The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) is hosting a regional industry roundtable meeting with the Hon John Cobb, Federal Member for Calare, New South Wales in Bathurst today.
Forestry Corporation of NSW, Carter Holt Harvey, Borg, Allied Timber Products and PF Olsen are the regional organisations which will have representation at the meeting, and will provide insights and views as a cross-section of the industry.
Representatives will each have the opportunity to discuss specific business issues and contribute to an open discussion on key impediments and opportunities for the region with the Hon John Cobb MP, the Federal Member of Parliament for the Bathurst and Oberon region.
“The forest industry is a great industry, a sustainable industry and a great local employer. I’m looking forward to some constructive discussion today and working with the industry to understand where the possibilities in the future could and should be,” said Mr Cobb.
AFPA Chief Executive Officer Mr Ross Hampton said, “We congratulate Mr Cobb for putting his electorate first and realising the importance of the forest industry to this region. By participating in this roundtable meeting, he will gain first-hand knowledge of the industry’s specific issues in his region and be able to take that back to Federal Parliament to ensure all sides of politics know the value of our regional communities.”
One of the main themes to be explored is a strengthened regional approach and the creation of ‘forestry hubs’. The roundtable discussions will allow for the participants to promote industry priorities specific to the region and will begin the process for establishing forestry hubs throughout regional Australia.
“With around 120,000 rural jobs around the nation, regional communities are at the heart of Aussie forest products industries,” said Mr Hampton. This meeting will also be an opportunity to link to the Australian Government’s Forest Industry Advisory Council (FIAC) which has released an Issues paper and is seeking input into the development of a longer term ‘Wood and Fibre Plan’ for the industry.