EWPAA Media Release
26 April 2023
Investment in timber manufacturing innovation welcomed.
The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) joins other industry voices in welcoming Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Murray Watt’s recent announcement of successful companies to receive grant funding to underpin innovation, add value, and build capacity in our renewable timber manufacturing industries.
The Accelerate Adoption of Wood Processing Innovation (AAWPI) grant program will allocate more than $108 million in funding to timber manufacturing companies across Australia and will deliver an important Albanese Government policy commitment. Funding will be provided via grants of between $1 million to $5 million to 34 successful companies before 2025-26.
EWPAA’s Chief Executive Officer, Gavin Matthew said, “The awarding of these grants is timely to underpin investment in regional manufacturing innovation and resilience following COVID, logistics and wood fibre supply challenges. This is further recognition that our renewable industries can reduce emissions, store carbon, provide jobs, and manufacture essential products, including innovative engineered wood products, to build new homes and businesses to improve housing affordability and sustainability. Wood fibre is a renewable biological resource which should be recognised as a preferred building material in a low emissions future.”
“Additionally, EWPAA will continue to work closely with the Albanese Government on their $4.4 million policy commitment to protect industry from illegal and conflict timber imports by strengthening Australia’s illegal logging traceability and timber identification systems – a growing and concerning issue that we feel strongly about,” Gavin Matthew said.
In Australia’s uncertain construction market, participants are increasingly aware of the supply risk of ‘illegal and conflict timber products’ sourced from Russia or Belarus, transformed in other manufacturing countries, e.g., China, and then traded to unsuspecting markets.
“Australia’s construction market needs to exercise increased due diligence (e.g., on branding, supporting information, and product certification claims) when importing timber products or building with them, due to increased risk they may have been manufactured from ‘conflict or illegally logged’ timber,” Gavin Matthew said.
Inquiries: Gavin Matthew, CEO of EWPAA. (b) (07) 3250 3700. (m) 0429 990 528
* About EWPAA. Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) is a member association for manufacturers of engineered and solid wood products located throughout Australasia. https://ewp.asn.au/