The North East NSW Region has the largest hardwood workforce in the State employing 5,700 people. This industry produces a diverse range of hardwood products including flooring, decking, cladding, joinery, structural hardwood, engineered products, poles, marine piles, pallets, fencing timber, mining timber, and bioenergy.
The North East NSW Region also supports jobs in the softwood sector which are based on radiata pine plantations located to the south of Walcha on the Northern Tablelands and southern pine plantations in the Clarence and Richmond River valleys between Grafton and Casino.
Industry employment occurs across a suite of sectors including forest growing and management, forestry support services, harvest and haulage, wood processing, timber manufacturing, and timber wholesaling. Together these sectors make up the timber supply chain.
The knowledge, skills and experience of the region's workforce has been built over many generations. In 2021 the Hub commissioned a report to identify current skills holdings, skills gaps and future skill needs by sector and across the industry, a copy is available here. In February 2023 the Hub convened a workshop to examine the industry's workforce issues and agree a pathway for ensuring that the workforce remains diverse and strong in the future.