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issue 158 | 31.01.11 | Page 1

Timber big player in Qld rebuild

This Issue • Fund outlays $415m for Green Triangle forests • Lisa Marty appointed CEO of VAFI

Floods affect 30,000 houses Italia to promote certified wood • Stories of Dwellingup forest fires • Forests NSW declares force majeure after floods • Biomass study tour ahead of LIGNA wood fair

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pine mills are having difficulty in getting logs because of bogged forest operations,” the chief executive of Timber Queensland Rod McInnes said. “There will obviously be opportunities for the industry in the reconstruction efforts and we are working with the government on re-housing strategies.” Mr McInnes said industry was discussing flood assistance and timber supply with the




QUEENSLAND’S $20 billion flood recovery building program, a recovery effort on a magnitude akin to post-war reconstruction, will place enormous pressure – and opportunity – on the timber industry. Local timber traders along with timber importers will be challenged to fill a widening gap in the supply of building materials as saturated forests and damaged roads delay log deliveries. “There are big constraints on resource availability; the big



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issue 158 | 31.01.11 | Page 1


Re-building plan to stir state from housing lethargy From Page 1

The Victorian Association of Forest Industries, representing the interests of the Victorian timber Industry

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 158 | 31.01.11

government on a case-by-case basis. Meanwhile, building industry observers are already worrying about a major skills shortage as Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales begin re-building after the flood crisis. The scale of the disaster has prompted analysts to warn of labour shortages in the construction industry, which could lead to higher inflation. Economists have put the cost of rebuilding at $20 billion and warn that rebuilding will exacerbate skills shortages in residential building trades. But the head of economic policy at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Greg Evans said Queensland members in the building industry reported having enough capacity to absorb the extra demand. “This is because Queensland’s housing industry has lagged behind the rest of the country and building approvals have fallen in each of the past nine months,” he said. ‘’Given the economic circumstances before the floods, there’s capacity that can now be utilised. Those resources can be readily put to work [for] reconstruction and rebuilding.’’ Mr Evans said construction of infrastructure such as roads and bridges was more likely to suffer from labour shortages because these projects tended to compete with resource companies. Fears of skills shortages have prompted some business groups to call for an increase in the intake of migrant workers. Housing Industry Association

TRUST TABMA Rod McInnes .. helping on a case-by-case basis.

chief economist Harley Dale said changes to migration policy should be considered but it would not resolve immediate demand. ‘’We’ve long advocated that .. Australia’s skilled migration program needs to allow for a higher number of skilled trades people to come in from overseas and work in the sector,’’ Mr Dale said. Economist Craig James says post-flood reconstruction will be a major challenge for the economy. “It’s going to create demand for a whole range of workers and really it’s up to the federal government to come up to the plate and increase the amount of migration to ensure we do have the staff on hand,” he says. HIA spokesman John Futer says demand for construction workers will increase in line with the rebuilding effort. He says that is likely to entice workers to travel to flood-affected areas and could reduce the workforce in other regions. “If there is a bit of excess labour, they will move,” he said. Cont Page 6

if you want .. Placement of apprentices

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industry news

Forests NSW declares ‘no liability’ on supplies AS log-starved North Coast NSW sawmillers struggle to survive, Forests NSW has declared a force majeure on its harvesting operations in the region. The freedom from liability notice was delivered to agreement holders last week after Forests NSW realised it could not meet obligations to supply. “Meanwhile, the industry is desperate for logs, and some sawmills have delayed their return to work after Christmas,” the executive director of the NSW Forest Products Association Russell Ainley said. “Many are struggling to survive on any low quality logs they can obtain and are vigorously pursing private property

Russ Ainley .. struggling to survive.

resources. “For some reason, private timber stands have not been nearly as affected by wet weather as the areas in state forests.” Forests NSW manages more

than 2 million ha of native and planted forests worth nearly $1 billion to the state’s economy and harvests over 2.5 million cub m of logs and over 1.5 million cub m of pulpwood and other products every year. In Victoria, floods will cost the state’s agriculture sector up to $1.5 billion, but the forest industry has escaped serious disruption and damage. David Walsh, senior communications advisor for VicForests, said flooding was mostly in the northwest of the state, while forest operations were mainly based in the east. “The wet weather will have little impact on our operations, although we believe some plantations in the Green Triangle region are affected.” he said. The estate located in the southeast of South Australia and south western Victoria comprises about 350,000 ha of hardwood and softwood plantations. Victorian premier Ted Baillieu said much of the focus had been on the dozens of towns under flood threat and around 3000 farming properties had been impacted. Mr Baillieu said while an estimate for the total damage of the floods was yet to be determined, the bill would be substantial. Timber Merchants Association (Vic) executive director Peter Roberts said most members were fortunate to have dodged damage by the floods, although some of them along the Murray River were not so lucky. The Dahlsens frame and truss plant and timber yard at Kerang on the Loddon River in northern Victoria was inundated by flood waters. Fortunately, a lot of material was lifted to high ground before

ForestWorks performs a range of industry wide functions acting as the channel between industry, Government and the Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) system. Core services: • Skill Standards • Material Development • Networks • Strategic Skills Planning • Project Management • Data Collection • Research • Industry Advice • Career Advice • Adult Learning Expertise

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issue 158 | 31.01.11 | Page 3


GBC Italia to promote certified wood

‘Greater sustainability in the Italian building sector’ THE Italian Green Building Council (GBC Italia) has become the latest in a long list of sustainable building initiatives to recognise the benefits of forest certification. The council has signed an agreement with PEFC Italy to promote best practices in the building industry and to foster the use of certified timber in construction. “With buildings estimated to be responsible for about 40% of primary energy consumption in Europe, organisations such as GBC Italia can, through their standards and codes, help reducing the environmental footprint of buildings,” says Antonio Brunori, secretarygeneral of PEFC Italy. “Timber can play an important role in this context as it has the lowest embodied CO2 of

Antonio Brunori .. timber – reducing environmental footprint in buildings.

any building material and can be sustainably sourced from PEFC-certified forests.” The agreement between GBC Italia and PEFC Italy states that the two organisations:

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• Commit to raising awareness of sustainable building practices and promote low environmental impact practices, as well as increasing the use of certified and locally sourced wood in building industry. • Agree to promote the benefits of forest certification and certified wood products in the building sector, especially in areas where PEFC forest certification is strongest, thereby supporting local producers and encouraging sustainability as local level. Mr Brunori said the initiative between GBC Italia and PEFC Italy highlighted the potential benefits of forest certification and certified wood products; it represented an important step towards promoting greater sustainability of the building sector in Italy. “With the construction industry the largest buyer of timber products, it also signals forest owners that sustainable forest management and certification is in high demand and valued by society,” Mr Brunori added. With this agreement, the Italian Green Building Council joins many respected green building initiatives that recognise certified wood as an excellent choice for green building, including the Australian Green Building Council, the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM in the UK, the US-based ANSI/ICC 700-2008:National Green Building Standard and the ANSI-GBI 01-2010 Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings, Built Green Canada, Green Globes, or CASBEE (Japan). Meanwhile, more than 3.4 million ha of forests in China is expected to become certified under the Chinese national forest certification system CFCC (China Forest Certification Council) this year.

This follows an agreement between the Beijing Zhonglin Tianhe Forest Certification Centre and the Yichun Forest Authority announced recently. The Yichun Forest Authority is committed to certify all 15 forest management units under its oversight, totalling an area of 2.67 million ha in 2011. In 2010, already more than 700,000 ha of forests underwent CFCC certification pre-assessments and audits in northern and southern China. Raising awareness of sustainable building practices using wood China currently has the highest afforestation rate of any country or region in the world, increasing its forest cover from 12% 20 years ago to more than 20% in 2010. With more than 200 million ha of forest, China is one of the most forested countries globally, and is continuing to implement policy measures to increase the quality and quantity of its forests. The agreement follows the expression of intention by the CFCC at the PEFC General Assembly in November last year that it expects to apply for PEFC membership in 2011 and submit the scheme for endorsement.

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WHAT’S ON? FEBRUARY 2-4: ATFA Flooring and Finishes Show. Sydney Exhibition Centre. Book now for the ATFA convention, seminars and ATFA awards dinner. Contact: Australian Timber Flooring Association. Tel: (07) 5492 8696. Email: Web: 4: ATFA convention and awards dinner. Venue: Doltone House, South Pier, Piers 19-21, Level 3, 26-32 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont Point NSW 2009. Time: 7 pm. Cost: $145 pp includes threecourse dinner and drinks. Tables of 10 $1375. Contact: Contact: Australian Timber Flooring Association. Tel: (07) 5492 8696. Email: Web: 14-18: Wood Science Course. University of Melbourne and CSIRO, Melbourne. Contact Silvia Pongracic on 0418 764 954 or visit

MARCH 4-5: Forest Industry Engineering Association Residues to Revenues Conference (incorporating Green Energy Expo), Bayview Eden Hotel, 6 Queens RoadMelbourne. Call 1800 126 398 to register or

APRIL 8: South Eastern Australia 2011 Farm Forestry and Firewood Expo, Bendigo, Vic. City of Greater Bendigo’s Huntly plantation, north of Bendigo. NORTHERN United Forestry Group (NUFG) - a not-for-profit community group with a focus

on growing trees for sawlogs and firewood - will host the expo at the Huntly plantation, north of Bendigo. Some trees (all hardwoods) within the Huntly plantation that need to be thinned will be available for demonstration purposes. Contact: Mal Brown, Northern United Forestry Group. Tel: (03) 54352588. Mob:: 0419 108 817.

MAY May 21-June 5: Forest biomass four-nation industry study tour. New Zealand, Austria, Germany and Finland. Includes LIGNA Hannover Wood Fair, Germany. Email: 25: Institute of Foresters of Australia (IFA) and New Zealand Institute of Forestry Conference (ANZIF 2011). Auckland NZ. Theme: ‘Pacific Forestry’. Visit 30-June 3: LIGNA Hannover Wood Fair. 25-June 4: LIGNA industry tour (Germany, Italy, Austria).

SEPTEMBER 5-7: NZ Forest Industries Expo 2011. Venue: Rotorua Energy Events Centre, Rotorua. Forest industry leaders and companies from across the world are booking their tickets to participate in the expo (FI2011) and make the most of the 2011 Rugby World Cup while they’re there. Exhibition sites have already been booked by a number of NZ and Australian companies, and inquiries being received from Canada, China, Vietnam and Austria. The expo will showcase the best that Rotorua, the wider Bay of Plenty region and the rest

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of New Zealand has to offer when it comes to forestry and wood products. Contact: Dell Bawden. Tel: +64 73627865. Mob: +64 274745485. Email: Website site:

October 21-November 2: 5th International Woodfibre Resources and Trade Conference: Woodchips and Biomass for Global Markets. Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore. Presented by DANA Ltd, Pike & Co and Wood Resources International, followed by field trip to Cambodia on November 3, 4 and 5.The field trip is an optional extra to the conference registration fee and will be limited to 80 participants. Field trip participants will fly from Singapore to Sihanoukville with an overnight stay. Transfer next day to Siem Reap which will include a visit to world famous UNESCO heritage site Angkor Wat. Return Saturday morning. Who should attend? Plantation and other forest owners, plantation investment fund managers, existing-future biomass producers and users, existingfuture wood pellet producers and users, bankers and investment analysts, woodchip producers, wood fibre trading companies, woodchip end users.

july 2012 11-14: AWISA 2012. Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. Contact: Contact Exhibitions Pty Ltd, PO Box 925, Avalon NSW 2107. Tel: 612 9918 3661 Email: Web:

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issue 158 | 31.01.11 | Page 5


Building tradesmen .. attracted by work and good money.

Huge migration of ‘tradies’ expected as state rebuilds From Page 2

“As economic activity builds up elsewhere, you’re going to find that there are fewer tradesmen to go around.” However, the Building Industry Specialist Contractors Organisation of NSW says the mammoth job ahead is likely to result in a mass migration of tradesmen to Queensland – from Sydney, the Gold Coast and New Zealand. “The mammoth job ahead could leave Sydney short of labour and materials,” executive director Irving Wallace said. It is estimated there could be up to 10,000 unemployed ‘tradies’ on the Gold Coast itching to jump into action and help rebuild Queensland. And New Zealand tradesmen may be headed for work across the across the Tasman both in Queensland and Victoria ‘’Like all tradesmen, they will be attracted by work and good money,’’ Mr Wallace said.

Page 6 | issue 158 | 31.01.11

‘’The Sydney market has not been good for some time for most building workers.’’ There would be an exodus of carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers and plasterers. The executive director of Master Builders Queensland Graham Cuthbert said up to 30,000 houses had been damaged, but a lot of the builders and tradesmen needed could be found within the state. But the biggest reconstruction job will be the rebuilding of roads, bridges and rail and other infrastructure destroyed or severely damaged by the flooding. One estimate was that more than 10,000 km of roads will have to be assessed and possibly repaired. Mr Cuthbert said the older-style timber houses in Queensland were usually on stilts and water flowed under and sometimes through them, while newerstyle buildings of brick veneer Cont Page 7

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Biggest reconstruction job will be the rebuilding of roads, bridges and rail From Page 6

built on concrete slabs had damage to walls, tiles, doors and cupboards. In places such as Grantham in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley, there has been massive structural damage and some houses have simply been swallowed by the water. Virtually every house will have to be bulldozed or rebuilt. ‘’People are talking about a recovery in two years,’’ Mr Cuthbert said. ‘’I would be amazed if they did it in such a short time.’’ Prime minister Julia Gillard has warned she will slash spending further if necessary as she unveiled a $5.6 billion flood plan comprising a $1.8 billion one-off tax rise for middle and high income earners and $3.8 billion in scrapped or deferred greenhouse, industry and road programs. The $5.6 billion plan, the first estimate of the infrastructure damage bill from flood-affected Queensland and Victoria, risked blowing out, she said, and any further impost would be met by cutting the budget rather than raising the levy. Flood victims and low-income earners will be exempt from the one-off levy which will apply in the 2011-12 financial year. Anyone earning less than $50,000 a year will be exempt, as will those receiving emergency flood assistance. There is no certainty the Federal Government will get its flood levy through Parliament, with independent MPs saying they will press for the introduction of a permanent natural emergency fund. Opposition leader Tony Abbott believes no-one should have to spring for the one-off levy, which will cost 0.5% of income over $50,000 and 1% of

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earnings over $100,000. Commonwealth Treasury estimates the floods covering Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria will cost at least $5 billion alone for rebuilding wrecked infrastructure and possibly billions more in lost revenue.

Harvey Dale .. Australia’s skilled migration program needs to allow for a higher number of skilled trades people.

Most of the $5 billion, which includes about $250 million in direct assistance payments, will cover the Gillard government’s 75% share of all basic infrastructure rebuilding costs involving hundreds of washedout roads and bridges. The government also expects revenue will be hit hard, with the floods causing significant short-term job losses and a fall in company taxes due to businesses shut or destroyed.

issue 158 | 31.01.11 | Page 7


ForestrySA seeks ForestrySA new Harvestseeks and ForestrySA seeks new Harvest and Transport services ForestrySA seeks new Harvest and Transport services in Green Triangle. new Harvest and ForestrySA seeks Transport services in Green Triangle. ForestrySA seeks Transport services new Harvest and in Green Triangle. new Harvest and in Green Triangle. Transport services Transport services in Green Triangle. in Green Triangle. ForestrySA is calling for proposals for the supply of harvest and transport services infor the Green ForestrySA is calling for proposals the supply Triangle region. of harvest and transport services in the Green ForestrySA is calling for proposals for the supply Triangle region. ForestrySA is calling for proposals supply of harvest and transport services infor thethe Green A briefing and field tour day will be held in Mount of harvest and transport services in the Green Triangle region. Gambier on Thursday 10 February 2011. ForestrySA is calling for proposals for the supply A briefingregion. and field tour day will be held in Mount Triangle ForestrySA is calling for proposals for of harveston and transport services thethe Green Gambier Thursday 10 February 2011. A briefing and field tour day will beinheld in supply Mount Up to 900,000 tonnes per annum is available for of harvest and transport services in the Green Triangle region. A briefing and field tour day will be held in Gambier on Thursday 10 February 2011. Mount harvest or for transport: Triangle region. Up to 900,000 tonnes per annum is2011. available for Gambier on Thursday 10 February A briefing and field tour day will be held in Mount harvest or for transport: Up to 900,000 tonnes per annum is available for A briefing and field tour day will be held in Mount Gambier on Thursday 10 February 2011. Up to 900,000 tonnes per annum is available for Chiplog (T1) 70,000 tonnes/pa harvest or for transport: Gambier on Thursday 10 February 2011. harvest or(T1) for transport: Chiplog 70,000 First thinning (T1) 60,000 tonnes/pa Up to 900,000 tonnes per annum is available for Chiplog 70,000 First (T1)(T2)per annum 60,000 Second thinning 100,000 Up to thinning 900,000 tonnes is tonnes/pa available for harvest or(T1) for transport: Chiplog (T1) 70,000 tonnes/pa First (T1) 60,000 harvest orthinning for transport: Second (T2) 100,000 Thirdthinning thinning (T3) 100,000 First thinning (T1) 60,000 Second thinning (T2) 100,000 Third thinning Chiplog (T1) 70,000 Clearfall (CF >(T3) 2.3m3) 360,000tonnes/pa Second thinning (T2) 100,000 Chiplog (T1) 70,000 Third thinning (T3) 100,000 First thinning (T1) 60,000 Clearfall (CF 2.3m3) Clearfall (CF >< 2.3m3) 360,000 210,000tonnes/pa Third thinning (T3) 100,000 First thinning 60,000 Clearfall (CF > 2.3m3) 360,000 Second thinning (T2) 100,000 <(T1) 210,000 (CF > 2.3m3) 360,000 ItClearfall is intended that separate harvest and transport Second thinning (T2) 100,000 Clearfall (CF < 2.3m3) 210,000 Third thinning (T3) 100,000 contracts will be awarded. This is planned to take ItClearfall is intended separate harvest (CFthat <(T3) 2.3m3) 210,000and transport Third thinning Clearfall (CFmid-2011, > 2.3m3)with 100,000 360,000 place during new contracts taking contracts will that be awarded. is planned to take ItClearfall is intended separateThis harvest and transport (CF > 2.3m3) 360,000 effect on 1(CF January 2012. Clearfall < 2.3m3) 210,000 place during mid-2011, with new contracts taking It is intended that separate harvest and transport contracts will be awarded. This is planned to take Clearfall (CF 2.3m3) 210,000 effect on 1will January 2012. contracts be< awarded. planned to take place during mid-2011, withThis newiscontracts taking To register for the briefing & fieldcontracts tour ontransport It is intended that separate harvest and place mid-2011, with new taking effect during on 1 January 2012. February and for & the issue ofontransport It10isregister intended that separate harvest and contracts be This istour planned to take To for2011 theawarded. briefing field effect on 1will January 2012. documentation, please contact Emma Bigham contracts will be awarded. This is planned take place during mid-2011, with new contracts taking 10 Februaryfor2011 and for the issue of on to To register the briefing & field tour at ForestrySA on +61 (8) 8724 2812. place during mid-2011, with contracts taking effect on 1 for January 2012. documentation, please contact Emma Bigham To register the briefing & new field tour 10 February 2011 and for the issue of on effect on 1 January 2012. at ForestrySA on +61 (8) 8724 2812. 10 February 2011 and for the issue of documentation, please contact Emma Bigham Forregister all otherforenquiries please call: To the briefing & field tour on documentation, please contact Emma Bigham at ForestrySA on +61 (8) 8724 2812. Mr Adrian Hatch, ForestrySA To register for the briefing & field tour 10 February 2011 and for the issue of on ForForestrySA all other enquiries please at on +61 (8) 8724call: 2812. General Manager -ForestrySA Sales, on issue 10 February 2011 and for the of Bigham documentation, please contact Emma Mr Adrian For all otherHatch, enquiries please call: +61 (8) 8724 2818 or email documentation, please contact Emma Bigham at ForestrySA on +61 (8) 8724 2812. General Manager -ForestrySA Sales, on call: For all other enquiries please Mr Adrian Hatch, at ForestrySA on +61 (8) 8724 2812. +61 (8) 8724 2818-ForestrySA or emailon Mr Adrian Hatch, General Manager Sales, For all other enquiries please General Manager Sales, on call: +61 (8) 8724 2818 or email For all other enquiries please call: Mr Adrian Hatch, ForestrySA +61 (8) 8724 2818 or email Mr Adrian Hatch, ForestrySA General Manager Sales, on General Manager Sales, +61 (8) 8724 2818- or emailon +61 (8) 8724 2818 or email

Page 8 | issue 158 | 31.01.11

The biomass industry converts wood by-products and agricultural residues like tree trimmings and forest floor debris into clean energy.

Biomass study tour ahead of LIGNA fair

Visits to Europe, Finland THE US Environmental Protection Agency has announced its interim policy on biomass energy and climate change – an announcement that was cause for celebration for all renewable energy advocates. The EPA concluded, for the first time, that biomass plays an important role in “addressing climate change and enhancing forest management’’ and that states now have a legal and scientific basis for concluding that biomass for energy is the “best available control technology’’ to curb greenhouse gases. The Biomass to Green Energy Study Tour of Europe and Finland in May this year will examine the opportunities for forest biomass development, visiting major technology and biomass utilisation centres and the forest operations that feed them. The 15-day tour of Austria, Germany and Finland includes a visit to the giant LIGNA Hannover wood fair (May 30June 3), which has set aside special presentations on the biomass industry. LIGNA is the innovations marketplace for industry, particularly small and mediumsized enterprises. Displays

document the complete production cycle – from the harvesting and processing of timber to the industrial production of wood-based end products and innovative surface treatment technologies. The study mission will include three streams of interest – forest Industry biomass residue to electricity; densified biomass wood pellets; and the conversion of wood waste – currently dumped as landfill – to energy. The study tour has already attracted interest from Australian industry with inquiries from New Zealand and South America. The biomass industry converts wood by-products and agricultural residues like tree trimmings and forest floor debris into clean energy. The industry is fighting back against naysayers who forget to mention that, if not used for energy, agricultural by-products and forest waste would decompose and cause a more potent form of carbon (methane) or contribute to forest fires. Contrary to what opponents say, biomass energy producers do not cause deforestation or threaten the health of forests. Moreover, collecting wood and Cont Page 11

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Memories shine for AusTIS nine at Tatts A LUNCH at Brisbane’s historic Tattersall’s Club was seasoned by more than 380 combined years in the forest and timber industries when nine members of the 1982 Sunshine AusTIS conference committee shared memories at the historic venue. The 27th Australian Timber Industry Stabilisation Conference, titled The Challenge of Change, was held at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast in June 1982 and attracted more than 400 delegates and partners. The first conference in Sydney on March 29, 1943 – then called the Eastern States Timber Supply Stabilisation Conference – forged a united front between forestry and the

timber industry. Enjoying the day at Tattersall’s are seated, from left Dick Pegg (forestry) and David Armstrong (industry), and, standing, Jim Bowden (timber journalist), Don Towerton (industry), David Gough (forestry), Keith Jennings (forestry), Bill Philip (industry), Charlie Henry (industry) and Gary Bacon (forestry). The annual forestry vs industry snooker game was a disappointment for industry members. A dinner evening to celebrate 30 years since Sunshine AusTIS is planned for next year. Speakers and delegates who participated in the conference are invited to attend.

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

Jim Bowden, David Armstrong and Gary Bacon look over some Sunshine AusTIS memorabilia.

Desperate for logs From Page 3

waters entered. Kerang remains isolated and could stay that way for another two weeks, with the waters having dropped only 8 cm in the past two days, the SES says.

Dahlsens has also sandbagged its Swan Hill frame and truss plant as major flooding in the Murray, Australia’s longest river, threatens townships downstream of Swan Hill towards Mildura, more than 200 km away.

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

issue 158 | 31.01.11 | Page 9


Stories of the Dwellingup forest fires stir many memories at 50th renunion “PEOPLE are delighted that the stories are being told,” said Roger Underwood as he took a break from signing books at the 50th anniversary reunion of the Dwellingup fires in Western Australia last week. The stories are as varied as the experiences; people who fought the fires, people who lost everything, people who were children at the time and were traumatised by what their parents when through. The 1961 fires at Dwellingup were, at the time, the worst fires of Western Australia’s recorded history. The South West was experiencing a heat wave, the wind was strong and forest fuel loading was heavy. Lightning strikes started multiple fires on Thursday, January 19, and two days later everyone knew that the fire was out of control. Dwellingup was destroyed. Last August, Mr Underwood decided to collect, then edit and finally publish first-hand accounts of people who had experienced the fires that destroyed the forest town. “Emotions were coming to the fore during the day,” Mr Underwood said. “People have been confronted by things that

Recollections .. Roger Underwood signs books at Dwellingup.

perhaps they buried deep over the years. “Talking to other people and looking at photos and reading the stories in the book have rekindled some deep emotions.” He adds: “There’s also a feeling of pride I think that the stories are getting out.” A retired forester who had 35 years with the Forest Department, Mr Underwood worked first as a district forester and then as a senior officer. His own baptism of fire came that same summer with the

Crowea blaze at Pemberton. “I was only a university student working the summer vacation,” he says. “I was in a gang and working up a fire lookout tree. “We got caught up in some big and horrible fires that summer.” Mr Underwood learned many lessons that summer, the first of which was a technical one, he says. “If you get that combination of severe weather, many fires starting at the same time plus heavy fuels, then mankind is powerless in the face of the sort of fires that result.

“The fires that I saw down in the karri forest that year were burning in the tops of the trees, 200 ft tall, and there’s no force on earth that can do anything about that.” Fuel reduction programs are the only way to prevent fires such as that, he maintains. Mr Underwood is chair of the Bush Fire Front, a group mainly of former foresters. “We’re dedicated to trying to ensure that we don’t have disastrous fires like the one that wiped out Dwellingup.” The other lesson that he learned fighting the Pemberton fires also stayed with him all his working life. “In any endeavour, team work and comradeship and good leadership is essential,” he says. “I was very lucky because the people I worked with in that time were experienced fire fighters, some were exservicemen. “These were people who knew about mateship, they knew about teamwork and they knew about leadership. All of those things made an impression on me as a university student.” The story of the ex-servicemen Cont Page 11

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Page 10 | issue 158 | 31.01.11

Contact Alan Jones Email: (Licence No. 238123)

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Biomass energy growth generates wide interest From Page 9

agricultural debris left over from harvesting has a profoundly different carbon life cycle analysis than “new’’ carbon emitted from coal and other fossil fuels. Preliminary tour itinerary: Day 1, May 23: Fly Qantas Sydney to Frankfurt, Germany. Day 2, May 24: Frankfurt to Offenburg for site visits to include Rhine sightseeing cruise. Day 3, May 25: Offenburg to Munich taking in site visits at Nordrach and Schwendi and arriving in Munich for two nights. Day 4, May 26: Munich, sightseeing (and shopping). Day 5, May 27: Munich to Salzburg, Austria, with sightseeing and site visit to Hallein. Day 6, May 28: Salzburg to Innsbruck for sightseeing. Day 7, May 29: Innsbruck to Hannover, Germany. Day 8-10, May 30-June 1: LIGNA forest industry fair. Day 11, June 2: Hannover to Helsinki, Finland.

Day 12, June 3: Helsinki for site visits. Day 13, June sightseeing.



Day 14, June 5: Depart Helsinki for Sydney (or other ports for those extending visits).

and their influence on forestry following both world wars is one that’s never really been properly told, Mr Underwood said. .. “nor perhaps will they ever be because it’s a generation which has almost gone. “These were people who were toughened – they were people who knew how to look after themselves. When things got bad, they didn’t go off whinging. They knew they had

Engineered wood products manufactured by EWPAA member companies top the list

Day 15, June 6: Arrive Sydney and transfer to domestic flights for home. The wood pellet industry has developed strongly over recent years. The surge in the price of fossil fuels has seen the demand for pellet heating increase in Europe where a sizable industry is emerging. A web site providing full itinerary and costings of the Biomass to Green Energy Study Tour (expected to be less than $9000 p.p.) will be running soon. The package, restricted to 32 participants (including partners) will include airfares, coach tours, accommodation, entry to LIGNA and most meals. Expressions of interest can be sent to Peter Francis on email:

Fuel reduction only way to prevent fires From Page 10

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to do their best and look after their mates.” Many times over his years of service, Mr Underwood was confronted with difficult bushfire situations. “Probably the most serious was cyclone Alby in 1978, when lightning associated with the cyclone started fires. We came through them because we had learned the lessons of 1961.”

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issue 158 | 31.01.11 | Page 11

industry news

Viability of VicForests under review as state explores all management options THE new Baillieu Coalition government is considering results of a Treasury review into the state’s logging agency VicForests, which received a multimillion dollar bailout from taxpayers last financial year. But Victoria’s forestry minister Peter Walsh was dismissive of the former Brumby government’s plan to replace the agency with a body that had a broader remit also to allocate water and carbon rights. The new government will explore ‘’all management options’’ for the company, which took a $16.6 million lowcost loan from the Victorian Treasury after losing more than $16 million in the 2010 financial year, according to a Fairfax media report. A senior analyst with a major financial institution said VicForests was ‘’very much running out of cash’’. ‘’It’s a business that’s completely non-viable and if it was a business that was standing on its own two feet without government support it would either be long-gone or guilty of insolvent trading,’’ the analyst said. Meanwhile, Peter Walsh has challenged scientific warnings that the timber industry is putting endangered species at risk of extinction, arguing that only a fraction of the state’s

Bryan Green

Peter Walsh .. challenging scientific warnings.

forest habitat is logged. He denies claims the forest industry was in crisis, but says it is ailing after years of gradual cuts to timber allocation. The Coalition has promised to restore industry confidence by guaranteeing access to current levels of state forest timber for up to 20 years. The commitment comes amid warnings from scientists led by David Lindenmayer, an ANU ecologist who has worked in Victorian forests since the 1980s, that the combination

Steve Whan

Page 12 | issue 158 | 31.01.11

of bushfires and aggressive logging in the central highlands is putting threatened species such as Leadbeater’s possum, the state faunal emblem, at risk. But Mr Walsh says he is not persuaded the timber industry was a significant threat. “I find it hard to understand how such a small area of logging can have such a big impact as some people are saying when you consider the totality of the forest area that’s never ever touched,’’ he said. Coalition support for state forests logging was a point of difference with Labor, which had promised to sponsor Tasmanian-style “peace talks” between the industry, unions and environmental groups. Mr Walsh said he had no problem with talks being held over the industry’s future, but the government should not be involved. “If the unions and the industry and whatever want to sit down and have discussions I think that’s appropriate that they do it, but by government being in there when we’ve said what we want to do would not necessarily be the most productive thing,’’ he said. In Tasmania, the state’s first female premier Lara Giddings has made an appeal to Labor’s blue-collar heartland, declaring

Michael O’Brien

Donald Redman

it is time to “get back to basics”. Ms Giddings, 38, was officially sworn in as Tasmania’s 44th premier this week after the shock announcement that David Bartlett would be stepping down as premier. Bryan Green, who was deputy premier five years ago but was forced to stand down over “deals for mates” involving the Tasmanian Compliance Corporation, was elected unopposed as deputy. Mr Green keeps his portfolios of primary industries, including forestry, and Ms Giddings will continue as treasurer. The Coalition has promised to restore industry confidence by guaranteeing access to current levels of state forest timber for up to 20 years Other state and territory government ministers with responsibility for forests are: Donald Redman, a former teacher and businessman (WA); Steve Whan, former consultant on community relations (NSW); Michael O’Brien, formerly a national manager with Elders IXl (SA); Tim Mullherin, cane farmer, (Qld); and Karl Hampton, minister for natural resources and climate change (NT).

Tim Mullherin

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Fund outlays $415m for 32 forest properties in Green Triangle region ALBERTA Investment Management Corporation, in partnership with the Australia New Zealand Forest Fund has acquired the timberland assets of Great Southern Plantations for a total purchase price of $415 million. The assets are being acquired out of receivership and represent a diversified rural land portfolio encompassing more than 2500 sq km in prime forestry and agricultural regions across six states. New Forests Pty Ltd, a Sydneybased timber investment management firm specialising in sustainable forestry investments, will manage the estate on behalf of AIMCo and ANZFF. The purchase involves a portfolio of 32 forestry properties in the Green Triangle region of Australia, the country’s largest wood fibre producing region. The investment comes less than three months after New Forests announced the close of ANZFF, a $500 million fund investing in a diversified portfolio of timberland properties and forestry-related investments in Australia and New Zealand. “Having our first investment in the heart of Australia’s premium forestry region is a great initial acquisition for the fund,” director, investment programs, David Shelton said. “The properties have longterm potential for sustainable pine and eucalyptus plantation management.” The acquisition comprises about 10,000 ha of freehold land, which is currently leased to a blue gum plantation manager. The Green Triangle is located along southwest Victoria and southeast South Australia. New Forests is actively pursuing further investment opportunities across Australia

Forest technicians measure radiata in the Green Triangle region.

and intends to participate in acquisitions of former managed investment scheme estates and state forestry assets as they transition into institutional investor ownership. “There is an attractive opportunity to build a world class forestry estate from the land banks and forestry assets developed by the MIS companies over the past 15 years,” managing director David Brand said. ‘The goal is to create a set of regional timber plantation resources with scale, market access, high quality management and strong sustainability credentials’ – David Brand “The goal is to create a set of regional timber plantation resources with scale, market access, high quality management and strong sustainability credentials.” Institutional investors, including superannuation funds, pension funds, insurance companies, foundations and endowments hold over $US50 billion in forestry assets worldwide,

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David Brand .. attractive opportunity to build a world class forestry estate.

with the asset class growing significantly over the past 20 years. “Australia is one of the most attractive countries for both domestic Australian institutional investors as well as international institutions,” Mr Brand said. “The current availability of assets creates an opportunity to restructure and consolidate Australia’s plantation timber sector.” Mr Brand said the transaction was indicative of the trend to move towards institutional ownership of Australia’s

plantation forestry estate, which would allow the industry to consolidate and become internationally competitive. “As a local investment manager specialised in timberland management, New Forests has the expertise and capacity to manage this diverse and valuable forestry estate on a sustainable and commercial basis,” he said. Great Southern Plantations was placed into administration and receivership in May 2009 after the downturn of the MIS industry during the global financial crisis. Most of the plantations on the land will continue to be managed by third parties on behalf of the MIS investors, and those schemes are continuing. New Forests is an investment management firm specialised in timberland and associated environmental markets, such as carbon, biodiversity and water. The company offers investment strategies to institutional and private equity clients across sustainable forestry and emerging ecosystem services markets in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the US. New Forests is headquartered in Sydney with staff in New Zealand, Washington, DC, San Francisco and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

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issue 158 | 31.01.11 | Page 13


Forest contractors to claim for losses

Businesses have lost up to 70pc of their income THE federal and state Liberal Oppositions will work with forest contractors to lodge claims against the commonwealth for losses caused by the administration of the Gillard Government’s forest contractors exit package. The claims will be made under the Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (CDDA scheme). “There are a number of forest contractors who do not want to leave their industry and who have not applied for exit packages, yet they have found their businesses stranded because of flow-on effects of the federal government’s Forest Contractors Exit Assistance program,” Coalition forestry spokesman Richard Colbeck said. “We heard last week that haulage trucks were sitting idle because harvest contractors had left the sector. “The federal government was warned this could happen but ignored the advice and this

Richard Colbeck .. haulage trucks sitting idle.

blunder has created the very circumstance that industry feared. “I have spoken to contractors who have lost 20%, 50% and even 70% of their businesses. “One contractor has advised me of losses of $100,000 just for January. “These are companies which made a conscious decision not to apply for an exit package. “They are long term participants in the industry and want to stay.

“They have had their business devalued and diminished by a government that appears to be incapable of managing anything properly. “These contractors are understandably very distressed at their current circumstances.” “This is the latest example of failed management from the Gillard government, just like the pink batts debacle, the green loans balls-up, and the school hall rorts before it,’’ Senator Colbeck said. The CDDA scheme is available to members of the public who have suffered loss or damage because of a government agency’s mistake or poor administrative practice. Senator Colbeck said Tasmanians can be forgiven for being confused when it comes to what the Greens and their politicians want with regard to forest contractors in the state. He said the Greens Member for Bass Kim Booth had for some time appeared to be calling for assistance for struggling contractors.

“At the same time, the Greens’ national leader Senator Bob Brown and his deputy Senator Christine Milne have been publicly criticising public funds going to contractors. “Now, Mr Booth wants federal government exit assistance offers to forest contractors suspended with the threat of these funds potentially being withdrawn. “This action endorsed by Mr Booth could only create more angst among forest contractors, their families and employees who have already waited too long for assistance. “Mr Booth and his Greens colleagues would be better off demanding the industry restructure be properly funded by the federal government rather than demanding actions that will only create more misery. “This action by the Greens further demonstrates their forked tongue messages which ultimately serve to damage Tasmania’s forestry industry and its thousands of workers.”

New VAFI CEO to work for sustainable industry outcomes LISA MARTY has been appointed chief executive of the Victorian Association of Forest Industries, the peak representative body for the Victorian timber industry. Departing CEO Philip Dalidakis has taken on the role of deputy chief of staff to senator Stephen Conroy, federal minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy. Ms Marty’s appointment was approved at a VAFI board meeting last Friday. Ms Marty said she looked forward to continuing to provide strong representation for the forestry industry.

Page 14 | issue 158 | 31.01.11

“The association has provided an effective voice for the industry, ensuring any debate on Victorian forestry is based on empirical evidence and a sound policy footing,” she said. “I plan to continue this work while collaboratively developing ideas to ensure forestry has a sustainable future in Victoria.” Ms Marty said these ideas would be developed with the association’s members and other industry stakeholders using creative solutions. VAFI president Bob Humphreys said the association had served the industry well in recent years and would continue to do so in

Lisa Marty .. ensuring Victorian industry has a sustainable future.

the future. “Lisa has been a passionate

advocate for the industry,” he said. “She has empirical evidencebased policy development while deputy CEO and will continue to undertake this form of advocacy for our members in her new role. “The VAFI board has every faith in Lisa and her staff going forward.” Ms Marty is a former consultant specialising in environment policy, trade policy, development cooperation and strategy. She has a Master of Environment and a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons).

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Issue 158  

A weekly online magazine to the timber and forestry industry

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