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The Network Bulletin #1

Welcome to the new look Network Newsletter – the weekly Bulletin. 

The past few weeks have seen our lives disrupted in ways that we could not predict at the beginning of 2020.

The forest and forest products industry in Tasmania is a cornerstone of the Tasmanian economy and many within our industry are working with Government to ensure the continuation of the whole forest supply chain, whether this be harvesting operations, both softwood and hardwood, manufacturing or cartage. 

Disruption to so many businesses finds many of us working from home, working less or not at all and because of social distancing, not undertaking other activities with friends and family. This can be a very isolating situation to be in for many of us. 

The Network will be revising its operations during this time to assist in supporting you by communicating updates and issues affecting the forest industry and providing ways of helping you stay connected.
As mentioned above, we are moving to a weekly Network Bulletin which will update members on government and industry responses and assistance available to the industry. It will also profile members and initiatives in the same way our monthly Newsletter does. It will also outline ideas and strategies for members to stay connected and assist with mental health and wellbeing during this time.

We want to hear how COVID-19 is affecting you and the strategies you are using to maintain relationships with colleagues, family and friends. We may be physically isolated but that does not mean socially isolated. 

Welcome from Guy Barnett

I applaud the Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network’s move to a weekly newsletter to ensure that the Tasmanian Forestry industry is well informed during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tasmanian majority Liberal Government supports the Forestry Industry as a foundation of the Tasmanian economy and employer of more than 5,700 people, many in regional areas.

Our industry, along with the whole of Tasmania, is facing an unprecedented challenge due to COVID-19. 

The Government’s primary focus is the health and wellbeing of all Tasmanians. To achieve this, a number of restrictions have been implemented that have and will affect our economy, businesses, jobs and communities.

The current advice is for Tasmanians to continue going to work, but to operate in a way that limits contact with other people.

While restrictions could have a significant and wide ranging effect on the Forestry Industry, the Government remains committed to supporting businesses and individuals.

Rest assured I am working on your behalf to represent the sector, including continuing to work closely with the Federal Government and advocating for our crucial Forestry Industry. 

Recognising the impact to all industries, the Tasmanian Government announced our second round stimulus package, which sits alongside the Federal Government package, aimed at supporting all Tasmanian businesses, workers and communities including our forest industries. Some of the focus of this stimulus is to provide assistance for businesses to cover costs, including electricity and water bills, payroll tax and government fees and charges.

The Government remains committed to growing a strong and sustainable forest sector in Tasmania, which will give industry the certainty and confidence it needs to make long-term investment decisions. We continue to work closely with Sustainable Timber Tasmania, industry representatives and the broader community to manage the current situation and I expect the sector to emerge stronger on the other side.

For specific information on business support grants and loans, please refer to the Business Tasmania website or call them direct on 1800 440 026.  Information on the Federally, you can access information at

Aurora and TasWater have also implemented assistance schemes and information is available on their websites.

I encourage everyone to be vigilant with their own personal hygiene and to keep in touch with vulnerable members, such as the elderly, in our community. For more information, please contact my office.

The Department of State Growth has released its first Forestry Industry Communications Update.
Download it HERE 

Classification of forest products industries as essential services during COVID-19 restrictions

The forest industry in Tasmania has written to the Minister for Resources urging the Government  to include Tasmania’s forest products industries as an essential service, should further restrictions on what businesses can operate be required to contain the spread of COVID-19.
It is important to understand  the breadth of essential services and products which the forests and forest products industries provide, some of which are experiencing record demand as a result of COVID-19, and how the continued supply of these vital products is contingent on the continuation of the whole forest products supply chain.

Australian forest products industries supply essential products and services including:

 • Manufacturing toilet paper, tissues, face masks, sanitary products and other paper products experiencing record demand; 

• Cardboard packaging for supermarket and retail deliveries, including pharmaceuticals; • Food and beverage packaging; 

• Wooden pallets for supermarkets and other retailers’ distribution operations;

 • Timber for housing and building construction a sector prioritized for continuation by the Tasmanian Government;

 • Manufacturing of newspaper for most of Australia’s metropolitan and regional newspapers, which are an essential source of information for the community, particularly older Australians;

 • Supply of wood residues to the agriculture sector, essential for food production e.g. McCain’s in Smithton, Greenham Abattoirs, Swift Abattoirs, Quinns (chicken farms, dairy farmers (sawdust, chips, shavings for calf shed bedding) etc. 

These  vital products and services require the continuation of the whole forest products supply chain. For example, the manufacturing of cardboard and food packaging requires the continued harvesting of softwood plantations, and the manufacturing of wooden pallets necessitates the continued harvesting of native hardwood forests. Furthermore, these harvesting operations are only commercially viable if high-value timber is also harvested, which is used to produce structural timber for the construction market, for example. 
Read more >


In this dynamic and challenging landscape, how are you staying connected and well while maintaining productivity and continuing your job?

The aim on this section of the Bulletin is to show examples of how the Tasmanian forests and forest products industry is navigating these strange times. 

What triumphs and challenges are we facing, both individually and as an organisation? 

How are we adapting to a ‘new normal’ by maintaining productivity whilst working flexibly (at home or in the field) as well as focusing on our wellbeing and staying connected. 

We would love for you to share with us what your ‘new normal’ looks like! Please email Naomi a photo, video, or article showing us your ‘new normal’! 

Each week we will share some examples of the ‘new normal’ of our members!

Send us your examples, and you'll automatically go into the draw to WIN a voucher to a shop/cafe/restaurant of your choice! 

Friday knock off drinks looked a little different for the SFM Environmental Solutions team last week!
Sometimes, this is what work looks like for Naomi from TFFPN, with her two-year-old, Arthur, home from day care. The juggle is real!

Some working from home tips: 

Here's some very easy to follow tips to help with the transition of working from home:


Stay up to date with the latest COVI-19 information:

The below two central websites are the best place to find all the latest information about coronavirus in Tasmania and what assistance is available.


AFPA also have a new dedicated COVID-19 webpage:


Forest Safety Code Review - some good news!

The Tasmanian Forest Safety Code provides practical guidance on how to manage risks in the Tasmanian forestry industry.  The Code, last reviewed in October 2007, is an approved code of practice under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012.  In 2019, an industry wide forum identified a range of areas where the existing code was in need of updating.  A call to industry to help fund the Code review has seen Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) and Forico contribute nearly a quarter of the total project costs and SFM Environmental Solutions (SFM) and Forest Industries Association of Tasmania (FIAT) also contributing funds.  PFT is pleased to announce that the PFT Board has agreed to PFT funding the balance of nearly $95,000 to enable the project to proceed.

We are also pleased to advise that PF Olsen has been appointed as the successful consultant to undertake the review. 

CLICK HERE to read the full update. 


Media Release: National Farmers Federation recognise packaging material provision an essential service

The National Farmers Federation have been commended for this media release released last week calling on all governments to recognise that all aspects of the agricultural supply chain, including forest products, are an essential service.

In it CEO Tony Mahar said, "Logistics that deliver inputs such as fodder, fertiliser and packaging to farms, meat processors and packing facilities are also fundamental. Right now, the last thing the people who are doing the important job of producing, processing and delivering every-day essentials need is inconsistency across states and territories and a mountain of cumbersome paperwork."

Jon Goulder - Tasmanian Timber Ambassador.

"As an Australian and as I began to exhibit more internationally I thought, If I'm showing my work in Milan or New York why would I use timber from another country"

Click image above to watch video.
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