Forestry

Forestry is an important part of the social and economic fabric of Victoria, providing jobs, income and products derived from a natural, sustainable and renewable resource.

Victoria’s forest and wood products industry is Australia’s largest, accounting for 9 million cubic metres or 27.5% of Australia’s log harvest volume. The industry generates approximately $7.3 billion or 31% of the nation’s forest produce manufacturing sales and service income.

Timber is harvested from plantations and native forest on public and private land. Victoria’s 421,000 hectare plantation estate is the nation’s largest comprising mainly Radiata Pine and Southern Blue Gum. Plantation pine is used extensively in residential and commercial construction as well as pulp and paper manufacturing. Hardwood from native forest harvesting is used for high-end furniture, joinery and flooring, the manufacture of pallets and lower grade logs are used for pulp and paper production.

The industry employs approximately 15,000 Victorians across the state in forestry and logging, forestry support services, wood product manufacturing and pulp, paper and converted paper product manufacturing.

In November 2019 the Victorian Government announced its decision to phase-out harvesting of native forests by 2030 and transition to a plantation-based timber supply. The Victorian Forestry Plan provides a support package to assist workers, businesses and communities through the transition process.

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions’ forestry unit supports improved economic, employment and social outcomes through:

  • the sustainable management of Victoria’s forest resources
  • enabling productive and sustainable timber industries in Victoria
  • providing strategic leadership in supporting industry transition and facilitating innovation and new investment
  • overseeing good governance of VicForests – the State-owned business responsible for the sustainable harvest, regrowing and commercial sale of timber from public forests on behalf of the Victorian Government.

Page last updated: 14 July 2020