State authorised native forest harvesting on our defined forest area is systematically managed in accordance with Queensland Government forest policy, relevant legislation, the Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management AS4708-2013 and relevant industry and environmental codes of practice.
We comply with the Code of practice for native forest timber production on the QPWS forest estate 2014 on state forest, timber reserves and other state-owned land.
When harvesting occurs on other State lands subject to conversion to freehold tenure, we comply with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines Managing a native forest practice – A self-assessable vegetation clearing code.
These codes of practice set out key protection for:
- Biodiversity including threatened species, habitats, and ecological processes
- Forest productive capacity
- Forest ecosystem health including fire, weed and pests management and chemical use
- Soil and water resources including water quality and pollution
- Cultural values including recognition of Indigenous peoples' cultural and traditional customs and other heritage values
- social and economic values including regional development and optimal use.
Applying these codes of practice also provides confidence that our forests will maintain their contribution to carbon cycles.
We also ensure harvesting safety standards are maintained by applying the Forest Harvesting Code of Practice 2007.
The Codes of practice are founded on a selective harvesting regime, which removes individual trees of suitable commercial species and merchantable grade from our forests, leaving a forest overstory. We do not harvest using clear-fall or coupe practices, nor do we harvest in identified old growth or high conservation value forests.
Selective harvesting methods remove a minority portion of standing trees, and supports maintenance or enhancement of biodiversity, natural regeneration by species local to the site, forest growth, and the protection of special forest values.
Harvesting on any site is repeated at intervals of 20 to 40 years, depending on the productivity of the site.
Gaps in the forest created during harvesting regenerate naturally as seed shed by local species germinates, and lignotubers are released. In our eucalypt forests, regeneration needs no assistance beyond the burning of the tree heads in some areas. Our Cypress forests regenerate prolifically after disturbance.
Harvesting operations require very little chemical use except for fuel, oils and paint for tree marking. Herbicide use is restricted to very isolated spraying to control introduced weeds, or to protect newly harvested hardwood poles of certain species from decay or degradation.
The harvesting of Sandalwood (Santalum lanceolatum) under the Forestry Act 1959 must be compliant with the protected plants code of practice, and a sustainable harvest plan is required, approved by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.