Support for sustainable private forestry 



Capability Statement - This is what we do


Sean has 40 years’ experience within the Natural Resource Management industry with 14 years in a Chief Executive Officer role and over 20 years in project management roles. He has extensive experience in natural area management in both Corporate portfolios and National Parks, large-scale, collaborative project delivery and community forest extension, landholder liaison and stakeholder engagement programs. Sean’s technical expertise lies in successful multifaceted project delivery, forest management and revegetation, fire management and all silvicultural systems.

Sean has presented at multiple conferences and venues, including many overseas invitations. He is a past winner of the Master Tree Farmer of the Year Award and has a Gympie Messmate plantation which he established more than 20 years ago on his home property.

Sean is involved in many innovative research and extension programs, collaborating with State and Federal government, research and educational institutions and industry groups to achieve better outcomes for sustainable forest management. Sean regularly participates in state and national forest policy development.



Provision of the Private Native Forestry Extension Program

Provision of the Private Native Forestry Extension Program

The Qld Timber Industry - The Issues, Risks and Solution



Timber industry rally to highlight the positive aspects of the industry-

  • The only truly sustainable building product that doesn’t dig a dirty great hole in the ground, uses mega litres of water, leaves a huge waste residue, uses enormous quantities of power, but is Carbon positive and has a fleet of environmental benefits – for every tree that is removed two grow in its place for ever
  • Employs thousands of families in small rural towns, independent of season, drought or flooding rains
  • With sustainable management practices can increase its productivity 10 fold
  • The alternative is importing hardwood from very dubious sources such as the Solomon Islands, West Papua and Papua New Guinea

Risk to the Industry

The industry is under extreme risk from constant ad-hoc legislative changes that have no basis in science, but driven from inner Brisbane dissociated ideologues who want to be surrounded by wood but don’t want to see a tree cut down. In particular;

  • Forecast very negative changes to the Code of practice that will have perverse impacts on environmental and habitat outcomes (particularly ground cover – no ground cover result in soil erosion)
  • Trigger map legislation that requires the landholder to demonstrate that the random mapping of a possible occurrence of an endangered plant doesn’t actually exist in reality – this is a very expensive exercise
  • With the closure of our state forests, all hardwood in SE Qld will be sourced from private forests; however the government has no understanding of this resource, no idea on its current production capacity and no plan on how this industry will progress in the next decade – Policy is a vacant lot

The Solution

Landholders can register their forests as a designated timber production area bound by an accredited management plan, free from constant government policy changes so that long term planning can be undertaken. The area will have a similar status to Category X under the Vegetation Management Act and permanently attached to the property Deed. Benefits of this approach are:

  1. The future production of hardwood in Queensland will be based on robust Management Plans that will provide government and landholders with certainty and security, by


  1. Understanding of future production capacity to enable the prediction of timber flows to give processors the confidence to invest in more efficient machinery
  2. Vastly improved productive and environmental outcomes from an accredited managed approach to these forests
  3. And most importantly, growers will have the confidence to invest in the management of their forests without the fear that their investment will be for nothing, should the government restrict harvesting or impose other impediments with constant changes to policy and legislation on a product that takes 60 years to mature.

Maryborough Timber Industry Day

A great day enjoyed by timber industry stakeholders and their families.  Attended by local Parliamentary Members, and media from various sources.  A couple of short presentations were made by Sam Slack (Slacks Hardwood), Mick Stephens (Timber Qld), Michael Guerin (Agforce) and Sean Ryan (PFSQ) emphasising the strength, sustainability and job production that the industry provides.

The risks to the industry are the multiple and ad-hoc changes which government are trying to foist on the industry without the benefit of readily available science based data; driven by the election cycle and city ideologues.

There is a simple solution to all this -it’s been in place in Tasmania for nearly 30 years – a designated timber production area on private land, registered against the Deed of Title and bound by an accredited management plan overseen by landholders themselves.

Landholders, sawmillers and their staff, haulage companies and all the ancillary workers attached, such as mechanics, fuel providers, equipment providers, need certainty and security for the industry so that the financial investments required to make Qld a net exporter of timber, not an importer which is currently happening, can happen.

Private Forestry Service Queensland (PFSQ) is an incorporated, ‘Not for Profit’ Association working for the past 17 years to improve the quality and viability of the private forest resource in Australia. PFSQ’s Constitution as a ‘Not for Profit’ group refers to the membership, purpose and activity of the association. It does not mean that an association cannot make a profit from its operations, but any profits must be used to further the Objectives of the Association and cannot be distributed to the members, directors or staff.

We are located in Gympie, Queensland’s largest and most diverse forestry region, with significant hardwood eucalypt and exotic softwood plantations, hoop pine resource and a strong native forest industry. PFSQ field operations extend all over Queensland and northern NSW with regular consultancy work in Japan, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. PFSQ combines life-long experience in forest management industries with a team of motivated individuals from forestry, environmental science, agribusiness, horticulture, law, tertiary education and forest research backgrounds.

Any profit the organisation makes is reinvested back into the community, specifically, to the Woodworks Museum and Forestry Interpretative Centre, Indigenous and landholder education on forest management, forestry research, silvicultural development (chopper roller) and market development (eg. CCA treated rounds from plantation thinnings).