Last week the Tasmanian Forest Products Association (TFPA) was officially launched with the new forest representative group putting the call out for its first Chief Executive.
TFFPN Board Director, Bryan Hayes, was also announced as the inaugural Chair of the TFPA.
We had a quick chat with Mr Hayes about the TFPA, and the forest industry in Tasmania more broadly.
What is the role of the newly established Tasmanian Forest Products Association (TFPA) and what are your aspirations for the Association?
The TFPA has been established to provide a unified, apolitical industry approach to policy development with State Government and its agencies, to provide advocacy and lobbying on behalf of our Members across the political spectrum and to provide leadership across the industry that achieves positive, efficient and effective outcomes.
Who are the members of the TFPA?
Almost all of the major industry businesses in Tasmania representing the growers and processors of both hardwood and softwood.
How is the TFPA funded?
It is fully funded by its members. We have introduced a levy system based on the area of plantations managed and the annual volume of production that each Member company expects to achieve in the coming financial year.
What do you see as the central issues facing the Tasmanian forest industry at present that will concern the TFPA ?
Immediately we still have to navigate COVID-19 restrictions and ensuring we all keep the industry open and working. Then will come the inevitable economic downturn because you just can’t shut down the majority of your economy and expect it start up again on some pre-determined date. The building and construction industry will be hit hard and will require Government intervention by way of stimulus packages of some sort. That will impact forestry because as the demand for timber drops sawmills will reduce production and require less logs, pushing reduced activity right along the supply chain. Similarly the demand for some paper products will be under pressure as retailers reduce or stop using paper advertising materials. In the short term it is about ensuring every business has the best chance of surviving the downturn and then thriving as economic activity gains pace.
The TFFPN is looking forward to working closely with the TFPA. What do you see as the relationship between our organisations? And our sectoral forestry organisations?
The TFPA will work collaboratively with other industry bodies to ensure we are all working together in the most efficient and effective way to achieve our individual and collective goals. One of our first tasks will be to engage other organisations to share our objectives and to seek agreement on roles and responsibilities that aligns us on areas of common interest and common purpose.