Independent report calls for protection of 70,000 hectares of State Forest in South East Queensland

In 2020, the Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) commissioned a desktop review of the conservation values of State Forests within the South East Queensland Planning Area. In October 2021, this report was provided to the Queensland Government in support of policy commitments to end native forest logging on public land throughout the region by 2024. 

In summary, the report identified 68,543 hectares across 19 state forests suitable for protection as national or conservation parks. The table below provides a list of the identified state forests and the consultant’s report is published on QCC’s website.

Included in the list of areas recommended for protection is Beerwah State Forest on the Sunshine Coast, earmarked for logging by the Palaszczuk Government in December last year. 

The proposed logging of Beerwah State Forest has emerged as a flashpoint for community opposition to native forest logging and calls to protect native forests across Queensland. 

“We have not seen this level of public opposition to logging native forests since the 1990s,” said the QCC’s Nature Campaigner, Jon Ferguson. “Logging Queensland’s native forests is out of step with community expectations '' 

“We need to see an immediate end to logging in South East Queensland and firm commitments to phase out logging on public land across the rest of the state,” said Jon Ferguson.  

“Protecting these state forests will help protect Queensland’s koala population,” said Narelle McCarthy, spokesperson for the Sunshine Environment Coast Council. “These forests are also home to other threatened species including the Glossy Black Cockatoo and the Greater Glider.” said Sunshine Coast Environment Council.  

“Protecting State Forests throughout Queensland is an undervalued opportunity to deliver vital conservation outcomes, saving unique ecosystems and 1000s of threatened species, many of which are found nowhere else,” said Jon Ferguson.

“There are already over 200,000 hectares of plantations in South East Queensland which supply wood for housing and construction. There is no reason to be logging native forests that could be new National Parks,” said Susanne Cooper, President of National Parks Association of Queensland. 

There are an estimated 68,543 hectares of State Forests recommended for protection within the SEQ Planning area. Providing national or conservation park protection for these areas would give effect to the Palaszczuk Government’s policy commitments to protect forestry land and end native forest logging in the SEQ Planning Area. 

To reach this figure our consultants used a methodology similar to that currently used by the Department of Environment and Science (DES) to rate the conservation value of specific land units.

Their methodology considered biodiversity values, regional ecosystems, climate resilience, adequacy, threatened species, connectivity, integrity and practicality.

The Queensland conservation movement is calling for a staged end to native forest logging on public land across the state and stronger regulation of forestry on private land. 

Table: State Forests Recommended for Protection

State Forest 

Size (ha)


Beerburrum West


Sections adjacent to Glasshouse Mountains NP 



Lot 1 



Links two sections of existing Bellthorpe NP 



Sections adjacent to Belthorpe NP



Area in western section

Deer Reserve 


Excluding small area of plantation 

Delaneys Creek 


Important koala habitat 



Area adjacent to Ravensbourne NP



Important part of Conondale complex 

East Nanango 


North-east section 

Elgin Vale 


Eastern section 

Imbil 1


Southern section 



North-west section 



Western section

Mt Stanley 1


Area adjacent Forest Reserve 



Koala habitat 

Squirrel Creek 


Important part of Conondale complex 

West Cooroy 


State biodiversity corridor, koala habitat 

Yabba State Forest 


Important part of Conondale complex 



Estimate only


For further information and comment, contact: 

Jon Ferguson, Nature Campaigner, Queensland Conservation Council

0431 470 328

Narelle McCarthy, Spokesperson, Sunshine Coast Environment Council

0424 465 487

Susanne Cooper, President, National Parks Association of Queensland

0423 783 022