Government privatised the south east and mid north forests, removing the government’s flexibility to support the timber industry by harvesting additional trees during times of supply shortage.

“This new support builds on the $2 million Expression of Interest process the Marshall Liberal Government is undertaking aimed at manufacturing additional logs into structural timber for local South Australian home builders.

“Project proposals we are looking at include the upgrade or purchase of sawmilling equipment or workforce expansion or upskilling that can lead to the efficient delivery of additional building timber. We have received several proposals as part of the EOI process and are working with proponents to develop these further and finalise them.

“We will continue to work with industry and all levels of government to maximise the amount of timber available and address supply chain issues.”