DURING the immediate post war period the reconstruction of war damaged centers and active programs of establishing new rural centers, led to a dramatic increase in domestic requirements for sawn timber here in post-war Papua New Guinea.
The operation of Commonwealth New Guinea Timbers’ (now PNG Forest Products Pty Ltd) at Bulolo commenced plywood manufacture in the 1950’s and in the pre-Independence period there was significant export of sawn timber and other forest products mainly to Australia.
About this time, the widely dispersed operating companies, under suggestions from an active Department of Forests, saw that it was in the interests of a growing sawmilling industry that it should have a collective representative voice, and hence the ancestor” of today’s Forest Industries Association was born.
The Association took an active role in negotiations with Government, on industry development, royalties, infrastructure requirements, marketing and standards in the early days. At that time also, very active liaison with Australian industry was maintained.
With the evolution of development, and the advent of large scale agricultural projects, notably oil palm estates in West New Britain, the export of logs was commenced from Papua New Guinea as land was cleared for oil palm. With the success of these operations, Government began to look on log exporting operations as:
Sources of increasing Government revenues.
Means to generate rural infrastructure as conditional requirements to be established by operators for log export quotas.
Means of creating rural employment opportunities.