Tiwi Islands – Northern Territory

Senate Inquiry Report – Tiwi Forestry 29 October 2009




Tiwi timber plantation in dire straits

By Gina Marich

A Senate Committee has tabled a grim assessment of the commercial forestry plantation on the Tiwi Islands.

The acacia plantation takes up almost 30,000 hectares and was facing criticism long before the collapse in May of the corporate partner in the project, Great Southern Limited.

Earlier this month, the Tiwi Land Council took over the plantation.

It was hoped the trees would return almost $700,000 annually to traditional owners.

But the Senate inquiry has found the plantation will be completely unprofitable without a massive injection of cash.

The inquiry found major hurdles to selling any of the timber, including the high costs of maintaining the plantation, a need for major infrastructure before harvesting can start and problems with the trees themselves, which are not growing properly.

The Green’s spokeswoman on Indigenous affairs, Rachel Siewert, says the scheme was badly planned.

“We are not convinced that this project is sustainable,” she said.

“We are very concerned that it will not provide the returns that were hoped for when this project first started.

“And given the fact that the proponents of the project in the first place have gone into receivership and the administrators say that the project is unviable, I think that raises very major concerns about the future of that project.”


One Response to “Senate Inquiry Report – Tiwi Forestry 29 October 2009”

  1. Who is making money from Tiwi timber? said


    ” #6 27th Nov 2009, 11:20 AM
    Novice Join Date: Jul 2008
    Location: Melbourne
    Posts: 20

    “Blotchi, I replaced my porch floorboards a year ago using a timber that goes by the generic name of Tiwi. It is sourced from islands of the same name in the NT. It is actually Woolybutt, Bloodwood and Stringybark. Very hard and an attractive red-brown colour that darkens beautifully when oiled. There is no bleeding of tannins or spotting as seems to be the case with Merbau. I am extremely happy with it. However, I am unaware of the sustainability of this resource (please don’t inform me that I used the last remaining forest of the stuff on the planet). Anyway, I bought it from a well-known timber supplier in Burwood Victoria so you might want to look at it.”

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