Find out information on current partnerships and research activities with the forestry industry.



A series of forums to discuss the opportunities and constraints of forestry and forest products in northern Australia were held on 11 to 16 June 2019.

This is part of a project funded by:


CRCNA Northern Forestry and Forest Products Industry Situational Analysis

The recently released CRCNA Northern Forestry and Forest Products Industry Situational Analysis report provides a high-level synopsis on the northern Australian industry. It describes the current challenges and opportunities for further policy development, research or investment. A key aim of the project was to raise the visibility of the forestry and forest products industry in northern Australia and identify growth opportunities with policymakers, industry, regulators and stakeholders, and to contribute to the establishment of an Industry Developmental Alliance. The information provided in the report is intended to be used to develop a roadmap for the future development of the forestry and forest products industry in northern Australia.

The potential for northern Australian industry growth can be demonstrated with reference to the following examples:

  • The 14,000 ha of dryland plantation African mahogany in the Douglas-Daly region which has a projected net present value (NPV) at harvest age of $390 million, with an expansion plan of 20% of the current estate being considered, equating to an additional $78 million in projected value at harvest; together with second rotation growth productivity of 15-20% from genetic selection, and research and development.
  • The 17,000 ha of Indian sandalwood plantations across northern Australia (WA, NT and Qld); the WA plantations are approaching maturation, with a recent sale of $8.4 million from 12,000 harvested trees with an average price of $78,000/t of heartwood (Quintis 2020), indicating growing international buyer interest.
  • Aboriginal engagement in native forest management for timber production has the potential to generate large employment and production benefits. If 10% of the private forest with commercial potential was actively managed for timber, for example, this would represent 660,000 ha and could generate $15 million in selectively harvested log income per year and produce $100 million of sawn timber annually. This would create around 370 direct jobs for Aboriginal communities and industry partners.

Other established opportunities for forestry and forest products in the Northern Territory include:

  • the extension of Aboriginal forestry management and wood products manufacturing and supply in East Arnhem Land
  • scope for combined co-beneficial agribusiness such as silvopastoralism - African mahogany, hay and cattle - to provide an additional driver for investment in new plantations, owing to the cash flows from hay production, livestock and reduced operating costs from weed control
  • further development of the sandalwood industry for a wider variety of products
  • increased productivity and quality of hardwood fibre pulp plantations, most likely from Acacia mangium and suitable Eucalyptus spp. on the Tiwi Islands, and
  • harvesting of native forests on all tenures, dependant on the information derived from a native forest inventory and assessment of commercial potential, and the development of meaningful engagement models between stakeholders.

To read the report go to the CRCNA website.

More information


Last updated: 15 December 2021

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