Maximising northern tropical forestry-linking communities and cutting-edge technology

Strategic policy development
Traditional Owner Led business
Reference number
CRCNA funding
Total project value
Project length
3 years
Finish date
Project Status
Project Manager
Sarah Docherty
Forest and Wood Products Australia Ltd


  • The Trustee for Tiwi Plantations Corporations Trust
  • University of Melbourne
  • Plantation Management Partners Pty Ltd
  • Northern Territory of Australia - Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade (DITT)
  • Charles Darwin University
  • Port Melville Pty Ltd


The CRCNA funding for this project includes a co-investment of $666,000 from Forest and Wood Products Australia Limited. 

This project brings together research expertise from the University of Melbourne, NT DITT and Charles Darwin University, commercial expertise of Australia’s largest forest product exporter (Plantation Management Partners Pty Ltd), the forestry research and development corporation (Forest and Wood Products Australia), community development specialists and indigenous people (Tiwi Plantations Corporation and other emerging indigenous businesses) to develop a Northern Forestry Industry Growth model.

The project's comprehensive research program aims to:

  • Develop a Northern Forestry Industry Growth model to meet increased demand for hardwood chip in north Asia by expanding hardwood plantations in the tropics, attracting investment to the north and bringing employment to remote communities.
  • Achieve full potential of the unique Tiwi indigenous forestry and port enterprises with a major expansion in value and volume of exports from the 30,000 ha plantations.
  • Provide underpinning science for economic development for other indigenous communities in higher rainfall areas, including East Arnhem and Cape York.

Expected outcomes

The model developed will combine cutting-edge genomics, molecular marker and plant breeding technologies across selected eucalyptus species  with community-based enterprise development approaches to improve productivity and provide new options for economic development and employment on Aboriginal-owned lands.

It be expected the model will underpin northern Australian tropical plantation industry export growth from $6.5m (2018/19) to $12.5m (2025/26).