Forest Industries of Tasmania

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Economic Values

Value Adding

The forest industry forms an important part of Tasmania's economy. The wood and paper industries generated a turnover of $1.27 billion in 2000. That is equivalent to the total of the combined State Government expenditure on education and health.

Timber characteristics and the quantities available commercially determine the final product.

For example, mature eucalypt and special species are processed into high value products such as veneers, flooring and furniture.

Young eucalypts from native forest and plantations supply woodchips for pulp, paper and medium density fibreboard. They could, in future, supply a range of reconstituted wood products such as laminated veneer lumber.

Mature timber cannot be interchanged for regrowth timber for some applications. Regrowth has a lower basic density, is softer, has less strength and is particularly prone to surface checking and splitting. These characteristics make the regrowth resource unsuitable to many high-value products.

On the other hand, regrowth eucalypt and plantation grown eucalypt is the preferred source of woodchips for pulp and paper because the younger timber needs less chemical action during processing and results in a higher percentage recovery of fibre.

Pine plantations supply sawn timber primarily for house construction, woodchips for pulp, paper and medium density fibreboard. Some pine is also used in some grades of furniture.

Tasmania’s forest industry seeks to expand by increasing its volume of production and by increasing downstream processing. To achieve this, it needs continued secure supply of mature native timber as well as increased volumes from plantations.

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