Steph Cooke and Adam Marshall chat with locals in front of burnt pine trees.
Steph Cooke and Adam Marshall at a burnt site following the Dunns Road Fire

The forestry and timber industry in NSW will benefit from the rejuvenation of burnt-out forests thanks to $46 million to the Forestry Corporation NSW from the NSW State Government.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP said more than 10 million seedlings are set to be planted over the next 12 months which will grow into timber for house frames, floorboards, decks, fences, bridges, power poles and other essential renewable timber products.

“The devastating Dunns Road Fire destroyed homes, pasture, assets and wilderness areas and continues to impact on mills which are a vital employer for several communities in the Cootamundra electorate. These communities are still reeling from this devastation,” Ms Cooke said.

“The $46 million injection into the forestry industry will give the replanting efforts a kick start, helping to get state-owned pine plantations back to pre-bushfire levels of stocked trees within a decade,” Ms Cooke added.

“More than 10 million seedlings will be planted this year, then a total of more than 14.5 million trees each year across the state from 2021 – a massive 40 per cent increase on 2019 plantings benefiting jobs, industry and the environment.”

Plantings across the state will include:

  • 4.4 million seedlings in the Tumut area
  • 2.4 million softwood seedlings in the Bathurst area.
  • 1 million softwood seedlings in the Bombala area.
  • 740,000 softwood seedlings in the Grafton area
  • 500,000 softwood seedlings in the Walcha area.
  • 500,000 hardwood seedlings on the north coast

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the NSW Nationals in Government are committed to supporting the future of forestry in NSW.

“Forestry is a long-term, renewable industry and replanting and regrowing these plantations will ensure they continue producing renewable, sustainable timber products for generations to come,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The forestry industry was devastated by an unprecedented bushfire season, with more than 50,000 hectares, or around 25 per cent of the state’s pine plantations burnt,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The plantation timber industry has been a fixture in regional NSW for a century and NSW State-owned pine plantations produce enough timber to construct about a quarter of the houses built in Australia each year.”