A ‘critical shortage’ of timber is restricting builders from meeting housing demands, according to NSW Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders.
Australia’s housing construction industry is facing a growing demand for timber which isn’t in stock, with an estimated reliance on imported timber to be doubled by 2050.
The Bob Brown Foundation has said an issue with a decades-old piece of legislation means the Tasmanian government has been illegally logging forests in the state for years. The government has denied the issue rendered past logging operations “illegal”, however Resources Minister Guy Barnett said he intended to introduce legislation that would remove doubt.
The state-owned Forestry Corporation suffered a $20 million loss last year, with NSW taxpayers forced to pay $441 per hectare to log critical native forests. The net cost of destroying more than 13,500 hectares of red gum, ironbark and cypress trees – largely for woodchip exports and firewood – was $6 million, while one-off recovery costs following the Black Summer bushfires soared to $14 million.