10 Questions with Nick Steel

1. What is your role?
I am a Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

2. What organisation do you work for?
I work for the Tasmanian Forest Products Association (TFPA)

3. How long have you been in the industry?
I have crossed paths with the Tasmanian forest industry, including private forestry, in the past, however I am new to the broader industry. My most recent role was Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association for 14 years.

4. What’s the most exciting part of your role?
The most exciting part of my role is being able to use my skills in policy and advocacy to represent the members of the TFPA, and more broadly the Tasmanian forest industry.

5. What are you most passionate about in the industry?
I am most passionate about engaging with the people and stakeholders in our industry. I really enjoy getting out and about and meeting people face to face. There is nothing better than hearing their stories and being out in the forest. It’s a great way to see the passion that comes from the locals who work in our industry.

6. What is your vision for the Forests and Forest Products industry in Tasmania?
My vision for the Forest and Forest Products industry in Tasmania is to maintain a sustainable industry for the long term. This includes demonstrating our sustainable industry to every Tasmanian and sharing information about how our industry both harvests, manages and regrows trees.

7. What do you think the industry does very well?
I think that the industry is great at getting on with business. The Tasmanian forest industry works does their job and does it them well. This is a huge positive and will assist the TFPA greatly in meeting its vision for a long-term sustainable industry.

8. Where do you think there is room for improvement?
As mentioned above, the industry does well at getting on with the job, but I think we can improve a lot about how we communicate about it. As we all know, there are certain elements of forestry that don’t look appealing to the public, for example a recently harvested coupe. We need to be better at communicating the what and why. What is the difference between a wet and dry eucalyptus forest? Why are they harvested differently? Also consider the other key elements of forestry which are more appealing, such as the regeneration of coupes, regrowth of forests and stories about the people who manage our forests.

9. On a weekend, we’d find you where?
On any given weekend, you will find me watching my kids play sports, including netball, football, cricket, little athletics or basketball.

10. What is something that would surprise people about you?
I used to work in an open cut gold mine in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.