Forestry sector response to bushfires

Sarah Courtney,Minister for Resources

The Hodgman Liberal Government is a proud supporter of Tasmania’s forestry industry, which supports thousands of jobs, many of which are in regional areas.

The recent bushfires heavily impacted the industry in southern Tasmania, where the processing mills at Southwood were temporarily shut down and production forests were damaged by fire.

Across Government, we acted swiftly to assist the forestry industry and affected communities to recover from this serious fire event.

Work to assist with the bushfire recovery on this important industry included:

  • TasNetworks crews worked around the clock to restore power to the Southwood processing mill site as quickly as possible. Power was restored to the site in early April.
  • Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) directly engaged harvesting contractors affected by the fires, rescheduling some operations to areas unaffected by the fires.
  • The Government’s commitment to ongoing timber exports from the Port of Hobart enabled fire damaged timber to be efficiently exported while it remained marketable.
  • Private Forests Tasmania (PFT) made relief available to affected private forest growers by providing a rebate for the Private Forest Service Levy.

More broadly, the 2018-19 Bushfires Final Recovery Plan, released this week, will guide the long-term recovery for communities affected by the bushfires.

I sincerely thank all those involved in the fire-fighting effort and the ongoing recovery work, which has helped landowners, businesses and employees get back on their feet.

The Hodgman Liberal Government will continue to work with STT, private growers, and the industry to ensure Tasmania’s timber processing industry remains strong.

/Public Release. View in full here.