Forest Industry Advisory Council (FIAC)

​​​​​The Australian Government established the Forest Industry Advisory Council (FIAC) in October 2014 to provide advice from a cross-section of industry participants on issues affecting Australia’s forestry sector.

Consistent with its terms of reference, FIAC provides advice to the Australian Government on:

  • issues facing Australia’s forest and wood products sectors
  • initiatives to foster investment, growth and sustainability of Australia’s forest and wood products sectors
  • infrastructure priorities for continued growth
  • strategic priorities to support industry best practice
  • priorities for relevant research and development and innovation bodies, and
  • other forestry issues as raised by the membership or requested by the minister.

FIAC is chaired by Mr Rob de Fégely, a well-respected forest industry member. The chair is supported by eight members with expertise from across the forest and wood products sectors.

FIAC paper

In June 2016, FIAC released its paper, Transforming Australia’s forest products industry – Recommendations from the Forest Industry Advisory Council. The paper, outlines a vision and strategies for addressing the opportunities and challenges for the forest industry to 2050 and beyond. It makes recommendations to industry and the Australian Government on how best to position Australia’s forest products sector for the future.

The Australian Government used this report as the basis for developing the national forest industries plan—Growing a Better Australia – A Billion Trees for Jobs and Growth—which was released in September 2018.

Media release

FIAC Members

The Australian Government established FIAC to provide advice on issues affecting Australia’s forest and wood products sectors. The collective experience of FIAC members covers: native forests and plantations; forestry on public and private land; farm forestry; community and Indigenous forestry; sawmilling; pulp and paper manufacturing; timber imports; research and development; and training and education.

Chair

Mr Rob de Fégely is a director of Margules Groome Consulting Pty Ltd, a forest and forest industry consulting company based in Australia and New Zealand. He is chair of the board of Sustainable Timber Tasmania (formerly Forestry Tasmania) and a non‑executive director and national vice president of the Institute of Foresters of Australia. He is a former chair and director of Cape York Timber in far north Queensland and was a non‑executive director of VicForests. He has also held advisory roles with Greening Australia and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. He has worked in the Australian forest industry for 38 years and travelled extensively in the Asia‑Pacific region. He is a Registered Professional Forester with a Bachelor of Science (Forestry) degree from the Australian National University and a Master of Science (Forest Business Management) from Aberdeen University in the United Kingdom. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In his spare time, he and his wife Sarah run a small farm and forestry enterprise on the far south coast of New South Wales.

Members

A full list of members and member biographies will be provided as soon as possible.

Terms of Reference

The Forest Industry Advisory Council (FIAC) was established as the Forest and Wood Products Council under the Regional Forest Agreements Act 2002 (RFA Act).The purpose of the council is to provide the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources or his/her delegate (minister) with advice and information on a range of issues associated with the forest and wood products sectors and recommendations on proposed policies impacting on the sectors.

Aim

The council’s aim is to provide timely information and advice from a cross-section of industry participants on contemporary issues affecting Australia’s forest and wood products sectors.

Expected deliverables

The council will provide advice, specific to the responsibility of the Australian Government, on:

  • issues facing Australia’s forest and wood products sectors
  • initiatives to foster investment, growth and sustainability of Australia’s forest and wood products sectors
  • infrastructure priorities for continued growth
  • strategic priorities to support industry best practice
  • priorities for relevant research and development and innovation bodies
  • other forestry issues as raised by the membership or requested by the minister.

Scope

The council will limit the scope of its advice to those issues facing Australia’s forest and wood products sectors.

Membership

The chair of the council will be approved by the Prime Minister.

There will be up to 12 members of the council including the chair.

Members will be chosen by the Prime Minister for their expertise, understanding of forestry issues and ability to consider the long-term interests of the industry.

Members will be appointed for a period of up to three years.

Expected lifespan

The council will be ongoing in accordance with subsection 11(1) of the RFA Act.

Meetings

The council will meet at least twice in every calendar year. The council can convene a meeting through written request to the minister from a majority of members. Meetings can be held in person or by teleconference.

Supporting structures

Support and secretariat functions will be provided by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Contact

For any enquiries about FIAC or the FIAC discussion paper please contact the FIAC secretariat or by post at:

FIAC Secretariat, Forestry Branch
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601