New group to set direction for forest industry’s future

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities The Honourable Mark Furner

The next step in the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for the long-term future of Queensland’s timber industry is underway with the first meeting of the Native Timber Advisory Panel.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the Panel brings together key stakeholders together to work on ensuring a long-term sustainable future for the native timber industry that balances jobs and the environment.

“The timber industry is key to Queensland’s plan for economic recovery, employing 8,800 people and injecting $3.8 billion into the economy every year,” Mr Furner said.

“The new panel includes representatives from the native timber industry, the conservation sector, the research sector, unions and First Nations people, and will be overseen by an independent chair.

“The panel will consider native forestry on State-owned and privately owned land, conservation outcomes, economic impacts and opportunities for regional communities.

“This broad representation ensures that all views are heard and fully understood.”

Members are:

  • Mr Alan Feely, Chair
  • Mr Mick Stephens, Timber Queensland
  • Mr John McNamara, Parkside Group
  • Mr Raymond (Curly) Tatnell, DTM Timber
  • Mr Sean Ryan, Private Forestry Service Queensland
  • Ms Virginia Young, Strategic Interventions
  • Dr Aila Keto, Australian Rainforest Conservation Society
  • Ms Laura Hahn, National Parks Association of Queensland
  • Ms Laura Gowdie, Australian Workers Union
  • Ms Leann Wilson, Regional Economic Solutions
  • Professor Brendan Mackey, Griffith University.

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the Panel was the latest step in the Palaszczuk Government’s Native Timber Action Plan.

“We have already extended the continuation of hardwood timber harvesting in the Wide Bay-Burnett for an additional 2 years, guaranteeing access up to 2026,” he said.

“That has secured the employment of 500 Maryborough and Wide Bay locals working in the industry.”

Minister Furner said a study to identify sustainable future options for timber supply, including on private land, is due to be completed by the end of the year.

“We have brought the unsuccessful hardwood plantation program, a partnership between HQPlantations and the Queensland Government, to a close, while ‘rolling-term’ permits in the Western hardwoods region will be replaced from 2034 with fixed-term competitive permits,” he said.

“Through the Native Timber Action Plan, the Palaszczuk Government will ensure a sustainable industry that grows our regions and importantly continues to deliver Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.”

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