The Forest Products Commission has consulted with government, industry, domestic and international customers, and the community to inform the design of the new sandalwood industry structure.
A public consultation process was managed independently by Stantons International. The process included an "Invitation to Comment" that was widely distributed and made available on the Tenders WA website. To complement the process for written submissions, two public meetings were held, one in Kalgoorlie and one in Merredin. A consultant was also engaged to conduct meetings with Aboriginal groups throughout the sandalwood distribution area. In addition to verbal feedback, the consultation process resulted in 48 written submissions from a wide range of interests.
A summary report of the sandalwood consultation undertaken by Stantons International is available to download.
Key findings of the independent stakeholder consultation were:
- Majority of respondents wanted to see modifications to the existing sales and marketing structure:
- Opportunities for domestic processing to be maximised.
- Increased involvement of new participants.
- Marketing and sales to be separated from the processing function.
- Existing ‘wild wood’ customers (including long term buyers) seek stable prices, certainty and continuity of supply and maintenance of quality.
- The importance of genuine Aboriginal involvement
Policy settings should maintain value of sandalwood to assist with transition to plantations.
Investment at source (Goldfields/Gascoyne region) is preferred by stakeholders.
In addition, the consultation period raised many issues that could not be addressed through the sales and marketing arrangements. The FPC is working on a broader strategy for sandalwood to address these other challenges identified such as illegal harvesting, regeneration, industry development and transition to plantation resource.