On the 20th of January 2017, the Forest Industries Federation of Western Australia hosted our annual Industry Dinner to celebrate the WA Forest Industries in the lead up to the 2017 State Election. We were joined on the night by several dignitaries and VIPs and almost 100 Members of industry from throughout WA.
In the lead up to the 2017 dinner FIFWA invited both the Minister for Forestry, the Hon. Mia Davies MLA, and the Shadow Minister for Forestry, Mr Mick Murray MLA, to attend the dinner and provide an industry address to our guests. FIFWA requested both the Minister and the Shadow Minister consider the two FIFWA policy documents that were released in late 2016.
The Minister spoke at length regarding the recommendations of our documents and commended the industry on taking the initiative to present it to Government. The Minister reaffirmed the current Government's commitment to the industry by committing $1 million to 4 industry development projects and another $200,000 for an innovation fund to explore emerging market opportunities for the industry. The Minister also stated the Government is willing to discuss the opportunity for a rolling Forest Management Plan with the appropriate complementary contract structures should they be re-elected.
The Shadow Minister congratulated FIFWA for the release of the two documents and spoke at length about the current issues that the industry has faced in the past and is likely to face in the future. Mr Murray stated his belief that the timber industry must develop the appropriate residue markets in order for the industry to continue sustainably.
Later in the evening FIFWA and our Members took the opportunity to welcome three guests from the Shire of Nannup, the Shire of Dardanup and the Shire of Manjimup. These three Shires have shown leadership in the South-West by becoming the first three Shires to adopt Wood Encouragement Policies. The Executive Director of FIFWA, Melissa Haslam, and the FIFWA President, Ian Telfer (WAPRES), welcomed all three guests to the stage and presented them with a token of industry congratulation for their newly adopted policies.
As the night wound down our guests took the opportunity to mingle and catch up with old friends and connect with the new faces that have joined our industry. Many thanks go to the FIFWA Members who attended the dinner as a fantastic show of support for our industry in the lead up to the 2017 State Election.