Q and A with Meeghan Price

What is your role?
I work as a Forwarder Operator.

Who do you work for?
I work as part of the plantation crew at TP Bennett and Sons.

How long have you been in the industry?
I have grown up in the Tasmanian forest industry alongside my Pop, Tony Bennett. I now work for my uncles, Adrian and Neil Bennett.

I have memories from a very early age of visiting places with Nan and Pop to collect machinery parts to keep the business running. I also remember going from bank to bank with Nan on Thursdays when wages were still paid with cheques.

I ‘formally’ started working in the business whilst I was in year 9, as soon as I turned 15 years old. I used to drive the cable logging machine in the southern forests. Mum always struggled to have me out the door for school by 8am, but every school holidays I’d be ready to go at 6am off to work out the bush.

My Uncles have always stressed the importance of having a backup career path and encouraged me to finish school through to year 12. I finished my exams on Friday the 23 November 2018 and started work the very next week.

I am currently completing my Certificate III in Harvest and Haulage. Once I have finished, I would like to look towards a path in Environmental Science or Agriculture and the possibility of completing further qualifi-cations in these areas whilst continuing to work for the family business.

My Mum and Dad are also involved in the industry. My Dad has been a log truck driver for over 40 years and my Mum has worked in the industry for over 20 years.

What’s the most exciting part of your role?
I am proud to be part of a 5th generation Tasmanian forestry family. I enjoy meeting new faces and interacting with the landowners that we meet during our harvesting operations.

Many people I meet love to chat and have lots of stories and questions for me about how I got into the in-dustry and where I want to go in life. Many remember me as the little girl with the portable DVD player who used to travel with my mum when she was managing the plantations I now harvest.

What are you most passionate about in the industry?
I am most passionate about the people, the commitment and the hard work in the industry.

What is your vision for the forest and Forest Products industry in Tasmania?
I think the Tasmanian forestry industry has a fantastic future, but we need to educate and showcase the industry and what we do a lot more.

There are a lot of keyboard warriors and sidewalk critics that voice their opinions about our industry without having the knowledge or understanding of what regulations are involved in harvesting. I think the industry needs to get out there and be proud of what it does.

What do you think the Industry does really well?
I think the industry does a good job getting the maximum recovery of timber products and caring and protecting special values such as the Swift Parrot and Wedged Tailed Eagle.

Where do you think there is room for improvement?
I believe the industry could showcase what it does a lot better. Forestry is the Ultimate Renewable resource, and this should be celebrated.

On a weekend, we’d find you where?
On the family farm at Ranelagh, helping with maintenance and game and cattle management with my 12-month-old Border Collie, Nala.

What is something that would surprise people about you?
I was the youngest female in Tasmania (and possibly Australia) to be issued with my Forestworks licence.

A lot of people I come across in the industry, including my Environmental studies teacher at College, are surprised at my knowledge of why things are done the way they are, and the processes involved. They are also surprised by my understanding of the FPC, FPP, Startups, FOS Plans and more.

However, having lived and breathed the Tasmanian forest industry all my life, for me it’s not just a job – it’s a way of life and it’s my passion.