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Queensland's Forests

South East Queensland Native Hardwood Industry

Securing the future of South-East Queensland's native hardwood industry



In 1999, the State Government committed to the South-East Queensland Forest Agreement (SEQFA), to promote long-term supply of hardwood resources from plantations and sustainable managed native forests in the region. Under the SEQFA, the supply of state-owned native sawlogs was to cease from 2024, assuming an adequate resource from plantations and private native forests. 

In November 2019, the Queensland Government acknowledged the plantation hardwood program was unsuccessful. There has also been inadequate development of the private native forest resource. As a consequence, the Queensland Government announced a new 'timber action plan' to:

  • extend the continuation of hardwood timber harvesting in Wide Bay Burnett for an additional 2 years, guaranteeing access up to 2026;
  • establish a timber advisory panel responsible for overseeing and making plans with the industry for the future; and 
  • conduct a comprehensive two-year study to identify sustainable future options for timber supply, including on private land, to be completed in 2021.           

What is the issue?

Under the SEQFA, the supply of state-owned native sawlogs was to cease from 2024, assuming an adequate resource from plantations and private native forests.

With insufficient development of the private native forest resource and the inadequacy of the plantation resource
as a substitute, there is no long-term resource security for the industry beyond 2024. Resource security is essential for investment and financing requirements in the timber industry. This is becoming an industry crisis.

A way forward

The Queensland Government is presently developing and formulating a policy on the future of timber production on state-owned land as part of the 'timber action plan' announced in November 2019. 

Timber Queensland has been working constructively with the State Government on a proposed policy solution consistent with the original aims of the SEQFA. 

There is an excellent opportunity to maintain and grow this important regional industry through greater resource security. This proposal has three key actions:

  1. Extend state-owned supply arrangements on a long-term basis in consultation with industry. This State supply is necessary to guarantee investment confidence and financing security in new mill plant and associated value adding and job creation.

  2. Accelerate Government support for private native forestry management incentives and extension activities, to develop a more financially secure and long-term private timber resource.

  3. Ensure the ‘Managing a Native Forest Practice’ regulatory code remains a practical and cost-effective tool for landowners to implement good forest management. This code should also be broadened to ensure the full suite of relevant commercial forest types is included.



Understanding the Impact

With the implementation of these actions, the industry would have the confidence to further invest and grow. TQ estimates that the industry could double in mill door value to over $410 million by 2034, and generate an additional 1000 direct jobs in regional areas.


Without implementation of these actions, there is a significant risk of industry collapse, mill closures and job losses across the region.


Download Fact Sheet - Securing the future of South-East Queensland's native hardwood industry