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issue 129 | 14.06.10 | Page 1

Industry group gets active on standards

This Issue • Farming for carbon viable option • Chipping away at falsehoods

Stakeholders network to speed priority and uptake of revisions By JIM BOWDEN

INDUSTRY stakeholders are fast tracking a national pathway on timber standards following a critical first meeting of the newly-formed standards reference group in Sydney last week. In a tactical move, the group met at Standards Australia’s head office at the Exchange Centre in Bridge Street, Sydney, and devoted part of the meeting to discussions with new SA chief executive Colin Blair. Group members agreed the meeting was a breakthrough start to a complex and difficult issue – the review of 150

business of biomass • Upbeat outlook for SA forests • Upswing in world consumption of OSB • Making better use of every sawlog • What’s On?

 The

Fast-tracking timber standards.

standards related to the timber industry. “The FWPA made a good fist of it at the meeting, addressing priorities and working towards a common level of understanding among group members,” A3P solid wood manger Peter

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Juniper told T&F enews. In late 2008, Standards Australia sold the rights to publish standards to information provider and trainer SAI Global. The arrangement, effective from Cont Page 2

issue 129 | 14.06.10 | Page 1

industry news

Priority list from Making 150 standards an to be processed impact ..

across Australia’s forest and forest products industry .. since 1940

From Page 1

The Victorian Association of Forest Industries wishes to thank Hoo-Hoo J1V and Hoo-Hoo Club 218 for their most generous support of our representation at the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

January 2009, stripped SA of previous income derived from the distribution of standards, forcing it to charge industry for any developments or revisions. The board of FWPA agreed to establish a new industry service for coordination of standards development following a workshop in Melbourne on July 20 last year and appointed Neil Evans standards manger in October. The Sydney meeting, chaired by FWPA managing director Ric Sinclair, agreed to categorise standards as either high, medium or low priority and assign funds to make sure these priorities are addressed. FWPA has allocated $500,000 to this area of standards activity. [FWPA has provided about $4.5 million for R&D projects related to standard over the past five or six years]. “We expect the new work will be

How do you employ

apprentices? Neil Evans .. networking with industry.

completed in a few weeks and then discussed by the group network via teleconference,” Neil Evans said. “At this point a list of standards will be chosen to form the new work program for the first review.” Four standards are now being assessed. The first is the revision of AS1604, funded jointly by FWPA and the Timber Preservers Cont Page 8

New Standards Australia chief

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 129 | 14.06.10

DESIGN engineer Colin Blair is the new chief executive of Standards Australia. Mr Blair has worked at Standards Australia since 1987 and has extensive experience in the standards environment. He is an engineer and fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (UNSW), Master of Engineering Science (UNSW), Master of Environmental Studies (UNSW) and Master of Business Administration (University of Rochester, New York State, USA). Before joining Standards

Australia, Mr Blair worked as a practising design engineer.

Colin Blair

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industry news

Upbeat outlook for SA forests

Blue gums contribute to industry’s $2.8bn value THE value of forestry to the South Australian economy is expected to increase above $2.6 billion as blue gum harvesting ramps up and new projects come on stream. Newly-appointed Forests Minister Michael O’Brien gave the upbeat forecast at the National Association of Forest Industries board and policy dinner in Adelaide last week. He said the state’s forest and forest processing industry employed nearly 13,000 people directly and indirectly in more than 630 businesses. “The industry is worth $2.6 billion and this is likely to increase as blue gum harvesting ramps up, leading to growth in exports, and developments take shape such as the proposed Penola pulp mill and the renewable energy pellet mill

Michael O’Brien .. blue gums boosting value of forest industries.

in Mount Gambier,” Mr O’Brien said. He said the Forest Industry Development Board was currently working with stakeholders to draft a forest industry strategy for the state.

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“The strategy will help guide policy direction for government and industry, with an aim to produce a business environment that is conducive to growth, but without interfering in or distorting the marketplace,” he said. NAFI chief executive Allan Hansard said the plantation resource not only provided essential economic benefits but also significant community and environmental benefits to South Australia and Australia more broadly. Mr Hansard said that not many people realised that the 330,000 ha of plantation in the Green Triangle region provided essential wood products for domestic processing and export markets and also enabled Australia to meet its Kyoto target by soaking up carbon dioxide emissions from other sectors in the economy. He said the sustained investment and growth in the industry was contingent on South Australia developing a workable water policy framework for the forest industry to provide the right signals for future investment. “The industry has long advocated for water policy that is equitable and based on good science, reflecting sound principles of good public policy,” Mr Hansard said. “We understand the South Australian Government is carefully considering their water policy for forestry, in particular whether to adopt the recommendation by the South East Natural Resource Management Board that water use for forestry should be licensed in the same way as irrigators who pump water from underground aquifers and rivers.” Mr Hansard said the approach suggested by the SENRM board was not equitable or sustainable.



DATE! 9 September 2010 Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

“Australia’s Place in the Changing Global Forest Products Market” Presented by ForestWorks, the Industry Skills Council for Australia’s Forest, Wood, Paper & Timber Products Industry, supported by Industry. Industry relevant topics including: • Future opportunities for global forestry markets including renewable energy • Certification & regulation of global markets • Ownership & investment in Australia • Industry led solutions for a sustainable industry The 2010 Forest Industries Liaison Dinner: 9 September Regent Theatre on Collins Street, Melbourne For information contact:



issue 129 | 14.06.10 | Page 3


The business of biomass Industry seminar generates wide interest

TIMBER Queensland has long held an interest in opportunities for using waste products in the form of sawmill residue for renewable energy production. As opportunities in the energy sector have emerged, the industry is increasingly recognising opportunities for plantations to supply biomass for energy production, without impacting on their primary wood production purpose. There are significant opportunities for biomass from the forest and timber industry to contribute to renewable energy in the state. Importantly, biomass provides an opportunity to deliver base load power as demonstrated by the Rocky Point Power station (see story, Page 9). There are emerging

technologies and opportunities for the timber industry to participate in the bio-energy sector. Apart from opportunities for added income from the sale of residue or value added char or energy products, there are

opportunities for the production of power to offset rapidly rising electricity costs. However, there is a huge array of technologies and to help make sense of this emerging industry, Timber Queensland has organised a seminar – Bio-

Efficient wood-based energy could be the new fuel of choice.

energy Under the Microscope: Fact or Fiction? – in Brisbane on July 1. Chief executive Rod McInnes says the seminar will also provide an overview of Queensland government policies relating to bio-energy and help businesses evaluate which bio-energy products could make a difference to their bottom line. “We’ve organised this event so our members and others across industry can hear from the leaders in the bio-energy market and position themselves to capitalise on the emerging opportunities for the timber industry.” [The seminar agenda registration information is Cont Page 6

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Page 4 | issue 129 | 14.06.10

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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JULY 2010


17: A3P members’ forum in Melbourne. Welcome dinner June 16. A unique opportunity for members to improve their understand of key policy issues impacting the plantation products and paper industry, to network with colleagues from throughout the industry and to help guide A3P’s work on behalf of the industry. Cotact Natalie Loudon. Email:natalie.loudon@a3p.asn. au for a registration form. A3P will cover the full meeting and dinner costs for staff of member companies.

1: Bio-energy Under the Microscope: Fact or Fiction? Brisbane. Unsure how the burgeoning bio-energy market can deliver a return to your business? Attend this Timber Queensland event to ensure you are positioned to capitalise on the emerging opportunities for the timber industry. events

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

18-20: Timber and Working with Wood Expo, Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney. 21-22: Frame Australia 2010 Conference: Housing Construction and Sustainability. Sofitel Melbourne. The major national event for engineered timber and pre-fabrication. View: 21-22: Skills Tasmania Conference, Hobart. Showcasing workforce development and planning. June 28-July 2: 18th Commonwealth Forestry Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland.

14-18: Interforest 2010 Trade Fair for Forestry Technology Munich, Germany. 21-22: Wood Energy 2010 reducing energy costs and improving energy efficiencies. Rotorua, NZ. 21-22: ScanTECH 2010 Sawmill Scanning & Optimisation Technologies. Rotorua, NZ. www.

6-12: Landcare Week. 7-9: Wood Manufacturing 2010. Profitable Wood Manufacturing: Tooling, Technology & Design. Rotorua, NZ. www. 8-10: AFAC bushfire CRC annual conference. Darwin Convention Centre Australia. 9: Australia’s Place in the Changing Global Forest Products Market. Future opportunities for global forestry markets including renewable energy; certification and regulation of global markets; ownership and investment in Australia; industry-led solutions for a sustainable industry. Presented by ForestWorks, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins. Note: Forest industries liaison dinner in the evening at the Regent Theatre on Collins Street. For information contact: cday@

26-27: ScanTECH 2010 Sawmill Scanning & Optimisation Technologies. Melbourne. www.

13-15: Wood Manufacturing 2010. Profitable Wood Manufacturing: Tooling, Technology & Design. Melbourne.

26-27: Wood Energy 2010 (World Reducing Energy Costs & Improving Energy Efficiencies) Melbourne.

15-16: Wood Manufacturing 2010 Profitable Wood Manufacturing - Tooling Technology & Design, Melbourne.

26-29: Combined workshop. ATTA / FIAPS / ForestWorks combined annual workshop Hobart. Details:

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

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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


18: National energy price and market update seminar, Melbourne. Organised by the Energy Users Association of Australia, it will update energy users and other interested parties on electricity and gas prices, market conditions, outlooks and topical issues. Tel: (03) 9898 3900 or email:

14: Seminar – Fair Competition and the Illegal Logging Trade. Speaker: Juel Briggs, Briggs Veneer. Prosperos Restaurant, 310 Church Street, Parramatta, 6,30pm for 7pm. Hosted by Sydney Hoo-Hoo Club 215. Contact: Chris White on 0411 293 646 or Ian Ramsay on 0414 746992. Email:

SUSTAINABLE. sustainable. responsible. . RESPONSIBLE

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 129 | 14.06.10 | Page 5


Renewable resources: opportunity to expand production of electricity From Page 4

available online at www. More information is available from Timber Queensland’s communications manager Clarissa Brandt on (07) 3358 7906 or email clarissa@]. Timber Queensland believes that the state government should actively pursue opportunities that aim to expand the production of electricity from renewable sources, but should not seek to impose further regulatory requirements for the use of renewables that are additional to the nationally imposed renewable energy target. A TQ submission focuses on the actions that would assist the forest and timber industry in realising the industry’s full potential to contribute to renewable energy production. The government currently maintains a policy position that precludes the use of native forest sawmill residue for power generation, a position considered irrational by the industry. The native forest trees are legally harvested according to the various regulations associated with private and state-owned native forests, including agreements such as the Southeast Queensland Forests Agreement and Western Hardwoods SFP; all have AFS certification. The residue is generated within the sawmill, and is an unavoidable by-product of processing trees. Despite numerous representations to government, there is yet to be any change in their policy position. Timber Queensland believes it is now time for the government to recognise that the continued

Page 6 | issue 129 | 14.06.10

opposition to use of any genuine native forest sawmill residue for power generation is untenable. High profile speakers at the Brisbane seminar will include Dr Stephen Schuck, manager, Bioenergy Australia, Greg Nielsen, director, Office of Clean Energy, Matthew Warnken, director, Crucible Carbon, Tony Moxon, chairman, Moxon Timbers, Terry McConnell, business and industry relationship manager, Energex, and Ray Ferdinand, managing director, GS Energy. [Ethanol produced from biomass grown in plantations can be blended with gasoline to create E85, a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. CSIRO studies show trees planted over the next 50 years could produce enough methanol, an alternative wood alcohol, to replace, over time, liquid fuels currently produced from crude oill and its derivatives]. Continued opposition to use of any genuine native forest sawmill residue for power generation is untenable Meanwhile, sawmilling operations overseas are forging ahead with biomass projects. Canada-basedEnsyn Technologies Inc. and Tolko Industries Ltd have formed a partnership to build the world’s largest commercial plant to extract a kind of oil from biomass that can be used in heating and electricity. The joint venture, High North BioResources Limited Partnership, will build and operate a plant in Alberta, designed to turn 400 bone dry tonnes of biomass a day into 85 million litres of pyrolysis oil annually. The pyrolysis oil will Cont Page 7

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Biomass plants detrimental: UK view From Page 6

be used at Tolko’s sawmill. The facility will also be capable of producing a renewable resin ingredient that can be used in the manufacture of wood panel products. Ottawa-based Ensyn Technologies is a world leader in fast pyrolysis and the production of pyrolysis oil from forestry and agricultural biomass. Tolko, a private, Canadianowned forest products company, is a major producer and marketer of lumber, veneer, plywood, oriented strand board and kraft papers, with manufacturing operations across western Canada. Sawmilling operations overseas are forging ahead with biomass projects Ken Shields, chief executive of Conifex, a privately owned softwood forest products company in British Columbia, says there are a number of factors coming together to produce a sustainable forest industry, including bioenergy. He says there are tremendous opportunities in the bioenergy sector. Mr Sheilds points to a unique

Expanding the production of electricity from renewable sources.

opportunity for producing and selling electricity at two of the company’s sawmills where it has a power broiler and a steam turbine generator and has the potential for both power and pellets. The mills have a combined annual production capacity of 445 million board feet of lumber on a two-shift basis, a forest licence with an annual allowable cut of about 932,500 cub m, a steam/power plant and associated turbine and boiler. Cutting across these fastmoving trends, is a new report that says large-scale biomass plants – hailed as a key part of the renewable energy revolution – could actually have

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a detrimental effect on the environment and the economy, threatening jobs and releasing millions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. “Diverting wood from existing users to large-scale biomass plants will be bad for the environment and bad for jobs – surely the opposite of what governments wish to achieve,” warns Stuart Goodall, chief executive of the Confederation of Forest Industries. ConFor represents UK forestry and wood-using businesses, from nurseries and growers, to wood-processing end-users. The independent report by Edinburgh-based John Clegg Consulting, looks at future demand from existing wood-

using businesses and new large and medium biomass energy plants - including sites planned in Scotland that would have a total generating capacity of around 400 megawatts. There is also a plan for a 225MW biomass site at Hunterston, Ayrshire, as well as a number of other significant proposals in England and Wales. But the Clegg report compares demand with existing supply, including imports, and concludes potential demand for wood far outstrips projected supply. “Large-scale biomass plants are simply not the most efficient way to use wood and woody material,” says Stuart Goodall. “This valuable, finite resource has a major part to play in the low carbon economy by locking up carbon in both forests and wood products, and through generating heat and power locally.” The report says if new large users of British grown wood and other wood fibre enter the marketplace, supported by subsidy, then it can only be at the expense of existing users, impacting negatively and disproportionately on sustainability, employment, carbon sequestration, and Cont Page 9

issue 129 | 14.06.10 | Page 7

industry news

Copyright and intellectual property issues a key consideration on industry standards From Page 2

Association of Australia. Another three standards are with Standards Australia for amendment – AS/NZS 1859.1, AS/NZS 2269.1 and AS/NZS2098.2. This was completed in conjunction with the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia. The reference group also agreed to produce supporting documentation to assist in the interpreting of the new grading standard AS/NZS 1748. FWPA will be funding the development of this user aid to assist in consistent grading outcomes. Although there are 150 standards relevant to timber, the reference group is not expected to comb through all of them, preferring to create a top list of priorities that can be

processed quickly by the FWPA standards manager. Many standards are likely to be abandoned while others might be produced as an industry document or a set aside for later revision or amendment. Some standards have already been amended and revised. Standards Australia will continue to be involved in many of the revisions and the Sydney meeting appreciated the desire by SA chief executive Colin Blair to work cooperatively with the timber industry. However, FWPA is not likely to work through SA on every standard revision; there is an ‘open door’ on this allowing reference group members to decide the best options. Working with SA remains the best approach for industry,

You can rely on EWPAA certified products – other certifications are just not the same

although there are some copyright and intellectual properties to consider. SA or ASI Global may have copyright on industry standards but they don’t necessarily hold the intellectual property rights. The timber framing standard is one example – it evolved from input from all state timber industry bodies. Industry members of the standards reference and networking group are Peter Juniper (A3P), Kim Harris (Carter Holt Harvey), Peter Robson (Boral Timber), Simon Dorries (EWPAA), Frank Moretti (Gunnersens), John Harrison (Harrison Timber), David Gover (Gunns), David Marlay (Hyne), Gary Demby (McCormack Demby Timber), Vincent Corlett (Nannup Timber Processing), Craig Kay (Tilling Timber) and

Richard Schaffner (Westpine). The group includes people with considerable technical expertise in standards and others with virtually no experience at all. “What was very encouraging is that the broad makeup of the group shows the industry really wants to get involved in standards issues,” Ric Sinclair said. So .. industry is off to a good start on standards with the standards reference group expected to meet four times a year. That some major standard have been revised already – such as the timber framing code and the timber structure code – then this will ease some of the pressure from an industry impatient to see positive outcomes sometime soon.

They meet Australian standards that are tested, certified and


Look for these brands (EWPAA LVL producers)

Carter Holt Harvey Wesbeam Pty Ltd Juken New Zealand Ltd Nelson Pine Industries Ltd

EWPAA Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia Plywood House, 3 Dunlop Street, Newstead 4006, Queensland, Australia Tel: 61 7 3250 3700. Fax: 61 7 3252 4769 Email:

Web: Page 8 | issue 129 | 14.06.10

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wood and bioenergy

Wood waste green power for cane mill QUEENSLAND’S Rocky Point Green Power electricity generation plant is green by name and by nature, using everything it can lay its hands on. It’s a cogeneration plant that burns wood and green waste and bagasse (sugar cane waste) to generate electricity, steam and hot water. A third of the electricity is used by the neighbouring sugar mill during the harvest crush, usually from July through November, and the rest sold to the grid. Outside the crush about 95% is sent to the grid. General manager Peter Shaw says other factors contributing to the plant’s runaway success include improvements to on-site technologies and infrastructure, a huge increase in available biomass fuels, a steady income stream from abatement certificates and some handy pocket money from by-products. Stanwell Corporation took over the mill from the Heck Family in 2002 and spent $50 million replacing the old high emission boilers with more efficient highpressure boilers. It became the Rocky Point cogeneration plant, with value-adds such

as organic sugar production and distillation of fuel alcohol, ethanol. Last year, private equity group Babcock and Brown and National Power bought the plant for $5.12 million and renamed it Rocky Point Green Power. The company has not renewed its electricity supply contract with the Queensland government’s Energex and has instead gone with private retailer JackGreen, whose Green Power scheme is reporting significant uptake from consumers. Peter Shaw estimates in the past year the amount of waste available has grown exponentially, from about 120,000 tonnes on Stanwell’s watch to 300,000 tonnes today.

The business of biomass From Page 7

mitigation of climate change.” Total wood production in the UK is expected to peak at about 20 million tonnes around 2019, the report concludes, with demand from existing markets at a similar level. Large-scale biomass plants currently proposed in the UK would need at least 27 million tonnes of additional wood every year. Demand for wood could exceed supply as early as next year – before the impact of most

large-scale biomass plants is felt. The report warns that even if a “small proportion” of the new proposed wood energy plants become operational, this would put huge pressure on finite wood resources. New sites cannot rely on imports, the report says, because global supplies of wood for biomass are severely limited. This could mean biomass plants that propose to import wood will have to turn to domestic supplies, creating greater pressures.

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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! 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 3841 8075

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issue 129 | 14.06.10 | Page 9


Making better use of every log Improving graded recovery of softwoods

SOFTWOOD mills will be able to weed out below-standard material at an early stage and grade products more accurately thanks to a FWPA and Queensland governmentfunded project. The project, led by Henri Bailleres and Gary Hopewell of Agri-Science Queensland, explores whether nondestructive technologies, such as acoustic resonance techniques, could be used to sort logs (before cutting) and green boards (before drying) to help remove material which would not make the minimum grade later in the process. Currently such sorting, or grading, occurs downstream

Gary Hopewell .. better utilisation of resources.

once timber has been cut and dried. Early grading could lead to considerable cost savings for processors and could

Understanding the log .. producing timber for the right end product resulting in less waste.

see timber being cut for the appropriate end use. “Our aim was to try and identify low-grade material as early as possible,” says Gary Hopewell. Industry has been very supportive of the project and has provided considerable inkind assistance; Carter Holt Harvey, Wespine and Hyne were the main industry partners. “It’s about the better utilisation of resources,” explains Kim Harris, national product and compliance manager with Carter Holt Harvey. “The more industry can understand a log prior to sawing, the more decisions we can make before we saw it which increases the chances of high-grade recovery. It means the industry can produce timber with a higher confidence that it will be for the right end product resulting in less waste from fall down.” The research also aimed to improve the measurement of dry board stiffness and strength using new statistical techniques and non-destructive testing methods. Better stiffness and strength measurements could lead to grading closer to threshold

limits and therefore improved grade yields, resulting in more efficient use of the softwood resource. Wood taken from fast grown trees harvested at a young age can be very variable even within a single stem. Such variation is not acceptable if the wood is to be used for structural purposes for which it must meet minimum strength and stiffness criteria. To ensure it is suitable, the wood is graded, that is, sorted into appropriate stress groups, before it is used. Currently this grading takes place once the log has been cut into boards and undergone costly drying and planning. This project aimed to establish whether such sorting could be achieved at an earlier stage, saving time and money and ensuring that logs are used for the most appropriate purpose. Researchers used three distinct populations of exotic plantation grown pines (stiffness-limited radiata pine, strength-limited radiata pine and Caribbean pine) for their study. Samples were tested at the Cont Page 11

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‘It could be a huge cost saving and it will mean different things for different sawmills’ From Page 10

log and board stages. A final measurement of the actual strength and elasticity of the boards showed whether assessments made using nondestructive tests at the earlier stages would have accurately sorted the logs and boards. More than 200 logs were measured and weighed to provide density data and then tested using acoustic resonance techniques. The modulus of elasticity (MOE), a measure of the flexibility of the log, was obtained. The logs were then cut into more than 1500 green boards which were subjected to a range of non-destructive tests, including using gamma rays, acoustic measurements and laser and camera optical scanners, to again estimate a value for MOE and MOR, a measure of the strength of the boards. The boards were then high-temperature kilndried and again tested using a range of non-destructive technologies, individually and in combination. Finally the boards were remeasured using destructive standard static bending tests to get actual readings of MOE and MOR.

Early sorting could make a significant difference to profitability for some milling operations.

The researchers correlated the figures for MOE and MOR from each non-destructive test with the actual MOE and MOR obtained after the destructive tests. In the case of the logs, results from non-destructive tests on the whole log were compared to the average properties measured from all the boards from the log. “We found that the predictions made before cutting and before drying gave a good indication of the stiffness of the cut and dried boards,” Gary Hopewell explained. “The correlation was strong enough to support sorting, particularly at the green board stage.”

By testing the boards early in the process, up to 8% of the material that is unlikely to make a structural product can be diverted to other applications, saving the processing costs of about $80 cub m. Early sorting could make a significant difference to profitability “The technology is already being implemented,” Mr Hopewell said. “Softwood producers in Australia are looking at what equipment they can put in place to sort at log and green board stage.”

Richard Schaffner, business development manager at Wespine, says early sorting could make a significant difference to profitability for some milling operations. “Potentially, it could be a huge cost saving,” he suggests. “It will mean different things for different mills. Resources grown in cooler, higher altitudes tend to have lower stiffness so this sorting could be of value. The saw miller could test the log and stream it.” The researchers went on to compare how well different combinations of nondestructive technologies were able to measure stiffness and predict strength at dry board stage. “The Metriguard Continuous Lumber Grader is what people are using at the moment to grade dry board,” Mr Hopewell said. “It is reliable technology, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do better.” Richard Schaffner added: “This research has shown ways of combining technologies and getting big gains compared to where we are now. There’s still a long way to go in developing scanning technologies. This is an important first step.”

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 129 | 14.06.10 | Page 11

Timber & Working with Wood Sydney 18-20 June Entertainment Precinct, Moore Park Adelaide 23-25 July Adelaide Showground Canberra 3-5 September EPIC Centre Melbourne 15-17 October Melbourne Showground 10.00 – 5PM DAiLy


Neil and Liz Scobie Liz: Artist in Decorative finishes for wood Neil: Maker of fine furniture

Guilio Marcolongo Woodturner

Tim Skilton Woodturner

Patt Gregory Woodwork for Women

Theo Haralampou Woodturner

Stan Ceglinski Traditional Woodworker

Neil Ellis Woodturner restorer/finisher

Kerry Neill Groom Creations

David Foster Restoration & Maintenance Expert

Programme highlights for 2010 include: 2010 Bush Craft Competition • Woodwork for Women • Honey Dipper Competition Joinery Techniques for making fine furniture • How to get a good Finish Painted Textured Finishes for woodworkers • Preparing the Wood • Turn a Table Leg All new for the kids – Ballerina and UFO spinning tops!! Making, playing and selecting a didgeridoo Full 2010 presentation programme on our website Want to avoid the queues pre purchase your ticket online

Page 12 | issue 129 | 14.06.10

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Farming for carbon viable option Plantations on hill country could offset emissions CARBON forestry is a viable option for land owners looking for new income streams, say New Zealand forest owners. “Two recent studies indicate that plantations grown on hill country could be used to offset farm emissions and to improve overall farm profitability,” Forest Owners Association president Peter Berg says. “Many farmers already grow woodlots and small plantations, however much land suited to forestry has not been planted, because trees don’t provide an annual cash income. “Carbon forestry changes this model, providing an annual stream of carbon credits starting about five years from planting. The credits, in the form of NZ Units (NZUs), can be sold on the open market or kept in the bank.” Farm Forestry Association president John Dermer says a lot of comment about the ETS has been very negative and he suspects this has put most farmers off. “My advice to farmers is that they should take a close look at the opportunities and to make up their own minds whether they can make some money out of it. I suspect many hill country sheep and cattle farmers and

Carbon positive .. planting trees on hilly country could improve overall farm profitability.

dairy farmers with run-off blocks will be pleasantly surprised at what they discover,” he says. “Having said that, you need to get it right; the ETS is complicated and there are risks that need to be managed, so it’s very important to take expert advice.” Canterbury University Professor Bruce Manley and forest researcher Piers Maclaren have examined the financial returns and risks associated with

If you know someone who earns a living from producing, selling or making timber goods in Australia, bring them along to this seminar

carbon forestry under the New Zealand ETS. In an article to be published in the academic journal Forest Policy and Economics, they explain that the main financial benefit of carbon forestry comes from the “time value of money”. In other words, income from the sale of carbon credits earned as the forest grows can be invested in more trees, something else, or used to pay off debt. When the trees are harvested, about 75% of the credits earned have to be returned to the government. This is because about 25% of the carbon from the trees, in the form of stumps, roots and other plant material, remains with the land until the new crop becomes established. “Manley and Maclaren’s studies show that radiata pine is a better investment than Douglas fir or shining gum (Eucalyptus nitens) and at higher carbon prices, it’s best not to thin or prune the trees,” Mr Berg says. “However, the highest carbon regimes also involve the highest NZU repayment risk when the crop is harvested. So many carbon foresters are likely to continue pruning, or planting Douglas fir, so they have a high

value timber crop to sell at harvest. “Other ways to manage this risk include spreading forest establishment and harvest dates, deferring harvest and planting a portion in long-lived species such as Douglas fir or redwoods.” A recent AgResearch-led study looked at the potential to use new forests to offset farm emissions and what this meant for farm profitability and cash flow. ETS provides an opportunity to make erosion-prone farmland much more sustainable. There is good evidence that forestry prevents 80-90% of soil erosion Results showed that when carbon values reached $30 to $40/NZU over 60 years, forestry plantings were a costeffective option to hedge carbon price risk. Farms with existing post-1989 forestry benefited most from additional plantings as they were able to make immediate use of carbon being sequestered in existing plantations.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fair Competition – and the Illegal Logging Trade Speaker: Juel Briggs, Director, Briggs Veneers Pty Ltd Venue: Prosperos Restaurant, 310 Church Street, Parramatta, Sydney (6.30pm for 7.00pm) Cost: $40 p.p. (members); $44 p.p. (non members) RSVP by Monday, July 12, to Chris White on 0411 293 646 or Ian Ramsay on 0414 746992 or email: Note: Cheques made payable to Sydney Timber Industry Institute Inc will be received on the night. Direct funds transfer prior to the event is also acceptable. Account details available on request. Receipts available on the night.

Juel Briggs will assess the impact that current and proposed regulations or government controls will have on Australian merchants, manufacturers and manufacturing jobs in the timber industry. She is concerned that timber products from all countries of origin or manufacture should be assessed under the same legality criteria, with no country of origin or of manufacture receiving special favourable treatment.

Book early! Seating limited to 80 persons

Organised by Sydney Hoo-Hoo Club 215

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issue 129 | 14.06.10 | Page 13


Chipping away at falsehoods Timber industry strikes balance between environmental and economic pressures

THE timber industry is a significant economic, environmental and social contributor to Victoria, comparable in size to the dairy and tourism industries. Of 7.8 million ha of native forest in Victoria, about 5500 ha is harvested annually or less than 0.07% of the total forest estate. The timber industry strives to achieve a balance between appropriate environmental conservation and economic development, playing a significant role in fighting climate change. The federal government recognises our sector as the only one that removes more greenhouse gas than it emits and Victorian government modelling supports that by showing public land stores more carbon than it releases,

An article in The Weekly Times, published in Melbourne, has called for the ending of native forest logging to “reduce the world woodchip glut”. The article suggests native forest logging is propped up by taxes while taxes help plantation timber to compete. In response to the article, PHILLIP DALIDAKIS, executive director of the Victorian Association of Forest Industries, says Victoria’s timber industry strikes a balance between the environmental and economic pressures. “However, some still attempt to discredit it as some sort of economic and environmental vandal, despite the facts proving otherwise,” Mr Dalidakis asserts.

A sustainable forest industry in Australia requires a secure and diverse supply base. Picture by VicForests.

Page 14 | issue 129 | 14.06.10

inclusive of timber harvesting. It identifies bushfires as the biggest source of carbon emissions from public lands. While it’s true that some carbon is lost during timber harvesting, research from the CRC for Greenhouse Accounting shows wood and paper products continue to store carbon long after their useful product life. Areas harvested are not simply left as vacant car parks – they’re replanted with seed local to the area, removing significant amounts of carbon as they grow. The author (It’s just pulp fiction, Weekly Times, May 26) was content to make claims about the financial status of VicForests and the industry, but at no time sought the input of VicForests or ourselves. Issues such as the devastating

fires of 2003, 2006-07 and 2009 and a drastically reduced land base have contributed to the challenging operating environment we operate in. During the past 10-15 years, the annual sustainable supply of sawlogs has reduced from near 1 million cub m to less than 500,000 cub m, largely due to increased nature reserves. The contention that we can meet our current timber requirements by switching from native forest timber to plantation timber is simply not true. Independent research concluded the timber produced from Victoria’s Central Highlands could not feasibly be sourced from existing plantations and any 100% plantations policy would require further analysis on land prices and water impacts. Far from being an economic saviour for the Victorian tax payer, the same study estimated that an initial investment of $170 million, plus further investment by government and industry, would be required. The contention that we can meet our current timber requirements by switching from native forest timber to plantation timber is simply not true Due to the long time to realise a return on investment and the risk involved, state governments were the sole growers of plantation timber. This is the real reason for a lack of private sector investment and the rationale behind Managed Investment Scheme Cont Page 15

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MIS serves a valuable purpose in the wood and paper product supply chain However, just as not all cuts of beef are scotch fillet or rib eye, not all parts of a tree can be used as sawlog. So while the industry is indeed sawlog driven, there is a range of byproducts produced resulting in close to 100 per cent resource utilisation by processors.

From Page 14

arrangements. MIS serves a valuable purpose in the wood and paper product supply chain and critics of our industry are quick to suggest company failures equals policy failure. However, I’d suggest it had more to do with their diversification away from sole forestry activities into other agricultural schemes. Regardless, we’re like any other industry and will include businesses that succeed and fail.

And for the record, those woodchips go towards essential everyday consumer products along with highquality printing. A sustainable forest industry in Australia requires a secure and diverse supply base, strengthened by continually improving forest management, enhancing resource efficiency and facilitating innovation.

Just as not all cuts of beef are scotch fillet or rib eye, not all parts of a tree can be used as sawlog None of this detracts from the fact that as a country we do not currently meet our own timber consumption through domestic production. The latest figures (08-09) from ABARE place Australia’s trade

A sustainable forest industry in Australia requires a secure and diverse supply base.

deficit in forest products at $2.2 billion, while federal government estimates suggest $400 million of forest products imports were sourced from areas considered

at high risk of illegal logging. Woodchips were also targeted by the author and are all too often demonised in rhetoric by anti-timber activists.

No other resource material has the positive environmental life cycle benefits that timber has, so cutting our industry down makes no sense.

Legality criteria must apply to all countries IF Australia is to have illegal logging regulations, then timber products from all countries of origin or manufacture should be assessed under the same legality criteria, with no country of origin or of manufacture receiving special favourable treatment. That’s the opinion of Juel Briggs, a director of Briggs Veneers, who will address a seminar on the subject in Sydney on July 14. “If there isn’t equal treatment and finished product is allowed in to the country without any controls, when raw timber is subject to restrictions, more

illegal timber will just come in within the finished products, without any reduction of illegal timber imports,” Ms Briggs said. “Additionally, circumstances in which overseas manufacturers have an unrestricted timber supply, while Australian manufacturers have controls imposed on their raw material, will grant favourable treatment to overseas manufacturers, selectively disadvantaging jobs in the merchant and manufacturing sector.” The seminar – Fair Competition and the Illegal Logging Trade – will be hosted by Sydney Hoo-

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Hoo Club 215 at Prosperos Restaurant, 310 Church Street, Parramatta, starting at 6,30pm. Club president Chris White said the seminar would highlight the impact that current and proposed regulations or government controls will have on Australian timber merchants and processors. “Industry really needs to work together on this to ensure that anti-competitive or favourable treatment should not be selectively applied to certain timber products over others,” Mr White said.

Juel Briggs .. need a level playing field on timber imports.

• See notice, Page 13.

issue 129 | 14.06.10 | Page 15

industry news

Upswing in world consumption of OSB as plywood production continues to rise GROWTH in the production and consumption of oriented strand board (OSB) in North America and Europe as a substitute for structural plywood has been rapid over the past decade – and yet plywood production is expanding. A new report by BIS Shrapnel Forestry says OSB and plywood have increasingly been produced in South America, Russia and Eastern Europe. OSB is used in construction applications for walls, roof panels, sub floors, single-layer floors, insulated panels, floor joists and rim board. In North America it has captured 75% of the structural panel market for key applications. [OSB is an engineered wood product formed by layering strands (flakes) of wood in specific orientations]. The upswing will present opportunities for bringing idle capacity back into production, and for developing markets in new regions In Europe, 75% of OSB is used in the construction industry. Plywood is mainly a structural panel but is used for a wide range of other applications. The production of plywood has increased dramatically in China, which is now a major exporter. It is ironic that the production of plywood has increased rapidly in a resource poor, low cost region, highly dependent on imported logs and veneer, and yet the production of low cost OSB, which is produced from a lower quality resource, has not taken hold in China as a substitute for plywood, or as a potential export product, says the report. The global downturn in 2009 resulted in overcapacity in the structural panels industry in

Page 16 | issue 129 | 14.06.10

in Europe, and also imported, is used for many of these applications as well, although 40% is used in construction. “Plywood and OSB producers in Europe will need to carefully consider short term cyclical and long term factors to maximise opportunities arising from the economic upturn,” Mr Neufeld said.

New opportunities in growth of oriented strand board production.

North America, as well as plant closures. “The upswing will present opportunities for bringing idle capacity back into production, and for developing markets in new regions. However, there are some uncertainties,” said BIS Shrapnel senior manager Bernie Neufeld. The report raised a number of questions: Will the pine beetle infestation in Canada constrain the production of plywood and OSB? Will the reduced availability of veneer quality logs from Indonesia, Malaysia and Russia result in rapidly expanding OSB production in China? Will there be a reduction in plywood production in China? Will plywood production expand in South America and Australasia? Will Russia become a major producer of OSB and plywood? How will this impact on the global market? “As the world economy moves into a sustained cyclical upturn, a resurging North American and European structural panels industry will face competition from China, Russia and South America,” Mr Neufeld said. “Producers need to understand these markets, and their own

markets, to take advantage of opportunities for production, investment, trade, and competitiveness.” He said Europe had been a major producer, consumer, and importer of softwood and hardwood plywood for many years. OSB production began in the early 1990s, and production capacity was now over 4.5 million cub m. It is now produced in 10 countries in Western Europe, as well as in Turkey, Russia and East Europe, and is the fastest growing panel product in Europe. Plywood, which is produced

As the world economy moves into a sustained cyclical upturn, a resurging North American and European structural panels industry will face competition from China, Russia and South America OSB is now produced in South America, and there are plans for production in China, and in Japan. Over the next decade, as demand for structural plywood and OSB increases, in the face of diminishing tropical hardwood resources, these and other regions will begin to substitute OSB for plywood. Australasia, with the capacity to increase hardwood eucalypt and softwood plantations will have the opportunity to expand consumption, production and exports of plywood and OSB, says the BIS Shrapnel report.

Osmose settles lawsuit with NZ MP A $15 million lawsuit issued by Osmose against a New Zealand MP has been settled out of court. The case goes back to July 2005 where Drs Robin Wakeling and Nick Smith MP made statements in television, radio and print media that were extremely critical of the efficacy and suitability of Osmose’s surface applied boron timber preservative TimberSaver, used to treat house framing. Osmose issued court

proceedings claiming that a number of the statements were untrue and defamatory. Osmose joined several other parties to the litigation alleging evidence showed they had participated in and shared responsibility for the statements, including Arch Wood Protection (NZ) Ltd (formerly known as Koppers Arch Wood Protection (NZ) and Bay Treatment Ltd. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

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They have a big ‘steak’ in Hoo-Hoo at the Norman

Catching up with forester Dick Pegg (right) are Colin Galley (president 1978-79) and Bill Philip (president 1982-83).

Attending their 28th pioneers’ luncheon are Tony Stokes and Jim Bowden (president 20012003).

TWENTY-FOUR pioneers of Brisbane Hoo-Hoo Club 218 gathered in Brisbane last week to honour a great legacy, renew old friendships and, to put it simply, have a good time over a long lunch. They had earned it! Older than Rotary International, the Hoo-Hoo movement, as a timber industry service oganisation, goes back 118 years and the Brisbane 218 pioneers celebrated the Hoo-Hoo ideal over plump oysters, thick steaks, cold ales and yarns about the ‘good old days’ at their traditional watering hole, the historic Normal Hotel at Woolloongabba. Active and retired timber and forestry personalities, including 11 past presidents, with a combined contribution to industry of more than 1000 years, toasted club foundation members present and departed. “Most of us here have been around this industry for awhile now. And some of us have been around for…well…more than just awhile. We’ve seen some good times, and some bad times.

Enjoying the long lunch at the Norman Hotel .. Alf Chapple (president 1991-93), Tom Donohue (president 1988-89), Ray Lamari (former J1V president and vicegerent Hoo-Hoo Snark Area 4), Pieter Verlinden ( current club 218 president), and Malcolm Powell (president 1985-86).

We’ve seen history being made, and we have made history,” said luncheon organiser John Crooke. “It is especially gratifying to see so many of our club’s long-time supporters and elder statesmen of industry gathered here together around the table.” Such club pioneer standouts as Rod Abel and Colin Wilson and those departed Don Brandon, David Wilkinson, Mick Simpson, Ken Bunney, Bertie George, Denis Denning, Tom Ryley and Merv Scanlan were remembered. And no name in the history of Brisbane Hoo-Hoo Club 218 loomed larger than pioneers’ day founder the late Tony Baynes, president (1966-68) and J1V president (1972-74).

Hoo-Hoo Club 218 pioneers .. Charlie Henry (president 1980-81), John Crooke (J1V president 1996-97 and club president 1984-85), Tom Donohue (J1V president 1995-96 and club president 1988-89), and Tony Stokes.

Arriving for a pioneer’s lunch .. David McInyre (president 199596) and Mark Kapper.

Friendships renewed .. Peter Mort (president 1987-88), David Armstrong (formerly Queensland Timber Board), and Don Towerton.

Cheers to Hoo-Hoo .. John Titmarsh, Brian Allom, Charles Achilles and Tim Evans.

TABMA Australia team hits the ground running SOUTH Australian manger for TABMA Australia Jason Howse continues to sign up members at a rapid rate. Membership is now approaching 25, and Mr Howse has placed three apprentices with members with another eight to be placed in June. He is also active signing up Wood Naturally Better program partners. Newly-appointed WA

membership manger Louise Collier has hit the ground running, looking to place up to 10 apprentices in the next few months. TABMA Australia chief executive Colin Fitzpatrick said members were receiving access to a range of benefits including government representation at state and federal levels, industry representation, networking opportunities, development

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of labour resources through the workforce development division, group buying discounts and permanent and part-time placements through TABMA recruitment. New services being negotiated for members include a lowcost trade credit insurance scheme, group certification for chain of custody at reduced rates, a further discount on fuel with Caltex (above the 6.5c/

litre already in place), working jointly with Forestworks in the implementation of training regimes in sawmills, the installation of a new in house database system for our workforce development division which will greatly benefit host employers and the introduction of short courses in timber grading, timber merchandising and sales programs for members’ staff.

issue 129 | 14.06.10 | Page 17

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

Brisbane • Thursday, August 20, 2009 433 On Logan Conference Centre 433 Logan Road, Stone’s Corner LIMITED TO 60 SEATS

Why taking an ad with us is the best value for you!

Tender of will ensure the Queensland industry has the information required Harvest and timber Haulage Contracts for compliance with legislation,Key speakers will present information

Tuesday, June 8th 2010

This important and timely seminar, organised by TABMA Queensland,

will help of reduce some of and the confusion relating to chain of custody. It Tender Harvest Haulage Contracts VicForests is calling for tenders from suitably qualified harvest and haulage contractors.

and there will is becalling a question answerfrom forum. VicForests forand tenders suitably qualified

Speakers include: Ross Runnalls, VicForests’ Manager, Forest Contracting, said tenders need to be harvest and haulage contractors. submitted to VicForests by Friday, Julyapplication 30th 2010 and use, Timber Queensland • Colin MacKenzie, manager, timber

VicForests’ FirestProducts Contract•Ross SimonRunnalls, Dorries, General Manager, Manager, Engineered Wood Association of

“Three harvest and three transport contracts are being offered by VicForests,” Mr ing, said tenders need to be submitted to VicForests by Australasia Runnalls said.

•Friday, Kayt Watts, chief executive, July 30th 2010.Australian Forestry Standard Ltd (AFS)

• Michael Spencer, chief executive, Stewardship Council (FSC) “These contracts will cover the annualForest harvest and transport of approximately “Threeof harvest contracts are being 80,000m3 log productand fromthree native transport hardwood forests in the Central Highlands region. offered by VicForests, “ Mr $80 Runnalls said. • Includes hot breakfast Registration fee: $65 pp (TABMA member) pp (non-member) and morning tea. Note: Arrival 7:30am. Breakfast 7:45 am. Presentations begin at 8 am. “Two five-year contracts one one-year forharvest both harvest and haulage “These contracts will cover thecontract annual and RSVP by Friday, August 14,and to: willTabma commence in operating period. transport ofOctober approximately 80,000m3annual of log product Queensland, PO Box 2010 532, with a nine-month 500 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley 4006 in the Central Highlands from native hardwood forests “These contracts will be (07) available through an open and competitive sealed bid Tel: (07) 3254 3166. Fax: 3254 4599. region. tender process. Mob: 0438 295 136 “Two contracts one one-year “Within thisfivee-year tender process there is anand opportunity for existing contract contractors to tender additional work.and Thishaulage work can be withintheir existing for for both harvest willamalgamated commence October contract quantity into a new contract,” he said. 2010 with a nine month annual operating period.


“VicForests is looking to develop contract terms and conditions that achieve “These contracts will be available through an open and greater certainty and efficiency for contractors and VicForests.

competitive sealed bid tender process.

“We have moved to five-year contracts in order to maximise security for “Within this tender process there is an opportunity for contractors.

existing contractors to tender for additional work. This

“This will also with reducing costswith and improving operational and business work canassist be amalgamated their existing contract skills in relation to harvest and haulage,” Mr Runnalls said

quantity into a new contract,” he said.


Request for Tender documents are available for download from VicForests “VicForests is looking to develop contract terms and website at

conditions that achieve greater certainty and efficiency

Request for Tender documents can also be provided by mail. Companies can for contractors and VicForests. email their Company name, contact name, phone details and postal address to: or contact Reception (03) 9608 9501. “We ahve moved to five-year contracts inonorder to maxi-

This is a winning time for smart marketers

mise security for contractors.

“This will also assist with reducing costs and improving operational and business skills in relation to harvest and NOW the said. time to increase your haulage, “ Mr is Runnalls

business market share in the

Request for tender documents are available for downmost cost effective manner load from VicForests website at au/tenders.htm

AD for PACKAGE RATES NOW AVAILABLE Request tender documents can also be provided by mail. Companies canCONTACT email their Company name, contact name, hone details and postal address to vfs. +61 7 3256 1779

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Issue 129  

A weekly online magazine to the timber and forestry industry