New project could help grow NT forestry

The Northern Territory’s forestry and forestry products industry could benefit from a new Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) project to identify the growth potential for these industries in northern Australia.

The 10-month, $209,300 project is a research collaboration with the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR), Timber Queensland, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the University of the Sunshine Coast.

DPIR Director Plant Industries Dr Mila Bristow said the project will identify the challenges and opportunities facing forestry in the NT.

“The NT currently has three significant plantation forestry operations – Tiwi plantations for pulp, African mahogany plantations for high value timber, sandalwood plantations for oils and pharmaceuticals.

“There are also almost 50,000 ha of tropical forestry, the largest area of plantations in northern Australia, and another 17.2 million ha of native forestry that could be important for sustainable forestry production.

“Forestry is already an important regional and remote employer, and we welcome the understanding this project will bring about how we can better support Aboriginal economic development in forestry.

“We’re excited to partner with industry on this project to better understand the issues facing plantation and native forestry development in the NT, including growing, processing, training, market analysis and research needs.”

Industry stakeholders include the Forest Products Commission Western Australia, Plantation Management Partners, Midway, HQPlantations, Simms Group, DTM Timber/Branch 95, Quintis Ltd and Alpha Santanol.

Mahogany plantation

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