The Development of the Strategy

Where are we up to?

Since the Strategy was launched in July 2005, 20 projects have been identified for further development. An Indigenous Forestry Unit has been established within the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to work with indigenous groups, industry and government agencies to coordinate the implementation of the Strategy.

In March 2007 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was entered into by several Australian Government departments, four National Forest Industry Associations, the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) and Indigenous Business Australia (IBA). The aim of the MoU is to develop sustainable training & employment opportunities for Indigenous people within forest industries. This includes establishing business enterprises and joint venture partnerships between Indigenous land owners and forest companies.

More recently the government’s Bureau of Rural Sciences has developed the National Indigenous Forest Mapping website which is designed to produce forest-related maps based on Australian indigenous areas. The website contains summary statistics on forest regions and socio-economic information for each Indigenous Coordination Centre (ICC) area.  There are also maps of forests for each state, or ICC area, a  summary of  information on Australia's forest types and main tree species, and links to other websites for further information on forestry, soils and indigenous information.

Please note that this page will be updated as the projects progress. If you would like to be kept up-to-date on the developments of the strategy, please email Forestry Contact or phone 02 6272 3948.

Backgro​​und

In April 2003, the former Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation and the former Minister for Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs announced BDO Consulting (SA) Pty Ltd as the successful consultant to develop the National Indigenous Forestry Strategy.

In September and November 2003 a series of eight workshops were held across Australia (Manjimup WA, Moora WA, Mt Gambier SA, Hobart TAS, Barmah VIC, Grafton NSW, Cairns QLD, Tiwi Islands NT) that included a broad representation of Indigenous communities as well as direct contact with forest and wood products industry participants.

In addition, a call for submissions was also open to the public.

  • Initial letter  PDF [40 KB] sent out to stakeholders outlining the consulting process.
  • First project update letter Word [71 KB] sent out to stakeholders outlining further developments in the consulting process.

The consultants delivered a Scoping Report to the Steering Committee in April 2004: Opportunities and Barriers for greater Indigenous involvement in Australia's Forest Industries: A scoping report addressing Indigenous involvement in the forestry and associated sectors for the National Indigenous Forestry Strategy Steering Committee PDF [2 ​MB]. This report, along with other research material, informed the development of a draft strategy.

A second round of consultations was convened between June and September 2004 at the same eight locations visited in 2003 seeking feedback on the draft Strategy. The Strategy was also sent to a database of approximately 600 interested parties for comment.

A Steering Committee of high-level representatives has been overseeing the project. Steering Committee membership is from

  • Indigenous communities
  • Department of Agriculture and Water Resources​
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) 
  • the Indigenous Land Corporation
  • the forest industry, and
  • Commonwealth/State governments through the Primary Industries Ministerial Councils, Forestry and Forest Products Committee