'I'm interested in growing more trees': PM announces $12.5m forestry boost
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'I'm interested in growing more trees': PM announces $12.5m forestry boost

Nine regional forestry hubs will be created across Australia under a federal government plan to boost the industry.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the $12.5 million announcement on Saturday at a forest nursery at Somerset in northwest Tasmania.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Senator Richard Colbeck and Liberal candidate for Braddon Gavin Pearce pose for photographs during a visit to Forico Nursery in Somerset, Tasmania.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Senator Richard Colbeck and Liberal candidate for Braddon Gavin Pearce pose for photographs during a visit to Forico Nursery in Somerset, Tasmania.Credit:AAP

"I'm interested in growing more trees and growing more jobs, it's as simple as that," the prime minister said.

Four pilot hubs will be set up in northern Tasmania, NSW, Western Australia and across the South Australia and Victoria border.

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"It's a recognition of a region that is strong in forestry, looking at infrastructure needs, employment needs and making sure facilities are in place to grow trees," Mr Morrison said.

"This is an exciting day for Tasmania's forest industry," Mr Morrison said.

Another five hubs will be created in 2020.

The government plans to add a billion trees to the national plantation industry in the next decade, to meet a growing demand for timber.

Mr Morrison said 52,000 Australians are directly or indirectly employed in the forestry industry, which contributes more than $23 billion annually to the national economy.

"Growing one billion new trees is a huge task," he said.

"We need the infrastructure, labour and the region selected to achieve that target. We will talk to other forest communities around Australia to identify more sites."

Mr Morrison is on a two-day visit to Tasmania, a federal Labor stronghold.

Labor hold four federal seats on the island state, with independent Andrew Wilkie holding the fifth.

Mr Morrison opened the campaign office of Liberal Bass candidate, Bridget Archer, in Launceston.

AAP

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