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Mount Gambier City Council defers decision to join SAFPA

Sue La Greca

Mount Gambier City Council has deferred a decision to consider becoming a member of the South Australian Forest Products Association which would incur a yearly membership fee of $3000.  Source: Timberbiz, SE Voice

The significance of the forestry industry in Mount Gambier prompted council’s City and Community Growth general manager Sue La Greca to propose council join the association as an affiliate member.

Cr Max Bruins moved that council become an affiliate member of the SAFPA to support the forest industry in Mount Gambier and contribute to economic, environmental and community development.

However council decided at its May meeting to defer any decision until the SAFPA briefed council on the benefits of affiliate membership.

In her proposal, Ms La Greca recommended council become a member to support the forestry industry in Mount Gambier and contribute to economic, environmental and community development.

“The SAFPA represents all parts of the forestry industry value chain, from the sustainable establishment and management of plantations, harvesting and haulage, processing and manufacture of products,” she said.

“The purpose of SAFPA is to influence policy development, lobby and advocate for its members and the industry generally.

“In doing this, it works collaboratively with other industry bodies and organisations.

“It has a strong relationship with government and is looking to broaden its membership to include affiliate members with whom they can work to advocate for issues that affect the forestry industry and its communities.

“Such issues include, but are not limited to, climate change, water management, recycling, freight routes, education and skills development, affordable housing, worker housing, student housing, regional and community infrastructure, planning for future growth and digital connectivity.”

The annual membership fee includes attendance at two in-person member events, one ‘meet the parliament event’, and contribution to policy development and advocacy.

Ms La Greca recommended that council note the membership fee could be funded from council’s existing budget.

“Value for money would be through industry and member events, ‘meet the parliament’ and other advocacy and would be evaluated over the course of the first year to inform consideration of future membership,” she said.

Earlier this month Ms La Greca, along with Mayor Lynette Martin and council’s chief executive Sarah Philpott, met with SAFPA chief executive Nathan Paine.

“Forestry is a major industry in Mount Gambier, providing 819 direct jobs, being 47.2% of forestry and logging jobs in South Australia and contributes significantly to gross regional product,” Ms La Greca said.