Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff has welcomed the appointment of Sue Grau as the new Convenor of the Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network (TFFPN).
Ms Grau replaces long-term Convenor Ms Therese Taylor, who has served since its establishment in 2018.
The TFFPN is a centralised hub for the Tasmanian forest products industry – it represents the shared views, aspirations and expectations of all those who have a stake in the future of sustainable Tasmanian forests, fine timber and the wood fibre industry.
It delivered the forest industry’s first-ever Diversity Action Plan, which, according to Premier Rockliff, was supported by AU $300,000 from the Tasmanian Government.
“TFFPN plays a key role in the sector by providing a platform for greater connection, coordination and communication, and their membership represents the breadth of the industry, including growers, contractors and processors,” Premier Rockliff said.
Premie Rockliff is a strong supporter of forestry and, in July, became the first, and so far only, head of government to criticise the Victorian and WA decisions to close native forest harvesting.
“Tasmania’s well-managed, sustainable and job-creating forest industry is worth more than $1.2 billion annually to the State’s economy and supports more than 5700 direct and indirect jobs, underpinning many of our regional communities.”
Ms Grau is no stranger to forests, having previously served as the inaugural CEO of the NSW division of the Australian Forest Products Association.
“I understand the importance of supporting everyone employed in industries that contribute so much to our communities, and this contribution is so much more than economic,” she said.
“The forest industry remains an important part of the social fabric in our regional areas.”
She has the full backing of Premier Rockliff, the Acting Minister for Resources.
“Ms Grau is a well-known Tasmanian community leader and advocate, having recently led industry peak body Salmon Tasmania. We welcome her to her new role in helping support and promote Tasmania’s forestry sector,” Premier Rockliff said.
For the past two years, Ms Gray has been CEO of aquaculture peak body Salmon Tasmania. She is driven to provide a science-based perspective and relatable to the community.
“The industry and its image in the community is quite complex,” she said, “and I’m very driven to provide a perspective that is both based on science and relatable to our community.”
“The work of the Network is particularly appealing because it’s an opportunity to focus on the individuals who work in the industry or within the broader forestry family.”
Ms Grau is excited to learn more about the Tasmanian forest industry as she establishes herself in this new role.
“The TFFPN only exists because of its members, so I look forward to connecting with as many as possible over the coming months and, importantly, understanding what they expect from their Network,” she said.
Steve Whiteley, the Chair of TFFPN, has welcomed Ms Grau’s appointment, noting her experience leading industry bodies and her “collaborative, entrepreneurial, pragmatic, and productive leadership style.”
“The Network welcomes Sue to the role of Convenor, and the Board looks forward to working alongside her to continue and expand on the organisation’s work as a communication hub focused on industry collaboration and cohesion,” he said.
The board also acknowledged the tireless work of Ms Taylor, who, in August, announced that she was stepping down after the Tasmanian Timber Awards gala dinner on Friday.
“Therese is well respected across the industry and has developed meaningful relationships with members during her time leading the Network,” he said.
“The Board wishes to thank Therese for her service to the Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network over the past five years.”
In reflecting on her time at TFFPN, Ms Taylor said, “It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to work with so many great people in the forest industry over the past five years to establish and nurture an umbrella organisation which enables members to work collaboratively together on priority issues in the forest industry.”
On Friday, the Tasmanian Timber Awards dinner is hosted at the Tailrace Centre in Launceston. Wood Central will provide extensive coverage of the awards next week.