Who are we?
Private Forests Tasmania was established in 1994 as a statutory authority under the Private Forests Act (1994). Private Forests Tasmania has a Board consisting of Directors who are appointed for their practical knowledge, industry, commercial and technical expertise in forestry and reports to the Minister for Energy and Resources. The Board oversees strategic direction, and a staff of permanent and fixed-term officers undertakes the functions of the authority. Staff are located in Burnie, Hobart and Launceston.
What we do
Private Forests Tasmania is the only government-funded authority established in Australia to specifically promote, foster and assist the private forestry sector on forestry matters. We provide strategic and policy advice to Government on private forestry issues and represent Tasmanian private forest owners’ interests nationally.
Private Forests Tasmania works to facilitate and expand the development of the private forest resource in Tasmania in a manner which is consistent with sound forest and land management practices. This includes advising and assisting private landowners in the management of native forests and the establishment and management of plantations on private land. We work closely with private landowners and major stakeholders to develop and deliver a wide range of services to ensure sustainable forest use.
Sustainable private forestry in Tasmania is an integral and crucial part of our social fabric, economic well-being and a healthy environment in which soil, water and biodiversity are valued and widely used.
To facilitate the sustainable management of native and plantation forestry on private land in Tasmania. This mission includes:
- encouraging commercial wood production;
- encouraging the use of trees in land management;
- promoting the environmental benefits of trees and forests;
- promoting opportunities for competitive markets; and
- optimising returns for all parties.
Private Forest Service Levy
The functions of Private Forests Tasmania are partially supported through a levy paid by private forest growers based on the net area of a forest operation permitted pursuant to the certification of a forest practices plan by the Forest Practices Authority. PFT supports private forest owners by responding to their enquiries and behind the scenes through forest practice advice, input to minister, organise field days, research. For more information please see PFT's information sheet 'What do I get for my Levy payment' (PDF 379KB)
Private forests are native forests and plantations on privately owned land. There are industrial and non-industrial private forest owners. Industrial owners are companies that own native forests and plantations and process their own timber. Non-industrial owners are farmers, individuals, and family and investment companies who own native forests and plantations and usually sell their wood for processing by other parties. There are approximately 5000 private forest owners in Tasmania.
The extent of private forests
Tasmania’s forests cover about 50% of the total area of the State, with private forests making up about 31% of the forest area – the highest proportion of any state in Australia. In total Tasmania’s private forests cover more than 1 million hectares, approximately 15% of the state’s landmass.
There are over 200 000 hectares of plantations in Tasmania with more than 65% privately owned. Tasmania has 15% of Australia’s plantation forest cover yet only 1% of its landmass.
A significant portion of Tasmania’s private forests are protected, either through voluntary conservation covenants or because they are in riparian areas or contain rare, threatened or vulnerable species and communities. In addition, Tasmania has a Permanent Native Forest Estate that means no less than 95% of the native forests intact in 1996 must be retained as native forest.
The importance of private forests
Forests on private land provide a range of benefits, from supplying wood products (sawlogs, veneer logs, wood fibre and fuel wood), assisting farm productivity (reduced wind, animal shelter, protection of soil and water), providing habitat for native species, and improving aesthetics.
Private forestry is a significant contributor to Tasmania’s economy and a large employer. Private forest contribute more than 50% of Tasmania’s forest production.
As private forests grow they remove carbon from the atmosphere and when harvested they provide a renewable resource associate with low carbon emissions. For example, emissions are reduced in construction when wood is used in place of metals, concrete or plastics.
For more details please see Private Forests Tasmania Annual Reports under the Publications tab.
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