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CRC Sustainable Production Forestry (1998-2004)

Mission Statement

The role of the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Production Forestry (CRC-SPF) within the forestry sector was:

To sustain the production of and enhance the economic benefit from Australia's forests, through the excellence in research, training and technology transfer.


The CRC-SPF provided the following benefits:

  • Ensure the long-term viability of Australia's forestry industry through high-quality, relevant research in sustainable plantation forestry
  • Produce research outcomes which improve the competitiveness of industry partners, as well as being of interest to a wider range of stakeholders
  • Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the applied research and development of industry partners through fostering and facilitating cooperative research
  • Provide an avenue to international science to ensure relevant new approaches and techniques are available in Australia
  • Provide innovative and relevant education and training that meets the skill formation needs of the forest industry and the national forestry objectives
  • Ensure that all stakeholders capture the benefits of Centre research through effective technology transfer

Genetic Improvement Program 

Program Manager: Dr Nuno Borralho
Project Leaders: Prof Brad Potts, Dr Nuno Borralho, Dr Gavin Moran, Dr René Vaillancourt, Ms Carolyn Raymon, Dr Mark Dieters, Prof Robert Henry 

This program focused upon the genetic improvement of  eucalyptus and pines with the aim to reduce the costs of plantation establishment, harvesting and processing, and adding value to pulp and timber. Major tree breeding programs in both tropical and temperate Australia demonstrate the importance placed on tree breeding. The specific aims of the program's research were:

  • determine the molecular and quantitative genetic control of important traits, and how this changes with age, site and silviculture;
  • define appropriate breeding objectives for individual firms and the sector, from forest growers to industrial processors;
  • identify selection criteria and assessment methods for wood quality, growth, pests and other key traits, and statistical methods for their analysis; 
  • improve our ability to control and manipulate reproductive characteristics in eucalypts and pines; 
  • provide training and education, and be a forum for discussion in Australia. 

These research outcomes were aimed at directly assisting breeders in the member organisations of both temperate eucalypts and tropical pines and native species, as well as organisations multiplying and distributing seed. 

Sustainable Management Program 

Program Manager: Dr Chris Beadle
Project Leaders: Dr Philip Smethurst, Assoc/Prof Paul Saffigna, Dr Chris Beadle, Dr Peter Sands 

Plantations, including farm forests, can be considered a sustainable resource only if the factors necessary for production remain favourable over successive crop cycles. This program examined the environmental factors and silvicultural practices that influence forest production and cast these into a quantitative framework with the use of process-based models. This research played a critical role in delivering the knowledge needed to ensure that practices implemented by forest managers in Australia are sustainable and subject to the ongoing improvement in terms of economic and environmental performance. Therefore, providing a valuable adjunct to the work of other research organisations involved in the definition of criteria for sustainability. 

In temperate Australia, the major research focus was on the expanding resource of eucalypt plantations which was believed to have played a significant role in regional development. In subtropical Queensland, research concentrated on the existing coniferous plantation resource. Although the specific crops differed among regions, the basic soil and physiological processes which underline productivity were the same and provided a unifying theme across the program. 

In addition, this program aimed to produce outcomes of significant benefit to the community through the provision of high quality training for postgraduate students and research with the potential to enhance regional development. 

Resource Protection Program 

Program Manager: Dr Rob Floyd
Project Leaders: Dr Geoff Allen, Dr Rob Floyd, Dr Clare McArthur, Dr Caroline Mohammed 

The resource protection program aimed to develop a comprehensive understanding of the biology, ecology and impact of a number of key pests (insect and vertebrate) and diseases of eucalypt plantations in temperate Australia, to develop management techniques and products. Consistent with the principles of sustainable forest management, the knowledge and techniques were used to minimise the effects of pests and diseases on the quantity and quality of forest products. 

The program aimed to produce integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for a number of key pests  such as the Tasmanian leaf beetles (Chrysophtharta bimaculata and C. agricola), autumn gum moth (Mnesampela privata), Tasmanian pademelon (Thylogale vulpecula), brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) and Bennett's wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus). In addition, the biology, ecology and control of a number of other pest species, including some fungal pathogens, were studied however were not sufficiently developed to formulate IPM strategies in the life of this CRC. In some regions, research focused on establishing the identity and distribution of pest and disease species, as these details are not yet known. Finally, efficient and effective monitoring protocols are being developed for some of these pest and disease species to determine when and whether control actions are necessary. 

Education and Technology Transfer Program

Program Manager: Dr Neil Davidson

The Education and Technology Transfer Program coordinated: 

  • intake of  postgraduate students across the three research programs and five university partners in the CRC;
  • involvement of CRC staff in education and training;
  • transfer of technology from research programs to industrial partners in the CRC and to small end users of forest technology, particularly farmer groups;
  • activities to raise awareness within various sectors of the public of the CRC's research in sustainable forestry;
  • development of a CRC ethos.

The principal objectives were:

  • to develop a national centre of excellence for postgraduate training with emphasis on training graduates relevant to the industry sector. This includes involving staff from partner organisations in teaching and supervision of university students;
  • to publish CRC research to enhance Australia's reputation as a world leader in plantation forestry;
  • to rapidly transfer the technology arising from research conducted at the Centre to the industrial partners and other end users;
  • to raise community awareness of the CRC's activities and the value to Australia of a sustainably managed forest industry.

Total Centre Output

The staff and students of the CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry were involved in numerous publications, presentations and reports over the lifespan of the centre. A list of the total outputs of the centre is available in both EXCEL and EndNote formats.

EXCEL CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry output (XLSX, 270KB)
EndNote CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry output (ZIP, 474KB)

Annual Reports


97/98 annual report
(PDF, 4,531KB
98/99 annual report
(PDF, 5,568KB)
99/00 annual report
00/01 annual report
(PDF, 4,988KB)
01/02 annual report
(PDF, 6,741KB)
02/03 annual report
(PDF, 4,931KB)
03/04 annual report
(PDF, 5,766KB)
04/05 annual report
(PDF, 4,814KB)

CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry Board Members

  Name and Position Title

Mr John Kerin
Chairman, CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry 

 Professor Jim Reid
Director, CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry 
 Mr Peter Francis
Board Member, CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry
 Professor Allan Curry 
Board Member, CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry
 Mr John Cameron 
Board Member, CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry
 Mr Allan Jamieson
Board Member, CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry
 Mr Murray Vitlich
Board Member, CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry
 Dr Glen Kile
Board Member, CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry
 Dr Hans Drielsma
Board Member, CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry
 Professor Peter Baverstock
Board Member, CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry
 Mr Arnold Willems
Board Member, CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry
 Dr Ron King
Board Member, CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry

CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry Partners

Core Partners 

  • Australian Forest Growers
  • Australian National University
  • Australian Newsprint Mills Ltd
  • Australian Paper Plantations Pty Ltd
  • Boral Timber Tasmania Ltd
  • Bunnings Treefarms Pty Ltd
  • CSIRO Entomology
  • CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products
  • Forestry Tasmania
  • Griffith University
  • North Forest Products Ltd
  • Primary Industries Corporation
  • Silvagene Pty Ltd
  • Southern Cross University 
  • Southern Tree Building Association Inc
  • The University of Queensland
  • University of Tasmania