The State and Federal Governments will support this initiative by each providing $2 million over four years to develop research capacity at Mount Gambier, which will also be supported by industry contributions.
"Forestry Research Mount Gambier will be a huge asset for the region, help grow Australia's forestry industry and create more jobs," said Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone.
"The research hub, based at the University of South Australia's state-of-the-art Mount Gambier campus, is about bringing ideas and people together, sharing expertise and undertaking research to further the region's competitive edge. This a world-class collaboration and has the potential to really change the industry.
"This aims to grow Australia's forest and forest products industry by exploring and facilitating innovation in areas such as forest management, timber processing, wood fibre recovery and value adding, advanced manufacturing and the bio economy.
"Mount Gambier is at the centre of the Green Triangle plantation forestry region – the second largest in Australia – and is a major forestry processing area in Australia.
“Basing these research activities in Mount Gambier will ensure the work undertaken truly benefits not only the local industry, but the state overall. The research agenda will be overseen by an industry-driven, locally-based regional advisory committee who will determine priority projects to be undertaken.
"As a significant employer of the region we want to continue to grow this sector and this is a positive step in securing the future of such an important industry in our state."
Chair of the Limestone Coast Economic Development Group, Mayor Erika Vickery, welcomed the initiative. "We have long advocated for targeted research being conducted in the region by leading research providers.
"The forestry research hub will facilitate this by working closely with our industry stakeholders and using the new campus established by the University of South Australia."
Forestry Research Mount Gambier is a partnership between the Government of South Australia, the University of South Australia, and the forestry industry, and will assist in delivering the regional priorities of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation.