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Regional Development

Forestry, along with mining and mineral processing, agriculture and tourism is one of the four main industries in Tasmania, employing some 6,100 Tasmanians and generating more than $1 billion in turnover.

Forestry Tasmania is a major contributor to this economic wealth.

FT is more than a profit driven business. It is required by law to manage the forests for the best environmental, economic and social, as well as financial outcomes.

In simple terms, the Forestry Act 1920 requires Forestry Tasmania to foster an internationally competitive wood production and processing industry in Tasmania and to regard employment as an important consideration in conducting its business.

Forestry Tasmania also accepts that it has global responsibilities. Users of wood products like building timbers and paper, not only want to minimise environmental harm, they want to contribute to an improvement in the world’s environmental health.

Our Products

Like all globally responsible organisations, we do everything possible to minimise waste. We manage our forests to produce around 300,000 cubic metres of high quality saw and veneer logs annually. Lower quality logs are sold as pulp wood and special species timbers are gathered to supply the craft industry.

Currently, the remnants are burnt on the forest floor to provide a seed bed for new regenerated forests. In future, it is hoped the heavier remnants will be gathered and used for a yet to be built biofuel plant in the state’s south to generate renewable energy.

Traditionally our forest products have comprised:

High quality eucalyptus sawlogs for the saw-milling industry, from which our furniture, building and sliced veneer products are ultimately produced.

Special species timbers such as Blackwood, Myrtle, Sassafras, Celery Top Pine, Leatherwood, Silver Wattle, Huon Pine and King Billy Pine.

Pulpwood is produced from those logs not up to standard to be supplied to sawmills for furniture and other high-value products. Much of this pulpwood is supplied to companies who manufacture woodchips which are used for the manufacture of a variety of paper products.

Forestry Tasmania’s role as the steward of our State forests has evolved over time and we now also play a leading role in attracting to our state new industries and companies who share our vision for innovation and value-adding to Tasmania’s timbers.

We use our extensive world wide network to create jobs in regional Tasmania, using resource from sustainably managed state owned forests.

Ta Ann

In 2005, Forestry Tasmania was successful in securing the commitment of the Malaysian-based timber company, the Ta Ann Group, to develop two rotary veneer peeling mills in Tasmania at a cost of $65 million. The mills will process regrowth logs only and are to be located ‘in the forest.'

Bob Gordon
“A rotary veneer mill is an efficient means of adding value to short logs that are not useable for higher-value purposes such as sawmilling," Bob Gordon - More »
In 2007, the first of the mills opened in the Huon district and the second, at Smithton in the North West is currently under construction. When fully operational, the two mills are expected to employ 120 Tasmanians.

Now many regrowth logs that were previously classified as pulpwood are suitable for the manufacture of rotary veneer for construction grade products. Through Forestry Tasmania’s partnership with Ta Ann, up to 25% of wood that was previously chipped is now ‘peeled’ here in Tasmania for higher value veneer production.

Eu Jia Li

Eu Jia Li LogoForestry Tasmania is always seeking new markets for the Tasmanian forest industry. For example, it has established a new brand in China to promote sustainably harvested Tasmanian peeler logs. Eu Jia Li, (translation: strong and beautiful) is already well respected and it is hoped that it will become a vehicle for a robust trading relationship between Tasmania and China. The Tasmanian weedy sea dragon has been chosen as the brand logo because, like eucalypts, it is indigenous to Tasmania and in Chinese culture, the dragon represents strength and power.

Biomass - a new form of renewable energy

As governments around the world grapple with global warming, attention is turning to an age old solution – biomass.

Biomass – essentially organic material such as wood from forests or waste material like cattle dung – is one of the oldest sources of energy and is now undergoing a revival as countries look for alternatives to fossil fuels.

The world’s leading countries in renewable energy production, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the United States and others in Europe are using forest waste in particular to generate electricity.

Forestry Tasmania has been planning for a biomass plant in the south of the state for at least five years. When it developed the investment ready site at Southwood in the Huon Valley, Forestry Tasmania set aside an area for a biomass plant, to generate renewable energy from forestry debris that would otherwise be burnt.

Using our international contacts, we are seeking investors for this exciting project. If successful, we will not only produce more electricity for the state, but reduce greenhouse gases and the amount of smoke generated by forest fires.
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