Brisbane hosts AFCA AGM
On November the Australian Forest Contractors Association (AFCA) headed to Brisbane for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which is ostensibly to appoint another board. At the 2016 AGM, Ian Reid stepped down as chairman and didn’t seek re-election hence four new board members were elected for 2017 and a new chair in Adan Taylor. This year the board has remained largely similar with the only new appointees Wayne ShawJohnston and Tony Stonjek.
“We have a new board with Adan Taylor, Phil Dohnt, Karen Hall, Ricky Leeson, Christian Stafford, Wayne Shaw-Johnston, Tony Stonjek,” Stacey Gardiner, General Manager AFCA said.
“Some of them are new; Wayne was appointed in September and renominated now as a formal member of the board.”
Mr Shaw-Johnson is the chief operating officer of Harvestco, but has previously held roles at VicForests and HVP. He played a significant role in the successful delivery of AUSTimber2016 as operations manager.
Mr Stonjek started AKS Forest Solutions in 2007. He was introduced to forestry by his late father; he has since worked for Forestry Tasmania when it was the State Forestry Commission as well as Forest Resources and Rayonier. He developed Evergreen Forest Services and Forest Consultancy Services, and AKS Forest Solutions where he is a director.
Adan Taylor was returned as chairman of AFCA and Phil Dohnt as deputy chair.
Next year the AGM is planned for Tasmania and the association is hosting an industry dinner and a Hall of Fame presentation. This year following the AGM in Brisbane there was an industry dinner with Timber Queensland.
“In conjunction with the AGM we held a dinner with Timber Queensland. It was a really great informal evening where we had an opportunity to sit down and touch base with industry and catch up,” Ms Gardiner said. 15
“We have a busy first half of the year with the delivery of the forest logistics safety training workshops which we started delivering in October.
“Also, drafting the log haulers code of practice in collaboration with industry.”
The National Forestry Log Haulage Registered Code of Practice comes in response to changes to the law which will be in place in 2018 and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulators guidelines released to support Code of Practice developments.
This is the first time that AFCA has led such a significant industrywide project, however, it seemed such an obvious decision given the potential impacts these changes may have on members and the importance of leading change.
In June 2017 AFCA also was successful in partnering with Engistics to receive funding as part of the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative. Over the coming year AFCA, with Engistics, will deliver more than 25 Forestry Logistics Safety Training Workshops.
“We are looking to also focus on safety and supporting contractors with issues,” Ms Gardiner said.
“We’ll also be looking at HR and how we can improve support with HR and health and wellbeing under the banner of safety and supporting contractors.”
There was no formal discussion about the year ahead at the AGM but significantly a launch will be held in March for AUSTimber2020.
“This launch will really kick it off and signal to industry that AUSTimber is coming,” Ms Gardiner said. “It will be two years to the event and we will launch onsite.”
The site is at Flynn Creek just out of Traralgon and the prospectus for the event has been released. Early bird offers finish soon and the response so far has been positive.
T h e AUSTimber2020 Planning Steering Committee was formed in 2017 which includes key stakeholders. It hasn’t taken long for the Planning Steering Committee to start the process for AUSTimber2020 which has included setting dates, developing a program outline for the week and site plan for the expo days and launching an exhibitors and demonstrations prospectus.
As part of promoting AUSTimer2020 and to gather fresh ideas, Ms Gardiner attended the Elmia Wood show in Sweden in June. She said that this not only allowed her the chance to see a wood show at such a large scale and observe the way different events are managed, it also demonstrated how it could be possible to grow AUSTimber by diversifying the types of exhibitors and to capture supporting business and services that relate to the industry.
■ Stacey Gardiner.
■ Adan Taylor.