Wood Encouragement Policy adopted in WA

Following months of discussion with the Western Australian (WA) Forest Products Commission and Planet Ark, the state government has now joined Tasmania to become the second state government in Australia to adopt a state-wide WEP.

The adoption of similar policies around the world is growing steadily, with Canada, Japan, France, Finland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom all encouraging the use of natural, timber-based products as a sustainable construction material.

Planet Ark’s Make It Wood campaign encourages the use of responsibly sourced wood as a building material. A key part of this initiative is the promotion and advocacy of Wood Encouragement Policies (WEPs) throughout Australia, which encourage the use of responsibly sourced wood in construction.

The state-wide WEP is part of the state government’s introduction of The Djarlma Plan for the Western Australian Forestry Industry. The plan was inspired by the indigenous Noongar people’s concept of Djarlma, which reflects the interconnected relationship of people, forests and woodlands.

A WEP generally requires responsibly sourced wood to be considered, where feasible, as the primary construction material in all new-build and refurbishment projects.

Western Australia Forest Products Commission spokesperson, and Manager of Policy and Corporate Support, Annelies de Ruiter, said Planet Ark’s advocacy of a WEP played a key role in getting the policy released alongside the Djarlma Plan.

“The Make It Wood team made the policy easy to commit to by highlighting the benefits of building with wood, which is natural, renewable and stores carbon.

“This makes it an important tool for fighting climate change.”