Australia’s timber production plantations grew by 4.7% in 2007 to 1.9 million ha, according to figures from the Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS).

This incorporated 86,569 ha of new planting made up of 76,057 ha of hardwood and 10,512 ha of softwood.

Overall, plantations consisted of one million ha of softwood, 883,000 ha of hardwood and a small area of mixed plantings.

Western Australia remained the hub for plantations, hosting 403,681 ha of the overall total, with Tasmania and the Green Triangle also home to large proportions of the national hardwood and softwood stocks.

Private owners remained dominant in the establishment of new plantations, establishing 92% of new timber for cultivation, although the government remained the largest manager of timber plantations with 36%.

However, the total land area covered by Australia’s timber plantations remains small compared to other agricultural and native uses, including 147 million ha of native woodland and forests and 385 million ha used for grazing.