Improving the health and safety of government forest harvesting operations.

A FIVE-YEAR ‘steak ‘n wood’ project to quantify opportunities for the dual management of livestock and trees is under way in Queensland

The $4.7 million research project by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has been co-funded by the Meat and Livestock Australia Donor Company.

The silvopastoral initiative in sub-tropical and tropical environments includes carbon neutrality, livestock and timber productivity and environmental service benefits. 

The ‘steak ‘n wood’ project will be delivered by a strong, multidisciplinary team and led by the DAF Agri-Science Queensland (Forestry Science and Animal Science) unit. It will include collaborations with the University of the Sunshine Coast, University of Queensland, the Department of Environment and Science, producers and industry, including the red meat, forestry and energy-producing industries.

Meanwhile, DAF remains committed to improving the health and safety of government forest harvesting operations. DAF says to support this it has embarked on a journey to drive improvements in the management of safety in these operations.

After an extensive period of consultation with industry and safety experts, a framework has been finalised that fosters a systematic approach to safety and aligns with relevant legal requirements.

A key outcome of the project will be embedding a safety-first culture through effective risk management and instilling safety at the forefront of harvesting operations.

The involvement of industry will be critical to the success of this initiative. DAF has consulted with individual permittees, harvesting contractors and Timber Queensland to seek representatives for an industry reference group that will provide input to key elements of the initiative.

DAF is also partnering with the Australian Forest Contractors Association to work with the broader Queensland industry to develop and deliver key parts of the project in association with the AFCA national ForestFit initiative.

Future collaboration is planned with industry and the initial stage of this project will be rolled out by the end of this year.