ForestWorks new Forestry Better Business Program
Anew national program that will recognise professional businesses operating to high standards in the forest industry was launched at an event in Launceston.
Speaking at the launch event, Diana Lloyd, General Manager of ForestWorks, said the Forestry Better Business offered an efficient tool that enabled businesses to identify and maintain industry best practice and provided recognition that they are operating to the high standards required.
“Forestry contracting businesses can use the online program to store and share information with forest managers and to demonstrate they meet current standards.
“The standards are based on existing industry standards, and link to relevant Acts and Regulations. The standards are described and documented under the four key areas - Safety, Environment, Economics and People.
“A free trial period is available for the first six months. To access the program, forestry contracting businesses and forest managers can register at fbbp. forestworks.com.au,” said Diana.
The Forestry Better Business Program was developed and trialled in Tasmania in 2015-2016, out of a project funded by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments. ForestWorks worked closely with the Australian Forest Contractors Association (AFCA) and an industry-led project steering committee to ensure the program met industry’s needs.
Stacey Gardiner, General Manager of AFCA said the program aims to simplify the information flow between forestry contracting businesses and forestry managers.
“AFCA encourages all forestry businesses to take advantage of the six month free trial period. The Forestry Better Business Program offers organisations a tool for business accreditation by offering one agreed set of standards, located in one central place, for ease of access,” said Stacey.
Tony Stonjek, Director of AKS Forest Solutions, identified the potential capacity of the program to create efficiencies for his business, where he shares information with several forest managers and contracting businesses.
“Improving the efficiency of communicating between businesses is good for all parties and reduces duplication,” said Tony.
Tasmania’s Minister for Resources, Guy Barnett said the Liberal Government was committed to rebuilding Tasmania’s forest industry by encouraging new investment and jobs growth.
“Achieving best practice standards is challenging in any industry, but is particularly important in forestry where the community rightly expects businesses to operate safely and sustainably.
“The Forestry Better Business Program will help forest contractors by providing an efficient online tool to identify and maintain best practice standards. Developed by ForestWorks in collaboration with the Australian Forest Contractors Association and supported with Australian and Tasmanian government funding, the program offers one agreed set of standards that is readily accessible.”
The Minister said this was an improvement on past practice where forest managers used different standards and methods.
The program will also allow for improved communication between contracting businesses and forestry managers, and provide a mechanism for accrediting businesses operating to high standards.
■ Sarah Courtney, MP; Eva James, FoestWorks; Diana Lloyd, ForestWorks, Stacey Gardiner, AFCA.