Australia has the land, the expertise and the potential to become a dominant force in world forestry as a grower, processor and exporter. It is at the cross-roads of forestry development, with painful experience (economically and socially) of changing from a natural wood resource to a plantation-grown resource. The quality of the wood from plantation grown eucalypts is different to that from mature (old growth) eucalypts and is similar to that grown overseas. The author hopes that the findings of this review will help the Australian plantation forestry sector to become that dominant player. The question must be: “Is Australia prepared financially, socially and physically to become a major international plantation wood supplier and processor?”
Report Year Archives: 1992
The forecast for the Australia forests products industry, under an assumed modest economic growth and a recovery in residential construction, is for an increase in domestic consumption. Sawn timber consumption is forecast to rise six percent in 1991-91 and by two percent per annum over the medium term, while wood-based consumption is forecast to rise by nearly three percent in 1991-92 and by 4.5 percent per annum in the medium term. However, consumption of paper and paper products is projected to rise by less than one percent in 1991-92 but by three percent a year over the medium term.
Australia is a country with a relatively large land mass but, by world standards, it has a very small population. With just 17 million people (or about 0.03 percent) out of the estimated world population of over 5 billion, it is a small voice in world affairs.
In the report I will use relevant examples from the three key areas of study to illustrate a discussion of the underlying concepts of tree breeding and propagation as they are currently practised in New Zealand. I will not attempt to present much of the technical tree breeding detail which was discussed during the study tour, as this will not be directly relevant to many readers. Readers wishing to discuss a particular point in greater depth are encouraged to do so, and may contact the author using the details given at the beginning of this report.
The timber treatment industry depends upon the use of chemicals which are toxic to living organisms. The continued growth of the industry is dependent upon the industry managing these chemicals in a manner which protects the community and the natural environment from contamination by these chemicals. This report, by the amalgamation of information and ideas from the United States, Canada and New Zealand, is intended to provide information to the Australian preservation industry which may be incorporated into the environmental management of timber preservation plants.
Greater investment in plantations. Is proposed by various bodies as the future wood resource policy for Australia; either to reduce the need to harvest native forests, provide sufficient resources for large international scale processing mills, or provide alternative income to agriculture on cleared land. This increased investment in plantations by public and/or private growers, is likely to be proportional profitability. The economic competitiveness of Australian wood growing to other countries is also important.