Latest report card on Australia's forests

​​28 March 2014

A five-yearly report released today provides analysis and updated data on trends in Australia's 125 million hectares of forest.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Australia's State of the Forests 2013 report consolidates the best available data from every state and territory and nationally.

ABARES Executive Director, Karen Schneider, said the report gives an important insight into Australian forests for the five-year period ending in June 2011, with Australia having the seventh-largest forest area of any country worldwide.

“There has been no reduction in the areas of rainforest or multiple-use public native forest since the previous report in 2008,” Ms Schneider said.

“Improved methodologies for forest mapping means this report provides the most accurate national picture of our forests to date.

“There is a 16 per cent decrease in reported forest area since our previous report. This is because of improved mapping and technologies, and it does not indicate an actual loss of forest area.

“Between July 2006 and June 2011, the area of commercial plantations increased to 2 million hectares. In 2011 the volume of wood harvested from plantations had increased to 76 per cent of Australia's total log supply.

“The total number of people directly employed in all forest sectors fell from 85,000 people in 2006, to 73,000 people in 2011,” Ms Schneider said.

Improved biodiversity information led to an increase in the recorded number of forest-dwelling species, including threatened species, in the latest report. No forest-dwelling species in Australia are known to have become extinct since the first Australia's State of the Forests Report was published in 1998.

This report is jointly authored by representatives of the Australian Government and state and territory governments, as part of the national partnership for forest reporting under the National Forest Policy Statement and the Regional Forest Agreements Act 2002.

Australia's State of the Forests 2013 is available on the ABARES website.
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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