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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 Queensland’s timber industry made a formal agreement with the State Government, the South-East Queensland Forest Agreement (SEQFA), to ensure a long-term supply of hardwood resources from plantations and sustainably managed native forests in the region.

As part of that agreement, the State Government resource to enable an industry transition to greater use of plantation resources as well as further development of private native forestry resources by 2024. In 2010 the State Government privatised and sold the existing plantation resource to a single commercial owner. In 2015 an expert study subsequently found that this resource was not suitable as a substitute for native hardwood resources, and had suffered from drought and poor performance.

At the same time, while some State sponsored effort was put into private native forestry extension, there is still a wide lack of awareness and best-practice management of private native resources for long-term timber production.                     

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’ including its position on the SEQFA.

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 the current state-owned supply arrangements for a minimum of 10 years (on a rolling basis) to allow for a transition to greater use of sustainably managed private forests. 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 private native forestry management incentives and extension activities, to develop a more financially secure and longterm 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