The Water Rule Removal a Win for Plantations

According to Timberbiz, the water rule that had added conditions that plantation forestry needed to meet to participate in the Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) Scheme has been removed.

The removal of the “water rule” was a Labor Party election promise prior to the 2022 Federal Election and following a consultation process 1 June 2024, was confirmed in July last year as the ‘rule’s’ end date.

“This week is a great week for Australia’s forestry industry,” AFPA Chief Executive Officer Diana Hallam said.

“The removal of the water rule means plantation and farm forestry projects will now be treated the same as other carbon methods and not excluded from many areas that are suitable for tree planting,” she said.

“The removal of the water rule will now enable farmers in many areas to invest in trees, diversify their income and create market options to help them achieve net zero.

Ms Hallam said the removal of the restrictions nationally was great news because Australia desperately needed new production tree plantings to grow future timber and wood fibre supply and decarbonise the economy.

“Just last month, AFPA released How Timber Can Help Solve Australia’s Housing Crisis, a plan for how our sector can help supply the timber to build 50,000 much needed new homes, to help solve Australia’s housing crisis.

“The removal of the water rule is one very important cog in the wheel of success towards this goal,” she said.

“We thank the Albanese Government, in particular Ministers Murray Watt, Chris Bowen and Tanya Plibersek, for honoring its 2022 election commitment to remove the water rule, as well as the Coalition for taking the same policy to the election. This recognition and bipartisan support for industry investment is very important for our sector.

“AFPA will continue to work with Minister Watt and the rest of the Government on how to leverage the removal of the water rule, including through the plantation establishment grants and other policies relevant the boosting the forestry sector,” Ms Hallam said.