Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:49): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Can the minister please update the house on how the Marshall Liberal government has supported the forestry industry since the last election?
The Hon. D.K.B. BASHAM (Finniss—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (14:50): I thank the member for Hammond for his important question. The Marshall Liberal government is investing more than $50 million as part of our commitment to support our forests and wood products industry. We have:
pledged $3 million to support local sawmills, bringing additional timber to market and assisting in transporting fire-affected pine from Kangaroo Island with assistance from the federal government;
provided an additional $2 million to extend the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation Mount Gambier centre for a further four years;
invested $1.1 million to upgrade fire surveillance and prevention across forest assets in the South-East, including virtual technology that is able to detect smoke without the need for human intervention. We are supporting new fire-spotting technologies, including exploring the use of automated fire detection, which is more reliable than people sitting there previously;
invested $2.1 million to diversify Roundwood Solutions with a micromill and steam drying plant at Tantanoola; and
invested $2 million from the Regional Growth Fund to secure Timberlink's $60 million cross-laminated timber and glue-laminated timber plant at Tarpeena, which is expected to generate 56 new forest jobs.
We are investing over $40 million in roads servicing our forestry industries and regions and we are investing nearly $1 million from the South Australian dog fence rebuild to use 60,000 treated wood posts into that rebuild of the dog fence.
We have invested over $88,000 from the Regional Growth Fund for South-East pine sales in Mount Gambier to install an automated biomass steam generation plant for wood drying. We are delivering $100 million to boost the firefighting resources following the 2019-20 bushfires, which saw significant loss of forestry plantations across Kangaroo Island. We are also investing $500,000 from the Regional Growth Fund for the Bordertown intermodal facility to help get products to market.
We have conducted an audit of the performance of the South-East Forest Estate Lease Agreement, established the Forestry Industry Advisory Council of South Australia and established the Parliamentary Friends of Forestry to develop South Australia's forest and wood products industries, highlighting the important opportunities to grow this multimillion dollar industry within South Australia.
I was also pleased to announce in June this year the new long-term arrangement with ForestrySA to build a new $4.5 million sawmill, being built by KSI Sawmills in Monarto, which will increase timber supply and create nearly 30 new local jobs. As recently as yesterday, I announced that the Marshall Liberal government was investing more than $750,000 in two initial projects aimed at increasing the supply of timber to the South Australian building industry almost immediately.
The booming local housing industry has been great news for our economy and jobs and a positive sign of confidence in the South Australia economy, but the increased demand for timber has put real pressure on the supply chains. These two projects are about to get underway and will provide a significant boost towards addressing the unprecedented demand for building timbers currently being experienced by South Australian builders.
In addition to this, we were the first state to sign up to the $15.1 million timber transport assistance package recently announced by the commonwealth government to freight logs salvaged from bushfire-affected areas.
The SPEAKER: Minister, your time has expired. However, on indulgence, if there is a sentence to go, please complete it.
The Hon. D.K.B. BASHAM: It is important to bring this timber to market. It is an important process.
The SPEAKER: Supplementary question from the member for Mount Gambier.
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