After extensive consultation, SAFIAB has released its Blueprint for the Future South Australian Forest and Wood Products Industry (2014 – 2040). The Blueprint offers direction for activities that can achieve significant economic, social and environmental outcomes.
Forestry is a growing business and South Australia is a leader in the way it establishes and manages its forests. Trees purposely planted for harvesting are known as plantations and can include a wide variety of species.
It takes between 12 and 35 years for trees to grow to be ready for harvesting. Wood harvested from South Australia’s plantations is used for many things including house frame construction, infrastructure (bridges and buildings), fencing, furniture, bioenergy (such as wood for heating and power), and fibre for paper-making.
There is no harvesting of native forests in South Australia. All commercial timber production is from plantation forests.
The sector directly and indirectly produces more than $2.8 billion of economic activity for the state annually. In addition, about 200,000 people visit the state’s forest reserves for recreation every year which adds to the tourism opportunities in the regions.
More than 13,000 people are directly or indirectly employed in the sector. Forestry employment is quite significant in the South East – making up about 35% of employment where the forestry and forest products sector contributes 28% ($759 million directly and indirectly) to gross regional product.
Forests are an important part of the global carbon cycle. Growing forests absorb more carbon dioxide than they emit and the only primary industry sector where this happens. South Australia is leading the way in its use of renewable energy as a share of electricity by 2020, with the proportion of wood waste currently burnt for fuel being ten times greater than solar energy production.
Farm forestry – the planting and growing of trees to complement agricultural systems.
Forestry research - forestry research projects and trials.
South Australian Forest Industry Advisory Board – an advisory board to provide advice and recommendations about the future strategic needs of the forests and forest products industry to the State Government.Guidelines for plantation forestry
Forest health – managing pests and diseases that affect forests.
Forestry in the community – visiting forests and supporting the community for preparedness and rapid response to wildfire.
Forestry biodiversity and conservation – information about native forest reserves and biodiversity corridors (areas of vegetation that allow animals to travel from one native forest to another).
Forestry education programs – including Forestry matters! online education resource for primary and high school students.