The new head of the Australian Forest Contractors Association believes the industry needs to be less defensive in its public image and more showcasing of its value and importance. Source: Timberbiz
Carlie Porteous, the new general manager of the Australian Forest Contractors Association, said that the industry has always been quite defensive as far as communications.
“So, you’ll start seeing a bit of a difference now with organizations like ours,” she said.
“More timely, consistent, positive messaging that really showcases our industry is something that we need to focus on. And you’ll see that a lot more into the future.”
Ms Porteous brings more than 10 years’ experience in the forestry industry to the role having previously worked with all aspects of the value chain; contractors, growers, processors and government agencies.
Her appointment on 1 December 2021 follows her role as manager, forestry and fibre compliance at Visy Industries, enhancing communication and collaboration with industry groups, supply chain members and customers to achieve a responsible supply chain across Visy’s manufacturing sectors.
Ms Porteous has expertise in FSC and PEFC certification systems and successfully managed the largest FSC chain of custody certificate within Australia while participating in a number of industry groups, including as a trustee on the board of the Gottstein Trust and a director of FSC Australia and New Zealand.
Ms Porteous said the industry has always been well placed to handle whatever comes its way.
“They are hard-working people. The majority of them are third or fourth generation and they put their heart and soul into everything they do,” she said.
“I think in some areas like Victoria, they’ve got some significant challenges.
“They like to work (and) they don’t like to be paid to stand down and not do anything.
“So, I think the challenge really comes in Victoria at the moment and making sure that they’ve got work into the future.”
“I think that in Victoria the November state election is going to be crucial for the forestry plan and the outcomes for my members in Victoria.
“We are already forming very good or continuing very good relationships with supporters of the forestry industry, within New South Wales, Victoria and branching out into other states now as well.”
Ms Porteous said that the industry, as a whole, was passionate and very capable.
“I think we can improve by ensuring that we, as an association, are representing our members and the more members we have, the stronger our voices in ensuring that we are getting a positive outcome.”