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issue 120 | 12.04.10 | Page 1

Chain reaction

This Issue • Red gum report ‘futile and wasted’ • Wood waste key to keeping NZ green?

CoC ‘inevitable’ – but merchants should take cautious approach: TABMA seminar


TIMBER merchants still cautious and apprehensive about the implementation and implications of chain of custody systems came away from TABMA’s informative seminar last Thursday with one sobering fact – the green building industry will, inevitably, target the residential sector. And that’s a big issue for mercants; the residential market represents about 90% of their business, so if not today, tomorrow or next year, timber traders will have to understand that chain of custody is much more than an expensive nicety but a system that will have to be embraced if they want to remain competitive. The Green Building Council of Australia is pushing to expand

Timber merchants shouldn’t be blind to chain of custody systems – they will necessary, eventually.

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a federal government proposal for mandatory disclosure in the building sector to capture environmental performance. “While the GBCA is delighted to see the government recognising the importance of buildings in this debate, we’d also like to see a joint industrygovernment ‘roadmap’ which clearly signposts the steps towards 2020,” GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew says. The TABMA chain of custody seminar in Sydney, ably chaired by chief executive Colin Fitzpatrick, showed that in these busy and challenging times for industry there is sufficient concern about timber certification among merchants – more than 70 of them gathered

design .. industry, we need you! • Expanding skills: applications open for Cullity fellowship program • US forestry industry not out of woods yet • Pressure on US green ratings • Ready to return to boom times? • What’s on in 2010

 Timber

Cont Page 2

issue 120 | 12.04.10 | Page 1

industry news

‘Mixed’ reaction Making on presentations an by key speakers impact .. The Victorian Association of Forest Industries wishes to thank the following organisations for their support in our industry-wide representation at the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

Victorian Association of Forest Industries Level 2, 2 Market Street Melbourne 3000 Tel: +61 3 9611 9000 Fax: +61 3 9611 9011 Email: Web: Page 2 | issue 120 | 12.04.10

From Page 1

at Rydges Hotel, Parramatta, to listen to four speakers. But audience reaction was ‘mixed’ after presentations by Michael Spencer, chief executive, FSC Australia, Robin Mellon, executive director, GBCA, Simon Dorries, general manager, Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia, and Kayt Watts, chief executive, AFS Ltd. “They brought a very complex subject to the attention of members, and I’m not sure everyone understood the complexity of the issue,” TABMA chairman Peter Hutchison observed. One participant commented that the speakers did not do enough homework to address the specific audience. They barely touched on the merchant sector and trusses and frames missed out altogether. But delegates rated the ‘takehome’ value of the seminar very high; an insight for traders to ‘connect the dots’ in the timber certification chain roll out. “The chain of custody debate can now continue in a more intelligent way,” Peter Hutchison said. He said at this stage there were no reported requests from any of merchants’ customers for CoC or certified material. “I can’t say it won’t come, but I believe merchants need a better understanding of the systems before they go out and spend too much and find nothing eventuates – like the quality assurance schemes of yester-year.” Chain of custody costs vary according to the nature of operations, but there are two components: the cost of

pre-assessment and annual surveillance audits. For a single site operation, the main assessment is the biggest component and likely to be in the range $1500-$4000. Costs of pre-assessment and annual surveillance will be less – around 60% of main assessment costs. Assessment for single site operations will normally take one to two days. Coc lasts for five years under FSC and three under AFCS and requires annual surveillance audits. Transporters do not require CoC certification if they don’t have legal ownership of the wood. Chain of custody is the unbroken path by which products taken from the forest end up with the consumer, passing through all the stages of manufacturing, transportation and distribution. Although the AFS and FSC speakers agreed that merchants should consider implementing CoC certification now, Simon Dorries of EWPAA thought it was something they should consider ‘down the track’ – maybe within three of four years. “But you are going to need it and you should at least be thinking about it now,” he said. Questions from the floor centred on the application of CoC in the merchant and frame and truss industry, considering the sector could use up to 70 different timber species delivered from many different sources. “We’re an industry of many parts,” was one comment. “There’s a relatively simple solution to this, but you have to implement it,” Mr Dorries responded. He said there are different ways Cont Page 3

across Australia’s forest and forest products industry .. since 1940 The Timber & Building Materials Association is Australia’s most progressive timber association and the only true national timber association. TABMA keeps abreast of all commercial, legislative or bureaucratic issues that impact on our industry and keeps members informed. The services and benefits offered to members are extensive and assist in keeping overheads and on-costs to a minimum. Call Melanie at TABMA on (02) 9277 3100 to inquire about our very attractive membership rate.

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industry news

The CoC debate can now continue in a more intelligent way: Peter Hutchison From Page 2

to manage chain of custody systems that would be very suitable for truss and frame manufacturers such as volume credit. “There should be no concerns about mixing wood. If you buy, say 1000 cub m of certified wood you can sell 1000 cub of certified trusses. You can mix the wood so long as the volumes tally up and there is no illegal wood used.” Though the scope of both AFS and FSC schemes is essentially the same, the schemes don’t recognise each other. Companies that want to adopt both schemes will require separate CoC certification. Fortunately, the conditions of FSC and AFS standards are very similar, minimising additional

TABMA president Peter Hutchison (state manger MiTek for NSW, ACT and WA) and TABMA chief executive and seminar chairman Colin Fitzpatrick (centre) welcome seminar speakers Kayt Watts, chief executive, Australian Forestry Standard Ltd, Canberra, Simon Dorries, general manger, Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia, Brisbane, Robin Mellon, executive director, (Green Star), Green Building Council of Australia, Sydney, and Michael Spencer, chief executive, FSC Australia, Melbourne.

requirements for using both. The GBCA amended the compliance requirements pertaining to chain of custody in the ‘sustainable timber’ credit in July last year. For virgin timber products to receive points within the Green Star timber credit, a full CoC must exist through the supply chain to the project; all certified wood materials sourced by, and used on, the project must come from suppliers that have a valid CoC certificate. For example, if a board manufacturer who has certification sells the board to a contractor for installation on a building, full CoC custody exists for the project. However, if the board manufacturer provides product to the work station manufacturer who does not have certification, who then sells it to the project, then CoC is lost, and Green Star points can not be claimed. The GBCA’s Robin Mellon said there was clear evidence illegally sourced timber was being used in Australian

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buildings, particularly in imported engineered wood products and furniture. “The GBCA introduced revisions to the timber credit to encourage the use of legal timber in Green Star projects,” he said. The GBCA believes that legal timber is easily demonstrated through certification by forest certification schemes that comply with the GBCA’s ‘essential criteria’. If a Green Star project selects to use the timber credit as part of its Green Star submission, one point is now available where at least 95% (by cost) of all timber is certified by a forest certification scheme that meets the GBCA’s ‘essential criteria’. Forest certification schemes that comply must be accredited by FSC international or the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). FSC Australia is the Australian provider of FSC certification, while the Australian Forest Certification Scheme (AFCS) is the PEFC accredited scheme in Australia. FSC International and PEFC comply with the ‘essential criteria’ on the basis that they have robust governance, standards development, and independent auditing process; provide an assurance of legality; and provide CoC certification extending from the forest to the end user which is traceable throughout the supply chain. The GBCA’s equal recognition of FSC and PEFC applies only to the ‘essential criteria’. The ‘significant criteria’ will be released for further consultation later this year with the aim of it being implemented in July. The ‘significant criteria’ for forest certification will focus on best practices in forest management. In future, two Cont Page 8

issue 120 | 12.04.10 | Page 3

industry news

Expanding skills through international research Applications open for Denis Cullity fellowship program FOREST and Wood Products Australia has announced funding for up to two international collaborative research projects in 2010 for leading forest and wood product scientists, through its annual Denis Cullity Fellowship program. Applications for these prestigious fellowships are now open to Australian scientists for projects of three to six months’ duration at an international research facility. FWPA managing director Ric Sinclair said the Cullity Fellowship program supported the ongoing professional development of leading Australian forest and wood product scientists. “FWPA’s support of this program reflects the company’s strong commitment to the development of research skills

and knowledge which will provide ongoing benefit to our industry,” Mr Sinclair said. “It targets our current industry research skills base, to provide Australian scientists with access to cutting edge international research and technology.” Previous Cullity fellows have collaborated with research centres in France, the UK, the US and Canada, where significant advanced forestry and wood product research is being undertaken. Technologies studied have covered accelerating the adoption of advantageous plant genetics, advanced adhesive systems for engineered wood products, plant breeding characteristics to prevent wildlife grazing and advanced mathematical modelling of timber drying processes to improve yields and reduce

energy consumption. The Denis Cullity Fellowships were established by FWPA’s predecessor organisation the Forest and Wood Products Research and Development Corporation in 2000 in honour of the corporation’s inaugural chairman Denis M. Cullity CMG AO. Two fellowships are available to high-calibre Australian scientists or engineers working in areas directly related to the forest and wood products industry. Applicants should be actively engaged in a collaborative research project that increases his or her skills and capability, or provides direct benefit to the science and technology base of the Australian forest and wood product industry. Fellowships do not support postgraduate study. FWPA intends to publish the

results of the 2010 fellowship research projects as part of its ongoing commitment to advance the forest and wood products industry through the communication of research and development outcomes. Selection is through an FWPA selection committee. Applications close May 3, 2010. Denis Cullity was chairman and chief executive of Wesfi Ltd from 1971-1996, building the company from a family timber operation to one of the largest wood panel producers in the southern hemisphere. He started his career working with CSIRO, after receiving a science degree from the University of Western Australia. This ability to keep at the leading edge of technology has contributed to his success in the timber industry.

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AUSTRALIA TimTech Chemicals Pty Ltd 7/12 Discovery Drive, North Lakes, Qld 4509. PO Box 522, North Lakes , Brisbane Qld 4509, Australia. Tel:+61 7 3480 5802 Fax:+61 7 3491 7983

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13: Industry forum Sydney: pine decking, alterations and additions market. 2 pm. Venue: The Home Ideas Centre, Alexandria. Contact Nicollette at TDA (NSW) on (02) 8424 3700 or email info@ 14: Industry forum Melbourne: pine decking, alterations and additions market. 7.30 am. Venue: Hotel Bruce County, Mount Waverley. Contact Nicollette at TDA (NSW) on (02) 8424 3700 or email 15: Industry forum Perth: pine decking, alterations and additions market. 10 am. Venue: The Home Ideas Centre, West Contact Nicollette at TDA (NSW) on (02) 8424 3 15-18: 40th annual J1V HooHoo Convention – The Next Decade: A Vision for Hoo-Hoo. Rydges Melbourne Hotel. HooHoo business day, industry tour, sponsors’ dinner, convention dinner and entertainment, farewell breakfast. Convention program and registration details: 16: National Carpenters Day. Celebration of carpenters and their work throughout Australia. Highlights include presentations, barbecues, entertainment, Carpenter of the Year Award and Apprentice Carpenter of the Year competition. Entries close March 24. Visit 18-21: APPITA Annual Conference and Exhibition/Pan Pacific Conference Melbourne. 22-24:designEX. Australia’s premier trade-only design and

architecture event, showcasing more than 300 local and international brands and boutique suppliers. Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. Contact: designEX (02) 9267 0834. Email: au or Selena O’Hare, Whispr Communications (03) 9534 8600. Email:

MAY 2010 18: Victorian Timber Industry Supply Chain Seminar: Connecting the Pieces for Business Success. Radisson Hotel, 380 William Street, Melbourne. Contact: Peter Roberts, Timber Merchants Association on (03) 9875 5000 or John Halkett, Australian Timber Importers Federation on (02) 9356 3826. 19-20: Wood Supply Chain Optimisation 2010. Bayview Eden Melbourne. Technical seminar details successful strategies that have been adopted to improve planning, logistics and operations through the wood supply chain. Contact FIEA +64 3 470 1902. 21-23: Timber and Working with Wood Expo, Brisbane Showgrounds, Fortitude Valley. 24-25: Wood Supply Chain Optimisation 2010, Rotorua, NZ.

JUNE 2010 3-4: AFCA Conference and Trade Expo, Novotel Resort, Coffs Harbor, NSW. 18-20: Timber and Working with Wood Expo, Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney. June 28-July 2: 18th Commonwealth Forestry

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Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland.

JULY 2010 14-18: Interforest 2010 Trade Fair for Forestry Technology Munich, Germany.

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21-22: Wood Energy 2010 reducing energy costs and improving energy efficiencies. Rotorua, NZ.

The National The National Association of of Forest Association Industries (NAFI) Forest Industries (NAFI) represents is striving for an Australian companies, ecologically sustainable individualssociety and Australian organisations involved achieved through in thedynamic, forestry and forest products internationally industries. competitive forest industries. NAFI works with state and

21-22: ScanTECH 2010 Sawmill Scanning & Optimisation Technologies. Rotorua, NZ. www. 26-27: ScanTECH 2010 Sawmill Scanning & Optimisation Technologies. Melbourne. www. 26-27: Wood Energy 2010 (World Reducing Energy Costs & Improving Energy Efficiencies) Melbourne.

SEPTEMBER 2010 3-5: Canberra Timber & Working With Wood Expo, Exhibition Park in Canberra. Contact: (02) 9974 1393. Fax: (02)9974 3426 Email: 6-12: Landcare Week.


APRIL 2010

8-10: AFAC bushfire CRC annual conference. Darwin Convention Centre Australia.

15-16: Wood Manufacturing 2010 Profitable Wood Manufacturing - Tooling Technology & Design, Melbourne. 20-21: Wood Manufacturing 2010 Profitable Wood Manufacturing - Tooling Technology & Design Rotorua, NZ.

federal governments to support interestsis of to its NAFI’sthemission members while the same represent theatinterests time improving industry of members by standards and practices, promoting the promoting sustainable environmental forestry management and educating the broader sustainability and community on theof the prosperity economic, environment Australian forest and social benefits of industries. a strong sustainable forest industry. National Association of The National Association Forest Industries Ltd of Forest Industries (Est. 1987) Ltd (EST.1987) PO Box 239, PO Box 239, Deakin ACT 2600 Deakin, ACT 2600 Tel: (02) 6285 3833. Tel: (02) 6285 3833 Fax: (02) 6285 3855 Fax: (02) 6285 3855 Web: Web:

issue 120 | 12.04.10 | Page 5


Industry .. we need you! CHECKING some early entries in the 2010 Australian Timber Design Awards at the Timber Development Association offices in Sydney are Stephen Mitchell, Australian sustainability program manger, Andrew Dunn, chief executive, and Tony Walther, structural engineer. “We’re looking for the very best uses of timber to reward architects, designers and builders,” Mr Dunn said. “And I again emphasis the timber industry itself can help make the design awards the best ever. Who better to point the way to timber design projects of excellence.” The awards this year involve seven primary entry categories, all building related, including a new category, interior fit-out – residential, and two divisions for sustainable design, catering for both residential and commercial projects. Eileen Newbury, program

manger with the Wood Naturally Better campaign, has come on board as sponsorship manager for the awards. The design awards are a joint partnership of the Timber Development Association (NSW) and Forest and Wood Products Australia which provides the major sponsorship through the Wood. Naturally Better campaign, designed to increase education and awareness in the customer and construction communities to position wood as their preferred material of choice.

Access to technical reports for Australian Sawmillers FWPA’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE SOLID WOOD INITIATIVE (SWI) PROVIDES LEVY PAYING MEMBERS ACCESS TO PROJECT REPORTS AT NO COST Sawmills of every size will be able to improve their products and their profit margins by adopting the results flowing from the SWI program. for more information


Page 6 | issue 120 | 12.04.10

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Red gum report a ‘futile and wasted exercise’ by NRC THE NSW Natural Resources Commission has made a significant mistake in its original estimate of the sustainable yield of red gum forests in the Riverina region. Shadow minister for natural resource management Katrina Hodgkinson says the whole NRC review has been a futile and wasted exercise. The Natural Resources Commissioner John Williams wrote to the Premier Kristina Keneally informing her that after further study the NRC had revised upwards its assessment of the long-term sustainable yield of red gum forests. The finding that red gum

Regrowth red gum logs from the fourth cut.

Katrina Hodgkinson .. errors in sustainable yield.

timber is being harvested at an unsustainable rate in the NRC Red Gum report is a key support for the State Labor government’s decision to lock these forests up in large scale national parks and reserves. The NRC has now admitted that its estimate was off by about 60-70% and has upgraded its assessment of long term sustainable yield to between 6300 to 13,600 cub m a year of quota sawlogs. Katrina Hodgkinson said such a fundamental error raised significant concerns about the accuracy and reliability of the

whole NRC report. “It is no wonder that state Labor government is keeping the admission by the NRC as quiet as possible,” she said. “The government has ignored the most important recommendations in the NRC report and has only allocated 22% of the water that is necessary for the red gum forests to survive. “It doesn’t make a blind bit of difference if red gum forests are

locked up in a national park or continue to be harvested. Without five times more water than the government has allocated, the forests will continue to stress and die.” Ms Hodgkinson said the errors in sustainable yield that had now come to light and the failure of the state government to recognise the need for significant additional water meant that the whole NRC review had been a futile and wasted exercise.

If it’s your timber, make sure it’s in the competition. Ring the architect, builder or owner; pay the fee; organise the photos. The 2010 Australian Timber Design Awards is your chance to have your timber products showcased. If you’ve supplied timber or timber products to an eye-catching house, office block or resort development, make sure your contact knows about the Timber Design Awards. Let us know about the project by email at


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issue 120 | 12.04.10 | Page 7

industry news

Revisions to timber credit encourage the use of legal wood in Green Star projects From Page 3

points will be available where at least 95% (by cost) of all timber is certified by a forest certification scheme that meets both the GBCA’s ‘essential’ and ‘significant’ criteria for forest certification, or is from a reused source or is sourced from a combination of both. One point will be awarded in the revised timber credit where all timber in the building and construction works is certified by a PEFC or FSC International accredited forest certification body or is from a reused source; or is sourced from a combination of both. Only one point is currently available when claiming this credit; the second point cannot be claimed until the ‘significant criteria’ are implemented. Further work is being undertaken

on establishing ‘significant’ criteria for forest management. Speakers at the Sydney seminar also focused on branding. While the words ‘green or eco-labelling’ may be used by certain sectors, the AFS scheme through its AFS or PEFC logos provides an assurance that the timber-based product purchased, stocked and sold has been sourced from a sustainably managed forest and tracked through the supply chain to ensure it maintains an unbroken chain of custody. The AFCS has the only sustainable forest management (SFM) and chain of custody certification processes that are tied to Australian standards – Australian Forestry Standard SFM Certification - AS 4708 and Australian Forestry Standard CoC Certification - AS 4707 A total 9,922,574 ha is certified

under AS 4708. The CoC standard has commonality with international CoC issues through AFCS’s endorsement under PEFC. The CoC Standard addresses 10 subject areas which provide a mechanism to track timber or forest products from a certified forest to an end user in the supply or value chain. It is really an inventory tracking and control system with essential management system requirements for an organisation in the timber and forest products supply chain. PEFC accounts for over twothirds of the world’s certified sustainable forest management including Australian forests certified under AFS. FSC owns three trademarks: the name ‘Forest Stewardship Council’, the initials “FSC’, and the checkmark-and-tree logo.

All uses of these trademarks, especially on certified products or for promotion, are under license. “We welcome the decision by the AGBC to give recognition for wood from all internationally accredited certified sustainable forest management schemes,” Kayt Watts said. “Considering that 90% of the worlds’ forests are not certified to any sustainable forest management systems, rewarding the leaders in this field will promote the uptake of certification, strengthen the supply chain and improve forest management globally.” Ms Watts said the supply of Australian wood products certified under the AFCS was plentiful and high quality and its greater use in the Green Star program was good news for the industry.


Melbourne 28 April (8.00am – 11.30am) Sydney 29 April (8.00am – 11.30am)

© FSC AC 1996 FSC-SECR-0152

Cost: $150 (FSC members), $300 nonmembers Book online (early bird discount available): Melbourne: Sydney: Contact: James Taylor Phone: (03) 8636 2661 Email:

Page 8 | issue 120 | 12.04.10

FSC Project Certification offers a new benchmark to verify wood sources for green buildings, developments and other projects. A high standard of verification means building owners and tenants will have the best possible assurance that wood used has come from responsible sources. Workshop participants will include architects, builders, developers and suppliers wanting to learn about the international project certification standard and how it can be implemented in the Australian market. The half-day workshop will be led by Sarah McKay, one of the authors of the FSC Project Certification standard who will be visiting Australia from the USA for the workshops. This workshop offers leaders in environmentally sustainable design andgreen building the opportunity to distinguish themselves through their commitment to responsible wood sourcing.

Sarah McKay

The half-day workshop will cover: • How FSC Project Certification fits with green building verification and rating mechanisms. • The basic principles of the project certification. • How to go about achieving project certification. • A desktop exercise to identify issues and obstacles in achieving project certification. Workshop leaders will include: • Sarah McKay (former FSC International Policy Officer and now working with certification body Scientific Certification Systems) • Chris Taylor, PhD student at the Centre for Design, RMIT University • Michael Spencer, CEO FSC Australia

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Australia is ready to return to boom times: economist A LEADING economics consultant has predicted the Australian economy will quickly return to the boom times of mid-2008, easily outpacing the world’s recovery from the global economic crisis. Chris Richardson of Access Economics says as the economy rebounds from the global recession, it is becoming clear Australians can expect a return to the heady days of the resource boom very quickly. Speaking at the Australian Trucking Convention on the Gold Coast, Mr Richardson said a key question was always going to be just how Australia’s economy responded as interest rates wound back up and as government spending wound back down. “Recent developments have answered that question clearly – the current round of commodity price increases in coal and iron ore is so huge that Australia’s recovery will quickly go from modest to strong. “The impact of a rapid return to resource boom-time conditions will wind back the clock less than two years to what it was like in Australia in mid-2008.” However, Mr Richardson warned of a downside to the return to a resource boom

Timber & Forestry e-news is the most authoritative and quickest deliverer of news and special features to the forest and forest products industries in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region. Weekly distribution is over 6,400 copies, delivered every Monday. Advertising rates are the most competitive of any industry magazine in the region. Timber&Forestry e-news hits your target market – every week, every Monday!

Chris Richardson.. another resource boom?

economy. “While there are many advantages associated with a resource boom in which the world gives additional income to Australia on a platter, some negatives will also be well remembered,” Mr Richardson said. “The commodity price boom is less good news for the likes of New South Wales and Victoria than it is for Western Australia and Queensland. “Even Western Australia and Queensland may see a return to the skills shortages and cost hikes which dogged those states during the last boom. “

HEAD OFFICE Custom Publishing Group Unit 2- 3986 Pacific Highway Loganholme 4129 Qld, Australia PUBLISHER Dennis Macready CONSULTING EDITOR Jim Bowden Tel: +61 7 3256 1779 Mob: 0401 312 087 ADVERTISING Tel: +61 7 3256 1779 PRODUCTION MANAGER Leigh Macready Tel: +61 7 3392 9810

Wide experience in wood preservation Mike Brown, with 35 years’ experience in the wood preservation industry, offers service, advice and assistance in all matters of wood preservation: quality, standards, environmental, efficiency, economics, management. Contact: 0424 269 124 or e-mail Advertising: Tel +61 7 3256 1779 Email:

Opinions expressed on Timber & Forestry e news are not necessarily the opinions of the editor, publisher or staff. We do not accept responsibility for any damage resulting from inaccuracies in editorial or advertising. The Publisher is therefore indemnified against all actions, suits, claims or damages resulting from content on this e news. Content cannot be reproduced without the prior consent of the Publisher- Custom Publishing Group.

issue 120 | 12.04.10 | Page 9


Jason Howse, TABMA, and Sandra Gluck, Gunnersens Pty Ltd.

The TABMA team welcomes delegates to the chain of custody seminar ‌ Justin Dwyer, Jason Howse, Colin Fitzpatrick (TABMA Australia chief executive and seminar chairman), Darrel Jones and John Theoharris.

Representing Walker Bros, North Gosford, NSW, are Keith Sparrow, assistant manager, and Kerrie Guest. Michael Spencer, chief executive of the Forest Stewardship Council, Melbourne (left) chats with TABMA’s Darrel Jones.

Getting together in Melbourne for the CoC seminar are Mike Swan, managing director, Swan LeMessurier, Paul Anderson, Swan LeMessurier, and Brian Relph, Big River Timbers.

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Page 10 | issue 120 | 12.04.10

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EWPs that tick ALL the boxes Engineered wood products manufactured by EWPAA member companies top the list

Links in the chain .. representing Boral Timber at the TABMA CoC seminar are Harry Stresser, Robyn Barnes, and Tom Bertinshaw.

Consistent QUALITY LOWEST emissions Structurally SOUND and SAFE Wood from 100% LEGAL, CERTIFIED forests Mark Willey of Gunnersens Pty Ltd (left) chats with John Simon, managing director, Hudson Building Supplies.

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Catching up at the CoC seminar are Michael Brown, Simmonds Lumber, and Warwick Drysdale and Jim Rosewell, Programmed Timber Supplies, St Marys.

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issue 120 | 12.04.10 | Page 11


Do specifiers and builders need special resources for the alterations and additions market? A SERIES of market research surveys has been conducted with consumers, builders, architects, buildings designers and timber merchants regarding their attitude to timber and WPC decking and the alteration and additions market. Is pine decking failing in the market ..or is it just a marketing failure? Do specifiers and builders need special resources for the alterations and additions markets? What is the attitude of consumers to the use of wood? You have probably thought about these questions, and many others, over the years. Now, real answers to these pressing questions are being given at a series of timber industry forums in four states this month. The forums – in Brisbane (held April 8), Sydney, Melbourne and Perth – will present the findings of market research undertaken by the Timber Development Association (NSW). Additional consumer market research from Australia and overseas will also be presented and discussed at the forums and together we can develop an understanding of whether these findings are local or an international trend. Register now for the two-hour industry forums:

Sydney: April 13 – 2 pm: Venue: The Home Ideas Centre, Alexandria. Melbourne: April 14 – 7.30 am. Venue: Hotel Bruce County, Mount Waverley. Perth: April 15: – 10 am. Venue The Home Ideas Centre, West Perth. Early bookings are essential. Contact Nicollette at the Timber Development Association (NSW) on (02) 8424 3700 or email The Timber Development Association wishes to thank Forest and Wood Products Australia for the support of this project.

CSIRO research restructure .. it’s official AFTER widespread speculation, CSIRO has formally announced that it is reducing its research capability in the forest and wood products area over the next few months. Reduction will occur in the areas of wood preservation, advanced adhesives, hardwood processing and analytical processing. However, CSIRO will maintain capability in pulp and paper research while further

Page 12 | issue 120 | 12.04.10

consultation with industry takes place. Although this concession has been welcomed, industry has condemned CSIRO decisions to drastically scale down other forest research projects. A3P recently wrote to the Minister for Innovation, Industry Science and Research Kim Carr expressing serious concern about the reduction of public funding for wood and paper

research and development. The decision appears inconsistent with the Government’s stated policies about the forest and wood products industries and about innovation and value-adding within Australia. “Wood is an abundant and renewable feedstock for an increasingly wide range of products, on which all other comparable countries are

expanding their national research effort to develop new opportunities for wood in energy, chemicals and traditional products to replace fossil-based feedstocks,” A3P CEO Richard Stanton said. The A3P members’ forum will be held on June 17 in Melbourne with a welcome dinner to be held the night of June 16.

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us focus

Now in it’s 24th year the Queensland Timber Industry Charity Golf Day is set for: Mortgage foreclosures cloud increased housing construction in the US.

North American forestry isn’t out of the woods yet WHILE there are some indications that a recovering economy will bring positive results in 2010, the North American forest, paper and packaging industries aren’t out of the woods yet, according to a recent report. Increased construction is good news for lumber producers, but growth is constrained by a continuing downturn in the US housing market, which is still beset by mortgage foreclosures, an international panel of sector leaders told Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu for its Compass 2010 Global forest sector outlook. “Until there is a fundamental shift in the strength of the US housing market, there will be no meaningful demand increase [for lumber] in North America,” the panel said. As well, the North American newsprint market “has yet to hit the bottom” the panel said, and there is still overcapacity in the segment in Europe, which is weighing on prices. Still, “the [European] paper market has shown positive signs so far in 2010,” the report says. “A better balance and more disciplined approach to demand have resulted from plant closures, enabling the market to rationalise capacity and adjust prices.” The panel noted that there are few newsprint producers left in

North America and Europe and that the entire forest-products industry -- and in particular sectors such as containerboard -- faces future shrinkage through consolidation and bankruptcy, with smaller companies particularly vulnerable. The panellists point to the AsiaPacific region as source of growing demand with China’s economic stimulus money creating boom conditions -“the demand for lumber and building materials is stronger now than it has ever been,” the report notes. Also, “Northern European players are evaluating the investment potential in South America, particularly Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, because of the improved local economic conditions and as export markets for building materials and pulp.” Not having green products is becoming a competitive disadvantage, the report says, but the development of more environmentally friendly products “will depend heavily on the consumer and pressure from society.” Biofuels will be an important part of future growth for the industry, which is already the world’s largest producer and user of bioenergy, the report notes.

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FRIDAY 28th MAY, 2010 Invite clients for a day of networking to show your appreciation for their support or use it as a team building experience for your staff. Spend a day socialising with industry peers, enjoying a day on the green and raise money for a children's’ charity.

THE DETAILS: Competition is a 4 ball Ambrose, 4 players per team. Prizes awarded to teams for 1st, 2nd & 3rd places as well as the Bradman prize for last place. There is a maximum of 36 teams able to play so get in quick! DATE: COST: VENUE: RSVP:

Friday 28th May, 2010 $600 per team of 4, includes lunch. $165 per individual, includes lunch. Gainsborough Greens Golf Course Yawalpah Road, Pimpama Friday 7 May, 2009


8.00am Arrive & register at Gainsborough Greens Golf Course. A hot BBQ breakfast will be served. 9.00am Shotgun start. 2.00pm Return to clubhouse for a hot lunch. Well renowned entertainer, Steve Allison followed by prize presentation.

The beneficiaries will be designated Children's Charities.

A Joint Industry Association Event



HooHoo-Hoo Club 218




issue 120 | 12.04.10 | Page 13


Forest industries demand change to US green building rating system AN online petition demanding changes to the US Green Building Councils (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building standard is receiving tremendous support. Since launching on March 16, the petition has more than 5000 signatures from across the globe. The petition calls on the USGBC to open LEED to all wood and paper products certified to independent, respected and credible standards including SFI, ATFS, CSA, FSC, and PEFC. Currently, LEED only recognises certified products from one standard – FSC. The petition was launched by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The executive director of the Australian Forestry Standard Ltd Kayt Watts has asked Australian industry to put added pressure on the USGBC for change. ‘This doesn’t make strong environmental, economic or social sense’ - Kathy Abusow “As it affects businesses globally, we need to show how Australia is leading the way in the green building program,” Ms Watts said. [Under pressure from governments and industry, the Green Building Council of Australia in January revised its timber credit to allow equal consideration of the AFS and FSC schemes]. Ms Watts says the USGB has been bombarded by a wide range of organisations regarding the prescriptive nature of its proposed forest certification benchmarks for the LEED certified wood credit, both as part of its public consultations on the new benchmarks, as well as by direct submission to

Page 14 | issue 120 | 12.04.10

Kayt Watts .. industry call to put pressure on USGBC.

Kathy Abusow .. time to recognise all credible forest certification standards.

Steven Koehn .. state foresters support ‘opening’ of LEED in the US.

USGBC. PEFC participated in the consultation and also sent a communication in October last year, which is available on the PEFC website. “I encourage industry to join the conversation,” Kayt Watts said. “More than most, you appreciate the environmental value of wood as a construction material and you know how hard it is to meet PEFC’s rigorous criteria. You also know how important it is that USGBC take an inclusive approach to third-party forest certification – similar to the Australia Green Building Council, which now recognises both FSC and PEFC-endorsed standards for its timber credit.” Ms Watts has circulated a pro-forma letter to industry requesting it be sent on to Steve Baer, chair, USGBC’s materials and resources technical advisory group with a copy to Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO, US Green Building Council. The US online petition has sparked a groundswell of support, providing a collective voice to the vast community of those who care deeply about

sustainable forestry and feel strongly that USGBC should open LEED to SFI and other credible forest certification standards. President and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Kathy Abusow said the thousands who had signed the petition were joined by many forestry and sustainability experts in demanding change. The president of the National Association of State Foresters Steven Koehn had circulated a letter on behalf of members to USGBC in support of opening LEED. Additionally, Michael Goergen, president of the Society of American Foresters, has voiced his support for LEED becoming more inclusive. Government leaders are also stepping up in support of opening LEED. In a letter to USGBC expressing concern with its bias towards FSC, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said recognising only FSC-certified wood in the LEED benchmarks would result in discrimination against wood products derived from well-managed lands in green building projects. “The USGBC should fairly assess and include all credible

forest certification programs, including SFI and ATFS systems,” he said. More than three-quarters of North American certified forests are certified to standards not currently recognised by the USGBC, including the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), American Tree Farm System (ATFS), and Canadian Standards Association (CSA). At this time LEED only recognises FSC certification, which accounts for less than one quarter of the North American certified lands. The majority of FSC certifications are outside of Canada and the US. An unintended consequence of the USGBCs current policy is that builders, architects and designers seeking the LEED forest certification credit cannot get credit for the vast majority of certified domestic sources of supply. “It is counter intuitive that green building discriminates against domestic sources of supply and we hope that the USGBC will come to realise that this doesn’t make strong environmental, economic or social sense,” Kathy Abusow said.

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industry news

Wood waste key to keeping NZ green? Energy group keen to develop biofuels industry By CATHERINE HARRIS

SCOUTS from an overseas energy company have been in New Zealand investigating the potential for a biofuels industry drawn from wood waste. Robert Rapier and colleagues from Hawaii-based sustainable energy firm Merica met with government, research and forestry companies last week. Mr Rapier, the company’s chief technology officer, said Merica could potentially offer both investment and technological support. A decision to go ahead could well result in a “major investment in New Zealand’s clean energy future”, probably in partnership with local private firms. “We are trying to determine if our technologies mesh up with well with the biomass resources and the demand for power [primarily diesel and jet fuel] in New Zealand.” However, there were some major calculations to make first, such as the cost of refining and transporting the wood, compared to other fuels. A crucial element was whether enough biomass could be sustainably grown and still leave enough for the logging industry, and enough waste to nourish the soil. Mr Rapier said Merica was funded by two wealthy philanthropists. “They try to keep their names out of the media. We typically don’t comment much on our plans. “One of the reasons people do say a lot about plans is they’re out looking for funding and so forth. That’s not what we’re doing. We would rather just go and do projects and comment on them when we really have something to say.” While things were still in the “early due diligence stage”, the principals were coming to

Wood energy .. the process of using wood waste products as an alternative biofuel has potential in New Zealand.

Robert Rapier .. major investment in New Zealand’s clean energy future?

Prof. Pang .. technology here but there are limitations in terms of investment.

New Zealand to see things for themselves in a few months. “But I think they’re both pretty committed to investing in New Zealand,” Mr Rapier said. They’re both familiar with New Zealand, they’ve spent time here, they like the country a lot, and they feel it’s ideally situated for what we’re trying to do.” Mr Rapier, an engineer and a proponent of alternative energy, said New Zealand was a bright spot for being able to offset its own energy needs. It was similar to the “Big Island” of Hawaii – physically the largest island of the group – which had a low population, big biomass sector and largely imported its fuels. “Our theory is that we could

be sustainable there on Hawaii and our view is New Zealand could be sustainable because of your remote location and the amount of biomass you have.” Mr Rapier said the ultimate aim would be to build a large biofuel refinery, which would take three to five years. “Ultimately, we’d like to build a plant like that but .. if the economics don’t work out we’re also looking at what I call enabling technologies.” Those technologies aimed to pack more energy into the biomass to make it more affordable to transport. The wood could be turned into a charcoal-like product or a liquid fuel, which was probably too dirty for diesel engines but

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ideal for power production. “But your power here in New Zealand is very cheaply priced. So it may be hard to beat and use that for electricity generation.” As well as being a holding company for various biofuel businesses, Merica was looking into setting up a biomass trading platform. Similar platforms were already operating in Europe and ensured security of supply. “We feel like biomass costs will go up over time and we don’t want to be in the situation where our business becomes at the mercy of rising biomass costs.” Although Mr Rapier was reluctant to name most of the companies he had been visiting, he confirmed he had talked with the University of Canterbury and Crown research institute Scion. Professor Shusheng Pang, director of the university’s Wood Technology Research Centre, confirmed his research team had met Mr Rapier. He said Merica’s work was preliminary but encouraging and ambitious. “We have the technology available, and we have been working with a number of companies to get the investment but in New Zealand it seems there are limitations in terms of investment to build a commercial-scale plant,” Prof. Pang said. The university already has a large-scale model of a plant which converts woody waste into electricity and liquid fuel. A commercial-scale plant using four tonnes of waste an hour could generate 5 to 6 megawatts of power, enough for 40,000 to 50,000 homes.

issue 120 | 12.04.10 | Page 15

Chain of Custody I N F O R M AT I O N S E M I N A R

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reach your market weekly s direct delivery s very affordable Page 16 | issue 120 | 12.04.10

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issue 120 | 12.04.10 | Page 17

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Issue 120  
Issue 120  

A weekly online magazine to the timber and forestry industry.