Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, says HQ Plantations had now set a target to have its commercial plantations fully restabilised in the Hinchinbrook electorate by June 2021.
Mr Cripps said he participated in an inspection of parts of the commercial forestry area south of Cardwell last month, to learn more about HQ Plantations Cyclone Yasi recovery program.
“The total re-established area as at June 2015 was approximately 1,800 hectares, consisting of 1,370 re-planted and 430 hectares of managed regeneration” said Mr Cripps.
“HQ Plantations has advised that it is setting a target of 1,300 hectares to be re-planted during the 2015-16 financial year and for this to be repeated each year to 2021” he said.
“Earlier in the year, I had raised concerns with HQ Plantations about the percentage of the commercial forestry estate that they intended to leave to managed natural regeneration”.
“I’m pleased to say those concerns have been taken on board, with HQ Plantations now indicating a maximum of 5 per cent of the estate will involve natural regeneration”.
“That means 95 per cent of the commercial forestry estate will be progressively re-planted, as the plantation areas are cleaned up following the damaged caused by Cyclone Yasi”.
“Early this year, it was necessary to give HQ Plantations a bit of a ‘tune-up’ about its lack of communication with key stakeholders the local community about its future plans”.
“I’m also pleased to say this has improved, with HQ Plantations releasing a Cyclone Yasi Recovery Update Fact Sheet for the information and advice of the local community”.
“HQ Plantations has undertaken to do this regularly, so that we are kept up to date about the progressive re-establishment of the plantation forestry in the Hinchinbrook electorate”.
Mr Cripps said the plantation forestry footprint included land in the Cardwell, Kennedy and Murray Upper areas and Broadwater and Lannercost areas of the Herbert River district.