Australia's unique forests provide a sustainable resource base for the forestry sector. Australian, state and territory governments share an objective of balancing the needs of industry with the sustainable management of forests by integrating environmental, commercial and community values and uses.
The Australian Government plays an important role in working with the state and territory governments (which are primarily responsible for forest management) and the forest industries on developing national forest policy.
This partnership approach between governments and the industry is reflected through national initiatives such as the 1992 National Forest Policy Statement (NFPS) and the Plantations for Australia: the 2020 Vision. The Plantations 2020 Vision aims to promote the expansion of Australia's plantation estate. More recently, the passage of legislation to outlaw the trade of illegally harvested timber involved extensive consultation with state and territory governments and industry.
Following on from the NFPS, Australia has developed, implemented and reviewed Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) to achieve a balance between conservation and production in native forests, and provide security for the industry.
With a strong policy framework in place, government and industry continue to address issues affecting the profitability and sustainability of Australia's forest industries. The industry contributes over $23.7 billion of economic turnover each year and employs over 67,000 people.
Further information on Australia’s forests and forest industry is published by ABARES in the State of the Forests Reports and at Australian Forest and Wood Products Australia.