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New Forestry Tasmania CEO

The chairman of Forestry Tasmania (FT), Bob Annells, announced that Steve Whiteley had been appointed by the board as the organisation’s new chief executive. Sources: Timberbiz, ABC News

Whiteley, previously Forestry Tasmania’s chief operating officer, had been acting chief executive since Bob Gordon’s departure in May.

Annells said the Board had commissioned a comprehensive executive search for the new chief executive and had carefully considered a wide range of interstate candidates with impressive credentials.

“However, Steve Whiteley stood out. Mr Whiteley’s combination of experience and personal qualities made him the best candidate to lead FT through the extremely challenging times ahead,” he said.

“FT has been through an extraordinarily difficult period and, while many of the uncertainties have now been resolved, the challenges remaining are substantial and varied and will require a particularly deft hand.

“Steve Whiteley has demonstrated admirable leadership qualities through the TFA process and has gained wide respect from both industry and environmental leaders.
“Those leadership qualities will be critical to FT’s attempts to secure Forest Stewardship Council certification, which has been identified by the Board as essential to the future viability of the business.”

Whiteley, who has a forestry degree from the University of Melbourne, joined FT as a forester in 1985. He has worked across the state in positions including district forest manager for the Derwent District and general manager operations.

Whiteley said he is confident the company can help organise future wood supply arrangements.

“Forestry Tasmania has contributed to the peace deal through provision of accurate and detailed information,” he said. “So we’ve built our reputation on being a provider of forest management services and information and through that we’ve managed to establish some degree of trust and going forward we need to continue to build on that.”

Resources Minister Bryan Green said Whiteley would be able to meet the challenge.

“He’s somebody who I believe can take us, as the board does, through to the next phase.”