Australian plantation statistics is published every year. It supports strategic forest industry planning and decision-making by presenting information on total plantation area, new planting and ownership. The plantation areas are presented by National Plantation Inventory regions for softwood and hardwood plantation types, species and jurisdiction, based on data collected from private growers and grower representatives and public state and territory agencies.
• Australia's total commercial plantation area was around 1,974,770 hectares in 2015-16, an increase of 1,331 hectares (0.1 per cent) from 1,973,439 hectares in 2014-15. The total area of softwood plantations was 1,036,800 hectares, an increase of around 1,400 hectares from 2014-15, and accounted for almost 53 per cent of total commercial plantation area. Total hardwood plantation area remained relatively unchanged at around 928,300 hectares, a decrease of 66 hectares since 2014-15, and accounted for 47 per cent of total commercial plantation area.
• In 2015-16 Victoria continued to have the largest total area of commercial plantations (423,000 hectares), followed by New South Wales (394,400 hectares) and Western Australia (383,400 hectares). Western Australia accounted for the largest proportion of hardwood plantations (30 per cent) and New South Wales had the largest share of softwood plantations (30 per cent).
• The total area of new plantations established in 2015-16 was 1,415 hectares, all softwood (radiata pine) planted in New South Wales. Around 83 hectares of Australia's plantation estate was converted to another land use. Government-owned plantations accounted for 98 per cent of the new plantation establishment; the remaining 2 per cent was funded by institutional investors. Private plantations remained unchanged at 1,505,200 hectares in 2015-16, representing 76.2 per cent of the total plantation estate. Public plantations accounted for 20.2 per cent and jointly owned (public and private) plantations represented 3.6 per cent of the total plantation estate.