The Australian Forest Products Association – South Australia Branch (AFPA-SA) today conducted an Industry Roundtable in Mt Gambier for businesses in the harvest and haulage sector of the forestry industry, with the aim of identifying process issues that are holding the forestry industry back.
The roundtable was triggered by a recent situation where a delay in processing an approval for a state-of-the-art transport vehicle to access a small section of road was costing local businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars per day.
Clare Scriven, State Manager of AFPA-SA said that the issue exposed a greater problem.
“It emerged that many of our local contractors have experienced similar problems when dealing with different levels of government and regulatory requirements,” Ms Scriven said.
“We are glad that the SA Minister for Transport was able to have the problem fixed on this occasion, but we want to ensure systemic problems are solved before they obstruct local businesses.”
“Forest industries in this region have expanded significantly over the past three years and that is good news for the South Australian economy. Local harvest and haulage companies have invested tens of millions of dollars in new high productivity equipment and are creating jobs for the region. We want to make sure that industry is at its most productive for the benefit of the entire area.”
Ms Scriven was pleased with the response from local companies who attended the roundtable and was optimistic that the issues identified would be addressed with government.
“It’s in everyone’s interests to collaborate to make sure businesses can run as smoothly as possible,” Ms Scriven said.
Forest industries employ almost 7,000 people directly in South Australia, with a further 15,000 indirect jobs.