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Department of State Growth

Forestry fact sheet

Forest facts

Tasmania’s total land mass is approximately 6 810 000 hectares, of which 3 412 000 hectares is forested.

52 per cent of Tasmania’s forests are protected in reserves, which includes 85 per cent of Tasmania’s old growth forests.

Tasmania’s plantation forests are predominantly in private ownership and comprises 76 per cent hardwood and 24 per cent soft wood.

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Forest Management System

Tasmania’s Forest Management System is underpinned by three core elements of sustainable forest management:

  • a policy for maintaining a permanent native forest estate;
  • a  comprehensive,  adequate  and  representative reserve system that securely protects conservation

values; and

  • a system for managing forests outside reserves in a manner that contributes to sustainable

environmental, social and economic outcomes.

Permanent Native Forest Estate Policy

The Permanent Native Forest Estate Policy restricts broadscale clearance and conversion of native forest in Tasmania to a maximum of 5 per cent of the total area that existed in 1996.

Broadscale clearing and conversion has ceased on public land. The extent and rate of clearing on private land is constrained by the policy.

Reserve System

Tasmania’s comprehensive, adequate, representative (CAR) reserve system has been established to cover the broadest diversity of native forest communities on public and private land.

Over half of Tasmania's land area is included in the CAR reserve system.

Managing forest operations outside reserves

The Forest Practices Authority (FPA) is an independent statutory body that administers the Tasmanian forest practices system on both public and private land.

The FPA sets the guidelines and standards to protect important natural and cultural values during forestry operations through the Forest Practices Code.

Tasmania’s production forests

Production forests are managed to supply a wide range of wood products to local and overseas customers, including high and low quality sawlogs, high grade domestic peeler logs, special species timbers, pulpwood and firewood.

These forests also support other commercial activities, such as apiarists and tourism ventures, as well as recreational activities.

Wood production

In  2015-16, Tasmanian  forests produced a total of 4.412 million cubic metres of wood fibre. This was a 27 per cent increase from 2014-15.


Volume (million m3)




Native forest

1 082

1 262

Plantation- hardwood

1 290

2 014

Plantation- softwood

1 082

1 136


3 455

4 412

Sources: Forestry Tasmania; Private Forests Tasmania

The private forest estate contributed two-thirds of the total wood production in Tasmania in 2015-16.

3.4 million tonnes of wood products were exported from Tasmania in 2015-16. This represents a 22 per cent increase in exports from 2014-15.

Employment and economic contribution

In the year to June 2016, there were 3 600 people working directly in the forest industry in Tasmania.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics