The changing face of Australia's forests

Forests Australia

This report summarises the major changes in forest use and management since the National Forestry Policy Statement was agreed in 1992. Among the key points in the report:

• About 13.6 million hectares of forest has been added to the nature conservation reserve network since 1990. The area of public native forests available for timber production declined from 13.4 million hectares in 1998 to 9.4 million hectares now.

• Log volumes harvested from native forests managed for wood production have been in the range 8.5–11 million m3. However, the 8.5 million m3 harvested in 2006–7 was the lowest since 1990–1. As harvesting moves to regrowth native forests, logs now are, on average, smaller in diameter and of different wood quality.

• Australia’s plantations expanded from about one million hectares in 1994 to over 1.8 million hectares in 2006. At present, 44% of plantations is hardwoods, a significant increase over the 15% in 1994. Ninety percent of new plantations established in 2006 is focussed on pulpwood production; the remainder at sawlog production. Plantations make up only about 1% of the forest estate. Private ownership of plantations increased from about 30% in 1990 to 59% in 2006.

Publication Details