Plantation expansion in Australia is largely shaped by national forest policies, emerging policies related to water and emissions trading, potential impacts of climate change and access to land for forestry. This paper explores the future for new forests in the high rainfall regions of south-east Australia, set in the context of these factors, drawing on views of informants with regional and national perspectives of forestry. Plantation forestry continues to operate in contested social landscapes and has to continually negotiate its shape, scale, place and practice. These rural landscapes in which forestry operates is a phenomenon Australia has in common with many other countries with developed economies. While Australia's plantation industry has been supported by an enduring national plan for plantation expansion articulated in 1997 as the Plantations 2020 strategy, it is arguable that in its present format its relevance is fading and it should be re-cast.