Tasmania could face a timber frame shortage equivalent to the total houses in Evandale and Perth within 15 years unless looming supply issues are solved by governments, the housing and forestry sectors believe.
The Australian Forest Products Association and Master Builders Australia cross referenced Tasmania's plantation timber supplies with housing requirements and demand to estimate a shortfall of 5000 by 2035.
COVID-induced supply chain problems have already caused delays into the weeks in sourcing timber for frames, but the Tasmanian Forest Products Association fears it could get worse in the coming years.
TFPA chief executive officer Nick Steel said the state had a plan for social housing and population growth, but not for timber supply.
He said the government needed to encourage farmers to use their land for plantations, while avoiding the issues of forestry managed investment schemes of the past.
"We need to build that trust back with farmers, so there really needs to be appropriate initiatives and policies put in place," Mr Steel said.
"It's up to industry to work with the state and federal governments to come up with those initiatives to incentivise so we can actually work with farmers to plant trees.
"Trees can actually help with biodiversity. It's part of what farmers should be looking at, so in terms of 10-15 per cent of their farm, it's actually looking at trees [and] to assist them along the way."
The TFPA estimated that between 30,000 and 35,000 hectares in Northern Tasmania had been identified as appropriate for private plantations.
Master Builders Tasmania chief executive officer Matthew Pollock said the current shortages could be a sign of things to come unless long-term planning occurred now.
"International supply chains have been disrupted, that's due to COVID, that's still ongoing in the construction industry. It's coincided with a mini housing boom thanks to government-led stimulus," he said.
"It means we will build more houses over the next 12 months than perhaps any other year on record. But we do need to also address critical issues in the supply chain, and timber is one of those."
Tasmania sources about 30 per cent of its timber from outside of the state, while some of its own timber is also sent to be processed on the mainland before returning.
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