Dataset: Australia's forests at a glance 2017



Australia's forests at a glance 2017 is a pocket-book compendium of data and information about Australia's native forests and commercial plantations. Much of the data is current to 2015-16 and has been published in detailed reports.

The pocket-book covers forest types, areas and how native forests-including old growth forests-are conserved and managed. It also covers wood harvesting, production and consumption of wood products and employment in the forestry and wood products industries, forest certification and codes of practice.

Key Issues
• Australia has 122.6 million hectares of native forest of which 36.6 million hectares are available and suitable for commercial wood production (7.5 million hectares of multiple-use public forests and 29.1 million hectares of leasehold and private forests).
• Australia's commercial plantations cover around 2 million hectares, of which about half are softwood species (1,036,800 hectares) and half are hardwood species (928,300 hectares). Over the last 10 years, the rate of plantation establishment has decreased from 78,400 hectares in 2005-06 to 1,400 hectares in 2015-16.
• In the decade to 2015-16, structural change in the forestry sector led to a 4.7 million cubic metres (53 per cent) decline in the harvest of (predominantly hardwood) native forest logs but a 6.0 million cubic metres (159 per cent) increase in the harvest of hardwood plantation logs (mainly pulplogs). Softwood plantations continue to supply most of Australia's sawlogs - 81 per cent of Australia's total sawlog harvest in 2015-16 was from these forests.
• Since 1999-2000, the number of hardwood sawmills has decreased by 79 per cent, from 862 mills in 1999-2000 to 182 mills in 2015-16. The number of softwood and cypress pine sawmills has decreased by 72 per cent over the same period, from 279 mills in 1999-2000 to 77 mills in 2015-16. Softwood sawmills in 2015-16 were larger on average, greater than 100,000 cubic metres log input capacity, than they were in 1999-00. In contrast, 96 per cent of hardwood sawmills had a log input capacity of less than 45,000 cubic metres in 2015-16 a year.

General Information