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Forests

​​​​​ABARES research and analysis in forest economics and sciences provides professionally independent, world-class advice to inform government and private sector decision-makers on significant issues affecting forests and the forestry sector.

Latest research

Value of commercial plantation harvests at record high

Conditions in Australia’s forestry sector remain favourable, according to the Australian forest and wood products statistics: September and December quarters 2018 report.

Published: 20 June 2019

National wood processing survey 2016-17

Between October 2017 and March 2019, ABARES surveyed Australian wood processors to obtain up-to-date mill-specific data, including mill inputs, production and employment. This survey updates the ABARES 2012–13 survey.

Published: 13 June 2019

Australia plantation statistics 2019 update

This report is the latest update in the Australian plantation statistics report series that supports strategic forest industry planning and decision-making by presenting information on total plantation area, new planting and ownership.

Published: 3 May 2019

Australia's State of the Forests Report 2018

Australia's State of the Forests Report 2018  is the fifth and latest in the series of comprehensive five-yearly national reports on Australia's forests. It presents the best available data and information for reporting the status of Australia's forests.

Published: 21 February 2019

Upscaling the Australian softwood sawmill industry: Feasibility and implications for future plantation investment

This report was jointly commissioned by Forest and Wood Products Australia and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) to estimate the area of new softwood plantations required to support a world-scale softwood sawmill in selected National Plantation Inventory (NPI) regions.

Published: 26 February 2019

Economic potential for new plantation establishment in Australia: Outlook to 2050 report

This report explores the economic potential of establishing new commercial timber plantations in Australia, between 2020 and 2050, under current and alternative market conditions. The findings of the report are intended to assist industry and policymakers anticipate and adapt to expected changes in the industry.

Published: 26 February 2019

Future opportunities for using forest and sawmill residues in Australia

This report presents estimates of the potential production and use of harvest and sawmill residues in Australia in 2050. It provides insights into what the production and use of wood residues may look like in decades to come, once any required investment in infrastructure has taken place.

Published: 6 November 2018.

Compendium of five ABARES briefing notes relevant to Leadbeater’s possum

This compendium brings together for publication five briefing notes written by ABARES over the period 2013 to 2017. The briefing notes are critical analyses of the justification that was given for relisting of Leadbeater’s possum as Critically Endangered under the EPBC Act, of the conservation management requirements of the species, of the draft Recovery Plan for the species, and of the related issue of fire and forest harvesting.
Leadbeater’s possum is a threatened species essentially restricted to ash and snowgum forests in the Central Highlands of Victoria that are also used for wood production. It has specific habitat requirements that include both large, hollow-bearing trees and a dense mid-storey layer in the forest, so has a complex relationship with the forest fire regime and forest management.

Published: 14 June 2018.​

Australia's plantation log supply 2015-2059

This report presents forecasts of sawlog and pulplog volumes available from softwood and hardwood plantations. Changes in log availability have important implications for Australia's rural economies; the size, type and geographical location of wood and paper product manufacturing industries; the national supply of wood products; Australia's trade balance; and Australia's export income.
Forecasts are presented for softwood and hardwood sawlog and pulplog volumes by National Plantation Inventory region, based on the combination of forecasts supplied by plantation owners and managers through a survey, and ABARES modelled forecasts. For the modelled forecasts, ABARES did not account for any future changes in social, economic or environmental parameters.

Published: 15 December 2016.

Climatic suitability of Australia's production forests for myrtle rust

Myrtle rust disease has caused defoliation and death of trees of rainforest species in New South Wales and Queensland, and has also been responsible for significant damage to eucalypt plantations in South America. This report combines climatic suitability modelling for myrtle rust across Australia with spatial data on Australia's production forests and forecast wood availability.

The results show that 9.1 per cent of Australia's forecast available volume of plantation eucalypt logs, and 22 per cent of Australia's forecast available volume of public native forest eucalypt logs, derive from areas predicted to be highly suitable climatically for myrtle rust. The report also discusses the differences between an area being highly suitable climatically for myrtle rust, and a potential impact on wood production.

Published: 10 August 2016.

ABARES forest research capabilities

ABARES capabilities cover spatial analysis of forest data; economic surveys, analyses, modelling and forecasting; forest ecology, silvicultural systems, and sustainable yield; and national and international reporting based on criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management. ABARES also contributes data, performs analysis and provides advice on Regional Forest Agreements, threatened species, illegal logging, and national, regional and state-based forest issues.

ABARES manages Australia’s National Forest Inventory (NFI), which was established in 1988 to enable the calculation of nationally consistent and comprehensive attributes describing Australia’s forests. The NFI is the key repository for a range of data about Australia’s forests, with data supplied by state, territory and Australian government agencies integrated into national classifications by ABARES. Data in the NFI is used for publicly communicating information about Australia's forests, including in the Australia’s State of the Forests Report series.

ABARES also manages the National Plantation Inventory (NPI), a component of the NFI which has been collecting data on plantations established primarily for wood production in Australia since 1993. NPI data on Australia’s plantations are collected by ABARES through an annual survey of growers, grower representatives and state and territory agencies.

Forests Australia

The Forests Australia website, hosted by ABARES, provides up-to-date information on Australia's forests in collaboration with Australia’s state and territory governments.


Last reviewed:
20 Jun 2019