Forestry stal­wart recog­nised

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Como - Su­sanne Reilly

FOR four-and-half years, Como’s David Hart­ley was the go-to man when it came to the for­est in­dus­try.

The 66-year-old was Act­ing Gen­eral Man­ager of the Western Aus­tralian For­est Prod­ucts Com­mis­sion from March 2010 be­fore he was for­mally ap­pointed to the po­si­tion in Fe­bru­ary 2012 and held it un­til his re­tire­ment in July 2014.

For all his ac­com­plish­ments, he was awarded the Pub­lic Ser­vice Medal as a Mer­i­to­ri­ous award re­cip­i­ent of the Aus­tralia Day 2015 Hon­ours List.

He left the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try to take on the role and said when he started, the com­mis­sion faced chal­lenges and many things needed to be done.

It faced is­sues around its cor­po­rate gov­er­nance, fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity and in­dus­try de­vel­op­ment and Mr Hart­ley orig­i­nally only took it as a six-month role. He played a vi­tal role in proac­tive change man­age­ment in the or­gan­i­sa­tion to ad­dress those is­sues, by pro­vid­ing frank and fear­less ad­vice in re­struc­tur­ing the com­mis­sion in line with Gov­ern­ment de­ci­sions.

His ef­forts were piv­otal in fo­cus­ing the Com­mis­sion on its core business in na­tive forests and plan­ta­tions, its role, and to im­prov­ing cor­po­rate gov­er­nance mech­a­nisms.

“I came to be­lieve in the ac­cor­dance of the for­est in­dus­try and its sus­tain­abil­ity and ben­e­fit to the en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

The role of the com­mis­sion was to man­age the State’s for­est as­sets in a sus­tain­able man­ner. They are the na­tive tim­ber in­dus­try, the pine plan­ta­tion in­dus­try and the san­dal­wood har­vest­ing in­dus­try.

“I am very proud of the team I worked with,” he said. “They de­serve the credit of get­ting the for­est back on track fi­nan­cially. We now have three prof­itable sec­tors.”

Pic­ture: David Baylis

Como’s David Hart­ley has been awarded a Pub­lic Ser­vice Medal for his work in turn­ing the Western Aus­tralian For­est Prod­ucts Com­mis­sion around.

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