Media Release

New forestry research puts Launceston at the cutting edge

​Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck

Tasmania Minister for Building and Construction & Minister for Resources, Sarah Courtney

6 April 2019

The Australian Liberal National Government and the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s jointly funded Launceston centre of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI) will deliver eight new cutting edge forestry research projects.

Federal Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Richard Colbeck said that the projects identified will receive $4.2 million in support from Federal and State Governments and industry.

“The Launceston NIFPI was an election commitment of our Government and this is the second round of projects which will have a transformational effect on many aspects of Australia’s forest industry,” Minister Colbeck said.

“This second round has a number of research projects which will cut the waste and develop lean supply chains to make Australia’s forest industries even more competitive in the global marketplace.

“These projects will create more jobs by improving the way we process shorter logs, manage timber moisture, damage and discolouration and demonstrate durability in commercially relevant timeframes.”

Tasmanian Minister for Resources Sarah Courtney said some projects would make a major difference for the local industry.

“The successful applicants demonstrate the type of innovation that is occurring across the forest industry, such as improving the quality of plantation timber and developing supply chain efficiency,” Minister Courtney said.

“Tasmania’s foresters face some unique challenges and the Launceston NIFPI will be delivering specific projects to benefit our State, including a feasibility study into a wood pellet industry in Tasmania, which has the potential to complement the Government’s southern forests initiatives.

“The value-adding of lower grade forest resources into products such as bio-fuel pellets could lead to major private investment and job-creation in Tasmania.”

Full list of successful projects in Round 2:

ApplicantProject titleNIFPI funds sought ($)Total Project ($)
Sustainable Timber TasmaniaEagle Eye - Applying the Internet of Things to landscape scale Wedge-tailed eagle management151,263404,276
Forest Industries Research Centre (University of the Sunshine Coast), FORICO Pty Ltd & Sustainable Timbers TasmaniaShort Log Supply Chain Impacts in Hardwood Plantations115,700283,100
Forest Industries Research Centre (University of the Sunshine Coast) & Sustainable Timber TasmaniaAssessing the economic impact of damage to Eucalyptus nitens logs during mechanised harvesting operations190,706541,006
University of Tasmania & SFM Environmental Solutions Pty Ltd Managing timber's moisture content in the supply chain, construction and in service276,500621,500
University of Tasmania Minimising market-limiting discolouration in appearance Tasmanian hardwood160,000340,500
University of Tasmania & Britton TimbersNew methods of reliably demonstrating species durability in commercially relevant timeframes275,000598,000
The Southern Tree Breeding Association Inc.Implementation of single-step genomic selection in eucalypts493,497998,906
BioFuels Tasmania Pty LtdImprove returns to forest owners by exploring the feasibility of a pellet-based industry in Tasmania250,000462,000


More information on the National Institute of Forest Products Innovation can be found here: