Around 300,000 hectares of Queensland's State forest is used to commercially grow plantation timber.
HQPlantations Pty Ltd grow, own and harvest the timber on these areas under the authority of a 99-year plantation licence, but the land underneath the plantation forest is still State forest and public land.
Within the 300,000 hectares covered by the plantation licence there is about 200,000 hectares of timber plantations and 100,000 hectares of associated, surrounding native forests-called 'buffer areas'.
Under the terms of the plantation licence, HQPlantations needs to maintain:
- sustainable timber plantations - they must be accredited under an internationally-recognised sustainable forest management system - such as the Australian Forestry Standard AS 4708-2007 or the Forest Stewardship Council
- buffer areas in a way that acknowledges their fire protection, environmental, aesthetic and social benefits
See maps of HQPlantations' plantation forests on State land.
Some important plantation forest management responsibilities on State land include:
- fire management: HQPlantations works with agencies like the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service to manage fire on plantation licence area. This includes:
- responding to wildfires
- fuel reduction burning to minimise the risk of wildfire
- planning and monitoring developments in fire management.
- road maintenance: HQPlantations has primary responsibility for maintaining plantation roads and tracks for commercial or fire management purposes, and works with other departments where roads are used for other purposes such as tourist drives and accessing recreation sites.
- conservation:A selected 3,400 hectares of these plantation forests are being harvested, rehabilitated and transferred from commercial plantation forestry to being managed as State forests for conservation. This harvesting and transfer will progressively occur over the next 35 years.
- The Queensland Government has agreements with HQPlantations to make sure that these plantation forests on State land are managed using a high standard of environmental care.
- We have responsibility for ensuring HQPlantations' compliance with their responsibilities under the Forestry Act 1959, the plantation licence over plantation forests on State land and other related agreements.
We also work with HQPlantations to ensure that the public can continue to access plantation forests on State land for recreational and certain commercial uses. You will generally need a permit to do these activities in plantation forests.