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issue 162 | 28.02.11 | Page 1

US court ruling favours forests

This Issue

Industry’s ‘supply squeeze’ conundrum – Page 8

Big win for standards in fight to cut greenhouse emissions

gas emissions. Judge Patrick Riley in El Dorado county presided over a consolidated case in which environmental activists challenged 19 timber harvesting plans submitted to the state by Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) in eight counties. Plaintiffs argued that the plans did not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act because they did not properly or adequately address greenhouse gas emissions from

A US Superior Court judge in California has validated the state’s forest practice laws and ruled that timber harvesting under comprehensive forestry standards is not only appropriate under the law, but also advances the fight against climate change. The ruling declares that the methodology used by the state to approve timber harvesting by private landowners is valid under California’s environmental laws, and that the state’s forest practices can help improve air quality and reduce greenhouse




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issue 162 | 28.02.11 | Page 1


Industry cautious over exemption from carbon price 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 162 | 28.02.11

THE government has confirmed that emissions from forestry, agricultural sources and legacy waste will be exempt under the carbon pricing mechanism announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week. The proposal to introduce a tax on carbon has recognised that it is not practical to impose liability on emissions from these industries. The proposal follows a deal between the Gillard government, the Greens and Independent Rob Oakeshott to set a carbon price from July 1 next year. Deputy chief executive of NAFI Mick Stephens said the industry was looking for policies that recognised the full contribution forestry could make to the issue of addressing climate change. “Forestry activities can make a significant contribution at a relatively low cost,” he said. “NAFI cautiously welcomes the announcement, but further detail is needed to assess its overall effectiveness. “Furthermore, we continue to call on the government to ensure that as polluters are charged for emissions, offsetting industries like forestry should also be provided incentives to store carbon.” Mr Stephens said the forest industries were offsetting carbon every day by storing it in trees in the ground, in wood products and by creating renewable energy with wood residues. “All of these activities should be recognised and rewarded for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” he said. “NAFI looks forward to seeing more detail on the carbon price in coming months.” Under the plan, the carbon price will initially be a fixed price set by the government, before

TRUST TABMA Mick Stephens .. carbon-positive forests should be recognised.

moving to a market-based capand-trade scheme. The initial fixed price essentially constitutes a carbon tax. The aim of the cap-and-trade scheme, also known as an emissions trading scheme, and a carbon tax are similar: to lower harmful emissions to help reduce the impact of climate change. But both use different mechanisms to achieve that goal. The government is yet to decide on what the fixed price will be, as well as the levels of compensation for consumers and business. National Farmers Federation president Jock Laurie says the announcement will cause angst for many and the NFF remains concerned about the potentially detrimental impact a carbon price may have on the Australian economy and farmers’ ability to compete on international markets. “Despite the hype surrounding the Carbon Farming Initiative, farmers are under no illusion that it will insulate us from the impacts of a carbon price. In fact, it won’t. Farmers are exposed to energy and Cont Page 11

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industry news

‘This is a clear victory for forest management’

From Page 1

timber harvesting. In strongly-worded opinion, the judge said the timber harvesting plans complied with all statues and regulation governing emissions and sequestrations and complied with all the rules and requirements of the environmental act. The breakthrough ruling means SPI and other forestland owners can proceed with forest management activities that provide family wage jobs in rural California communities, supply lumber for consumers and conserve forest resources. “This is a clear victory for the state’s sustainable forest management standards and clear affirmation that active forest management provides a

Court ruling .. California’s timber harvesting is valid under state environmental laws and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

significant carbon sequestration benefit,” California Forestry Association president David Bischel said.

“Efforts by activists to stop timber harvesting and force jobs out of rural California by arguing that forestry harms the environment were soundly rejected by the court,” he said. “Forestry is the only economic sector in the state that provides a net carbon sequestration benefit, yet taxpayers unwittingly subsidise an endless stream of litigation designed to block it.” SPI spokesman Mark Pawlicki said the decision highlighted SPI’s thorough environmental analysis and commitment to sustainable practices.

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Efforts by activists to stop timber harvesting and force jobs out of rural California by arguing that forestry harms the environment were soundly rejected by the court “Regulations require we perform a thorough environmental analysis including the impact of harvest and replanting on greenhouse gas emissions. We have complied with those laws and demonstrated that sustainable forest management

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issue 162 | 28.02.11 | Page 3

industry news

‘Eco-bullying’ paper chase targets sustainably managed native forests THE latest attempt at economic sabotage by the Wilderness Society to stop companies using Australian made Reflex paper has highlighted that common sense has been thrown by the way side in the race to abolish Australian wood production from sustainably managed native forests. It has emerged that the Wilderness Society is targeting Australian Paper (AP) under the cover of the Trade Practices Act, because AP uses native forest sourced timber in its paper making process at Maryvale in Gippsland, Vic. “The Wilderness Society is using tactics known as ‘eco-bullying’ to target AP customers, the retailers of Reflex photocopy paper, to stop purchasing and reselling the product,” the president of the Institute of

Australian paper .. verified sustainability credentials.

Foresters of Australia Dr Peter Volker said. “We have seen similar attacks targeting Bunnings hardware stores and international buyers of Tasmanian forest products, particularly in Japan,” he said. The Wilderness Society is

campaigning that AP should exclusively source its raw material from plantations as a substitute for native forests. “The problem with this stance is that it is counterproductive to favour either plantations or native forests,” Dr Volker said.

Dr Peter Volker .. common sense thrown by the wayside.

“What is important, is that the wood sourced has verified sustainability credentials.” IFA is concerned that campaigns of ‘eco-bullying’ Cont Page 6

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Page 4 | issue 162 | 28.02.11

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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 22-24: Domotex Asia-China Floor Fair. Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai, China. Leading world fair for floor coverings provides a complete overview of the Asian and global market. Showcases a wide array of high quality products. Contacts: Australia – Terry J. Newman Pty Ltd, PO Box 4091, Manuka ACT 2603. Tel: 61 2 6100 8698. Mob: 61 409 407 877. China – Ecquality Timber Products Co. Ltd, Building 1, Balidian Industrial Zone, Balidian Town Wuxing District, Huzhou City. Zhejiang Province, China. Tel: 86572-228-3097, 86-572-228-3098. 30-31: Residues to Revenues. Technologies to improve wood wastes utilisation. Rotorua, NZ. Visit

APRIL 4-5: Residues to Revenues. Technologies to improve wood wastes utilisation. Melbourne. Visit 5-7 Dubai Woodshow. The premier wood and woodworking machinery show in the Middle East. National supply groups from France, Malaysia and other Asian countries and USA are exhibiting, as well as key regional distributors such as Chabros and Al Nibras, major machinery suppliers from Germany and Italy including Homag and Biesse among others

and specialist surfaces producers such as Danzer and Schattdecor AG. Registration information Contact: Strategic Marketing and Exhibitions. Tel: + 971 4 28 29 299. Fax: + 971 4 28 28 767. Email : /

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 9-12: 42nd annual meeting International Research Group on Wood Protection. Queenstown, New Zealand. Venue: Moonlight Country, 15 minutes from Queenstown and 8 minutes from both Arrowtown and Queenstown Airport. Contacts: New Zealand – Jeanette Drysdale +64 9 299 9435. Australia – Jack Norton +61 7 3255 4420. 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

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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).

JUNE 15-17: SawTECH 2011. Sawing technologies to improve mill performance. Brisbane. Visit www. 21-23: SawTECH 2011. Sawing technologies to improve mill performance. Rotorua, NZ. Visit

JULY 13-14: Carbon Forestry 2011. Key investment drivers and future business opportunities. Auckland, NZ. Visit

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 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:

SUSTAINABLE. RESPONSIBLE. The National Association of Forest Industries (NAFI) is striving for an ecologically sustainable Australian society achieved through dynamic, internationally competitive forest industries. NAFI’s mission is to represent the interests of members by promoting the environmental sustainability and the prosperity of Australian forest industries. National Association of Forest Industries Ltd (Est. 1987) PO Box 239, Deakin ACT 2600 Tel: (02) 6285 3833. Fax: (02) 6285 3855 Web:

issue 162 | 28.02.11 | Page 5


US court ruling big win for forestry standards From Page 3

can have a positive effect on reducing carbon emissions and counteract the negative impacts of climate change.” The Centre for Biological Diversity filed a series of eight lawsuits against the state for approving the timber harvesting plans, alleging that the methodology used by SPI to analyse the effect of timber harvesting on greenhouse gases was inadequate. [The state’s permitting process requires all forestland owners to include a comprehensive greenhouse gas analysis and estimate the potential emissions from timber harvesting and related activities such as equipment operation and transportation]. By planting trees after harvest and always growing more wood than is being harvested on its lands, SPI demonstrated that its forestry practices provided a greater carbon sequestration

benefit over what would occur naturally or by utilising less intensive forest management practices. Judge Riley also noted that without timber harvesting and milling in California, the state would need to rely on imported lumber for 100% of its needs and that such reliance could result in more, not less, harmful emissions. The court concluded that California-grown wood products provide a wide array of environmental benefits and upheld the validity of the state’s strict forest management laws and regulations. Sierra Pacific Industries is a third-generation family-owned forest products company based in Anderson, California. The firm owns and manages more than 768,900 ha of timberland in California and Washington, and is the second largest lumber producer in the US.

Campaign of ‘eco-bullying’ From Page 4

will lead to irrational outcomes for the world’s forests. Already Australia is witnessing increased imports of tropical timber and paper from southeast Asia and Africa. “This is putting increased pressure on other countries to provide our wood when Australia has an international standard forest reserve system combined with sustainably managed production forests,” Dr Volker emphasised. “Australia can and should be providing its own raw materials and convert these into valueadded products which Reflex paper definitely is.” Dr Volker said the Wilderness Society was promoting the message that it is bad to use native forests for wood supply. “As a result this is leading to a

Page 6 | issue 162 | 28.02.11

reliance on offshore purchasing because plantations cannot produce all of what native forests give us. “Put simply, there is a place for both native forests and plantations and it’s time now to stop the attitude that there can and should be only one.” Dr Volker says that Australian forest managers of both plantations and native forests have embraced certification systems on top of the already world-class environmental controls exercised through legislative and regulatory systems. “We cannot have any such confidence about the environmental credentials of imported tropical timbers, particularly those used in furniture, decking and some photocopy paper,” he said.

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Preservation industry works closely with APVMA on CCA timber review

Study shows no leaching into soils at school playgrounds NOTICES issued by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority about the apparent misuse of CCA-treated timber in schools have upset the timber preservation industry which was not consulted on these allegations. APVMA has expressed concerns about the continuing use of CCA-treated timber, more particularly the apparent misuse of CCA-treated timber in school structures where children are likely to be exposed to the treated wood on a frequent basis. The industry’s reaction was conveyed in the following letter to Dr Les Davies, the APVMA chemical review manager, by Dr Harry Greaves, chairman, technical committee, Timber Preservers Association of Australasia: You will be aware that the Timber Preservers Association of Australia (TPAA) worked very closely with the APVMA both during and after your review of CCA. While not entirely agreeing with the review outcomes, especially your precautionary stance, we understood the rationale and supported the requirement to restrict the use of CCA-treated timber for some end uses where there may be frequent and intimate contact with uncoated and unprotected CCA-treated timber surfaces. Such end uses were deemed to be garden furniture, picnic tables, exterior seating, children’s play equipment, patio and other domestic decking boards, and handrails. It is interesting that since the APVMA review there have been a number of research studies showing that children pick

Dr Harry Greaves

Safe ... study finds no evidence of arsenic leaching into soils near pre-school playground structures.

Cont Page 8

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issue 162 | 28.02.11 | Page 7


The ‘supply-squeeze’ conundrum Opportunity to reduce $2bn forest trade deficit

THE Australian forestry industry is facing a ‘supply squeezedemand’ pull conundrum. Domestic and global consumption of wood and paper products is rising but a vacuum in forward thinking policies has held back the industry’s ability to satisfy longterm demand. A ray of light has appeared. A new federal parliamentary inquiry into the challenges and opportunities facing the Australian forestry industry could provide a plan that will see Australia use its own timber resources rather than increasing its reliance on imports. Chaired by Tasmanian MP Dick Adams, the House of Representatives agriculture, resources, fisheries and forestry committee will look into several key challenges facing the forestry industry in Australia and how to reduce the annual trade deficit in forest and wood products, which exceeds $2 billion. While the forest industry is pleased the inquiry is going ahead, it is overdue. The current national forest policy framework is also nearing the end of its


ALLAN HANSARD Chief Executive National Association of Forest Industries shelf life since the National Forest Policy Statement was developed and agreed to by all state and territory governments in 1992. The industry’s access to native forests is static following decades of politically driven forest ‘lock-ups’ and we simply have not planted enough suitable plantations for wood used to build our new and renovated houses. This is what has created the

supply-squeeze-demand pull conundrum. Since 1992, domestic demand has continued to grow as population increases. By 2050, Australia’s growing population will require 7.1 million new dwellings and at least 64 million cub m of construction timber. Given the long lead times for investment and production of wood we need to plan now for a sustainable forest industry. What is needed is a mechanism that will see investment in longer-rotation tree plantations, which take from 25 to 30 years to mature. This will satisfy demand for sawn timber and relax the supply squeeze. What we plant today will be used to build the homes of the next generation. As a bonus, the growing and harvesting of long-rotation plantations would attract the support of moderate environmental groups. Some of the less-moderate environmental groups may argue that there are enough plantations in the ground through managed investment schemes (MIS), which offered taxation incentives

for commercial plantations in recent decades. However, MIS saw investment in mostly short-rotation crops (10-12 years), supplying pulp wood used in paper and packaging factories. Internationally, the emphasis on sustainably managed forests to combat climate change has also grown since the last national forest policy in 1992. Reduced Emissions from By 2050, Australia’s growing population will require 7.1 million new dwellings and at least 64 million cub m of construction timber Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) was the only semiconcrete policy to come out of international climate talks and will see a reduction in tropical forest logging. It will also drive expectations for Australia to be a good global citizen and grow its own sustainable wood resources. The climate change debate has created a greater focus on low-emissions building Cont Page 10

TPAA works closely with APVMA on CCA timber From Page 7

up no arsenic to insignificant amounts from playing on CCA-treated timber relative to dietary ingestion, or relative to background levels. Furthermore, a study conducted here in Australia showed that arsenic does not leach into the soils near CCA-treated preschool playground structures. Our members are well aware of the post-review regulation concerning labelling and enduse restrictions, and, as far as we can determine, abide by

Page 8 | issue 162 | 28.02.11

the TPAA and timber industry guidelines dealing with labelling and end-use restrictions. [These guidelines are on the TPAA website]. We are surprised and disappointed to read that you have been made aware of breaches of these agreed industry guidelines. As we pursue such misapplications, we would have appreciated your advising us of such examples. The TPAA will reiterate its advice to members and treater non-members alike indicating

that they should not produce proscribed CCA-treated commodities. We are able to do so through the medium of our two-monthly newsletter ‘Contact’, which is forwarded to a wide range of stakeholders and interested parties including APVMA personnel. We will cooperate in any way with the APVMA to ensure that the post-CCA review guidelines are fully implemented. In the case of treatment plants where CCA is deemed by the APVMA to be a restricted chemical product, we will reinforce

the operational requirements governing this preservative’s use. The TPAA would like to continue to work together with the APVMA, and though we are disappointed that you have not so far contacted us about the misuse of CCA, we would appreciate being advised of any further breaches of the guidelines as we may be able to assist before it becomes necessary for you to issue any other general notices or take further actions in the future.

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Tough laws .. 20-year sentences for possessing illegal wood.

Harsh penalties for possessing Illegal wood in Philippines THE Philippines government, in line with some other southeast Asia countries, will issue harsh penalties for the mere possession of illegal wood or logs. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will declare as illegal mere possession of wood coming from trees in natural forests, particularly those lacking proper documents. Those found with logs from the Dipterocarp species will be considered as engaged in illegal activity. “The mere possession of wood or logs that fall under the said tree species will now be considered illegal unless they have the papers to prove their ownership of the logs or prove that these are imported,” a department official said. Presidential decree 705 [the forestry code of the Philippines] metes violators six months and up to 20 years’ imprisonment. Dipterocarps provide the bulk of what is sold in the market as Philippine mahogany, known to Filipinos by such names as apitong, bagtikan, lauan, tangile, guijo, and yakal, and often used for making furniture, utility poles, pulp, paper,

plywood, and bridges and wharfs. President Aquino has declared a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in natural and residual forests and has created an anti-illegal logging task force Meanwhile, a study in the UK, where it is estimated around 1.5 million cub m of illegal timber and wood products is imported each year, has found that many companies are selling items such as kitchen worktops, doors and decking manufactured from illegallylogged timber. The study found that in some cases UK companies had little idea where their wood products originated from and were reluctant to find out. While some of the major retailers are clearing up their supply chains, there are a large number of UK companies that simply don’t have the information or the understanding to make them fit for purpose when new regulations come into force. The study found that some companies’ websites show the FSC logo next to products which are not FSC certified.

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Timber & Forestry e-news is the most authoritative and quickest deliverer of news and special features to the forest and forest products industries in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region. Weekly distribution is over 6,400 copies, delivered every Monday. Advertising rates are the most competitive of any industry magazine in the region. Timber&Forestry e-news hits your target market – every week, every Monday! HEAD OFFICE Custom Publishing Group Unit 2- 3986 Pacific Highway Loganholme 4129 Qld, Australia PUBLISHER Dennis Macready CONSULTING EDITOR Jim Bowden Tel: +61 7 3256 1779 Mob: 0401 312 087 ADVERTISING Tel: +61 7 3256 1779 PRODUCTION MANAGER Leigh Macready

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 162 | 28.02.11 | Page 9


Emphasis on sustainably managed forests to combat climate change and water resources, and the industry’s ability to integrate with traditional agriculture in the landscape.

From Page 8

products such as wood and the use of renewable woodwaste to create bioenergy. Wood will be used more and more to replace high-emissions intensive products such as steel, concrete and aluminium. The climate change debate has created a greater focus on low-emissions building products such as wood and the use of renewable woodwaste to create bioenergy The offcuts, sawdust and harvesting residues from timber production are a stable resource of the necessary scale for the production of renewable energy. If we do not take a lead role in developing our own biomass

We can rely on our homegrown wood and reduce our reliance on imported wood with often dubious environmental credentials.

Wood will be used more and more to replace high-emissions intensive products such as steel, concrete and aluminium.

industry here in Australia, other countries may well end up producing renewable energy with our wood residues. Several Australian companies are already assessing opportunities to pelletise wood fibre for export to the northern hemisphere where renewable bioenergy has

been embraced. These opportunities to provide climate change mitigation benefits is identified in the terms of reference for the new House of Representatives inquiry, along with other issues including the analysis of the relationship between forestry

Achieving these outcomes will require strong leadership and the creation of partnerships among industry, communities and governments. The debate on forestry in Australia has matured to a point where we are ready to embrace new opportunities and the new parliamentary inquiry can provide the catalyst for a new forest policy platform at the national level.

‘Queenslander’ revisited at ‘high and dry’ seminar IS the lightweight modern ‘Queenslander’ the answer to building on flood and cyclone prone sites? Challenging design considerations will be the focus of an address by Russell Brandon, executive director of the Building Designers Association of Queensland at a Timber Queensland ‘high and

dry’ seminar in Brisbane on March 15. The seminar, to be opened by the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliff, is expected to attract a wide audience of builders, designers, engineers and town planners. Speakers also include: Gary White, government planner, Department of Infrastructure

and Planning (planning for the future: considerations in high wind and flood prone areas); David Benson, Building Services Authority (disaster recovery – how BSA helps you help others); and Colin MacKenzie, manager, application and use, Timber Queensland (building effectively, efficiently in timber for a low carbon future;

assessing and repairing timber homes post flood and cyclone; timber frames and trusses; engineered timber products; pre-fabricated systems). Seminar inquiries can be directed to Clarissa Brandt, communications manager, Timber Queensland on (07) 3358 7906. Visit www.

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Page 10 | issue 162 | 28.02.11

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Campbell Boyd takes senior management role with Chemcolour EXPERIENCED chemical engineer Campbell Boyd is leaving NZ-based TimTech Chemicals Ltd this month to take up a senior management role with parent company Chemcolour Industries Ltd. Mr Boyd will take up the position of group manager, development and regulatory compliance. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the timber industry and was general manger operations for TimTech. TimTech managing director Ron Eddy said Mr Boyd would still be responsible for TimTech’s R&D and technical development work. “With the additional resources of Chemcolour at his disposal, Campbell should be able to speed up the commercialisation of our new technology into the market,” Mr Eddy said. TimTech was launched in 2001

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in New Zealand and a year later in Australia. Chemcolour Industries (NZ) Ltd is a major shareholder in TimTech, bringing valuable manufacturing facilities, new generation products and technology. Mr Boyd has worked with Hickson Timber Protection and was operations manger and later general manager of Koppers Hickson’s operation.

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energy-related costs, including electricity, fuel and fertilizer; all are fundamental to farming and all will soar under the proposal. “Going down any path towards carbon abatement must be in step with a global response, lest we be hung out to dry.” The proposal does recognise that farmers and landholders can still play a vital part in reducing carbon pollution. The government has already recognised this by bringing forward the design of the Carbon Farming Initiative in advance of the carbon pricing mechanism. The initiative will demonstrate how land sector abatement is real and can deliver significant benefits to regional and rural Australia. It will allow sectors

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From Page 2

not covered by the carbon price mechanism to generate carbon credits for actions which reduce or store carbon pollution. In particular, it will help famers move beyond existing practices to unlock farming techniques with better carbon and productivity outcomes, helping adapt to the effects of climate change we cannot avoid. Farmers understand the impacts of climate variability and that unmitigated climate change is a fundamental threat to Australia’s prosperity and primary industries. Pricing carbon pollution is the cheapest, fastest and fairest way of tackling climate change, cutting our carbon pollution and moving to a clean energy future.

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issue 162 | 28.02.11 | Page 11


Rod Abel epitomised all the ideals of an industry organisation he loved

Timber champion loses his toughest battle By JIM BOWDEN

THE International Order of Hoo-Hoo was founded in 1892 on an ideal – and part of that ideal is the “belief that personal contact is important to the timber industry and in social relationships, to communicate better and to build trust between people in all parts of the industry”. Rodney Maxwell Abel, who died aged 81 in Brisbane on February 19, epitomised and championed those ideals in a 60-year career in timber that was interwoven with 45 years of dedicated service to and deep affection for Hoo-Hoo – and the people of Hoo-Hoo. He was awarded life

Page 12 | issue 162 | 28.02.11

memberships of Brisbane Club 218, Jurisdiction 1V of Hoo-Hoo International and the supreme body of HHI, headquartered at the organisation’s birthplace at Gurdon, Arkansas, USA. Carrying his Hoo-Hoo number L75979J, Rod and his wife Thelma seldom missed attending an Australian or international Hoo-Hoo conference; his advice and counsel were sought by both senior and junior members. Before he established Brighton Pty Ltd as a private accountancy consultant in 1982, Rod was company secretary for the timber giant of its day, the Wilkinson Day and Grimes group. For seven years

Rod Abel .. a role model for industry.

he experienced one of the most exciting growth periods for the timber industry in Queensland. Born in the Sunshine Coast sugar and fruit town of Nambour, the only child of farmers Fred and Mabel Abel, who built their own pine cases to transport bananas and pineapples to the Brisbane markets, Rod’s love of wood began in woodworking classes at Nambour primary school. After three years at Nambour State High where he studied and passed numerous academic and commercial subjects to junior level, he studied at home at night by the light of a kerosene lamp completing a Hemmingway Robertson Institute course in accounting in 1952. Rod’s first job in 1947 – which gave him a further grounding in timber – was as a clerk at Northcoast Joinery Works in Nambour. Seven years later he joined Wilkinson’s at Yandina as an accountant working with friend Brian Ivans and a junior assistant. The next 28 years with the Wilkinson Day and Grimes group as accountant/company secretary was a period of tremendous expansion in the

forest and forest products industry, naturally or by acquisition. Rod was a trusted mentor to many people in the timber industry who have moved up the ranks to senior industry positions or have gone on to run their own businesses. He won many battles fighting for the industry, but his own personal battle with ill health was a long one, starting nine years ago. For the last three years, as his health deteriorated further, he fought back making remarkable recoveries time and time again. “He fought and won nine lives,” lamented a Hoo-Hoo friend referring to the organisation’s emblem the black cat. Rod’s “favourite secretary” during his time with Wilkinson’s, Sue Cummings, summed up what many thought about him: “I never heard him say anything bad about anybody and he was always a role model for me. I will miss him more than words can describe. Rod was a trusted mentor to many people in the timber industry “He defined in every way what a good person should be. He set the bar high for the rest of us.” Rod Abel is survived by his wife Thelma and first wife Margaret Abel and their son, Denis, daughters, Linda, Janelle and Karen, and six grandchildren. Many friends in industry and Hoo-Hoo gathered today (Monday) for the funeral services conducted by the reverend Allan Male, who married Rod and Thelma in 1976.

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FPWA scholarship program winners

David Coote .. optimising the economic and carbon benefits of wood biomass

FOREST and Wood Products Australia has announced the successful recipients of its 2011 Postgraduate Scholarship Program. Out of a total of 10 applicants, FWPA has awarded two full scholarships and two topup scholarships, selected to address the skills shortage that was identified in the national research, development and extension strategy for the forest and wood products sector. The two full scholarships, each valued at more than $100,000 over a three-year

Tristan Morgan .. manufacturing technologies for engineered wood.

period, were awarded to Tristan Morgan from the University of Western Australia and Doug Thomas from the University of Technology Sydney. Tristan’s research will focus on the use of advanced digital design and manufacturing technologies applied to engineered timber products, while Doug plans to investigate and develop strategies for timber residential buildings. Additionally, two top-up scholarships were awarded to David Coote from the University of Melbourne for research

Doug Thomas .. strategies for timber residential buildilngs.

into optimising the economic and carbon benefits of wood biomass for energy production and Ian Riley from the University of Tasmania who will study the ecological factors affecting carbon stocks of Tasmanian native forests. FWPA managing director Ric Sinclair congratulated the students saying he looks forward to watching them build successful careers in the forest and wood products sector. FWPA and its predecessor have been major funders of postgraduate scholarships

Ian Riley .. ecological factors affecting native forest carbon stocks.

and more than $1.8 million has been awarded to 32 students over the last 10 years. “The postgraduate scholarship program is a key part of FWPA’s education investment plan and is aimed to help expand the sector’s capacity in key areas of research and development,” Mr Sinclair said. FWPA activities in R&D and education are jointly funded by the forest and wood products sector and the federal government.

Fast tracking building skills to disaster areas CONSTRUCTION Skills Queensland has launched a $10 million disaster response package to help ensure the building and construction industry has the skills it needs for a fast rebuild of Queensland. The package includes initiatives to help out-oftrade apprentices re-enter the industry, financial support for existing workers to up-skill and meet licensing requirements, as well as incentives for workers to undertake short safety courses. CSQ chief executive Brett Schimming said the package would balance the immediate and long-term needs of the

Boosting construction skills.

Queensland construction industry. “As the primary organisation for skills in the Queensland

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construction industry, CSQ has a vital role to play in ensuring our construction workforce has the skills to get to work quickly on re-building our state,” he said. The initial response to the workforce challenge will focus on those in the industry who have skills and experience, but could be of greater assistance in the recovery effort if they held a license or formal qualification. CSQ has doubled its existing reimbursement incentive for a number of prescribed occupations and has doubled its allocated budget for electro technology, plumbing/ draining and plastic welding competencies.

For workers looking to attain a trade level qualification, CSQ is offering funding support for undertaking ‘recognition for prior learning’ and any additional training required to bring skills in line with industry standards. CSQ is also subsidising short safety courses such as working safely at heights, confined space training, white card training and asbestos removal, to help prepare workers for the conditions they will face in disaster areas. CSQ is offering a $3000 incentive payment to employers who recommence an out-oftrade apprentice or trainee.

issue 162 | 28.02.11 | Page 13

Classifieds TENDERS – FORESTS NSW Tender of six softwood plantation harvesting and haulage services contracts - Northern NSW Buy and Sell Description: Forests NSW is inviting tenders for softwood plantation harvest and haulage contracts in Northern NSW. Six (6) parcels totalling 125,000 tonnes per annum are offered. The contracts are offered for commencement 1 October 2011 with a maximum term of 6 years and are supported by existing long term log sales agreements.

Parcel Number

Contract Type

Tonnes Per Annum

Plantation Indicative Type Location




Radiata & Southern pine





Radiata & Southern pine


Further information is available at www.sites., www.tenders. or via email to kelly.passaro@




Hoop pine





Radiata & Southern pine


Tenders close 2.00pm Thursday 24 March 2011.




Radiata & Southern pine


For more info Contact: Kelly Passaro E-mail:




Hoop pine


Page 14 | issue 162 | 28.02.11

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Issue 162  

A weekly online magazine to the timber and forestry industry

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