The Australian Government’s target for one billion new production trees, announced two years ago, has been emphatically endorsed today by news that Canada will spend $3.16 billion to plant an additional two (2) billion trees by 2030. Canada says it is a plan for meeting its climate change targets, as well as increasing the renewable resource used by the enormous Canadian timber sawmilling and processing industry.
Canada’s Minister for Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan said,
“Planting two billion trees is more than a plan for climate action. It’s a plan for creating thousands of good, green jobs. We’re confronting the urgency of climate change and getting trees in the ground starting this spring.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Ross Hampton said, “Canada’s forest industry is about twice as large as Australia’s, so the Australian Government’s one (1) billion new production tree planting target, which is half the scale of Canada’s, is not out of proportion. Both nations plan to plant all of these new trees by 2030.”
“The difference between the countries is that whilst Canada is investing more than $3 billion in the program, in Australia, the Government is relying on creating the right conditions for private investment to achieve the growth needed. The most important action the Government can take is to ensure all the Regional Forestry Hubs around Australia are announced and enabled with start-up funding as soon as possible so that planning can take place to ensure the planting of the ‘right trees at the right scale in the right places’ (National Forest Industries Plan 2018 ‘Growing A Better Australia – A billion trees for jobs and growth‘ page 2).”
“The second enabling activity is the modification of regulations to enable farmers, landowners and others to more easily access carbon credits obtained from the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) reverse auctions,” Mr Hampton said.
“Assistant Minster for Forestry Jonno Duniam and Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor are to be congratulated for achieving some of these necessary changes already. It is vital that red tape reforms continue, and that pressure is brought on any States who are blocking the planting of new trees. It remains bizarre for example that in part of the largest tree growing area in Australia, the South West Victorian side of the Green Triangle, the Victorian government is yet to allow the Federal Government to declare the area exempt and deliver the carbon benefits of new trees to farmers and landowners,” Mr Hampton concluded.