Inside this issue!

Share with a friend


Welcome to the Forestry Hub

On behalf of the Hub members, I welcome you to our first newsletter.

The SWS Forestry Hub brings the softwood sector in NSW and NE Vic together with the region’s communities on topics of mutual interest. Our Hub boundary extends from Gundagai in the north through to Mansfield in NE Victoria.

The Hub was established as part of the Australian government’s National Forest Industries Plan to identify the constraints to expanding the softwood industry in this region, develop and prioritise potential solutions and manage projects to enable the expansion of the industry as well as explore new opportunities.

In late 2019, the South West Slopes Forestry Hub was announced as one of 11 Hubs in Australia that will each receive $1million over three years.

The Hub works to ensure the softwood sector and its communities are considered in the development of state and federal government policies and can suggest policy options that will enhance the positive role that the industry can play for regional development.

The Hub has prepared a Strategic Plan to guide its work in meeting these objectives, with the focus areas being:
•    community engagement
•    people and skills
•    adequate infrastructure
•    resource security

As part of our commitment to community engagement, last year we surveyed the community. (See summary of results in the article below.)

We thank you for taking part in that survey and providing your email address, which is why you are receiving this newsletter. 

We are pleased to be following the survey with two community workshops in June and look forward to meeting you at one of them.
Peter Crowe, Chair

Join us at a Community Workshop

We invite you to join us, representatives from the industry and your fellow community members, at one of two workshops in June.

The purpose of the workshops is to:
•         build a shared understanding of the Softwoods Industry in the South West Slopes
•         provide feedback on the Community Survey conducted in 2020, including the actions recommended by the community and
•         begin developing an open communication process.
You will be asked what you think needs to be jointly addressed to work towards a positive future for the industry. We encourage you to attend and ask that you register for one of the workshops via the link below.
Tumut - Tuesday 15 June from 2 – 5pm
Venue - Tumut Room, 1st Floor Snowy Valleys Council Building, Capper St, Tumut

Tumbarumba - Wednesday 16 June from 10am – 1pm
Venue - Wenoma Studio, Hammond Lane (next to IGA) in Tumbarumba 



What we heard in the 2020 Survey

Thank you to all who completed our survey in 2020.

We received 105 responses, 48% of whom had not heard of the Hub before seeing the survey.

The importance of the industry to the region was ranked highly by more than 70% of respondents.
Respondents rated the following as their top 5 areas of interest:
  •  fire preparedness,
  • pest plants and animals,
  • water needs and impacts,
  • agricultural land being used for plantations,
  • Good Neighbour charter
As a result of the feedback, we have scheduled two community workshops in June that will provide an opportunity for us to continue the conversation.

We also heard about your preferred communications channels and have now introduced this electronic newsletter and a Facebook page, as well as being in the final stages of preparing a website.
We also saw the reach of your community newsletters, e-mail trees, noticeboards and networks. Could you please share this newsletter with your communities so more people have an opportunity to attend a workshop, subscribe to the newsletter, follow us on Facebook or send us an email.

Hub funding extended in federal Budget

Our Hub is one of 11 that have been progressively established in the last two years. We were initially funded in 2019 for three years by the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

In the May 2021 budget, a further $10.6 million was announced to continue the Forestry Hubs for a further two years.

More about the Hub: Who, where and how we contribute

The South West Slopes Forestry Hub is made up of the following members:
  • Four local councils - Snowy Valleys, Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional, Greater Hume Shire and Albury City
  • Forest growers - Forestry Corp NSW, Hume Forests and HVP
  • Forest Industry Council (tepresenting harvesting and haulage contractors),
  • Timber processors - Hyne Timber Tumbarumba, AKD Sawmills Tumut and Visy
  • The Department of Regional NSW
  • Transport for NSW
  • Regional Development Australia (Riverina and Murray),
The Region
The Hub takes in about 3.5million hectares in the area east of the Hume Freeway, west of the Great Dividing Range, south of Gundagai and taking in the plantations of NE Victoria down to Mansfield. This area contains around 170,000 ha of softwood plantations (both public and private).

Economic contribution
Prior to the 2020 fires, the local industry created 2,487 jobs directly and supported a further 4,580 jobs via the industry’s demand for goods and services, and consumer spending by its employees.  A total of 7,067 jobs were therefore supported by the industry within the Hub area.

Of the direct jobs, 15% occur at the growing stage, 18% are involved in the harvesting of plantations and the transport of logs to processing facilities and 66% in the processing of logs into a wide range of products.

The gross economic contribution to the regional industry was over $2.5 billion per year, including the impacts of the industry buying goods and services from local suppliers, and those people employed in the industry spending money in the local community. 

The fire impacts have certainly had a serious adverse impact on the future availability of timber products for at least the next 20 years. Quantification of these overall impacts is still being addressed and analysed.

However, it is important to note that even with this reduced availability of wood products, the plantation sector is still the most significant socio-economic contributor to the region.

South West Slopes Forestry Hub

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp