​Media Release

​Ecologist wins forestry award

22 October 2015

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, tonight presented the inaugural Richard Stanton Memorial Award, recognising excellence in sustainable forest management, to ecologist Dr Marie Yee.

Speaking at an all-industry dinner in Melbourne, Minister Ruston said Dr Yee embodied the ideals of sustainable forest management which promoted community acceptance for forest products and underpinned demand.

"As an ecologist, she helped develop a system which incorporates the principles of landscape ecology into forest management," Minister Ruston said.

"The Landscape Context Planning System provides a significant and valuable contribution to sustainability that can be readily applied by forest management agencies in Australia and around the world.

"The work of certification schemes provides consumers with an assurance that the wood product they purchase comes from sustainably managed and certified forests.

"People like Dr Yee demonstrate that the future of the industry is in good hands—her work not only demonstrates innovation and excellence but she also becomes a voice for spreading the message of sustainability and the value of forest certification.

"The Australian Government recognises that the forestry industry makes a strong contribution to the national economy and regional Australia.

"In particular, the government is committed to sustainable forest management and the sustainable use of natural resources. This is a recurring theme that has been raised by the Forest Industry Advisory Council."

Minister Ruston will co-chair the Council and congratulated the former chair Senator Richard Colbeck for the progress the council made in charting a profitable and sustainable future for the forestry sector.

"This council is a vital mechanism for exchanging information between industry and government on policies and issues affecting the forest industry, and was a key component of the Australian Government's election platform for the forestry industry," Minister Ruston said.

"This exchange of information was demonstrated by a recent council issues paper which attracted almost 80 submissions. Now a discussion paper is being finalised and we will be consulting with industry in the coming months."

The award honours the contribution of Richard Stanton, the former Chief Executive Officer of Australian Forestry Standard Ltd, who died in a bicycle accident in Canberra earlier this year. He previously held a number of key roles in the Australian Plantation Products and Paper Industry Council (A3P); Australian Paper Industry Council; Plantation Timber Association of Australia; National Association of Forest Industries; and State Forests NSW.

For more information on the Forest Industry Advisory Council visit: agriculture.gov.au/forestry/industries/fiac.​​