Pine plantations were established to meet the State’s expanding demand for structural timber. The softwood plantation sector in Western Australia contributes to the $1.06 billion per year forest industry turnover and employs over 700 people.
The Forest Products Commission (FPC) manages pine plantations of radiata pine (Pinus radiata) and maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) on state-owned and managed land and tree farms on leased farmland. The primary commercial products are pine sawlog and pine industrial wood logs. The plantations provide the resource for three main processing plants – Wespine sawmill at Dardanup, Wesbeam laminated veneer lumber (LVL) just north of Perth and particleboard production at the Laminex site in Dardanup. The supply of pine resource to all three major processing plants is under State Agreement Acts with terms of 25 years.
The Softwood Industry Strategy for Western Australia has been developed to provide the foundation for growing the softwood plantation estate into the future.
A report, Midwest pine as a resource for Carnaby's Cockatoo, was commissioned in 2018 to determine the potential for FPC's midwest pine plantations to offer an alternative food resource for the Carnaby's Cockatoo.