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Plantations - reaping the benefits

ABARE Media Release

15 September 1999

'There is significant economic potential in further developing plantations and farm forestry', ABARE's acting Executive Director, Mr Vivek Tulpule, said today when releasing the research report, Forest Plantations on Cleared Agricultural Land in Australia.

The study found that in addition to Australia's existing 1.2 million hectares of plantations, there are significant areas of agricultural land that are economically and biologically suitable for plantation development, especially in Western Australia, Tasmania and the Green Triangle region of South Australia and Victoria.

'These are key findings for landowners, as most new plantation developments are likely to be on cleared agricultural land. Additional expansion of plantation forests and farm forests can also bring benefits to wood processing industries and regional communities in Australia', Mr Tulpule said.

'All regions in Australia that were analysed showed some potential for further plantation development', Mr Tulpule said. 'However, realising this potential will depend on plantations not only growing well in the region, but also on plantation returns being favorable against existing land uses and the wood from plantations being able to supply a competitive wood processing industry', Mr Tulpule added.

The study is aimed at raising the profile of plantations in Australia by providing biological, economic and area specific data relevant to governments, policy makers, industry and landowners interested in developing plantation and farm forestry strategies.

'Increasingly plantations are becoming part of rural landscape, with many recent plantations being developed as joint ventures between forestry and investment companies and landowners. This trend is likely to continue as investors and landowners recognise the economic, environmental and social benefits from well managed plantations', Mr Tulpule said.

The study was funded by Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry ­ Australia, as part of the Wood and Paper Industry Strategy.


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