After more than 25 years’ working in domestic and international forestry and agriculture sectors, the Tasmania Regional Forestry Hub’s new general manager will soon return to his home state where he hopes to make a tangible difference to the growth and standing of the local forest and forest products industry.
Simon Talbot—who hails from six generations of Tasmanian farmers and foresters—will commence his new role in mid-September, following an interstate move from Victoria where he currently holds the position of Executive Director for the state’s largest land manager, Parks Victoria/DELWP.
“My career began in Tasmanian working in silviculture, forestry and paper sectors and has let to opportunities directing agricultural policy and associated plantation investments across Asia Pacific, for the world’s second largest food company, Kraft/Cadbury,” Mr Talbot said. Despite living and working outside the state for many years, Mr Talbot said Tasmania has always remained ‘home’.
“I have family and friends in sawmilling and harvesting operations in Tassie and believe I have a thorough knowledge of Tasmania’s forestry sector from more than seven years working across in the pulp and paper industry in the state’s north-west, as well as active investments in plantations and promotion of specialty timbers.
“I believe we are on the cusp of a golden age, for the industry and Tasmania in general, and I want to be a part of helping showcase what is being achieved, to support innovation and new developments, a revitalised supply chain, help create a pipeline of talent and achieve the right patient investment models.”
A federal initiative, the Tasmania Hub’s vision is to grow a sustainable, innovative forest industry that supports Tasmania’s community and economy into the future and is supported by the community by focusing on four strategic priorities: climate and carbon policy, workforce skills and training, resource and land access, and supply chain and infrastructure.
Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network Convenor, Therese Taylor said in recruiting its new GM, the Hub was looking for someone who could work with industry to implement a roadmap addressing the sector’s identified priority areas which focus on strategic actions that encourage the planting of new trees and foster an innovative and forward-looking industry.
“Simon will be a great asset to the Hub’s work. He has a proven track record working with a range of stakeholders on complex and significant projects and in this new role, will work with the industry across the state to develop agreed pathways forward to advance opportunities for progress and growth of the forest industry into the future,” Ms Taylor said.
Mr Talbot and his family will relocate permanently to their recently renovated farmhouse in northern Tasmania next month.