To­tal in­volve­ment needed to en­sure in­dus­try trans­for­ma­tion

Australian Forests and Timber - - IN THE NEWS - By Colin McCul­loch Pro­ject Man­ager Ar­bre For­est In­dus­tries Train­ing & Ca­reers Hub

THE AR­BRE Hub and Busi­ness Ac­tion Lead­ing Tas­ma­nia brought to­gether 140 In­dus­try del­e­gates in Launce­s­ton to hear a se­ries of pre­sen­ta­tions from po­lit­i­cal and in­dus­try lead­ers on work­ing through the body of work pro­duced by the For­est In­dus­try Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on “Trans­form­ing Aus­tralia’s For­est Prod­ucts In­dus­try”.

The pro­gram sought to iden­tify three stages of de­liv­ery for the trans­for­ma­tion to be able to take ef­fect. The po­lit­i­cal will, the pol­icy frame­work and fi­nally, a can do at­ti­tude backed by fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity and in­vest­ment in the peo­ple that will ef­fect the change.

Guy Bar­nett Tas­ma­nian Min­is­ter for Re­sources, gave a clear un­der­tak­ing of full Govern­ment sup­port for all facets of for­est in­dus­try de­vel­op­ment. He re­ferred to nu­mer­ous in­dus­try de­vel­op­ments in Tas­ma­nia, in­clud­ing fur­ther down­stream pro­cess­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, fund­ing for re­search pro­grams and fa­cil­i­ties to be lo­cated in Tas­ma­nia, and the ne­ces­sity for in­dus­try-cen­tric pro­grams to be fo­cused in the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem as well as at school leavers.

Pos­i­tive po­lit­i­cal will iden­ti­fied

Rob De Fégely, the CoChair of FIAC, and the Chair of Forestry Tas­ma­nia, spoke on the three ob­jec­tives, eight strate­gies and the 19 rec­om­men­da­tions out­lined in the FIAC doc­u­ment, Trans­form­ing Aus­tralia’s For­est Prod­ucts In­dus­try. He took ad­van­tage of rapidly chang­ing face of the for­est in­dus­try in Tas­ma­nia to open dis­cus­sions on trans­for­ma­tion, the con­stant clam­our for con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment trans­for­ma­tion will de­mand, and the abil­ity to cover the ob­jec­tives that the FIAC pa­per de­liv­ers to an au­di­ence that is smack bang in the mid­dle of trans­for­ma­tion, and that this very ex­pe­ri­ence is eas­ily trans­lated to all of Aus­tralia at present.

Pol­icy Frame­work out­lined

David Brand, CEO of New Forests, gave an over­view of the trans­for­ma­tion of our for­est own­er­ship struc­ture. He said the con­fi­dence gen­er­ated by global in­vest­ment com­pa­nies putting faith into for­est own­er­ship and pro­cess­ing has sta­bilised our in­dus­try. This has re-fo­cused in­vest­ment heav­ily in re­plant­ing the es­tate, and given sta­bil­ity to ex­ist­ing global mar­kets, whilst open­ing up new op­por­tu­ni­ties for fur­ther down­stream pro­cess­ing and de­vel­op­ment. David em­pha­sised the ne­ces­sity to bring the peo­ple along for the ride, “with­out in­vest­ment in our peo­ple and our prac­tices, the trans­for­ma­tion re­mains just a good idea”.

Can do at­ti­tude ex­ists

The se­cond ses­sion heard from our next gen­er­a­tion of for­est in­dus­try par­tic­i­pants through a se­ries of pre­sen­ta­tions work­ing through lever­ag­ing our Ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, the de­liv­ery of the highly suc­cess­ful “Bloody Legends” pro­gram into our forestry sec­tor, ac­tiv­ity sam­pling to take ad­van­tage of tech­nol­ogy to boost the ex­pec­ta­tions of pro­duc­tiv­ity through tech­nol­ogy, and how to work with the con­stant clam­our for con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment, not against it.

Genevieve Cother, from the Ac­tion Learn­ing In­sti­tute, pre­sented on a col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach to in­dus­try im­prove­ment. A key state­ment from the FIAC pa­per is “the for­est in­dus­try must take the lead in determining its fu­ture. It must im­prove col­lab­o­ra­tion within and out­side the in­dus­try as it pur­sues greater pro­duc­tiv­ity through in­no­va­tion”. Genevieve out­lined pro­grams cur­rently un­der way through the man­u­fac­tur­ing base in Tas­ma­nia that pro­duce the very re­sults that the FIAC seek to achieve.

Bryan Hayes, Ar­bre Hub Chair­man, rated the day as an enor­mous step for­ward for the Tas­ma­nian for­est in­dus­try. “One of our main ob­jec­tives at the Ar­bre Hub is to con­trib­ute to a change in the con­ver­sa­tion about our in­dus­try through our pro­grams within the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem and com­mu­nity-based pro­grams. We have laid a frame­work that does give con­fi­dence in in­vest­ment and de­vel­op­ment. It’s now up to us through the Ar­bre Hub to help de­liver that mes­sage and cre­ate the out­comes nec­es­sary for trans­for­ma­tion through in­vest­ment into our peo­ple.”

Rob De Fégely. Colin McCul­loch. Bryan Hayes.

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