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Forest and Wood Products Research and Development Corporation : appointment of the board of directors

Federal Primary Industries Energy Minister, John Anderson, has announced the reappointment of Mr. Denis Cullity as Chairperson of the Forest and Wood Products Research and Development Corporation (FWPRDC).

Mr Cullity is Chairman and Executive Director of Westralian Forest Industries and has been reappointed for a further three-year term.

Other corporation directors the Minister has appointed for the next three year term are:

. Dr Michael Brown, Assistant Chief of Division, Silvicultural Research and

. Development, Forestry Commission, Tasmania (reappointed);

. Dr Douglas Head, Director, Kempsey Timbers Pty Ltd, NSW (reappointed);

. Mrs Judith Tilling, Import Purchasing Manager, NJ Tilling (Imports) Pty Ltd, Victoria (reappointed);

. Professor Peter Vinden, Professor of Forest Industries, Forest Products and Forest Harvesting, School of Forestry, University of Melbourne, Victoria (reappointed);

. Mr Peter Law, General Manager, Boral Timber Engineering; and

. Dr Ian Bevege, Principal Adviser, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

The Minister also recently appointed Mr Peter Thomas (Assistant Secretary, DPIE Forests Branch) as the Corporation's government director.

"The Corporation provides funds for forest industries, broadening research into areas relating to wood production, extraction, processing, the economy and marketing," the Minister said.

Some of the Corporation's main achievements in its first term have been:

. improving the level and relevance of research in the industry and ensuring effective communication of research results;

. investing in areas of market failure, eg sustainability issues where significant benefits can be gained for industry from investment in RD, but no individual company is prepared to pay the cost, eg, development of Codes and Standards;

. encouraging investment by innovative small to medium sized companies to meet challenges the industry is facing in resource availability and competition from other materials;

. co-ordinating greater interaction between researchers and industry, and between researchers in different research organisations - the joint venture approach to project investment, with partners from industry, research organisations and FWPRDC.

"Since its inception the FWPRDC has committed in excess of $8m to more than 80 projects across five core programs. The Commonwealth contributed about $4 million of these funds," the Minister said.

The core programs are:

1. sustainability and environmental management;

2. structural and building systems;

3. processes and product development;

4. plantation and regrowth timber;

5. commercial/end-user application.

"Inherent in these programs is the need to adopt world's best practice and invest in research of relevance to both timber importers and domestic producers. Recognition is also given to both ecological sustainability and business viability."

The FWPRDC has put significant effort into activities to increase product quality and processing efficiency, including in the areas of drying, reconstituted wood products, quality assurance, and criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management.

"Work on the criteria and indicators agreed under the internationally accepted Montreal process will provide a yardstick in measuring our effectiveness in achieving sustainable forest management through Regional Forest Agreements (RFA).

"The RFAs will provide the basis for an internationally competitive forest industry by ensuring secure long term access to wood resources from forests which are available for harvesting and managed on a sustainable basis," the Minister said.

The board appointments were made on advice from a selection committee chaired by Dr John Radcliffe, Deputy Chief Executive, CSIRO.

Media Contract:

Robert Haynes, Mr Anderson's Office, 06 277 7520 or 0419 493 511

If you need more detailed information on FWPRDC's projects, contact the corporation on 07 5578 7900.