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Proposed South East Queensland forestry harvest

Beerwah State Forest

Beerwah State Forest was originally established in 1874 as a Reserve for State Forest purposes, including selective native timber harvesting.

The section of forest near the Ewen Maddock Dam was last selectively harvested in the mid-1990s. Since then, it has continued to provide a range of community, ecological and recreational functions.

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service manages the Beerwah State Forest (within the Department of Environment and Science).

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries allocates and sells state-owned native timber through sales permits issued under the authority of the Forestry Act 1959.

The Queensland Government plans to harvest suitable trees from a section of the Beerwah State Forest in 2022, although a start date has not yet been finalised. The site will need to be temporarily closed to the public during harvesting to ensure the safety of forest workers and visitors.

We have begun to directly engage with a range of stakeholders about the planned selective native timber harvesting operation including recreational forest users, environmental groups, Traditional Owners and others.

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Selective harvesting

Under the selective harvest method, the forest is not cleared. Individual trees are selected from across the site for harvest, leaving a residual forest cover that includes some large trees retained for habitat purposes and other areas that remain unharvested.

The commercial species of interest include Blackbutt, White Stringybark, Tallowwood, Red Mahogany, Grey Ironbark, Flooded Gum, Turpentine and Grey Gum, which are selected based on their commercial product potential and environmental values.

Selective harvesting encourages natural regeneration by increasing the amount of light that can penetrate the forest floor from openings created in the canopy. Regeneration resulting from the selective harvest over many years, most recently in the mid-1990s, has contributed to Beerwah State Forest’s current forest structure.

Selective harvesting operations are subject to a wide range of state and federal legislation and associated administrative arrangements. In particular, the Code of practice for native forest timber production on Queensland's State forest estate 2020 (the Code) includes a range of measures to maintain biodiversity, such as:

  • habitat tree requirements
  • feed and nest tree requirements
  • flora and fauna protection requirements
  • measures to protect endangered, of concern and regional rainforest ecosystems.

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Harvested timber uses

Harvested native timber provides sawlogs, poles and girders, and small volumes of landscaping logs to a wide range of processors in South East Queensland.

These materials are used locally and interstate to construct and maintain buildings, bridges, rail and other infrastructure, electricity distribution networks, and for landscaping applications. They are also commonly used for house cladding, decking, fencing and furniture.

The harvesting and processing of native timber from Queensland's state forests support local communities by providing employment and economic opportunities to produce and use certified timber products.

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Protecting flora and fauna

We develop a detailed operational harvesting plan for each harvesting area before harvesting operations commence. The operational harvest plan identifies:

  • key features of the area to be harvested
  • values to be protected
  • management systems to be applied.

The operational harvest plan for this part of Beerwah State Forest will outline required koala detection measures, including the use of koala spotters and koala detection dogs.

We monitor compliance with the operational harvest plan and the Code throughout the harvesting operations. Operations are also subject to regular audits by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

Our forest management system is also subject to regular independent audits to maintain certification under the Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (AS 4708).

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Access to the area

Harvesting activities are proposed to commence in 2022, although a start date has not yet been finalised. The site will need to be temporarily closed to the public during harvesting to ensure the safety of forest workers and visitors.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) have notified recreational and community groups about the changes to forest access while we prepare and undertake timber harvest activities.

We will work closely with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to minimise any impacts to recreational trail infrastructure.

QPWS will provide updates about any changes to forest access once a start date for harvesting activities is confirmed. For more information, call 13QGOV (13 74 68) or visit Queensland's parks and forests.

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The future of Beerwah State Forest

The proposed  harvesting operations will be the final selective harvest of this area, consistent with the Queensland Government’s Native Timber Action Plan announced in November 2019. 

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