Approximately half of Western Australia's forests are located in the South West.
The harvesting of native jarrah and karri hardwoods was one of the first major industries in the South West. In days-gone-by a network of railway lines linked the region's many small timber mills to the Busselton Jetty, where our native timber was loaded onto tall ships headed for the far corners of the globe.
The introduction of the Regional Forest Agreement in more recent times has resulted in plantation timber taking over from the logging of native hardwoods as the major source of timber production.
The future of hardwood timber processing is now focused on value adding. Hardwood products are sent to the eastern states of Australia and exported to Japan, New Zealand, USA, Europe and Malaysia.
Further opportunities may exist in fibreboard industries, farm forestry, planting of specialist timbers, processing of waste wood for energy production, and fine wood furniture and crafts.
Woodchips were first exported from the region in the 1970s to supply paper pulp manufacturers.
Large scale bluegum plantations are now supplying woodchips to markets in Japan, with over a million tonnes exported through the Bunbury Port each year.
One of the largest integrated softwood milling and processing plants in Australia is located in Dardanup. The complex produces sawn pine timber and a range of reconstituted wood-based panels, including melamine faced panels, structural flooring and wet and dry flooring.
Particle board produced at the mill is used in Western Australia's construction and furniture making industries with the remainder going to the eastern states of Australia and Asian markets.
Go to our statistics section for more information on the value of log production.
Note: Particle board production is deemed manufacturing and therefore not represented in timber industry statistics.