AFCA has continued the tradition of recognising and celebrating the important contribution those in our industry have made over a long period of time at the Hall of Fame and Annual Dinner 2018.
Held in Launceston on Friday 23 November, over 100 guests witnessed the presentation of awards to those who have played a significant role in supporting industry, those who have been part of the industry contracting for over 25 years and those that have gone above and beyond to play a significant role within industry, known as Icons. An industry icon is the highest recognition and is only awarded to contractors that have contributed over a long period of time their services to industry through innovation, ingenuity and setting out to achieve a better future for our industry.
The evening was a special occasion where we not only recognised those for their service to industry, we inducted 7 members into the Hall of Fame and elevated 2 members to Industry Icons. It was a great celebration and wonderful to recognise the dedication of contractors.
The following Awards were presented by AFCA Chair, Adan Taylor, on behalf of the Board:
Elevated to Industry Icons
Douglas Bowen (Dec.) – Presented to Rachel and Troy Bowen in memory of Douglas
Recognition of Service to Industry
The awards presented to date mean we have over 200 inducted into the Hall of Fame since it commenced and we now have 16 industry icons, including our first woman!
It is clear that the Hall of Fame has become an important way for us to recognise the people within forestry contracting and the important role they play within industry. All members of the Hall of Fame have been operating within industry for over 25 years and this is a significant achievement through the ups and downs our industry has faced. It is a tribute to their resilience and adaptability to be successful over a long period of time. An opportunity to celebrate this is incredibly fitting.
Thanks to all who came to the dinner and helped us celebrate on the evening.
National Forest Industries Plan
On 12 September 2018, AFCA Chairman Adan Taylor, members of the Board, GM Stacey Gardiner, and AFCA Guests attended the National Forestry Dinner in Canberra. The Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Richard Colbeck launched the Australian Government's National Forest Industries Plan (the Plan), Growing a Better Australia – A Billion Trees for Jobs and Growth.
The Plan, jointly released by Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Richard Colbeck, outlines the Australian Government’s strategy to underpin growth in the renewable timber and wood‑fibre industry.
The Australian Government supported the Plan in the 2018-2019 Federal Budget with a $20 million commitment over four years to help implement actions identified in the Plan.
The Australian Forest Contractors Association (AFCA) holds grave concerns for the future of Victorian forestry contracting businesses, and their employees, following suggestions the Victorian Government plans to ban their operations in Victorian native forests over the coming decade.
Ms Stacey Gardiner, General Manager of AFCA said, “Forestry Contracting Businesses have already faced uncertainty with the lack of Government decision around harvesting plans for the season already upon us. Now, it appears things are set to get far worse for these hard-working regional businesses; their livelihoods now at stake”.
Currently, the uncertainty for this harvest season has already had a negative impact from Government’s inaction with employees having to be put off, resulting in the loss of highly skilled staff and financial challenges for businesses.
Ms Gardiner said “If a ban on native harvesting is forced onto forestry contracting businesses they have no-where else to go, will be faced with serious financial burdens after years of investment and their employees will be out of work. This will have far reaching and devastating impacts on regional communities.”
In 2017, as part of a Ministerial Forestry Statement, the Victorian Minister for Agriculture, The Hon. Jaala Pulford, made a commitment to ‘Support the sustainable management of Australia’s native forests, and through this, providing timber resources for industry while protecting high value native forests’.
“This commitment was welcomed however it appears now that Government wasn’t serious about this and has turned its back on hard working regional businesses” Ms Gardiner said.
"Government must work with us to strike a balance between future resource supply and protecting environment values, not close an industry down that supports regional communities and jobs".
AFCA is calling for long term certainty, for Government to work with industry on a holistic long-term plan with a clear resource outlook for both native and plantation. This will allow business to make long term investments, continue our proven history of innovation and ensure we retain a skilled workforce supporting regional Victoria.
AFCA – Stacey Gardiner | 0419 328 093
Key Meeting Dates 2018
Mitigating Risks in Forestry Operations
Forestry Sector Guide to Workplace Safety 2017/18– Released
There are many contributing factors that can create hazards and endanger the safety of those working in the forestry industry. In order to help inform, educate and increase awareness of safety regulations and strategies, Pro-Visual Publishing, in cooperation with the Australian Forestry Growers, and the Australian Forest Contractors Association, has released the latest edition of the Forestry Sector Guide to Workplace Safety.
This is an essential resource for forestry operations managers to ensure the health and safety of their workers across Australia. The guide covers a range of topics including, the process of assessing, identifying and controlling risks, manual tree felling hazards, coupe/harvesting access and preparation, and sunburn and heat stress.
The Augmented Reality (AR) components of the guide provide a space for interaction and a window for more information and resources relevant for the forestry industry. Simply scanning over any AR capable content using the free Pro-Vis AR app will allow users to instantly download relevant content to their smart device.
Pro-Visual Publishing is the leading specialist in wall-mounted workplace health & safety, food safety & hygiene, and wellbeing information resource guides. Each guide is practical and informative, providing a quick reference point for management and staff. Pro-Visual Publishing’s guides are vital resources to ensure workers return home exactly the way they came to work.
ForestWorks Launches New Work Health and Safety Audit Tool
A new Work Health and Safety Audit Tool is now available nation-wide to support organisations demonstrate and report their compliance against various safety standards. The tool which was the brainchild of the Forest Owners and Service Suppliers (FOSS) committee, was developed in collaboration with ForestWorks. The FOSS committee consists of forest contracting businesses and forest managers in the Green Triangle.
It was developed to meet the challenge of foresting contracting businesses being audited by multiple forest managers, against slightly different standards. The Work Health and Safety Audit Tool was launched at an event in Mount Gambier in July, hosted by the Australian Forest Contractors Association (AFCA).
AFCA & ForestWorks FOLS agreement: Member Discount
AFCA has become an advocate of the FOLS Skills Verification Program, signing an agreement with ForestWorks to provide AFCA members and their operators with discounted FOLS fees. Currently, all relevant AFCA Directors are moving towards all their operators being uploaded on FOLS. HVP and Forestry Corporation NSW have both committed to FOLS and are currently transitioning their Forestry Contracting Businesses onto FOLS.
To see the member discounts and why AFCA belelives it is important click on AFCA FOLS FAQ
The Australian Forest Contractors Association is urging Leader of the Tasmanian Greens, Ms O’Connor to apologise following her comments made Thursday 16 March 2017 suggesting that ‘log trucks kill people’.
Adan Taylor, AFCA Chairman said “These comments are unfounded and demonstrate a lack of understanding of our industry, our hard-working people who live and work regionally, and support the vibrancy of many important rural communities. It defies logic to think anyone would start their work day with the intention of being involved in a fatality.”
Mr Taylor added “The Forest Industry has engaged and worked with a range of stakeholders, including WorkSafe Tasmania, to deliver improvements on log truck safety. These activities are making a difference and have led to enhanced safety knowledge for log truck drivers and has driven technology advancements.”
Our industry is also supported by policy frameworks like the Forest Safety Code (Tasmania) 2007 (currently under review) along with skills development and training which provides a framework to support continuous safety improvement. In addition, AFCA has also been working closely with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to proactively address Heavy Vehicle National Law requirements.
Most recently industry has endorsed a holistic national approach on log truck safety and industry is currently in the early stages of developing a national Log Haulage Registered Code of Practice. This will provide a whole of industry approach to driving log haulage best practice in safety.
Like all rural based industries, the forestry industry has challenges, like large distances to markets and must rely on heavy vehicle transport, and our industry does not hide behind the fact all road users can make improvements to safety. AFCA and our industry has and continues to strive to achieve this through a range of training and policy developments.
Mr Taylor concluded “We want our hard-working drivers to come home every night to their families and have productive and uneventful days; we want this for all road users and we are playing our part in this. To suggest that ‘log trucks kill people’ is misleading and upsetting and it also fails to acknowledge the amount of work that has, and continues to be undertaken by our whole industry on continuous safety improvements.”
On Friday 14 October in Mt Gambier, South Australia, the Australian Forest Contractors Association (AFCA) held its annual general meeting (AGM) and dinner for 2016. More...
Senator Ruston at AUSTimber2016
AUSTimber2016 events held in mid April led Senator Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources with a responsibility for Forestry to spend an entire day and evening at the event.
Minister Ruston spent the day in Traralgon visiting the AUSTimber HVP expo site and the evening at the event’s welcome dinner held in Morwell.
She took a walk through the two-kilometre long forest expo speaking with large and small sized business exhibitors alike. More...
AFCA Adds to Hall of Fame
On April 13, 2016 the Australian Forest Contractors Association (AFCA) officially acknowledged its most distinguished members at its Hall of Fame dinner in Traralgon, Victoria, which was held as part of AUSTimber.
Around 190 industry representatives attended the dinner many bringing family with them underlying the fact that many contractors are family businesses with quite a large number of second and third generation contractors. More...