Queensland Forest Agreements
An important driver for Queensland’s plantation establishment are:
- South East Queensland Forests Agreement, and
- Western Hardwoods Statewide Forests Processes.
Both of these agreements are built on the Queensland hardwood sector transitioning from a supply based on native forests on State-owned and private land, to wood sourced from hardwood plantations and private native forests.
The Queensland government has committed to establishing 20,000 hectares of hardwood plantations to replace the resource currently being sourced from State land. This will now be delivered by the recently privatised Forestry Plantations Queensland as part of their sale conditions. Timber will continue to be sourced from State forests at the current rate until the transition to plantations, which will be finalised by 2025.
Importantly the processors of the hardwood plantation resource will use very different technologies and approaches to the current native forest sector. Large volumes of consistent resource from reasonably concentrated supply nodes are needed to enable efficient transport systems and the high throughputs required to support new investment in this sector.
The future of the Queensland hardwood sector relies on the establishment of a long term sustainable hardwood plantation estate, combined with effective management and good stewardship of native forests on private land.
The Queensland Government released the Queensland Timber Plantation Strategy 2020 in July 2010.
It commits the Queensland Government to deliver a number of plantation development activities in five focus areas, which include:
- land-use planning framework
- legislative and policy projects
- investment initatives
- targeted industry development support
- community education.
This Strategy will be important to underpinning future investment in this state. However more still needs to be done to attract the investment into sustainable long rotation plantations.