Trial steers transport towards greener future

Trial steers transport towards greener future

The State Government has announced a $200,000 investment for Fennell Forestry to commence phase two of an electric log truck trial through the South Australian Wood Fibre and Timber Industry Master Plan.

The trial will examine how heavy vehicle decarbonisation can contribute towards a green circular economy and build on the outcomes of a phase one trial run last year by Fennell Forestry testing Australia’s first electric heavy vehicle.

South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas recognised Fennell Forestry’s managing director Wendy Fennell for “showing a degree of leadership” in her effort to decarbonise the industry.

“Central to innovation of course is acknowledging that we live in a different economy today that what was the case 50 years ago which means decarbonising is an important endeavour,” he said.

“It is not easy to be a leader, you have to take a few risks and Wendy Fennell and her business is a demonstration that that can indeed pay off.

“One of the innovations that Fennell Forestry has pursued is decarbonisation of their transport fleet, looking at whether or not electrification can suit the forestry industry.

“They have already engaged in a very substantial trial at their own expense that has delivered a lot of learnings.

“Now there is an opportunity to go into the second phase of that trial, expanding those operations.

“Decarbonisation in the forestry sector is important because one of the competitive advantages this industry has is that it is good for the climate, it is good for the environment, but it also generates productive jobs into the future.

“The decarbonisation of the transportation and the logistics associated with the forestry industry is another way that we can set it up for the long term.”

Mrs Fennell thanked the government for its support in the second stage of the electric log truck trial.

“The first stage was about finding out whether this technology is operationally suitable, that is what we have established over the last 12 months,” she said,

“The next stage is working through, what is the policy and the framework and the financial sustainability of decarbonising the transport and using electric vehicles in this specific transport task to achieve those results.

“Industry is able to provide solutions to government but it needs to be a partnership and how we do achieve decarbonising our industry.”

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