As featured in the Timber and Forestry E News
Senator Jono Duniam delivers keynote address at ‘virtual’ AGM

DELIVERING the keynote adress at the Responsible Wood AGM on Tuesday, Senator Jono Duniam, the federal minister responsible for forestry, provided members with an update on the federal government’s initiatives in the forestry and the forest products sector.

Speaking at the Responsible Wood AGM, hosted for the first time ‘virtually’ Responsible Wood Chair Dr Hans Drielsma AM spoke of the importance of supporting members and certificate holders through the summer bushfires and Covid-19 pandemic. Dr Hans Drielsma AM explains:

“We observed with some horror and great concern the impact of the summer bushfires on a number of our members and certificate holders, followed soon after by the impacts of Covid-19 restrictions.”

“We were able to provide flexibility around audit schedules to ease the burden and respond to travel restrictions and are pleased to note that certifications across the board have remained in place,” according to the Chairman’s Report.

The AGM re-appointed Craig Smith, National Divisional Assistant Secretary, CFMMEU (manufacturing division) and Katie Fowden, nominated by Australian Forest Products Association of the Primary Processors and appointed by ballot and introduced new director Mark Gauthier, nominated by HVP Plantations of the Forest Growers  who replaced retiring director Willie van Niekerk, formerly general manager, green triangle, OneFortyOne.

Continuing as directors on the board are Dr Hans Drielsma AM, Chair, Mark Thomson, Architect, Eco-Effective Solutions, Patrizia Torelli, CEO, Australian Furnishing Association, Stuart West, CEO, Forest Products Commission Western Australia and Dr Tony Bartlett, Managing Director of Bartlett Forestry Consulting.

Reflecting on Responsible Wood activities, as outlined in the organisation’s annual review of activities for 2019-20, CEO Simon Dorries highlighted the development of a trans-Tasman Standard for Sustainable Forest Management.

“The revised standard will cover sustainable forest management and will underpin PEFC forest certification in Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Dorries said.

The standard development committee is chaired by Dr Gordon Duff and invites public comment on the current draft standard for public comment. Comments should be submitted by October 23, preferably using the submission form available from Responsible Wood (responsiblewood.org.au).

On major upcoming activities, Mr Dorries provided members with an update on the planned AS 4707 chain-of-custody standard revision, the PEFC Japan marketing initiative and the Responsible Wood small grants program.

“Responsible Wood, in conjunction with PEFC International and Australian sponsors is facilitating a new marketing resource for PEFC Japan intended to provide marketing support and reinforcing key Responsible Wood and PEFC messages in the key Japanese supply chains,” Mr Dorries said.

“The small grants program provides access to local communities connected to Responsible Wood certified forests, supporting community groups in developing positive projects in their local area,” he said.

Community groups will need to apply before November 15 and, if successful, complete their projects by the end of May 2021.

Announcing the 2020 Richard Stanton Memorial Prize for Sustainable Forest Management to Simon Cook, sustainability manager for Forico Pty Ltd, Simon Dorries reflected on the winner’s sustained commitment to sustainable forest management and certification standards.

Simon Cook leads a five-member sustainability team, and in this role has worked tirelessly to initiate and drive sustainable forest management activities – in areas of biodiversity, carbon and cultural values.

Mr Dorries said Simon continued to leave a lasting legacy both in the forest and outside the forest.

“Indeed Simon’s involvement with the Tasmanian Devil facial disease research, with the CSIRO in natural carbon and working in conjunction with Reconciliation Tasmania in developing a Reconciliation Action Plan was especially noteworthy.”

For further information please download the Responsible Wood Annual review of activities for 2019 – 2020.