Investment Potential Scores

The ‘Investment potential score’ provides an estimation of how suitable the land is for growing trees for four different purposes: trees to increase biodiversity; trees for capturing carbon, or trees for producing timber (pulp and sawlog potential). This information is summarised as low, medium or high to indicate the potential of the land for growing trees for each purpose.

Biodiversity investment potential

The biodiversity index is based on estimates of the number of native species (flora and fauna) that would re-establish on land parcels after 50 years following revegetation with previously existing native flora species.

Carbon investment potential

The carbon index is based on the Maximum Potential Biomass dataset (MaxBio) (Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, 2004). The MaxBio dataset is an estimate of the maximum above-ground biomass that potentially would exist if native vegetation was present under current climatic conditions.

The Carbon Investment Potential ratings include sites with more than 600mm average annual rainfall. Under existing rules relating to the Australian Government Emissions Reduction Fund plantations grown on sites with long-term average annual rainfall greater than 600mm may not eligible to receive carbon credits under the current rules for the Australian Government Emissions Reduction Fund. The Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Regulations 2011 Division 3.12 (specifically Section 3.37 – specified tree planting) outlines the conditions where trees planted in areas where the long-term average annual rainfall is higher then 600mm may be eligible as carbon offset projects within the Emissions Reduction Fund.

Timber investment potential – pulpwood and sawlog potential

The timber investment potential score is calculated based on the estimated net returns from trees grown for softwood production of sawlogs (e.g. pine (Pinus radiata) used for construction, buildings etc), and hardwood (e.g. Blue Gum, Eucalyptus globulus) grown for woodchips and pulp. The estimated net returns from planting trees for timber production is based on productivity (the expected rate of tree growth on that land multiplied by the value of the product) minus the cost of haulage to processing facilities and minus the cost of harvesting the trees.

No timber investment potential score is calculated for land that is already forested or where timber production is not compatible with the current land uses.

See the Calculating Potential Investment Scores page for more information about what these scores mean and how they were developed.