The new body has appointed Nick Roberts, Weyerhaeuser Australia managing director, as its inaugural chairman, who has indicated that as the head of the Council, will place the creation of a positive investment climate for wood resources at the top of the agenda. Former APIC executive director Belinda Robinson has been appointed as CEO.
Representatives from Weyerhaeuser Australia, Norske Skog Australasia, Wespine Industries, Kimberly-Clark Australia, Hyne & Son, ForestrySA, Carter Holt Harvey, Amcor Australasia and Hancock Victorian Plantations are expected to form the rest of the board members.
The secretariat office of A3P will be headquartered in Canberra, and will together continue to promote the paper and timber industries in the country. It will be responsible for representing growers, timber processors and paper manufacturers in an industry that employs 50,000 workers and has an annual sales turnover of $12bn. The Council believes that the combined effort will create a far greater potential for change and influence that had the two bodies remained autonomous.
According to Roberts, the Board’s priorities will be established over the coming months, but in the interim, seeking Federal Government acceptance of recommendations brought forward by the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target review panel, specifically regarding the simplification of regulations upon the use of plantation wood waste as a renewable source of energy.
Also on the agenda is the pursuit of a national commitment to evolving water policies based on sound science that do not discriminate against plantation growers and other dry-land agriculture; pursuing the removal of subsidies and other barriers creating unnatural global wood and paper trade conditions alongside the Federal Government; and completing the programme to maximise the efficiencies in the national energy market, taking into account large energy end-users, as set forth by the Council of Australian Governments.
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