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Former Labor Cabinet Minister Fitzgibbon joins AFPA board

Joel Fitzgibbon

Former Cabinet Minister and long serving Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon will join the Australian Forest Products Association board as an independent non-executive director. Source: Timberbiz

Mr Fitzgibbon was Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in the second Rudd Government and retired as the Member for Hunter at the last election after 26 years.

He also served as shadow minister for resources, shadow minister for rural and regional Australia, shadow minister for small business and tourism, and shadow assistant treasurer.

Mr Fitzgibbon recently joined CMAX Advisory to support the group’s work across defence, resources, and agriculture.

“I’m truly delighted to make this announcement,” AFPA chairman Greg McCormack said.

“Joel brings to our organisation two extremely important attributes. He is a passionate supporter of forest industries right around Australia and understands intimately how we can assist the new Albanese Government deliver both greater climate change initiatives and more timber for our builders and renovators.”

Mr McCormack said that Mr Fitzgibbon’s experience in both strategic vision and policy development would provide valuable input for the AFPA Board and in dealings with all levels of the Government and the Public Service in the delivery of the $300 million in new initiatives Labor committed to during the election.

“As a respected figure in Australian politics, his expertise will be an invaluable addition to the depth of knowledge on the Board at a time we are engaging with the new Parliament, striving to deliver on policy commitment,” Mr McCormack said.

Mr Fitzgibbon said he was looking forward to commencing his role.

“It’s an honour to join the Board of Australia’s leading forest industries body,” he said.

“As a former Minister and Shadow Minister for Forestry, I have met many of AFPA’s members and have seen firsthand the countless benefits the industry provides to Australia’s economy and the livelihoods of Australians. I am very much looking forward to working with the extremely effective AFPA Board and organisation.”

Mr Fitzgibbon was Co-Chair of the Federal Parliament’s Friends of Forest Industries Group for seven years.

“During that time, I observed an industry which is passionate about the role it can play in climate mitigation, building our regional communities by providing meaningful and secure jobs and delivering the millions of fibre-based products we often take for granted – from timber for houses, to paper and tissue products. I look forward to working with my Board colleagues and AFPA management as we look to the future of forest industries,” he said.