This is my first report as Chairman of the Forest Products Commission (the Commission). I am pleased to be a part of the forest products industry, which is an important contributor to Western Australia’s regional communities and economy.
Since becoming Chairman I have visited a range of regional areas and met stakeholders to discuss key industry strategies. Most importantly these meetings provided an opportunity to discuss long-term strategies and effective support for industry development. A key focus will be to put in place policy frameworks for the industry segments (sandalwood, plantations and native forest) with the active support and encouragement of the Minister and government. We will also focus on fostering innovative solutions and efficiencies to build capacity throughout the forest products industry. Collaboration with industry is vital and it is excellent to see the high level of industry engagement in this process.
For the Western Australian forest products industry to be sustainable and play its role in a diversified state economy there also needs to be an alignment of State Government and Commonwealth objectives. We will continue to work closely with the Forest Industries Federation WA and other forestry representative groups to achieve this.
The Forest Industry Working Group was formed by the Minister for Forestry to provide advice to government on the forest and forestry products industry. As part of the group, I have enjoyed the opportunity to work closely with industry to provide advice on our long term strategic direction, as well as identify opportunities to encourage innovation, research and development.
Several changes occurred to the Board during the year, with the terms of commissioners Mr Robert Fisher (Chairman) and Mr Stuart Morgan finishing on 15 November 2015. I would like to thank both Robert and Stuart for their valuable contribution.
The Board also welcomed the appointment of Ms Amelia Yam and the reappointment of Mr Robert Pearce.
I wish to thank my fellow Board members for their support and consistent contribution to the Commission's performance throughout the year.
The year also saw the appointment of Mr Stuart West as General Manager of the Commission. The Board and I look forward to working with Stuart to strengthen the forest and timber products industry.
In addition, I would like to recognise the valuable contribution to the Commission by Vince Erasmus during his 16 month tenure as General Manager and by Gavin Butcher for his leadership and management of the Commission for the six months prior to Stuart’s appointment.
I would also like to acknowledge the professionalism and support the Board received from the Executive team, and thank our staff for their contribution throughout the year.
I also recognise the Minister for Forestry, the Hon Mia Davies MLA, for her leadership and guidance.
Mr Ross Holt | Chairman
9 September 2016