It is a rare treat to be able to write something positive about the forest industry in Tasmania.
It may be only a tiny step along the road to commercial and social redemption but I’ll cheer nevertheless!
On the 3rd of July 2019 Private Forests Tasmania (PFT) organised an industry forum to help generate some positive media and momentum, not to mention communication.
A summary of the forum is now posted on the PFT website:
The summary of the forum is hardly enough to get anyone out of their seats with excitement, but the general tenor of the discussion gives me a small dose of hope for the future.
It seems most/all of the discussion was about commodity wood, with little discussion about high value wood like blackwood or macrocarpa.
If the forest industry wants to have a future it needs to spend at least half of its time and resources working out how to encourage farmers to plant trees. That job IS NOT the responsibility of governments!
History has shown that cutting down forests is easy.
History has also shown that the forest industry has never understood how to get farmers to plant and grow trees (excluding tax-avoiding and investor-robbing scams). In fact history is littered with examples of the opposite trend.
This forum may just become the first small step in the right direction.
It is a shame that the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) wasn’t present. The TFGA would be a useful ally for the forest industry.
It is also a shame that Ministers and politicians can’t keep themselves away from these events.
Most Tasmanians know that as soon as politicians get involved in anything then things very quickly turn bad. The history of the forest industry in Tasmania is one of too much politics.
There have been industry forums like this before but they have been nothing more than soapboxes for politicians. Completely useless and boring to attend.
So full (Ok 8/10) credit to the forum organisers!
Can the formula be developed and extended?
Forums in the north east and the south east of the State?
Perhaps even a forest industry developed Plan that focuses on creating full and positive engagement with the Tasmanian farming community!!