Western Australia will be the first Australian state to put an end to native forest logging by 2024, with plans to expand softwood timber plantations and transition towards more sustainable wood products.
“This is a historic moment for the protection of our magnificent forests and the creation of sustainable Western Australia (WA) jobs,” says Premier Mark McGowan. “By transitioning more of the forestry industry to sustainable timber products like softwood, we are investing in WA’s future, supporting the construction and forestry industries, and our regional communities. Protecting this vital asset is critical in the fight against climate change.”
According to WA’s next forest management plan, covering the years from 2024 to 2033, some 400,000 hectares of native karri, jarrah, and wandoo forest will be preserved, and another 9,000 hectares of karri forests will be heavily protected. The government plans on spending $350 million to expand by 33,000 hectares the softwood timber plantations and to plant up to 50 million pine trees, and $50 million to support workers and communities alike who are affected by the changes. Under the new management plan, some 140 timber industry jobs will be created, and 1,980 existing jobs will be maintained.