- $8.7 million project to plant 3,500 ha of pine in the Wellington catchment under way
- The forest industry in Western Australia is worth more than $1 billion annually
Water and Forestry Minister Dave Kelly today announced work had begun to rejuvenate the Wellington catchment, increase Western Australia's softwood estate, create jobs and improve the quality of water in the Wellington reservoir.
The collaboration between the Department of Water and Forest Products Commission will see the harvesting of eucalypt plantings converted to a commercial softwood pine plantation over the next four years.
The pine plantation will use more water than the current eucalypt plantation, preventing the rise of salt levels in groundwater.
The pine plantings are part of a $21 million State Government strategy to expand the softwood estate to maintain a vibrant timber manufacturing and processing hub in the South-West.
Comments attributed to Water and Forestry Minister Dave Kelly:
"Re-planting in the Wellington catchment will assist in the reduction of salinity levels and improve the water quality.
"Preventing salinity levels from rising underpins future development in the area and is part of the broader strategy to rejuvenate the entire catchment.
"An estimated 4.4 million pine seedlings will be planted over the next four years in Collie covering 3,500 hectares, supplying over one million tonnes of timber to the softwood industry in the State's South-West.
"Forestry is an economic driver for regional Western Australia. In 2015-16, $71 million was spent in regional areas supporting employment and services, and providing forest products to industry.
"The South-West community places a high value on the Wellington catchment and enjoys the social amenity it provides."