Plantations and farm forests can meet all of our current and future timber needs, and will underpin future prosperity and diversification of our regional economies. Farm forestry has a vital role to play in restoring degraded landscapes and providing ecosystem benefits such as protecting soils and water, increasing farm productivity, carbon capture and creating new industries.
The Greens (WA) want:
- healthy, prosperous and sustainable farming communities that integrate farm forestry and good soil and water catchment management into their systems
- a plan to develop a sustainable and economically viable plantation and farm forestry based timber industry to allow a rapid shift of timber production from native forests to plantations and farm forestry (see also The Greens (WA) Forests & Woodlands policy)
- financial incentives for tree farming for timber, firewood and oil production, carbon capture1, soil and water protection and biodiversity plantings
- a review of the sustainability of existing and future plantations in response to a drying and warming climate in southern Western Australia (see also The Greens (WA) Climate Change & Energy policy)
- tree plantings which have commercial and environmental potential for low rainfall and degraded or saline sites
- support for value-adding to timber products
The Greens (WA) will initiate and support legislation and actions that:
- assign the functions of the Forest Products Commission to the Department of Agriculture and Food WA
- develop and fund a comprehensive plantation and farm forestry plan to support a vibrant new timber industry
- support the establishment of a second pine saw mill to improve utilisation of the softwood resource
- clearly link farm forestry to reversing land degradation and stream salinity, improving natural resource management and biodiversity corridors and where possible using a range of species (see also The Greens (WA) Agriculture policy)
- develop a comprehensive Statement of Planning Policy for farm forestry to guide the Western Australian Planning Commission
- establish favourable funding strategies for farm forestry to achieve both timber production and landcare objectives
- monitor the implementation of carbon sequestration funding for tree establishment under the carbon price package, so as to ensure it targets genuine biodiversity plantings; supports inter-harvest averaging to allow calculation of harvesting and subsequent timber rotations overtime; and careful scrutiny of commercial third party carbon investors.
- fund research, development and extension services to support farm forestry across all rainfall and soil regions
- expand the planting of mallee, sandalwood and other indigenous species in the Wheatbelt
- expand and extend trials of Western Australian native tree species suited to specialty high value timber production.
- only allow importation of timber that is both FSC certified2 and not old growth native timber for processing and/or re-sale in Western Australia
- promote highest value adding for timber produced in Western Australia
- develop appropriate strategies to work with the fine woodcraft industry to meet their needs (see also The Greens (WA) Arts and Culture policy)
- develop appropriate strategies to supply the firewood industry from plantation waste
(See also the Australian Greens Natural Resources policy)
- carbon capture - A biological or artificial process that stores carbon 'captured' out of the atmosphere, usually as carbon dioxide (CO2) gas, in a semi-permanent form.
- FSC certification – The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international not for-profit, multi-stakeholder organisation established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. Its main tools for achieving this are standard setting, independent certification and labelling of forest products. This offers customers around the world the ability to choose products from socially and environmentally responsible forestry.