Hub Demand Study highlights opportunities for industry

The Tasmania Forestry Hub has recently completed a detailed Demand Study across all Tasmanian forest products with expert consultants, Indufor. The findings clearly show strong evidence of significant and unprecedented demand across most of Tasmania’s wood product groups and, importantly, the ability to meet this demand with current supply and a realistic new planting regime.

A summary table of these findings (below) highlights the increasing scope and scale of opportunities for plantation-based products, notably engineered wood products.

This positive demand is underpinned by:

  • Forecast growth in Australia’s population and gross domestic product through to 2050;
  • Supply scarcity for log production and wood products produced in Tasmania and other states – most notably native forest hardwood timbers, but also plantation wood managed for structural timber and engineered wood product applications; and
  • Emerging policy drivers at both the national and state level, supporting the use and procurement of ‘renewable’ wood products, from sustainably managed forests.

However, Tasmania won’t simply shift to increase value adding, but rather a number of key enablers are required to realise the opportunity. These include:

  • A significant shift in silvicultural management regimes, particularly in the hardwood plantation estate, to increase the proportion of high-grade logs for sawing, peeling and other applications, to enable a long-term supply for increased value adding to 2050. The Hub is assessing the ROI merits of a capital fund to support such activity.
  • Ongoing, dedicated investment in research and product development, across the range from high value structural and appearance grade products to bioplastics and other bioproducts. To this end we are well placed with the Commonwealth Government investment in the Launceston centered National Institute of Forest Products Innovation and programs such as the University of Tasmania’s Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood. 
  • Our capacity to compete with imports and substitute products will only be achieved with the continued investment in Brand Tasmania as it relates to our timber exports and a highly productive level playing field in relation to infrastructure priorities. The Hub is consolidating Northern and Southern Infrastructure reports and corelating with Demand opportunities; a report on critical port/rail/road priorities will be presented back to the Commonwealth, including Infrastructure Australia.

To read or download the Demand Study Summary Report click here. To discuss Demand Study findings or engage with the Tasmania Forestry Hub contact General Manager, Simon Talbot –