A new Plantation Loan available through the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) will boost the forestry industry in NSW according to Nationals Senator, Perin Davey.
Senator Davey, who has been a strong advocate for forestry in the Senate said by making concessional loans available through the RIC for plantations the Government is investing in the future of the industry and the regions.
“Forestry is the ultimate renewable construction material and demand is on the rise, so we need to ensure finance is available to back industry growth to meet future demand,” Senator Davey said.
“The loans will also be available to farmers to support plantation development on their land to diversify their income.
“Farmers can then concurrently apply for Emissions Reduction Fund accreditation and have the carbon credits recognised.
“I’ve long advocated for financial incentives for carbon sequestration to be extended to our farmers and this announcement is a great step.”
Senator Davey noted Australia’s plantation forest estates had not grown for more than a decade, despite forest industry estimates that 400,000 hectares of new plantations would be needed over the next decade.
In announcing the loan program, Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud said businesses can obtain a concessional loan to the value of $2.5 million to establish new plantations or replant bushfire-damaged plantations.
“Many regional communities are reliant on forestry. We also know the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires caused significant losses for some industries and communities,” Minister Littleproud said.
Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Jonno Duniam said the government is committed to growing the plantation estate and supporting forestry jobs.
“Through these local initiatives, we’re working with businesses and states and territories to build a strong and sustainable future for Australia’s forest industries,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.
The Plantation Loan complements other loan products delivered through the RIC and supports the Federal Government’s Ag2030 goal to grow Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries to $100 billion by 2030.
For more information and guidance on applying for the Loans, call 1800 875 675.