To support ongoing design work on the proposed new Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Multipurpose Services (MPS) facility, the design services contractor GHD is exploring options for the use of locally sourced timber materials for construction of the MPS facility.
This would not only reduce freight impacts and costs while promoting sustainability, but also support the local business sector.
One potential local option for timber is the eucalypt plantation in the National Park forestry zone.
This would provide a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to importing wood. It also has the support of Parks Australia as the use of these trees, if found suitable, would reduce fire risk on Norfolk Island, and allow for an increase in native forest.
The Norfolk Island National Park Management Plan aims to remove the eucalypt trees in the forestry zone in the future, as they are an introduced species to the island, and their presence may increase the risk of wildfire.
To understand the impacts of using the trees in the MPS construction on the local ecosystem, GHD are conducting a Forestry Feasibility Study, in consultation with Parks Australia and the local National Park team.
GHD's specialists in forestry and natural resource management are undertaking a one-week visit to Norfolk Island between 10-14 October 2022. As well as studying the forestry area, the team will investigate and assess local capacity to process the wood for use in construction.
The study will identify the potential uses for the timber, should it be considered suitable to harvest. Once the study is finalised, the report will be shared with the community for discussion and input.
The community will be provided with an update on the MPS project more broadly in coming weeks.
Any questions about the forestry feasibility study can be raised with the Norfolk Island National Park team.
Administrator of Norfolk Island
5 October 2022