North Queensland’s forest and timber industry has a new colleague following the appointment of a Regional Forestry Hub Manager to implement and progress further development of the industry in the region. Source: Timberbiz
The North Queensland forestry hub is part of a network of hubs funded by the Australian Government to leverage and implement projects to boost productivity and growth in the sector.
After a thorough selection process by the regional steering committee, Hulton King has been appointed as Hub Manager. Mr King, who grew up planting hoop pines over weekends at his family’s Atherton Tablelands property, has previously worked across a range of Government sponsored research projects in the region as a programs manager for the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre.
His recent appointment to the Terrain NRM board as an emerging leader was an opportunity to identify the need for more robust regenerative economies for the region.
“The timber industry already generates $70 million of economic activity in the region and I look forward to working with local suppliers, stakeholders and timber users to assist in furthering North Queensland’s forest and timber industry,” said Mr King.
“A key task will be to look at the opportunities and challenges for the industry going forward, and to prioritise key projects that can help boost industry growth and investment.”
Mr King said the steering committee, comprising broad representation of the North Queensland industry, has already identified key areas of focus for the development of projects to get the industry moving.
“The North Queensland Regional Forestry Hub has also assessed recommendations made in the CRCNA’s Northern forest and forest products industry situational analysis, which aimed to deliver a pathway for realising forest industry potential in Northern Australia,” he said
“Meeting the growing demand for timber products is a major opportunity, given the existing area of high-quality softwood plantations with a well-established sawmilling supply chain.”
Initial funding has supported an analysis addressing the planning, approvals and regulatory environment for new plantation establishment on private land. Support is also being provided for a collaborative project to assess the economic merits of combined grazing and commercial tree farming systems as a potential vehicle for new agroforestry investment.
“There are also significant opportunities to develop the potential from sustainably managed public and private native forests across the region. Many of these forest areas are owned and managed by traditional owners, and I look forward to working with indigenous communities to explore and develop agreed forestry outcomes,” Mr King added.