More than 8.5 million plantation tree seedlings have been planted this season to cater for the record demand for timber and timber products. Western Australia’s forest industries stepped up to meet Forest Industries Federation WA’s new pine plantings target of 10,000ha each year for seven years to ensure the supply of timber for future generations. FIFWA is targeting 100,000ha by 2030. The State Government’s $350 million investment in expanding the softwood plantation estate has also contributed to this year’s planting numbers, with the Forest Product Commission also documenting an increase. FIFWA chief executive Adele Farina said the increase in plantings was a sign that the plantation industry was thriving and it was a positive step that government plantings were also increasing. “This season we’ve seen an increase in approximately two million seedlings and while we are still heading towards a major shortfall of timber in the 2030s, the increase in plantings is a big step in the right direction,” she said. “Planting now will ensure a supply of timber for future generations, as well as helping fight climate change, providing employment, underpinning regional communities and creating renewable and sustainable products.” WA’s plantation sector, which consists of hardwood and softwood varieties, contributes more than $1.18 billion of economic activity. Plantation timber is used for a multitude of purposes, from framing for homes to wood fibre used to manufacture paper, packaging and bioproducts, replacing single use plastics.