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  • Jason Regan

Basham praises deal on KI timber

Up to 60,000 tonnes of softwood logs will start to be shipped off Kangaroo Island to support South Australia’s forestry sector and booming housing construction industry.

The Federal and South Australian governments have signed an agreement to fund the Construction Softwood Transport Assistance Program(CSTAP). This will provide assistance to freight bushfire-affected softwood logs salvaged from Kangaroo Island to sawmills across the country with immediate capacity to process structural timber.

Federal Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam, said the timber made available thanks to the CSTAP could provide enough to build between 8,000 and 10,000 new houses.

“Without this assistance, salvageable logs might be burned or left to rot, putting jobs at risk," Mr Duniam said.
“This funding will deliver a new supply of logs to support jobs in both our timber and construction industries and help boost economic growth across the country.”

SA Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham spoke with FLOW FM and said the State Government has pledged up to $3 million to support getting more timber to market.

South Australian Primary Industries Minister David Basham
"The world demand for timber has gone through the roof recently meaning importing timber isn't an option. Domestically, bushfires have ravaged other reserves from across the country," said Basham.
"We've also seen unprecedented demand for structural timber thanks to the number of new builds approved as part of COVID stimulus packages around the country".

Hear David Basham speak to FLOW FM Australia via our podcast

The good news comes as Deputy Premier Vicki Chapman is readying herself to face a parliamentary inquiry regarding her decision to reject a $40 million timber port off Kangaroo Island in August.

The Premier and his Deputy. Steven Marshall and Vicki Champan. Image via Vicki Chapman MP Facebook page.

Former Liberal MP's Dan Cregan and Sam Duluk sided with the opposition to back the inquiry which will investigate if Chapman's decision constitutes a conflict of interest given her father owns a significant portion of land on Kangaroo Island.

Ms Chapman, who is also the states planning minister, refused to approve the timber port against the advice of her own department.


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