Image

Continued decline in Australia’s plantation estate

5 November 2023

Australia’s plantation estate is still on a worrying downward trajectory, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Agricultural Economics (ABARES) figures. Australia’s total plantation area contracted to 1.716 million hectares in 2021-22 – a reduction of more than 28,000 hectares.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Product Association (AFPA), Natasa Sikman said, “This continued decline in Australia’s plantation estate is extremely concerning and is a reminder that collectively, industry, federal and state governments and other decision and policy makers need to work together to get more timber trees planted for the future.”

“In the same reporting period, there was a small increase in new plantations of 2,300 hectares (hardwood, 1,181 ha and softwood 1119 ha) but these new plantings will not be enough to meet future demand.

“Australia’s national plantation estate has fallen by more than 250,000 hectares from 1.973 million hectares in 2014-15 to 1.716 million hectares in 2021-22. Australia is currently importing over 6 billion worth of wood products and we already rely on imports for up to 25 per cent of the timber needed to build Australian houses. As the Government looks to build 1.2 million new houses over the next five years, our reliance on imported timber will dramatically increase.

“We know that global demand for timber and wood fibre products is forecast to quadruple by 2050 and it is why we see countries such as the United Kingdom including timber use into their Net-Zero Strategy. The key element of the UK strategy is to increase public demand for sustainably sourced timber through procurement policies and encouraging research into barriers to the uptake of timber. Indeed, recently King Charles visited James Jones and Sons where he discussed the significant benefits of productive forestry a company which partners with Australian based Hyne Timber and XLam.

“AFPA supports the Federal Government’s commitment to plant one billion new production trees and Australia’s forestry sector recognises the work and investment by the Albanese Government, but more is needed to reverse this downward trend in our plantation estate while also increasing the use of timber in the construction sector.

“An increased plantation estate alongside a strong native sector will be critical for Australia to meet its own net zero goals while also contributing to the global climate change fight,” Natasa Sikman concluded.

Source: AFPA

Read More
Image

Decarbonising transport & logistics

New Zealand environmental specialist, Toitū, recently held a panel to discuss how New Zealand’s transportation and logistics industry, the nation’s second-largest emissions source, can take effective climate action. They shed light on the critical pressures facing supply chains and how to respond ...
Read more
Image

Calling all NZ loader operators – be part of this study

Driven by mechanisation, traditional career pathways in forestry crews are evolving. As part of the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme, ‘Te Mahi Ngahere i te Ao Hurihuri – Forestry Work in the Modern Age’, the Scion Human Factors research group ...
Read more
Image

Every second counts

During hot and dry periods, there is a serious risk of wildfires. Moreover, a single spark can be enough to start one, in which case every second counts. Having fire extinguishing equipment close at hand can make all the difference ...
Read more
Image

NZ forestry H&S statistics updated – March 2024

Safetree NZ has released their H&S stats dashboard for March 2024. WorkSafe provides statistics on forestry fatalities and workplace incidents. These investigations help inform us of any key issues or trends as they come to light. Overall, there is a downward trend ...
Read more
Image

Electrifying all trucks will cost less

The Clean Freight Coalition recently released a report suggesting a staggering US$1 trillion investment would be required to electrify 100% of the US truck fleet. However, a critical analysis reveals serious flaws in this estimation. Daimler Truck North America, a ...
Read more
Image

The future of forestry in Australia – hear the discussion

While it is a long-running debate, trees are not just part of the forest, but a valuable part of farms. It’s the future of forestry in Australia, according to a recent discussion on the ABC Listen podcast. There are many groups ...
Read more
Image

Transport: Hydrogen still has advantage over batteries

It’s April 2024 and some of Australia’s fossil fuel majors are still touting hydrogen powered vehicles as a solution for decarbonising transport.In a recent article, the ABC quoted Dr Steven Percy, a senior research fellow at the Victorian Hydrogen Hub, ...
Read more
Image

PF Olsen NZ log market report – April 2024

Market Summary At Wharf Gate (AWG) log prices across New Zealand dropped an average of 17% in April. April AWG log prices are about 15% below the two-year average. CFR prices for A grade logs in China have bottomed in ...
Read more
Image

AI powered fire projection in Tasmania

We reported several months ago the installation of AI powered early warning forest fire detection systems in South Australia by SFM. The system was developed by Pano AI and trained the cameras on millions of landscape images to spot the first ...
Read more