The Tasmanian Government is getting on with supporting innovation and new opportunities in the reinvigorated forest industry, made possible by the Tasmanian Forest Agreement.

The Premier, Lara Giddings, today announced new funding under the $3.5 million second round of the Tasmanian Government Innovation and Investment Fund, which is part of the Tasmanian Jobs package.

Forest management company SFM will receive $59,000 as part of a $175,000 project to work with timber processors to obtain Forest Stewardship Council chain of custody certification.

“SFM is the only private forest management company in Tasmania to hold both FSC and Australian Forestry Standard accreditation for forest management and chain of custody,” Ms Giddings said.

“Oakdale Industries will be the first of a number of processors in Tasmania who will work with SFM to achieve FSC chain of custody certification which will enable them to purchase, process and on-sell FSC certified forest material and access new markets.

“I am aware that Oakdale has expressed reservations about the TFA in the past but this is an example of how we can use the agreement to open up new markets and create new jobs in the industry.

“This modest investment will create 3 direct jobs in the short term, which will more than double over the medium term as others take up the certification opportunity that his project enables.

“You only have to look on the bottom of major brand tissues and timber products to know that the market is demanding the coveted FSC stamp of approval.

“I’m looking forward to seeing furniture and other timber products being produced by Oakdale that have this stamp.

“Obtaining FSC is a key objective of the Tasmanian Forestry Agreement and it would not be possible under Will Hodgman’s destructive plan to return to the division and uncertainty of the past.

“Ripping up the TFA would destroy any chance of transitioning the Tasmanian forest industry to a strong and sustainable future.”

Ms Giddings also announced $92,000 to support the major expansion of North-West timber company Barry Hill Timbers.

The company uses residues from sawmills to manufacture roof trusses and glued laminated wood products such as beams, stairs and bench tops for the building and construction industry across Tasmania.

“Our investment under TGIIF will leverage nearly $560,000 in private investment, create four new jobs, and allow Barry Hill Timbers to take advantage of significant market demand.”

The full list of successful recipients under round 2 of TGIIF will be announced tomorrow.