A grant worth more than $1 million has been announced to diversify exports and help meet the growing demand for timber in the south-west.
The federal government's Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister and Wannon MP Dan Tehan attended the Trawler Wharf at Portland Harbour on Tuesday to announce a $1.3 million trade and market access grant to help the forest and wood products industry develop hybrid engineering wood products.
The grant will help the industry to add more value to lower quality forestry resources onshore in Australia, creating more jobs in regional communities and helping to diversify timber exports.
The investment would also provide an opportunity for the industry to increase export incomes.
The hybrid wood products would be sold to three alternative markets, including Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Mr Tehan said the project would provide a significant boost for the timber industry across the Green Triangle region and continue to secure jobs in Wannon and benefit the Port of Portland.
He said the hybrid timber could also be used to meet the growing demand of construction timber in the south-west.
The manufacturing process would be the first of its kind in the region, Mr Tehan said.
He said the project was a great example of the federal government supporting trade diversification.
"This project offers great promise to establish new export markets thanks to the adoption of innovative technology," Mr Tehan said.
Forestry and Fisheries assistant minister Jonno Duniam said the project would benefit the whole industry supply chain, from timber growers to wood processors and exporters.
"This grant is another example of our government delivering for the forestry industry and securing jobs in rural and regional communities," he said.
"This grant will complement our recent announcement of around $220 million to help this industry innovative, utilise Australia's precious wood resources better, and increase our sovereign manufacturing capability."
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