Mr BELL (Mount Gambier) (15:14): A supplementary to the minister for forestry: would any arrangement be a co-funding arrangement between the state government and the federal government?
The Hon. D.K.B. BASHAM (Finniss—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (15:14): I thank the member for the follow-up question. There would be some expectation, I'm sure, from the federal government that the state government would be party to this, and we will work with the federal government to come to a satisfactory arrangement, if possible, to actually achieve the outcomes.
We understand there is a strong need for structural timber in South Australia. We want to get that timber available, and we are looking at many opportunities where we can do that. Our understanding, from inquiries through the industry, is that there are very few sawmills that have capacity for extra structural timber to be processed.
We have recently seen some timber agreements released with ForestrySA where 10-year agreements have been put in place, and that has led to one mill deciding to invest in building a new plant. In the future that will give some ability for structural timber; that is still about 12 months away, but there are other opportunities.
Particularly down in the South-East, our understanding is that there are very few opportunities for extra capacity to get timber processed in a structural sense, so we are working and looking for every opportunity where we might be able to achieve that.