Western Australia forestry plans for jobs, industries and the environment

A new plan for the Western Australian forestry industry aims to support the manufacture of timber products.

In a statement from the Minister for Water, Fisheries, Forestry, Innovation and ICT and Science, Dave Kelly, harvested wood fibres are named as an opportunity to create products including engineered timbers and bioplastics.

Utilising sustainably farmed wood for construction and fit outs in the building industry in Western Australia is another key plank of the plan.

“I am pleased to announce the launch of the Djarlma Plan which delivers an ecologically sustainable approach to transform the forestry industry and seize new opportunities for economic growth and job creation,” said Kelly.

The plan aims to balance the ongoing health of Western Australia’s forests with their potential to create jobs through the forestry industry.

Named the Djarlma Plan for the Western Australian Forestry Industry, the plan draws upon the Noongar concept of Djarlma. The Indigenous concept highlights the interconnection of people, forests and woodlands.

Applied to the WA forestry industry, the concept sees the plan seek out the potential for investment to deliver economic benefits through ecologically sustainable strategies.

Announced on July 2, the plan was developed with consultation from industry and community and was guided by an independent panel.

“The Djarlma Plan prioritises healthy forests and woodlands, while driving innovative practices to secure the industry into the future,” said Kelly.

Today, the forestry industry employs 6,000 people in fields including growing, harvesting and processing, as well as downstream manufacturing and merchandising.

The plan builds upon the enthusiasm for timber in the construction sector. Engineered wood products are now able to replace more costly steel in building projects. The manufacture of wood for multi-storey buildings has the potential to meet both economic and sustainability goals for the forestry, building and manufacturing industries.

The Djarlma plan is the next step from the Forest Management Plan 2014-2023 and will guide the industry until 2030.