Today’s $220 million announcement by the Coalition to support Aussie timber production, manufacturing and research is good news for builders.
“Master Builders has been calling for this type of action to address timber shortages in the future and boost local industry capability,” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.
“The acute shortage of timber and reliance on imports to meet excess demand has contributed to massive spikes in the price of timber,” she said.
“We do not have enough planation timber to supply housing needs in the future,” Denita Wawn said.
“It’s in Australia’s national interest to secure our local timber supply by ensuring our timber plantation stock can meet future housing demand,” Denita Wawn said.
“A joint report released last year by Master Builders Australia (MBA) and the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) shows Australia is headed towards a major cliff in timber framing production, concluding we will be 250,000 house frames short by 2035 – the equivalent of the cities of Newcastle and Geelong combined,” she said.
“In Australia, there is one company in WA manufacturing laminated veneer lumber (LVL) timber. We should have the local capability here in Australia to do more manufacturing of structural engineered wood products,” Denita Wawn said.
“More also needs to be done to address shortages, cost increases and delays causing the current cost and cashflow crunch being experienced by the industry,” Denita Wawn said.
In response to trades and materials pressures facing the construction sector, Master Builders is seeking the following from government:
Incentives to improve sovereign capacity in product supply.
Better coordination with industry, states, and territories to facilitate greater investment in softwood plantations to meet long-term structural timber needs.
Government taking a more active role in enabling trade access arrangements for imported building products.
Investment in and boosting Australian building product manufacturing and product appraisal/traceability capabilities.