12 July 2021. 

AgForce is lobbying the State Government to better represent timber growers as the deadline looms for planned forest closures in southeast Queensland.

With a 2024 transition to private resource and plantation in the works under the South East Queensland Regional Forests Agreement, we are pushing for legislative certainty and an opportunity to be heard.

There are more than 2 million hectares of private native forests (PNF) considered commercial in southeast Queensland, and 24 per cent of those are mapped as non-remnant and can be cleared. 

It’s a resource that underpins employment for many rural and regional communities, and generates significant income for landholders - most of whom are beef producers.

But in the absence of log security and out-dated vegetation management laws, many landholders are now investing their time and money elsewhere – despite soaring demand for timber.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner recently revealed his new Native Timber Advisory Panel “responsible for overseeing and making plans for the future”.

He spoke of “representation from a cross-section of stakeholders to ensure that wide-ranging views are heard and fully understood.”

However, there is not one single timber grower in the line-up - despite the continued shift to private timber supply.

AgForce has written to the Premier and Ag Minister Furner asking for an explanation and received a reply that there are “other ways to be involved.”

Today we’ve devised a survey to gather more info on our timber growers and their harvesting characteristics, so please tell us your views.

Meanwhile, we will continue to push for greater log security - a specialised forestry Category F classification for landholders planting trees for timber harvesting, as well as a workable PNF Code.

We’ll also be rolling out some landholder extension days on the PNF code next year and will continue to work with our industry friends on MP Furner’s panel – Private Forest Southern Queensland, and Timber Queensland.