The Strategic Forest and Renewable Materials Partnership provides a forum for industry, unions and government to consult, exchange advice and information, and promote cooperation within the forest and wood products industries.
The Partnership undertakes the function of the Forest and Wood Products Council, which is required under section 11 of the Regional Forest Agreements Act 2002 (RFA Act).
The Partnership is co-chaired by the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon and Mr Michael O’Connor.
The co-chairs are supported by 13 members who were appointed by the Australian Government on the basis of their:
- understanding of social, economic and environmental issues facing the forest and wood products sector
- ability to contribute to the long-term interests of the industry.
The Hon Joel Fitzgibbon is the chair of the Australian Forest Products Association. He is also the Co-Chair of the AUKUS Forum; a non-executive director of Brickworks; and a director of the Crawford Fund. He previously served as the Member for Hunter in the House of Representatives.
Mr Michael O’Connor is the national secretary of the CFMEU Manufacturing Division. He is also a director of Responsible Wood and the co-chair of First Super. Mr O’Connor has previously been the vice president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and a director of ForestWorks.
Mr Harry Burrows is the membership engagement and community organiser at The Australian Workers’ Union – WA Branch. Mr Burrows is a member of the WA Government’s Resources Industry Training Council which advises the state government on training and workforce development needs of the Resources Industry. He also sits on the Native Forest Transition Group representing and supporting timber workers through the WA Government’s closure and transition of the native hard wood timber industry.
Ms Denise Campbell-Burns is the elected president of the CFMEU Manufacturing Division and the chair of ForestWorks. She is also a director of First Super and has previously represented her division on the CFMMEU National Women’s Committee. With over 25 years’ experience in the forestry industry, her breadth of experience incorporates a number of speciality disciplines including work health and safety and industrial relations as well as skill development & training. She has collaborated with a number of government agencies on significant industry projects, delivering meaningful workplace and industry change.
Ms Gina Castelain is a Wik person from the community of Aurukun located on Western Cape York, Queensland. Ms Castelain is the managing director of Wik Timber Holdings, Wik Timber Operations and Wik Projects. She is also a director of Northern Australian Indigenous Mining Services.
Mr Brad Coates is the district secretary of the CFMEU Manufacturing Division in the Greater Green Triangle District. He has previously served in several positions for the CFMEU Manufacturing Division and worked as a sawmill machine operator.
Dr Michelle Freeman is the president of Forestry Australia and a director and principal consultant at Hollow-wood Enterprises. Dr Freeman completed a PhD through the University of Melbourne looking at savanna fire and tree dynamics in northern Australia and has previously served in several native forest management roles in Victoria and New South Wales.
Mr Cameron MacDonald is the executive general manager – forests at OneFortyOne. He is also the chair of the Green Triangle Forest Industries Hub and is a member of the South Australian Forest Products Association’s governing council. Mr MacDonald has previously served as a director of Tree Breeding Australia and AFPA.
Mr Frank Miller is a forestry and agriculture consultant at The Rohatyn Group. He is also the chair of the Northern Territory Ord Valley Forestry Hub and the vice president of the NT Farmers Association. Mr Miller has previously served as the chief executive officer and general manager of African Mahogany Australia.
Mrs Sharon Musson is the New South Wales President of the CFMEU Manufacturing Division and a timber worker at AKD’s Tumut Sawmill.
Mrs Carlie Porteous works for the Australian Forest Contractors Association. She is also a director of FSC Australia and New Zealand and a trustee of the Gottstein Trust. Mrs Porteous has previously served as the Manager, Forestry and Fibre Compliance at Visy Industries Australia.
Ms Amber Seehars is a delegate from The Australian Workers’ Union and a process operator at Hyne Timber’s Tuan Mill, located near Maryborough, Queensland.
Mr Jim Snelson is the chief executive officer of Borg Manufacturing. He is also a director of the Green Triangle Forest Industries Hub and the Australian Woodworking Industry Suppliers Association. Mr Snelson has previously served as a director of AFPA and Forest and Wood Products Australia.
Mr Ian Telfer is the chief executive officer of WA Plantation Resources. He is also the chair of the South West Timber Hub, the president of the Forest Industry Federation of WA and a director of AFPA.
Ms Penny Wells is the outgoing chief executive officer of Private Forests Tasmania and the outgoing chair of the Tasmanian Regional Forestry Hub. Ms Wells has previously held a number of forestry and natural resource management roles in Tasmania over the last 35 years.
Forest and Wood Products Council: Strategic Forest and Renewable Materials Partnership – Terms of Reference
The Forest and Wood Products Council: Strategic Forest and Renewable Materials Partnership is established under the Regional Forest Agreements Act 2002 (RFA Act). The Partnership provides a constant line of communication between industry stakeholders and the government to consult together and exchange advice and information on the future strategic direction of the sector, government policy and programs, opportunities for collaboration, and to promote co-operation between different sectors of the industry.
The Partnership serves an advisory function and is not a decision-making body. It acts as a mechanism to consult and exchange advice and information between the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, through the co-chairs and stakeholders in the forest and wood products industry.
The Partnership will deliver for workers, jobs, business, communities and the environment by promoting the sustainable development and management of Australia’s forests and forest resources. The Partnership will do this by aligning forest policy with broader policy agendas including on climate change, sustainable land use and management, sovereign capability and domestic manufacturing, supply chain certainty, and enhancing First Nations’ social, economic and environmental involvement in forest management and forest supply chains. A focus on workers and communities will seek to make the industry an employer of choice, improve access to training, enhance diversity of the workforce, and address workforce inequities.
Terms of Reference
Terms of reference include but are not limited to:
- Identify issues facing Australia’s forest and wood products sectors to aid government policy making, including sustainable timber and forest product supply, and ways to strengthen industry, employment and social outcomes, and environmental outcomes from the use of forested lands in Australia.
- Consideration of the above should include producing wood and fibre products, carbon, biodiversity, and First Nations cultural and economic outcomes.
- Present strategic policy options and initiatives to foster investment, growth and sustainability of Australia’s forest and wood products sectors.
- Highlight priorities for infrastructure investment and value addition.
- Present priorities for nationally relevant research, development and innovation.
- Advise the Minister and Government on forest and wood products sectors, with consideration of government policy and programs.
- Develop a long term plan – the Timber Fibre Strategy – for the strategic direction of the forest and wood products sectors, with consideration given to opportunities for employment and business development, domestic timber supply, international market access, value-adding and sovereign capability, supply chain assurance, diverse community engagement and involvement, emissions and waste reduction, and biodiversity outcomes.
- Other issues as raised by the membership or requested by the Minister, where consistent with the objects and functions of the Partnership under the RFA Act.
The Partnership will limit the scope of its advice to those issues facing Australia’s forest and wood products industry.
Chairing and membership
The Partnership will have up to 15 members, including the co-chairs. The role of the co-chairs will include reporting to the Minister.
The co-chairs and member nominees will be approved by the Prime Minister on the recommendation of the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; and selected on the basis of their expertise, understanding of social, economic and environmental issues facing the forest and wood products sector, and their ability to contribute to the long-term interests of the industry. The Partnership will include members with experience in environmental sustainability, representation of First Nations interests, and research, as well as representatives from trade union and industry associations.
Members will be appointed for a period of up to three years, and their terms may be renewed.
The Partnership is ongoing.
Meetings and operations
The Partnership will meet at least twice every calendar year. The Partnership can convene at the request of the Minister, or on receipt of a written request to the Minister from a majority of members. Meetings can be held in person or by tele/videoconference. Members can also undertake tasks out‑of‑session including sitting on sub-committees.
The Partnership can establish topic-specific advisory groups as required. These will be task‑oriented and time‑limited, working on specific, short‑term and technical tasks decided by the Partnership. Terms of reference for topic-specific advisory groups are at Appendix A.
The secretariat for the Partnership and its supporting committees is provided by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Topic specific advisory groups of the strategic forest and renewable materials partnership
The Strategic Forest and Renewable Materials Partnership will be supported by topic-specific advisory groups as required.
Chairing and membership
Topic-specific advisory groups will be chaired by a Partnership member.
Topic-specific advisory groups will have up to 5 members, including a chair. Members will be appointed by the co-chairs of the Partnership on the recommendation of a majority of Partnership members.
Members will be appointed for the duration of the task. Topic-specific advisory groups will be task oriented and time bound, working on specific, short term and strategic tasks decided by the Partnership.
Each topic-specific advisory group will provide advice to the Partnership on the matter(s) for which the Partnership established the group.
Meetings and operations
Topic-specific advisory groups will meet at the request of the co-chairs of the Partnership. Meetings can be held in person or by tele/videoconference. Topic-specific advisory groups can also undertake work out of session.
The secretariat for topic-specific advisory groups is provided by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.