Spirits were high last month when for the first time in over a year, industry stakeholders came together in person for Timber Queensland’s Doing Timber Business in Queensland one-day symposium in Brisbane.

With over 85 delegates in attendance, the symposium provided excellent networking opportunities and information sharing. The high level of engagement amongst colleagues spilled over to the inaugural barefoot bowls competition held at the end of the day – a great social event and a good way to wind down after some serious policy and technical discussions.

The delegation was graced with the presence of Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner who officially opened the conference and outlined the Palaszczuk Government’s Timber Action Plan announced in November 2019 to grow the industry into the future. Mick Stephens took the opportunity on behalf of industry to implore the Minister to take action on recruiting the delayed Native Timber Advisory Panel.

To open the afternoon session, Shadow Minister for Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Forestry Tony Perrett was given his right of reply. Tony spent the lunch hour speaking with delegates, and in his address reconfirmed his commitment to industry, and to his role as Co-Chair of Timber Queensland’s Parliamentary Friends of Forest & Timber Network.

To coincide with International Day of Forests (which is held globally on 21 March each year), the Institute of Foresters of Australia (IFA) and Australian Forest Growers (AFG) Queensland Branch held a plantation management and fire recovery field trip to Jimna the day after the symposium, where Mick along with other attendees planted pine trees as part of a new softwood plantation rotation.

High level topics covered across the program included: the housing activity outlook in light of the global pandemic and building industry stimulus; research and technical innovation in the use of timber in future tall timber and mid-rise buildings; plantation softwood productivity and technology adoption; sustainability certification; new plantation investment models; regional supply chains; state forest industry policy and environmental regulation.

Read more about the symposium here.

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