C3 Regional Manager says key is ‘Building careers, not just jobs’

What is your role at C3 Forestry and what does it entail?

I am C3 Australia’s Regional Manager here in Tasmania. I oversee cut-to-length harvest and haulage operations on our clients’ plantation forests. I am also deeply involved in the recruitment, training and career development of our local team.

Network Convenor Therese Taylor and Tasmania Forestry Hub GM Simon Talbot on a recent visit to C3 in Burnie.

Briefly explain what role C3 plays in Tasmania, as well as nationally.

C3 Australia, part of the LINX Cargo Care Group, is one of Australia’s largest forest industry logistics providers specialising in harvesting, hauling and in-field chipping across an ever-growing network of plantation forests, including here in Tasmania. In 2020, Forico awarded C3 Australia a 5-year cut-to-length harvest and haulage contract. At present, the team consists of 17 machine operators, 14 drivers and three maintenance staff, operating 24 hours a day from Monday to Friday.

C3 is reasonably new to the Tasmanian industry. What have been your observations of the sector?

Tasmania’s forestry industry is well developed with global recognition for its premium quality products. From mine, and C3 Australia’s perspective, the local industry has a bright future and will be supported by growing local and global demand for sustainable softwood lumber and hardwood chips.

When did you begin working in forestry and how has your career evolved?

I joined C3 back in October 2019 as Regional Manager. I began my career as a silviculture contractor in South Africa in 1990 and moved to Indonesia in 1996 to join the APRIL group in various forestry roles including harvesting, wood supply and processing. I joined the Sinar Mas Group in 2002 and was appointed Forestry Operations Director (West Kalimantan). In 2008 I joined URS Forestry as Principal consultant covering SE Asia and established FAC Consulting in 2010 through to 2017.

Pete Botha with PFT’s Stephen Clarke at a Network Breakfast event this month

What challenges do you think the industry faces in Tasmania?

Without doubt there is an urgent need to attract and develop the next generation of forestry machine operators, mechanics and truck drivers. It’s a challenge shared by all players in the sector across all geographies but one that I believe we can solve together.

How do you think we could attract a more diverse workforce?

At C3 we talk a lot about building careers, not just jobs. That’s because we know a big part of developing a diverse and future proof workforce is creating an environment that focuses on supporting our people and helping them to learn, accrue skills and expand their experiences. We want them to know they are supported and challenged to keep growing. We want our people to be able to see progression in themselves and their careers. Additionally, we’re not ones for stereotypes and we don’t limit our thinking when it comes to recruitment. We’re more interested in a candidate’s attitude and willingness to learn and collaborate. We know we can upskill and teach the technical parts of the job.

What do you like most about living on Tassie’s NW coast?

Not surprisingly, for me it’s the people. NW Tasmanians are welcoming, open, friendly and hard working. And the temperate cold climate is, believe it or not, a great attraction. Where else can you play in the snow one day and enjoy a warm day on the beach the next day? It really is an ideal place to raise a family, with plenty of professional opportunities.