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If re-elected Tas Liberals to invest in forestry plan

A re-elected majority Tasmanian Liberal government would partner with the Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network (TFFPN) to invest in the establishment of a Diversity Action Plan to increase the gender and cultural diversity of the resources sector. Source: Timberbiz

Recent industry reports, including, ‘A Strategic Growth Plan for the Tasmanian forests, fine timber and wood fibre industry’(2017), ‘Northern Tasmania Regional Forestry Hub: Culture, Training and Skills Assessment’ Report (2020), and the ‘Tasmanian Forest Industry Work-force Development Plan’ discussion paper (2021), have all highlighted the lack of workforce diversity as a significant issue affecting the future of forestry in the state – particularly in regional and remote areas.

TFFPN Convenor, Therese Taylor said she believed this brought with it a considerable opportunity to develop a new, robust, skills-based forestry workforce that is more reflective of the broader community in which it is based.

“The evidence from these reports suggests that the industry across the different sectors is experiencing significant issues attracting a diversity of cohorts from the community –specifically women, young people, and recent migrants – to its workforce,” Ms Taylor said.

“We know that women currently comprise only 16% of the forest sector, but we also know that diversity outcomes are proven to increase productivity and improve culture in the workplace.

“Improved diversity outcomes will benefit the whole forest and forest products industry, which is a central driver for the Tasmanian economy.”

Ms Taylor said research and consultation with industry also affirms its commitment to broadening and bolstering its workforce with a range of skilled workers.

“Some industry participants are already employing attraction strategies and initiatives target-ed at improving diversity, and while this direction is promising, the TFFPN believes a whole-of-industry approach is required to make lasting change,” she said.

If re-elected, the Tasmanian Liberal Government will, as part of this commitment to diversity, work hand-in-hand with industry to engage three new female and three Aboriginal trainees over the next two years.

Meanwhile the Greens announced yesterday that if elected to Government they would end native forest logging in Tasmania and turn vast tracts of the state into carbon capture and conservation reserves, run for profit.

Greens leader Cassy O’Connor said Sustainable Timber Tasmania would be renamed Forests Tasmania and regeneration burning would be banned.

“After decades of destruction and division, it is beyond time native forest logging was ended in Tasmania.  Young people understand this, and so do the Greens,” she said.

Tasmania goes to the polls on 1 May.