Who are we?
Private Forests Tasmania (PFT) 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 a government authority with a legislated role to facilitate and expand the development of our private forest resource in a manner which is consistent with sound forest and land management practices.
PFT is the only government-funded authority established in Australia to specifically promote, foster and assist the private forestry sector on forestry matters. We do this mainly through providing information and advice to private growers and their markets, through research, innovation and planning tools, and by providing practical policy advice to our Tasmanian and Australian governments that represents the interests of private forest growers.
The Ministerial Charter is a requirement under the Private Forests Act 1994, S19A and sets out the Minister’s broad policy expectations for PFT. The Board of Directors must ensure that the business and affairs of PFT are conducted in a manner that is consistent with the Ministerial Charter.
Our corporate plan sets out our strategic direction, including our purpose, our goals and priorities for the next three years.
To support sustainable growth and development of Tasmania’s private forest resource.
Goal 1: Work creatively with stakeholders to expand private forestry on a commercial basis.
Goal 2: Effectively communicate the benefits of wood and the benefits of private forestry in the primary production landscape.
Goal 3: Work with Government policy makers and regulators at local, state and national levels to improve regulatory efficiency and practical policy settings for private forestry.
Goal 4: Continuously improve management and business systems to ensure our staff and contractors work in a safe, productive and healthy environment.
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, organising field days and market forums, development of planning tools and information services, and behind the scenes, through forest practices advice, practical policy input to the Tasmanian and Australian Governments, and supporting research and innovation. 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/or plantations and arrange for the processing of 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 5,000 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 33% 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. Over 800,000 hectares of forest on private land is native forest.
There are over 260,000 hectares of privately owned or managed plantations in Tasmania. 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 Policy, which prohibits broad scale clearing and conversion of native forest, other than in limited prescribed circumstances.
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 nearly 75% of Tasmania’s forest production by wood volume. Plantations account for 97% of the total Tasmanian private forest harvest.
As private forests grow they remove carbon from the atmosphere and when harvested they provide a renewable resource associated 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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