The View - March 2017
VicForests presents at Safety Summit
VicForests was the principle sponsor of the Forest Industry Safety Summit which was held in Melbourne this month.
A number of VicForests staff attended this event that focused on the way people, culture, technologies and systems can help improve the safety of workers within the forestry industry.
Nathan Trushell, Acting CEO VicForests, said that the summit is a great way to remind industry of the importance of keeping their employees safe at work.
“Safety is the most important part of our jobs within the forestry industry,” Mr Trushell said.
“I can’t stress enough the responsibility we all hold to ensure each and every one of our workers can come to a safe work environment every day and make it home to their family each night.
“It is our overarching goal to achieve zero harm in everything we do.
“We made great strides towards this goal last year by reaching a period of 12 consecutive months without any staff lost time injuries as well as a 50 percent reduction in contractor lost time injuries.
“However, forestry is a dangerous job and our operations and activities must always be carried out with safety in mind.
“Safety needs to be at the core of everything we do to minimise the risk and ensure we have a safe workforce.
“VicForests’ sponsorship of this event is one part of our commitment to a culture of safety.
“A positive safety culture moves beyond training, regularly reviewing practices and considering new and improved ways to go about doing our jobs.
“Most importantly, it is the role of all of us to show leadership within our organisations to ensure we drive a culture of safety for the sake of our staff, our families and our businesses.
“I hope this two-day conference is thought provoking for everyone and provides some practical and useful ideas that can be implemented to make all of our workplaces safer,” Mr Trushell said.
The 2017 Forest Industry Safety Summit ran in Rotorua, New Zealand on 1-2 March and in Melbourne, Australia on 7-8 March. For more information visit http://www.fiea.org.nz/forest-safety/
Fenced area in Strathbogies to protect growing seedlings
A fence is being placed around a harvested area in the Strathbogies State forest to protect the newly planted seedlings from being eaten by wild deer.
Lachlan Spencer, VicForests General Manager Stakeholders and Planning said that it is expected that the fence will result in some restrictions to access so a number of entry points will be made available to reduce any impacts to the public.
“The fence is intended to keep out wild deer that have been eating the young seedlings before they can mature into trees.
“The section of Crystal Mines Track through the harvested area may need to be closed to traffic but there will be clearly signed diversions while the fence is in place.
“Other than that the area is still open to the public and there will be access points around the fence every 400 to 600 meters for people to use." he said.
Mr Spencer said that fencing will be a way to ensure a successful and extensive regeneration of the area.
“We considered a number of options that would reduce browsing of the growing seedlings that may have less of an impact on the public.
“Trials on the site have indicated that fencing the area will be a way to keep out browsing while giving the trees the best possible chance to grow.
“We have had problems with wildlife hindering young seedlings in the past and we are confident that this measure will give us a much better chance of successful regrowing the harvested area.
“We apologise for the inconvenience caused while the fence is in place,” he said.
The fence, which will be in place by May 2017, will be 2 600 meters in diameter and will be removed in approximately three years once the forest is re-established.
For more information please contact us via the contact form at www.vicforests.com.au/contact-us
Leadbeater’s Possum population numbers
There are currently 569 known Leadbeater's Possum colonies protected in Victoria's forests. At a conservative estimate of three possums per colony, this equals around 1,707 known Leadbeater's Possum individuals.
This figure includes those colonies that were pre-existing before 2014 and those that have been found in targeted surveys since 2014. The majority of surveys have been conducted in State forests in areas planned for timber harvesting.
For more information visit the Leadbeater's Possum website
Australian Paper contributing almost $1billion to the Australian economy
New research has revealed that Australian Paper’s operations generate almost $1 billion per annum in economic benefits for Australia.
According to a Western Research Institute report released 1 March, the national benefits include $911 million in gross domestic profit (GDP), $495 million in household income and 5,786 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs. In addition, the business generates $1.88 in government revenue per ream of paper produced.