Our aim is to secure long term access to natural resources to generate employment and a future for regional communities, and to ensure our unique Australian forests are scientifically evaluated and sustainably managed for the benefit of future generations and genetic diversity.
Timber Communities Australia exists to encourage the sensible, balanced multiple use of our forests for the benefit of all Australians. We aim to:
- Improve the public's knowledge, awareness and understanding of forest issues.
- Provide a national grassroots voice for people associated with or supportive of Australia's forest-based industries.
- Help ensure government decision-making processes are aware of the facts and benefits generated by forest industries, so that well-founded decisions can be made.
- Ensure ecologically unique areas of Australian forests are properly managed.
- Provide factual and researched information to Australians on forest environment, management and practices within rural communities.
- Support the establishment of hardwood and softwood plantations to provide an additional, high quality wood resource for Australia.
A very brief history
The Forest Protection Society (FPS) originated in 1987 when the need for a cohesive community voice in the so-called "forest debate" became increasingly apparent.
The absence of a unified, informed voice on matters related to the forest industry among grassroots people meant they were unable to effectively get their side of the story into the public arena. There was a need for a national organisation that could represent communities that depended on forests and forest industries, as well as to educate and communicate with the general public. There needed to be and still needs to be an increase in public awareness and confidence in forestry, which also includes helping to advance public understanding and support for scientifically based forest policies and practices.
The FPS provided a structure through which the interests of all Australians concerned with maintaining a healthy forest environment and forest-based economy could be coordinated and represented to government, industry and the public!
Over the years questions were often asked about the words "forest protection" as part of the organisation's identity. It was quite simple really; the FPS reflected all that was "protection" - protection of forests, protection of communities, protection of history and heritage, protection of livelihoods, families, individuals and jobs.
At the end of the last century and after a lot of careful consideration and discussion the FPS changed its name to Timber Communities Australia Ltd in an effort to affiliate the organisation more closely with their community roots. The aims, aspirations and structure all stayed the same as TCA continued to press for sustainable growth in our forests, timber communities and industries.
TCA's concerns remain with promoting "productive conservation" in the forests sector and countering the misinformation promoted by those who seek to impose unrealistic, unfair and unnecessary levels of forest preservation and deny economic and community growth opportunities.
TCA continues to grow and attract membership from both city and rural communities, providing a national, independent voice for thousands of people who are concerned about the future of forests.
Regardless of whether they work in the forest or depend on those who do, whether they are graziers, bee-keepers or recreational users of forests, they all share the belief that forest products, the jobs that forest-based industries provide and the sound management of forests are beneficial for all Australians.
What TCA does
Timber Communities Australia networks spread the truth about the forest and timber industries, especially the social and community benefits and impacts (e.g. For families, jobs, local businesses, schools, health services, roads and infrastructure, environmental change, water usage, etc) dispel misunderstandings and help communities cope with change. Current issues that are widespread at the moment include:
- Managing the expansion of broad acre plantations? Change in landscape, changes in land use and management, changes in community, and social structures and balance.
- Continuing to form strategic alliances with, for example, bush user groups, furniture manufacturers, stakeholder organisations and various environmental groups.
- Providing effective help to members and communities coping with the effects of changes in government forest policies.
The public face and increased awareness of the existence of Timber Communities Australia is vitally important for the organisation. As awareness increases so does the opportunity to represent issues and the organisation's ideas and views on communities, forests, forest industries and the environment.
The public awareness program involves all levels of TCA, particularly the branches who structure many of their local activities around public awareness and education initiatives. Examples are our local, state and national media work, local community events and our work on the education program.
Forest and Industry Tours
Timber Communities Australia runs Forest and Industry tours for politicians, media, bureaucrats and the general public to highlight Australia's sustainable forests. Whether in a native forest or plantation the tours provide an excellent opportunity to educate people on the fact that forests DO grow back and are managed to world's best practice.
Central to the operations of Timber Communities Australia at the local level are the activities of members, branches and the involvement of communities. TCA staff and branch members work throughout the year to arrange activities and events that support the timber industry and their local community. Such activities are pro-active awareness projects such as shows and exhibitions and reactive responses to government policy or green activism that threaten the local industry and/or community.
TCA participates in programs to assist recreational users of the forest. TCA builds bridges, picnic tables, shelters and maintain historical sites in Australia’s forests. Branches hold timber balls and events to raise money for their local community.
You and TCA
Timber Communities Australia runs forest and industry tours, for politicians, media, bureaucrats and the general public, to highlight Australia’s sustainable forest management. Whether conducted in a native forest or plantation the tours provide an excellent opportunity to educate people on the fact that our multiple use forests are dynamic and are managed to world’s best practice.
What can you do to help TCA, local communities, your family, yourself?
- Become a member - the stronger the base and the louder the voice of the Timber Communities Australia, the more our message will be heard. To find out more about becoming a member, click on our membership tab.
- Contact your local branch - successful regional groups need committed, involved volunteers from local communities prepared to broadcast the TCA message vigorously. To contact your local branch click on our branches tab.
- Know the facts - talk to others, hand out material and always be ready to put the true story across. Tell the facts - not the myths.
- Media Watch - if we don't speak, no one will know the truth. Keep an eye on your local media, if you see or hear something you don't agree with or know is incorrect, ring up or write a response. If you're not sure how to do this or would like someone else to, then contact your local branch and make sure they are aware of the story you've seen or heard or the article you've read so they can organise a response.
- Action - organise and take part in local and national activities.
- Funding - help with fund raising, local shows, and other activities and join in the fun. Every dollar raised helps get the community voice across to Government.