Kangaroo Is bushfire timber to be shipped

Bushfire-affected timber will soon be shipped and used for housing construction.
Bushfire-affected timber will soon be shipped and used for housing construction.

Up to 60,000 tonnes of softwood logs, some of them bushfire-affected, will start to be shipped off Kangaroo Island to support Australia's booming housing construction industry.

Applications have opened for the Construction Softwood Transport Assistance Program, a program funded jointly by the federal and state governments, to help cover the cost of shipment to the SA mainland and then to sawmills.

The scheme will pay $30 a tonne to bring timber from the island and then more money to cover the transport for processing.

Federal Assistant Forestry Ministry Jonathon Duniam said timber made available through the program could build up to 10,000 new houses across the country, supporting jobs in the timber and home building industries.

"Without this assistance, salvageable logs might be burned or left to rot, putting jobs at risk and possibly releasing carbon emissions into the atmosphere," he 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 Minister David Basham the booming housing industry had been great news for the local economy but had increased demand for timber, putting pressure on supply chains.

"This joint funding is a game-changer for our forestry and housing construction industries and will make tens of thousands of tonnes of structural timber available which could build up to 2000 homes in South Australia," he said.

Australian Associated Press