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Conference to address the future of jobs in forestry

This year’s Forest Industries Conference is setting its attention on innovation, investment and jobs. Michael Hartman, chief executive officer of ForestWorks, said that with the impact of the global economic recession being felt in the forest, wood, paper and timber products industry, these were the topics that demanded attention.

The conference will encompass four events to be held in Canberra on 24-25 November in the final parliamentary sitting week for 2009.

“This series of events includes major contributions from key industry leaders and decision-makers, trade unions, senior Federal Government Ministers and also the Opposition. This year’s theme was chosen because of the impact the global economic crisis has had on traditional industries and to recognise the potential bright future of the forest, wood, paper and timber products industry,” he said.

The first day of the conference focuses on Forest Futures: Investment and Employment Imperatives for Australia’s forest, wood, paper and timber products industry. It will provide participants with high level and thought provoking analysis on:

§ the future direction for Australian pulp and paper manufacturing

§ investment opportunities in the Australian industry

§ climate change adaptation and the Australian forest industry

§ investing in employment to maximise industry’s future potential.

Of particular note is the Forest Industry Leaders Liaison Dinner held in the Great Hall at Parliament House. The dinner is designed to be attended by delegates, Government Ministers, members of the Opposition front bench and MPs from major parties and both houses of parliament.

“The dinner will be a valuable vehicle in which industry can engage in dialogue with Government officials. Our industry has unique concerns and experiences – it will be an excellent opportunity to impress upon politicians the importance of a sustainable forest industry for climate change, employment and the environment,” Hartman said.

Delegates have a choice between two events on the second day. Option one is the First Super Biomass Energy Investors Workshop. This workshop – for biomass energy technology and project proponents, financiers, funds managers, industry leaders, and Government – will offer information, discussion and joint consideration of developments and investment opportunities in biomass energy. Expert addresses will be provided on aspects relevant to this important industry sector – with input on energy security, investment ready biomass energy Technologies and investment and financial models for biomass energy in Australia.

Option two is the ForestWorks Skills Employment Council (SEC) Meeting. The SEC meeting will focus on the future workforce for the industry and how to meet the challenges to recruit and develop new skills and employees. Activities undertaken as pilots across the industry will be showcased with approaches discussed to spread these initiatives across the industry. This is an open meeting and the SEC welcomes attendance by interested participants.

The conference, workshop, meeting and industry dinner will be held over two days and will bring together more than 200 of Australia’s leading decision-makers in the forest, wood, paper and timber products industry.

The Conference registration form and draft program is now available for download from the ForestWorks website and as with previous events, numbers are limited. Download the form from: or call +613 9321 3500.