An additional $3.1 million of Morrison Government funding will extend the life of the three regional National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI) Centres, including Mount Gambier to support innovation and growth in the forest industries.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said an additional $1 million of funding for the NIFPI Mount Gambier Centre will allow it to continue its important forestry research.

“We are committed to supporting Australia’s forest industries to grow and increase productivity by investing in innovation and research.”

“The centres support innovation in forest management, timber processing, wood fibre recovery, advanced manufacturing and the bio economy forestry sectors.”

“This forms part of the $26.2 million package where the Morrison Government is backing in our forestry industry, which will enhance regional employment, and have positive flow-on impacts for the construction industry and the Australian economy.”

Mr Pasin said the NIFPI Mount Gambier Centre was an important hub for research.

“To date 35 research projects have been funded by the centres, including 12 supported by the NIFPI Mount Gambier Centre,” Mr Pasin said.

“These projects include exploring and facilitating innovation in areas such as forest management, worker safety, advanced remote sensing, forest water use and applying advanced technologies to forestry.”

“Investing in innovation to use our forest resources smarter will help Australia secure our long-term wood supply, which every Australian relies on.”

“The forestry sector has faced challenges in the last few years, but our forest industries are resilient and we’re working with the sector for a bright future.” Mr Pasin said.

UniSA welcomes the announcement of additional funding opportunities via the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation.

General Manager Forest Research Jim O’Hehir said UniSA has been very pleased to work with the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation since May 2018 when UniSA launched Forest Research Mount Gambier to provide a local presence for forest research delivery.

“Since that time UniSA has delivered NIFPI funded projects all with high relevance to the forest industry based around Mount Gambier in South Australia.” Mr O’Hehir said.

“Most of these projects also have a strong national relevance, and involvement of forest industry throughout the forestry supply chain in all States of Australia.” Mr O’Hehir said.

“The projects are not just about trees! Projects have included: characterising softwood sawn products in Australia; optimal use of dense, remotely acquired data; automated forest fire detection and suppression; forest health and biosecurity systems; best-practice fatigue management; optimising the management of plantation, water and environmental assets and water licence decision making. Outputs include technical reports, software packages, seminars and workshops, published papers, as required by the forest industry partners.” Mr O’Hehir said.

“UniSA is keen to maintain and expand its forest research capability.” Mr O’Hehir said.