Plantations must be radically reshaped to develop globally competitive markets, according to the CEO of one of Australia’s largest timber groups.

Timber & Forestry e-news reported that Greg L’Estrange of Gunns Ltd told more than 250 industry stakeholders at the Forest Industry Development Conference in Melbourne that he believes great opportunities also existed for plantations in the forest products industry.

“The opportunity is there also to work with NGOs to establish a sustainable framework to move us from conflict to resolution,” he said.

Mr L’Estrange made it clear that Gunns’ future was in the development and use of plantation-based products.

He said Gunns’ traditional activities of natural forest sawmilling and woodchip exports would not be part of the company in the future.