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17 June, 2021

New group to set direction for forest industry future

The next step in the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for the long-term future of Queensland’s timber industry is underway with the first meeting of the Native Timber Advisory Panel.

The panel’s role is to advise the government on policy options and implications for the native timber industry. It will work on ensuring a long-term sustainable future for the native timber industry that balances jobs and the environment.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the Panel brings together key stakeholders together to work on ensuring a long-term sustainable future for the native timber industry that balances jobs and the environment.

“The timber industry is key to Queensland’s plan for economic recovery, employing 8,800 people and injecting $3.8 billion into the economy every year,” Mr Furner said.

“The new panel includes representatives from the native timber industry, the conservation sector, the research sector, unions and First Nations people, and will be overseen by an independent chair.

“The panel will consider native forestry on State-owned and privately owned land, conservation outcomes, economic impacts and opportunities for regional communities.

“This broad representation ensures that all views are heard and fully understood.”

Members are:

Mr Alan Feely, Chair.

Mr Feely has over 20 years of experience with the New South Wales and Queensland governments and the mining sector).

Mr Mick Stephens, Timber Queensland.

Mr Stephens is the Chief Executive Officer of Timber Queensland, the peak state industry body for the timber industry, and a member of the Koala Advisory Council.

Mr John McNamara, Parkside Group.

 Mr McNamara is Chief Executive Officer at Parkside Group. He has close to 40 years of experience in the timber industry and has held senior positions with Hyne, Auspine and Boral).

Mr Raymond (Curly) Tatnell, DTM Timber

Mr Tatnell is the Managing Director of DTM Timber, operating a native hardwood sawmill, a dry sawmill, three treatment plants and three native hardwood pole yards.

Mr Sean Ryan, Private Forestry Service Queensland

Mr Ryan has 40 years of experience within the natural resource management industry. He has extensive experience in natural area management and community forest extension, landholder liaison and stakeholder engagement.

Ms Virginia Young, Strategic Interventions

Prior to her involvement in conservation, Ms Young was a successful businesswoman. She headed the mining section of the Foreign Investment Division within the Federal Treasury.

Dr Aila Keto, Australian Rainforest Conservation Society

Dr Keto is co-founder and president of the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society – a position she has held for more than 30 years.

Ms Laura Hahn, National Parks Association of Queensland

Ms Hahn has more than 25 years of experience in environmental management and conservation. Ms Hahn works to promote the preservation, expansion and good management of national parks and other forms of protected areas in Queensland.

Ms Laura Gowdie, Australian Workers Union  

Ms Laura Gowdie is an Industry Advocate for the Australian Workers’ Union. She brings over 10 years of experience in roles supporting elected officials, including as a policy advisor.

Ms Leann Wilson, Regional Economic Solutions

Ms Wilson is an experienced executive, business owner and First Nations leader who has been at the pioneering forefront of opening dialogue with and delivering outcomes for business, government, and communities.

Professor Brendan Mackey, Griffith University.

Prof Mackey is Director of the Griffith Climate Action Beacon, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. Prof Mackey areas of expertise span forest ecology and management, climate change risk assessment, and ecosystem-based mitigation and adaptation.

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the Panel was the latest step in the Palaszczuk Government’s Native Timber Action Plan.

“We have already extended the continuation of hardwood timber harvesting in the Wide Bay-Burnett for an additional 2 years, guaranteeing access up to 2026,” he said.

“That has secured the employment of 500 Maryborough and Wide Bay locals working in the industry.”

Minister Furner said a study to identify sustainable future options for timber supply, including on private land, is due to be completed by the end of the year.

“We have brought the unsuccessful hardwood plantation program, a partnership between HQPlantations and the Queensland Government, to a close, while ‘rolling-term’ permits in the Western hardwoods region will be replaced from 2034 with fixed-term competitive permits,” he said.

“Through the Native Timber Action Plan, the Palaszczuk Government will ensure a sustainable industry that grows our regions and importantly continues to deliver Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.”

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