Today’s State Budget has delivered a much-needed boost in additional aerial firefighting capability that will help protect the State’s critical sustainable forest plantations as we head into more difficult summer periods ahead.
“South Australia has already suffered the loss of over 50,000 hectares of the plantation estate due to water policy in the South East and the 2020 bushfires on Kangaroo Island which has occurred at a time of increasing demand for fibre. The increased number of aerial bushfire fighting appliances will be critical in providing additional protection for the plantation estate, said Nathan Paine, Chief Executive Officer of SAFPA.
“In the South East, the industry already invests well over $5 million per year in bush fire prevention and firefighting and this new investment by Government in addition to the over $2 million already committed during the election for a fire camera network will go a long way to ensuring that every tree we grow in South Australia makes it into a mill to be processed into much needed fibre products at the same time as supporting the over 21,300 South Australian jobs directly and indirectly reliant on our plantation estate”, continued Mr Paine.
“SAFPA is buoyed by the State Government’s continued support for the forest industries ranging from the rollout of its election commitments such as the Centre for Excellence in Mount Gambier, the Domestic Manufacturing and Infrastructure Masterplan, Trees on Farms, the Cross Border Commissioner and FIACSA through to today’s investment in additional fire fighting aircraft”.
“Over the coming 12 months, SAFPA will continue to engage with Government on policy measures needed to see more trees planted to ensure that the future fibre needs of the South Australian community can be met whilst also supporting the State Government’s net zero by 2030 ambitions”, said Mr Paine.
“SAFPA congratulates Treasurer Stephen Mullighan for continuing to deliver for the forest industries and looks forward to working with the Premier, Minister Scriven and the Treasurer on future programs that will see the expansion of the plantation estate”.