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issue 139 | 23.08.10 | Page 1

Global focus at WoodMart 2010 Business in the supply chain as the

This Issue • Bushfire codes discriminate against designing with timber • NZ log exports: boom or bust?

cream of world timbers goes on show

Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia www.ewp.asn.au

industry embraces EWPAA consumer campaign • Non-compliant imported WPCs fail to meet strength, safety standards • Forestry .. the carbon solution • NZ sheep farmers flock to trees

 Furniture

Malaysia’s plantation industries and commodities minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok holds the logo at the MTC Global WoodMart 2010 launch, accompanied by Malaysian Timber Council chairman Tunku Tan Sri Osman Ahmad (left) and MTC chief executive Cheah Kam Huan.

by 2020. Plantation industries and commodities minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok says the

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EXHIBITION space at the Malaysian Timber Council’s inaugural Global WoodMart 2010 in October – the first of its kind in southeast Asia – has been sold out and there is a waiting list for keen exhibitors, especially from China. WoodMart 2010 will be staged at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on October 19 and 20 and will be a premier one-stop selling, buying and networking platform for timber products from Malaysia and around the world. The exhibition sell-out comes as Malaysia sets an ambitious target to export $A18.5 billion worth of wood-based products

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issue 139 | 23.08.10 | Page 1


events

Making an impact ..

Please join us! 2010 VAFI

Annual Dinner Friday October 15 Crown Entertainment Complex in Melbourne

Watch this space! More details to follow soon

Victorian Association of Forest Industries Level 2, 2 Market Street Melbourne 3000 Tel: +61 3 9611 9000 Fax: +61 3 9611 9011 Email: info@vafi.org.au Web: www.vafi.org.au Page 2 | issue 139 | 23.08.10

New products to lure buyers from around the world From Page 1

a commercial scale to achieve the target. The ministry, through its subsidiary Forest Plantation Development Sdn Bhd, has been given $A350.5 million to disburse to companies having the expertise to open forest estates. The minister announced the targets during a visit to a forest estate owned by Bornion Timber Sdn Bhd in Sook. He praised the company’s commitment in implementing the forest estate program in Sabah, which could achieve its target of planting 5000 ha of latex wood by year’s end. Implemented in 2006, the development program aims to open 375,000 ha of forest estates on a commercial scale in 15 years, on the basis of 25,000 ha every year. The WoodMart2010 exhibition has received overwhelming response from Malaysian and foreign exhibitors, notably from the US, France, China, Brazil, New Zealand, South Korea, the UK and Ghana. Malaysian companies that have taken up sizable booths include APP Timber and Java Berhad. APP Timber will have its foreign suppliers like Floresteca, Ignisterra SA, Rhone Placages

and Composants, Taranakipine and Urufor SA Forest Industries under its pavilion. The American Hardwood Export Council, a partner organisation of MGW 2010, will have several of its members exhibiting, including Robinson Lumber, Graf Brothers, Bridgewell Resources LLC, Northland Corp, Sonoking Corp, Kretz Lumber Co. Inc and Baillie Lumber Co. Another confirmed exhibitor is the Fibre and Biocomposite Development Centre, an agency under the Malaysian Timber Industry Board. “WoodMart 2010 will facilitate business among local and overseas timber suppliers, agents, distributors, importers, manufacturers, wholesalers and others in the supply chain, MTC chief executive Cheah Kam Huan said. “Showcasing wood and wood products from Malaysia and overseas with a ratio of 50:50 and over 90 expected exhibitors, MGW2010 will promote timbers of temperate, boreal or tropical species under one roof.” Timber products on show include sawn timber, plywood, mouldings, MDF, laminated scantlings, flooring, decking, doors, windows, builders’ Cont Page 4

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issues

Bushfire codes discriminate against designing with timber

Architects forced to use wood alternatives By JIM BOWDEN

AN award-winning Sydney architect with a preference for timber design has called on the industry to mount a case for a revision of ‘draconian’ bushfire codes that discriminate against wood. “New bushfire regulations in New South Wales will prevent us from using timber as an external feature and, in a complete swing from designing in our preferred material, wood, we will be forced to consider unsustainable products like fibre-cement,” says Adrian Esdaile of Walter Barda Design. The firm has big domestic housing projects under way in the Pittwater precinct on

Book Now! 9 September 2010 Sofitel Melbourne

Threatened .. the all-timber house succumbs to rigid bushfire codes.

Sydney’s northeast peninsular. But new bushfire attack levels relating to the region – BAL 40 [increased attack from burning debris with significant radiant heat and the potential for flame contact] and BALFZ

[flame zone: radiant heat levels exceeding 40kW/m2] - stipulate “brick and concrete and nothing else,” according to Mr Esdaile. He said the codes made no allowances for inclusions or reductions in terms of hazard level. There were no exemptions, even if a property had roof sprinklers, on-site pumps, water tanks and fire hoses and an independent power source. “The crazy thing is, the code says timber can be used on the outside of a commercial building that has a sprinkler system, but it can’t be used on a domestic building,” Mr Esdaile said. “Our experience has been that a sprinkler roof system will protect a timber-clad house, absolutely. And I can tell you from long and personal experience, brick and concrete houses burn just as well as timber houses in a severe bushfire.” The prime real estate area of Pittwater borders on national park and is densely forested. Heritage listed timber and stone cottages built in the 1930s dot the peninsular. “Now we will have to ‘dumb down’ our designs. Two very big projects are on hold as we look at alternatives for stud framing and architecturally-appealing

“Australia’s Place in the Changing Global Forest Products Market” Forest Industry Development Conference, presented by ForestWorks This major industry development conference will include speakers from global certification bodies, environmental nongovernment organisations, leading global forest products innovators and the Australian industry. Key themes: Markets: Emerging Forest Products Markets Investment: Growth for the Industry Community: Stakeholder Support for Forestry and Forest Products

Book now! Contact cday@forestworks.com.au Visit www.forestworks.com.au to download a full Registration Form

Australia’s Place in the Changing Global

Forest Products Market

Cont Page 12

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issue 139 | 23.08.10 | Page 3


events

Business matching session favors ‘early bird’ delegates at WoodMart From Page 2

carpentry and joinery, furniture components, glue-laminated timber and wood-based composite materials. Cheah said MGW 2010 would target a buyer-seller ratio of 10:1. “To date, 200 buyers have already registered to attend and more are expected in the months of August and September.” Apart from the US, delegations from China, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand will be attending. Trade bodies including the Malaysian Timber Association, Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Malaysia), National Hardwood Lumber Association (USA), Hardwood and Plywood Veneer Association (USA), the UK Timber Trade Federation and European Forest Industries have confirmed their participation in the event. In addition to facilitating prospective global buyers from traditional and emerging markets, MGW 2010 will feature an ‘innovative products section’ which will showcase new products such as ‘Antwood’ (engineered wooden components made

Page 4 | issue 139 | 23.08.10

Sold out .. exhibition space at the Global WoodMart 2010 has been filled and many more companies are on a waiting list.

of biomass used to produce staircases, doors and panels), and ‘Abwood’ (wood plastic composite used for decking, handrails and pergolas). Thermally-modified wood from Malaysia (heat-treated rubberwood and merpauh) will also be making its debut. Other products to be showcased include palm wood furniture and flooring, glass fibre reinforced veneer composite and LAMTEC MALAYSIA

laminated scantlings. Other attractions include a specific business matching session that will be arranged for qualified buyers who register before September 30. This service is provided by MTC for qualified buyers to meet with a minimum of exhibitors and or suppliers during the event. MTC has aspirations to turn the MGW into a biannual event that promotes and encourages the wider application and use of

timber from Malaysia as well as international sources. For more information on MGW 2010 visit www. globalwoodmart.my The Malaysian Timber Council was established in January 1992 to promote the development and growth of the timber industry. MTC was formed on the initiative of the timber industry. It is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee under the Companies Act 1965. The council is governed by a board of trustees, whose members are appointed by the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities. MTC’s main objectives are to promote the Malaysian timber trade and develop the market for timber products globally, to promote the development of the industry by upgrading the industry’s manufacturing technology base, to augment the supply of raw materials, to provide information services and to protect and improve the Malaysian timber industry’s global image. • See registration information Page 13.

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events

WHAT’S ON? 3-5: Canberra Timber & Working With Wood Expo, Exhibition Park in Canberra. Contact: (02) 9974 1393. Fax: (02)9974 3426 Email: info@eee.net.au 6-12: Landcare Week. www.landcareonline.com 7: WoodSolutions 2010. Program for architects, engineers and specifiers. Dockside, Darling Harbour, Sydney. Register interest at www.woodsolutions2010.com.au 7-9: Wood Manufacturing 2010. Rotorua, NZ. Designed for wood processing operations in the dry mill and stand-alone wood manufacturing companies. View: www.woodmanufacturingevents. com 8-10: AFAC bushfire CRC annual conference. Darwin Convention Centre Australia. www.afac10.org 9: Wood Solutions 2010 program. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Register interest at www.woodsolutions2010.com.au 9: First Super Plantation Investors’ Seminar. Sofitel Melbourne on Collins. Day prior to industry development conference – ‘Australia’s Place in the Changing Global Forest Products Market’. Contact: ForestWorks cday@ forestworks.com.au Visit www. forestworks.com.au to download a full registration form 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@ forestworks.com.au 13-15: Manufacturing 2010. Melbourne. Designed for wood processing operations in the dry mill and stand-alone wood manufacturing companies. View: www.woodmanufacturingevents.com 15: WoodSolutions 2010 program. State Library of Queensland, Brisbane. Register interest at www. woodsolutions2010.com.au 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. 30-2 October: The Future of Forestry and Forest Science Conference. Celebrating the centenary of forestry education in Australia. Sydney Myer Asia Centre Carrillo Gantner Theatre, Melbourne University. Contact: Event Planners Australia forestry. Email: 2010@eventplanners.com.au September-October: Centenary of Forestry Education in Australia. Celebrated with various activities and events reflecting on the past, and preparing for the challenges of the future.

OCTOBER 2010 9: Queensland Timber Industry Awards Dinner. Sofitel Brisbane Central, 249 Turbot Street, Brisbane. Contact: TABMA Queensland. Tel: (07) 3254 3166. Mob:0438 295 136. www.tabma.com.au

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10-13: Australian Forest Growers national conference, Mount Gambier, SA. Chief executive Warwick Ragg. Contact national office: (02) 6162 9000.

SUSTAINABLE. sustainable. responsible. . RESPONSIBLE

12: ForestWood 2010. A pan-industry conference jointly hosted by the Forest Owners Association (FOA), Wood Processors Association (WPA), Pine Manufacturers Association (PMA), Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) and supported by Woodco, NZ Farm Forestry Association (NZFFA) and Frame & Truss Manufacturers Association (FTMA). Venue: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington. A great opportunity for organisations and individuals, with a keen interest in forestry, to engage with decision makers and professional specialists from the forestry industry. Conference will focus on maximising value through the value chain, the sector’s relationship with the community and the challenges facing the different sectors. Visit www.forestwood.org.nz 15-17: Melbourne Timber and Working with Wood Expo, Melbourne Showground, Melbourne. Contact: (02) 9974 1393. Fax: (02)9974 3426 Email: info@eee.net.au

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

2010

SEPTEMBER 2010

19-20: MTC Global Woodmart: Gateway to International Wood Markets. The first ‘one-stop’ selling and buying platform for all suppliers and buyers of wood and wood products. Early bird discount 5%. Organised by the Malaysian Timber Council at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia. Contact: Malaysian Timber Council. Tel: +60 3 9281 1999. Fax: +60 3 9289 8999. Email: council@mtc.com.my

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: www.nafi.com.au www.nafi.com.au Web:

issue 139 | 23.08.10 | Page 5


industry news

Boom or bust? New Zealand logging industry looking for stability.

NZ log exports: boom or bust?

Contractors present national strategy for stability in log trade A BOOM in New Zealand’s log exports has peaked and many in industry are bracing for tougher times ahead. Port Nelson is one of several ports around the country that have catered for the increased volumes in logging exports with 8 ha of storage being well used. Chief executive Martin Bryne says log exports to the end of June were 820,000 tonnes, compared with 726,000 tonnes in the year to June 2009, which was up 25% on 2008. Mr Bryne expects to see demand ease without the impact being too dramatic. Director of the NZ Forestry Industry Contractors Association John Stulen said the boom had ended because demand had not kept up with the supply to China. “Something has to give,” he said. “Exports peaked in May and are falling back. “However, the Chinese demand has not completely gone. If it works better this time than it has in the past, sawmills will pick up. “Contractors are wondering whether it’s ‘here we go again

Page 6 | issue 139 | 23.08.10

– boom and bust’, or whether stability will return after the peak.” Mr Stulen said the association had presented a national strategy to forest owners. “We want to see stability rather than highs and lows.” He said the industry had experienced good times relative to other businesses in New Zealand. “But it’s not that we’ve enjoyed better rates, it’s more about higher volumes.” The association’s membership now represents about 50% of the industry and comprises mostly the big and medium contractors who handle about half of the 22 million cub m of logs produced annually. Moutere Logging owner Dale Ewers remains optimistic about the future, saying spikes always have to be followed by falls. “There definitely has been a bit of pull-back as far as logging goes. The prices are still higher than they were 12 months ago. I’m not thinking it’s going to come back too far,” he was quoted in the Nelson Mail.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Non-compliant imported WPCs fail to meet strength, safety standards By Jim Bowden

A GLUT of low standard and potentially fatal woodplastic composites imported from China is damaging the reputation of accredited traders in Australia. “Federal trade authorities must be alerted to these products that are flooding the domestic market and fail to meet even the most basic Australian standards for safety and structural use,” Gold Coast importer and timber wholesaler Graham Baird said. “My concern is that consumers are choosing these imported composites over solid timber because they have been mislead into believing they have structural strength and longevity.” Mr Baird said he had no confidence in these Asian WPCs and on visits to China inspected decking in a public park in Shanghai that was reduced to virtual powder after long exposure to sunlight. [Wood-plastic composite (WPC) is composite material timber made of recycled plastic and wood waste. As it requires no oils or sealants, the most widespread use is in outdoor decking, but it is also used for railings, fences, landscaping

Wood-plastic composite decking .. an expanding industry.

timbers, cladding, siding, park benches, window and door frames and indoor furniture]. Mr Baird said he had no truck with most WPCs produced in Australia and reliable imported material; operators were controlling their mixtures and meeting Australian standards. “But my own experience tells me that 19 mm x 90 mm WPC, over 450 mm joists over time could weaken,” he said. “I have imported some of this product from two suppliers in China and do not have confidence in its performance. There is no quality control or cross-mixing of plastics.”

Mr Baird said imported WPCs should be certified by a government body and then issued with the Australian standards mark. “It’s not immediate that issues could arise, but what will the results be when exposed to the Australian elements after time? And what is going to happen to all those decks out there, say five, 10 or 15 years from now, particularly when the deck is 3 m above ground or higher? It beggars the imagination as to the devastating result of a collapsed deck full of people. “And with these non-compliant imported WPCs, it’s not about

the price. The price is on a par with Australian timber decking and perhaps even more costly in some cases. It’s a branding issue – or the lack of it – and simply fraudulent advice on quality given to the public.” Mr Baird said he had included compliant composites into his product range because of the demand but he also markets large quantities of spotted gum, kempas and merbau decking timbers. Composite decking and railing is a $1 billion-plus market in the US and opportunities for plastic building products measure more than $US60 billion, according to available data. In Asia, the major WPC markets have been in China, Japan and South Korea. China’s WPC industry is making the biggest strides growing 15 to 30% a year and expected to overtake European production in a few years with the domestic market absorbing up to 150,000 metric tonnes a year, mostly for pallets. The major WPC quality desired by Asian customers is not durability but the woodlike appearance, even if it contains almost 50% synthetic petroleum polymers.

Status and Trends of the Global-Pacific Rim Forest Industry

The Role of Australia and New Zealand Visit the conference web site for full details of the program, speakers, field trip, accommodation and registration. Wednesday 3 Friday 5 November, 2010 Bayview Eden Hotel Melbourne Australia

Contact: Conference Organiser: PR Conference Consultants – Ms Pamela Richards Tel: + 61 3 5781 0069. Email: enquiry@prcc.com.au

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Monday 8 Tuesday 9 November, 2010 Energy Events Centre Rotorua New Zealand

issue 139 | 23.08.10 | Page 7


the forestry industry

Forestry .. the carbon solution UN study shows sustainable management helps to reduce the rate of climate change

FORESTRY Tasmania’s sustainable management practices and its role in helping to reduce the rate of climate change have been reinforced by the findings of an international study. Commissioned by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA), the study examines the positive role forest products have on global carbon balance. It shows that carbon stocks are stable or increasing in sustainably managed and certified production forests and that forest based biomass energy could significantly reduce carbon emissions. The Impact of the Global Forestry Industry on Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases report concludes that many forestry companies increase carbon stocks in forests or help avoid their decline by using sustainable management practices in production forests; participating

By

Forests and forest products have a positive role in global carbon balance.

in chain-of-custody programs; and eestablishing forests in areas not previously forested This is in line with Forestry Tasmania’s management of state forests to sustain biodiversity, jobs, healthy forests, community access and science based stewardship.

HANS DRIELSMA Executive General Manager Forestry Tasmania State forests are growing faster than they are being harvested; each year they absorb 24% of Tasmania’s carbon emissions. Wood products from state forests are certified to Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) and endorsed internationally through PEFC. The certification

Carbon farming – ALP’s pre-election initiative IN a pre-election announcement, an Australian Labor Party initiative will enable Australian farmers, landholders and forest growers to participate in domestic and international carbon markets. The $45.6 million carbon farming initiative (funded through the Renewable Energy Future Fund) would include methodologies for calculating sequestration or emissions savings from activities such as reforestation, legacy waste emissions, savannah fire management, avoided deforestation, soil carbon and

Page 8 | issue 139 | 23.08.10

biochar. The initiative also includes funding for Landcare to facilitate the participation of farmers in such projects. A3P says the announcement does not detail whether this initiative is envisaged to operate within a voluntary or a mandatory carbon market in Australia, or if methodologies for reforestation projects will draw on the rules that were being developed for the CPRS. “Without a legislated carbon price, projects participating in the initiative would need to rely on voluntary purchases from

the private sector to create domestic demand for carbon offsets,” A3P says. Welcoming the imitative, the National Farmers Federation says the international marketplace for carbon credits has been stunted in the wake of the lack of progress at Copenhagen. But it says the market may certainly develop in the future and so the announcement is prudent in gearing farmers and other landholders to engage as and when markets develop.

provides secure chain-ofcustody and labelling systems for verification of wood origins through the supply chain to final customers. The analysis in the report strongly supports the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assertion that sustainable management of production forests is an important option for climate change mitigation over the long term. The study found that wood markets encourage landowners to keep land under forest, thus helping to avoid largescale losses of carbon to the atmosphere through land-use change. It indicates that, as in Tasmania, carbon stocks are generally stable or increasing in sustainably managed and certified production forests in North America and the European Union which account for 69% of global industrial roundwood production. Forests remove carbon from the atmosphere and it is also stored for long periods in wood products such as those used in the construction industry, furniture and craft items and even in paper. Wood products have a much lighter carbon footprint than products like concrete, aluminium and steel. They can also be used to decrease emissions by replacing fossil fuels. It is estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that forest biomass energy could reduce global emissions by between 400 million and 4.4 billion tonnes of carbon equivalent a year.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Forum takes lead in certification for for forest owners

MAKING certification accessible to community and small private forest owners in the Asia Pacific region will be the key objective of a workshop to be held in Hobart next month. The workshop in the last week of September, builds on FSC Australia activities in the region over recent years and looks at how landowners can maximise value for their communities from a combination or land uses that can be certified by schemes such as FSC as well as Fairtrade, sustainable tourism and carbon (including REDD). A broad range of experts from different certification programs as well as people with market expertise is being assembled to work with people active at a community or small landholder level in the Pacific region and southeast Asia as well as Australia and New Zealand. FSC Australia has so far secured support for the conference from Dutch Development Agency ICCO, the South Pacific Commission FACT Project and FSC International. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for organisations

interested in supporting this pioneering project aimed at addressing the related issues of deforestation, forest degradation carbon pollution and development. Following the workshop, FSC national initiatives from the Asia Pacific will hold a two-day meeting to discuss regional issues as well as strengthening the FSC global network. The two meetings will draw a strong group of people involved in the FSC system from around the world including FSC International board member Jaime Levy (social chamber Latin America), founding executive director of FSC International Tim Synnott, new FSC global network director and former FSC Europe director Gemma Boetekees, FSC social policy manager Shoana Humphries and retiring network director and former social policy manager Alan Smith. National organisations from China, Japan, PNG, Fiji, Vietnam and India will be among those participating in the annual meeting. This will be the first time the FSC Asia Pacific network has met in Australia.

Sheep farmers flock to trees NEW Zealand’s sheep farmers are flocking to a government carbon trading program that pays more to plant trees than sell wool and mutton. The system, started in 2008 and the only one of its kind outside Europe, awards farmers credits that are sold to offset greenhouse gas emissions. The project may earn them about $NZ600 a hectare a year on land unprofitable for grazing animals, says David Evison, a senior lecturer at the University of Canterbury’s NZ School of

Forestry. Forests planted for carbon credits may increase to 30,000 ha a year compared with 3500 ha in 2009, the government estimates. The system is a welcome alternative for sheep farmers who have struggled for decades from slumping wool prices, drought and competition for land from the dairy and timber industries. Sheep numbers have fallen from a 1982 peak of 70 million to about 40 million, official data shows.

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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 admin@industryenews.com.au CONSULTING EDITOR Jim Bowden Tel: +61 7 3256 1779 Mob: 0401 312 087 cancon@bigpond.net.au ADVERTISING Tel: +61 7 3256 1779 cancon@bigpond.net.au PRODUCTION MANAGER Leigh Macready Tel: +61 7 3841 8075 production@industryenews.com.au

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issue 139 | 23.08.10 | Page 9


INDUSTRY NEWS

When you’re on a good thing, stick to it Furniture industry embraces EWPAA consumer campaign By JIM BOWDEN

FURNITURE manufacturers and cabinet makers have warmed to a wood industry consumer awareness campaign warning of the dangers of using noncompliant imported products. The initative undertaken by the Engineered Woods Products Association of Australasia across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region, targets increasing imports from Asia of flat pack shelving and other furniture components that are consistently failing standards for formaldehyde emissions. The cornerstone of the campaign is the distribution of more than 150,000 adhesive labels which carry a ‘pieceof-mind’ assurance that panel products have been independently tested and certified for low emission by the EWPAA. The association operates National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) laboratories in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. Tests on unlabelled random samples of Chinese flat pack furniture components have revealed formaldehyde emissions up to10 times higher than the Australian-made equivalent. The labels have been widely

The EWPAA ‘green label’ on bathroom furniture produced by Marquis Building Products delivers a ‘peace-of-mind’ message for consumers.

distributed to members of the Furnishing Industry Association of Australia and chief executive Martin Lewis says the message is hitting the target – importers, manufacturers, joinery shops, renovators and the consumer. “This is a worthy and valuable campaign for the Australian industry,” says Greg Miles, general manger of Marquis Building Products, an FIAA member producing bathroom furniture that won this year’s World Environment Day Silver Sustainability Award. “Every consignment of our cupboards and vanity units prominently displays the EWPAA green label – on top

Marquis principals with their Silver Sustainability Award .. Paul Grey, managing director, Jennifer Grey, director, and Phillip Grey, sustainability manager.

of the wrapping and attached to the product – announcing to the builder, plumber, carpenter and consumer that this is the

good gear,” Mr Miles said. “We are attaching between 250 and 300 labels to our products every week and this is linked to a huge renovation market, so the general consumer gets the message as well. “If we get an order from, say, Harvey Norman Commercial for delivery of 150 cabinets, then each cabinet carries a sticker which means they are spread right across the building site or the house.” Mr Miles said shoddy bathroom components were mostly imported from China. “It’s time governments legislated against this dangerous junk,” he said. Marquis Building Products, based at Taylors Beach, 53 km northeast of Newcastle in the Hunter region, distributes products throughout New South Wales and southeast Queensland. Marquis, where possible, sources all raw products from Australian manufacturers and all aspects of production comply with stringent Australian standards. “As a manufacturer of processed timber furniture, we are presented with certain Cont Page 11

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Furnishing industry gains strength from EWPAA partnership From Page 10

environmental challenges,” Mr Miles said. “We have adopted an environmental management program as a framework to achieve our goals for sustainable production.” The company regularly travels to Europe to inspect major manufacturing plants and research technology which is at the cutting edge of efficiency and innovation. Application of this technology has reduced waste, production costs and manufacturing time. FIAA’s Martin Lewis said the furniture industry was gaining new strength from the

partnership with EWPAA. “The furniture industry is promoting the security, quality, design, style, environmental and sustainability and health benefits of its Australian products,” he said. “This is also aimed at the increasing ‘green’ side of consumers with information on environmental practice and social and workplace issues. “Australian-made furniture can only succeed by educating the consumer on real, rather than perceived value. Our products are built with high quality sustainable timber, designed to get better with age.”

Seminar highlights CM gains for manufacturers WOOD manufacturing experts from 10 nations will participate in a three-year update industry seminar in Melbourne next month. “It’s the most comprehensive update seen in this part of the world,” says FIEA director Brent Apthorp. “For the first time all processing operations that are found in dry-mill or stand-alone wood manufacturing operations are being covered, including plant layout and design, cross cutting and ripping, scanning technologies, finger-jointing, gluing, laminating, wood finishing, production moulding, timber machining and kiln drying.” Speakers and exhibits have been drawn from New Zealand and Australia with technology providers coming from Canada, the US, Denmark, Germany,

Sweden, Norway, Austria and South Africa. As well as outlining an array of new tools and technologies from around the world, the seminar will focus on competitive manufacturing (CM). In New Zealand, Cleland’s Timber Ltd, a New Plymouthbased wood manufacturing company provides a recent case study of what can be achieved by adopting and implementing CM. General manger Alistair Dore says: “We engaged the minds of all our staff to discover why our budget and targets were not always being met, then we gave them methods and tools to analyse situations and come up with solutions.” Full seminar details on www. woodmanufacturingevents. com

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issue 139 | 23.08.10 | Page 11


issues

Brute force methods that won’t necessarily protect a house, whether brick or concrete under way to counter these extremely limiting new codes?”

From Page 3

blackbutt exposed eaves and rafters that would have been visible in 50 x 200 sections,” Mr Esdaile lamented. “We’ll probably use steel for the windows frames which will muck up our basic design requirements and we will have to move away from timber for the roof structure, cladding and hand rails. “There is not one project we have undertaken in the history of the firm that that hasn’t been designed to incorporate timber, so the outcome is a sorry one.” Mr Esdaile believes the bushfire codes have gone a bit too far. “They are just making a house fire proof through brute force methods that won’t necessarily protect a house whether it’s brick or concrete. “There are many other ways to protect and fire-proof a home rather than turning it into Fort Knox.” Mr Esdaile said there was another issue – the Pittwater Council had strong design guidelines to maintain the character of the region,

Bushfire codes: BAL-40 – increased attack from burning debris with significant radiant heat and the potential for flame contact. The extreme radiant heat and potential flame contact could threaten building integrity. Buildings must be designed and constructed in a manner that can withstand the extreme heat and potential flame contact. The pits .. bushfire codes will make houses like this make way for steel and concrete structures.

preferring natural products such as timber and stone for houses. “But the door is now shut on timber and buildings won’t be certified if there is any of it around. It’s brick and steel and nothing else. “There is also talk about residents having to cut down trees within a 15m radius of their home. If they do that all over the peninsula there will be no forested areas left and that’s not on for the council.”

Mr Esdaile concluded: “Previously we were able to use certain selected species of timber that were rated as fire resistant, but that option has now been removed from the codes. Effectively this means we are forced to use masonry or cement based products which we feel is a major step backwards for the use of sustainable timbers, and also in terms of design quality.” In a plea to industry, he asks: “Is there any current research

Flame zone – radiant heat levels will exceed 40kW/m2. Radiant heat levels and flame contact are likely to significantly threaten building integrity and result in significant risk to residents who are unlikely to be adequately protected. The flame zone is outside the scope of the BCA and the NSW Rural Fire Service may recommend protection measures where the applicant does not provide an adequate performance solution. Other measures such as drenching systems and radiant heat barriers may also be required.

Trial by fire: bushfire-proof house designed in steel TIMBER&Forestry enews this week was unable to contact CSIRO scientists to determine the results of a CSIRO ‘flametest’ on a steel-framed house near Mogo on the NSW south coast. The test was undertaken to see how the structure withstands realistic bushfire conditions. Constructed almost entirely from steel and featuring a nonflammable roof cavity, CSIRO scientists say the house may provide a straightforward and affordable building option for bushfire-prone areas. CSIRO bushfire researcher Justin Leonard says experienced

Page 12 | issue 139 | 23.08.10

fire researchers consider that a house constructed predominantly of steel should be able to survive in the flame zone of a real bushfire, assuming that windows or other external openings have not been breached. The concept is that the entire non-combustible building façade, insulation and frame acts to protect the habitable space. A range of bushfire conditions were used in the test, from ember attacks to engulfing the structure in flames. “The flame-test will also provide information for building policies

relating to bushfire areas by providing supporting evidence for use by building authorities across Australia,” Mr Leonard said. The test house was a small lowrise building about 8 m x 4 m x 5 m high and included most of the features of a domestic house. The house consists of an elevated steel framed floor, steel wall framing with steel cladding and plasterboard lining and a steel truss roof with steel roof sheeting and a plasterboard ceiling. It includes steel fascia and various soffit linings. The side that will face the fire front has two windows and a door.

New building codes, introduced after the Royal Commission following the Victorian bushfires in February 2009, specify that: “A building that is constructed in a designated bushfire prone area must be designed and constructed to reduce the risk of ignition from a bushfire while the fire front passes“. “This means that the building needs to be resistant enough to protect life and minimise the loss of the building,” Mr Leonard said. “This test house has been designed to meet this requirement and the trial burn will test how it shapes up against the performance requirements of the new building codes.”

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wood design

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issue 139 | 23.08.10 | Page 13


ELECTION 2010

Forest action plan: supporting jobs, protecting forests, investing in skills THE Coalition’s ‘action investment plan’ for the forest industry focuses on supporting jobs, protecting and sustaining forests and investing in skills. Announcing the pre-election plan last Thursday, forestry spokesman Senator Richard Colbeck said the Coalition had always recognised and balanced the competing environmental, social and economic objectives of native forest management through the Regional Forest Agreements and the landmark Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement. He said Labor had failed to support the forestry industry as a key contributor to the nation’s economy and a major employer in regional Australia. “Upon coming to government, Labor scrapped the dedicated

position of forestry minister. It then proposed a damaging carbon pollution reduction scheme which would severely impact on forestry contractors and Labor joined with the Greens in not supporting the industry’s move to generate renewable energy with wood waste,” Senator Colbeck said. “Now Labor’s preference deal with the Greens means the forestry industry faces an uncertain future. Should the Greens get their way under any secret deal, millions of hectares of forests will be locked up and thousands of workers will lose their jobs. Many rural and regional communities will be devastated.” Senator Colbeck said the industry had an annual turnover of $23 billion and contributed

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Forest action plan .. Senator Richard Colbeck.

around 0.7% to Australia’s gross domestic product and 5.8% of manufacturing output. The Coalition‘s plan for forestry will: • Provide $20 million to forest contractors to begin a restructure within the sector and engage immediately with forest contracting organisations to determine the measures need to undertake the restructure. • Provide $750,000 to undertake an economic assessment of long-term domestic consumption trends for forest products and fund the collection and reporting of key forest industry and market data. • Maintain its support for long-term RFAs. There would be no further forest lock ups. A Coalition government will seek to extend RFAs for five years following the successful completion and implementation of each RFAs five-year review. This process will commence with the Tasmanian RFA. The primary objective of this commitment is to give an effective 20-year rolling life to each RFA which provides resource security and a stable investment environment to the forest industry. • Invest $15 million over three years to establish a national

bushfire mitigation program to develop comprehensive, long term bushfire mitigation strategies, including better reduction programs. • Legislate to make it an offence to import any timber product which has not been verified as being legally harvested. • Commit to the ongoing development of quality forest certification processes. • Assist small sawmillers with $1 million over three years to attain international forestry certification. • Commit to maintaining forestry managed investment schemes with enhanced safeguards to protect investors and rebuild market confidence. • Re-introduce amendments to the renewable energy legislation allowing for wood biomass to benefit from energy incentives available to other renewable energy sources. • Provide $3.7 million over five years to the University of Tasmania to develop a centre of excellence for timber engineering and design based in Launceston. Funding for this program will come from the regional education fund. • Continue to support industry with skills training and retention programs, providing funding of $1.5 million over three years for ForestWorks – the Forest and Forest Products Industry Skills Council. Funding for this program will come from the regional education fund. • Increase research and development for the forest industry through increased matching grants to Forest and Wood Products Australia and grants of up to $50,000 for further study or specialised research in the forest industry.

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Issue 139  
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