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issue 164 | 14.03.11 | Page 1


UN Year of the Forests event could be launching pad for single national body

Carbon tax too hot to to handle? – Page 2

“This will be a split from the past and will create a new level of leadership to build campaigns that win victories for industry – a single voice that will be heard and understood and appreciated through the corridors of power,” a founding member of NAFI said. When the mechanics of forming a new organisation are worked out, the key challenges will include value-adding opportunities, the spread of sustainable forest management certification, and a fight to overcome the current national trade deficit in forest products of almost $2 billion. A single voice would speak for all sectors of industry, engaging


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INDUSTRY rumblings suggest the $23 billion forest and forest products sector is closer to forming a single national body with an announcement expected at a UN International Year of the Forests gala dinner in Canberra on March 21. The event on World Forestry Day in the Great Hall at Parliament House, attended by industry and political leaders and foreign dignitaries, is likely to be the launching pad for the new organisation which has been anticipated since the National Association of Forest Industries and the Australian Plantations Products and Paper Industry Council agreed to a merger last year.

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issue 164 | 14.03.11 | Page 1


A carbon axe?

China handed our markets on a plate By JIM BOWDEN

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 164 | 14.03.11

THE wood manufacturing sector, which provides around 64,000 Australian jobs, fears the Gillard government’s carbon tax would hand over much of the market to Asian traders who have no environmental credentials. “Any scheme which makes Australian manufacturing less competitive is a threat to Australian jobs,” the general manager of the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia Simon Dorries said. “The price on carbon is likely to lead to a perverse outcome that may actually increase carbon emissions,” he said. “Products currently manufactured in Australia under strict environmental regulations are likely now to be manufactured in China where there is no carbon tariff and where emissions could be far higher. “The net outcome might be an increase in carbon emissions.” The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has attacked the lack of detail in the carbon tax plan, warning it threatens jobs and will fuel uncertainty. Chief executive Peter Anderson slammed the scheme, labelling it “a blow for the competitiveness of Australian business, especially small and medium-sized enterprises”. “The extra lead in the saddlebags of Australian business will not reduce overall global emissions, nor will it help save the jobs that will be exported offshore to countries without a carbon scheme,” he said. If a material carbon tax really is imposed on July 1 next year, and commodity

TRUST TABMA Simon Dorries .. price on carbon may actually increase carbon emissions.

prices and the Australian dollar have not corrected by then, manufacturing will be devastated. Government and opposition policy is for an unconditional 5% reduction in carbon emissions from 2000 levels by 2020. Government policy also requires 15% reduction if ‘major economies’ agree to comparable reductions and 25% if there is global action sufficient to stabilise greenhouse gases at 450 parts per million. The Greens policy seeks 25% unconditional reduction. On February 9, the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency released new projections for Australian emissions in 2020 which showed that without further policy action emissions in 2020 would be 24% above 2000 levels. Simon Dorries said there was no carbon tariff in countries like China and India to level the playing field on imports. “Manufacturers will be encouraged to set up shop overseas where there isn’t a Cont Page 11

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Six industry leaders chart course for new peak body From Page 1

more with green groups and governments over timber’s environmental credentials, including the sustainable use of resources and the absorption of greenhouse gases by growing trees. It will galvanise efforts to address common issues, both globally and domestically and, importantly, will be a ‘super body’ in approaches to state and federal governments. The new real, sustained move towards a genuine single voice will inspire and enthuse industry and help dissolve any discord or division that may have existed – and it will encourage closer engagement by people with a long-term investment, and faith, in wood’s future. Six prominent industry leaders have been designing the

Rebecca White .. Tasmania’s ambassador for Year of the Forests.

Glenn Milne .. master of ceremonies for gala dinner in Canberra.

mechanics of the new entity – Linda Sewell, chair of A3P and chief executive of HVP Plantations; Greg McCormack president of NAFI and owner of Victorian sawmilling firm McCormack Timbers; Jim

Snelson, A3P director and chief executive of Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts Australia; Vince Erasmus, NAFI vice-president and chief executive of Elders Forestry; Bryan Tisher, NAFI director and executive general manager of Boral Timber; and Stephen Hawkins, A3P director and corporate and government relationship manager at Australian Paper. The International Year of the Forests dinner in Canberra has been organised by NAFI and the Institute of Foresters of Australia and will include Australian and international award presentations. Guests including federal minister for forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, Opposition forestry spokesman Senator Richard Colbeck, Tasmania’s ambassador for the Year of the Forests Rebecca White MP, UN representative Chris Woodthorpe and officials representing the Japan, China, Canada and New Zealand embassies, will be introduced by Canberra journalist and political commentator Glenn Milne. A full pictorial report on the event will appear in the March 28 edition of Timber&Forestry enews.

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issue 164 | 14.03.11 | Page 3


High-cost claims on high-set homes ‘plucked from thin air’

Seminar watershed for new building systems BUILDERS who claimed houses elevated above flood levels would cost thousands of dollars more than low-set construction were “plucking figures from thin air,” the chief executive of Timber Queensland Rod McInnes said. “The claims on a television news program last week that new elevated houses would add up to $50,000 to construction costs is untrue scaremongering,” he said. The assertions were a response

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Page 4 | issue 164 | 14.03.11

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to moves by the Brisbane City Council to introduce new planning levels after the January floods that would require new homes to be built 800 mm to 2 m higher. They also come ahead of a timely ‘high and dry’ seminar this Tuesday, organised by Timber Queensland, that will look at the planning and design of houses in the light of the state’s summer disasters. Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said Cont Page 6

The Tru-Core® Process This will set the benchmark for timber treatment in the future. In simple terms, Kop-Coat has developed a process that can fully penetrate most timber, both sapwood and heartwood, and can also fully penetrate most engineered wood products using water soluble chemical technology that does not require re-drying and does not damage the properties of the wood products. Forget everything that you knew about treating timber – this is new technology. What has traditionally been considered untreatable, can, in every case so far, be easily treated to the standard and beyond. 22 Neon Street, Narangba 4504 Queensland Tel: +61 3204 0444 Fax: 3203 3797 Email:

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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.

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.

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 : /

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 Institute of Forestry Conference (ANZIF 2011). Auckland NZ. Theme: ‘Pacific Forestry’. Visit 30-June 3: LIGNA Hannover Wood Fair.

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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: 6-7: Wood Technology Clinic 2011. Series of clinics held within the NZ Forest Industries Expo. Rorotura, NZ. Visit

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 164 | 14.03.11 | Page 5

industry news

Prefab affordable build system for high-set housing From Page 4

council’s civic cabinet had decided to recommend a new interim defined flood level using the January flood data. Almost 10,000 properties were inundated this year but they should have been spared, based on the previous standard. “This doesn’t affect people who’ve got an existing home in an existing suburb who just want to rebuild,” Cr Newman said. “This is about the future. It’s about people who want to do something new. If adopted, the new defined flood level would mean the habitable floor level of a new home or development in a flood-prone area would have to be built 500 mm above the flood level recorded there during this year’s disaster. Rod McInnes said a return to the Queensland ‘high-set’ house, particularly in flood prone areas, would cost no more than a house on the ground if designed properly for that application. “A return to the high-set Queenslander has many advantages over currently popular lowset construction,” he said. “Our forefathers had it right when most Queensland houses were built high and dry, out of harm’s way, allowing efficient lightweight construction, being able to catch prevailing breezes and utilising building materials with a lighter carbon footprint than heavy mass alternatives.” High-set houses provide car accommodation, storage and recreational opportunities underneath, which can be easily and quickly moved in the face of impending flooding. Modern construction techniques also allow for

Page 6 | issue 164 | 14.03.11

Paul Lucas .. keynote speaker at Brisbane ‘high and dry’ seminar.

Rod McInnes .. Queensland has to make some serious decisions about re-building.

prefabrication of components such as wall frames, roof trusses and flooring systems in factory environments to provide more affordable and efficient construction. “Timber is a natural for these applications, coming from sustainably managed forests with international certification and storing carbon taken in by the tree while growing in the forest,” Mr McInnes said. Taking another positive angle on high-rise dwellings, an insurance industry spokesman told T&F enews that elavating above the base flood elevation Cont Page 7

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industry news

Seminar sell-out for builders and timber engineers From Page 6

was the fastest way to reduce the cost of annual flood insurance premiums. “Hundreds of dollars could be saved for every metre the elevated floor is located above the established base flood elevation,” he said. “Elevating just 500 mm above the base flood elevation could result in a 30% reduction in annual premiums. A homeowner with an elevated home, with its first floor elevated 500-700 mm above the base flood elevation, could expect to save 60% or more on annual flood insurance premiums. One of the most effective options is relocating a home on an area of the property that has its natural grade above the base flood elevation. This method may be costly, but can reduce or eliminate the need to pay flood insurance entirely. “If you are preparing to build a new home or structure, evaluate your property to determine if there is a suitable building area outside of the floodplain,” the spokesman said. “But be warned – homes constructed outside the flood plain (or on natural ground above the base flood elevation) are not 100% safe from flooding. On average, between 20-25% of all flood insurance claim payouts go to buildings that are located outside of the special flood hazard area.” Timber Queensland’s ‘high and dry’ seminar on March 15 is a sell-out with more than 270 builders, designers and other building professionals registered. Speakers will include the Deputy Premier and Planning Minister Paul Lucas and the government planner Gary White.

“Queensland has to make some serious decisions about re-building,” Mr McInnes said. “The seminar will provide government and industry the opportunity to explain to designers, architects, builders and certifiers where they fit into the reconstruction effort and what plans are being made to ensure the rebuild is disasterproof.”

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Prefabricated housing .. and it’s high and dry.

issue 164 | 14.03.11 | Page 7


Saw trouble-shooters get their teeth into Australia, NZ technology program

Case studies show how sawmills lift their performance IN a recent issue we identified how local sawmills increasingly are looking at inexpensive tools that they can use to increase lumber yields, improve grade recoveries, get higher production speeds out of their saw-lines and reduce the sawing costs for their operation. With this in mind, Australian and New Zealand sawmilling companies have been working alongside the Forest Industry Engineering Association to design a new sawmilling technology show and expo, SawTech 2011, to profile and discuss some of these tools. Sawmillers quite rightly have pointed out that with significant changes to sawmill ownership, operation, personnel and the training that’s available to both managers and production staff, there is an urgent need to refocus on key performance issues such as how saws are being selected, how they’re maintained and how they’re run to get the most out of each saw centre in the mill. Working closely with sawmilling companies to address key factors that are impacting on sawmilling performance Topics identified by local sawmills to build into the 2011 program included tensioning, levelling, swaging, sharpening and side dressing of circular head-saws and edger saws, tooth styles, number of teeth, kerf width, arbor selection, saw collars, horsepower requirements and maintenance of inserted tooth circular saws, ripsaws and their designs for various depths of cut and factors affecting kerf selection and understanding horsepower requirements for sawing green

Page 8 | issue 164 | 14.03.11

SawTech 2011 .. bringing new innovative technologies in primary log breakdown.

logs and cants with band and circular saw systems. “We’re delighted that SawTech 2011 has attracted three key world renowned sawing specialists in Gary Schajer, Joe Shields and Warren Bird,” FIEA director Brent Apthorp said. “They’ll be working very closely with sawmilling companies as part of the June 2011 series to address some of these key factors that are impacting on sawmilling performance.” Gary Schajer has worked as a research engineer with Weyerhaeuser Company in Tacoma, USA, specialising in sawing machinery. He then went on to teach at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, where he continues to do research and is internationally recognised for his ground-breaking work on wood machining and on wood quality control. Joe Shields has worked with a number of large Australian sawmills with his company, USNR. With more than 38 years’ experience in troubleshooting electrical, electronic, and mechanical systems, he is specialised in troubleshooting sawmill edgers,

Joe Shields .. product improvements to reduce maintenance and downtime

gangs, bandmills, planers and chipper systems. Alignment and system diagnostics has become his main focus for service trips around the world as well as working closely with the service and engineering departments of a large number of sawmilling operations to develop product improvements to reduce maintenance and downtime. Warren Bird is the president of California Saw and Knife Works and has been a regular visitor to both Australia and New Zealand. Over his entire professional career he has been devoted to the design

and manufacture of thin, high performance cutting tools and both Warren and his company are well recognised for their innovative saw blade designs used by leading sawmills around the world. In addition to working with local and international experts on saw design, selection, maintenance and operation, an array of new tools on bandsaw management, plant downtime and performance monitoring systems and in-line lumber quality control will be profiled as part of SawTECH 2011. Case studies on how mills have turned around their operating performance will be showcased, as well as some new innovative technologies in primary log breakdown, saw centre and mill optimisation and board handling, trimming, grading and stacking from local and international sawing technology providers. “This is a unique opportunity for sawmill site and engineering managers along with production staff and saw-doctors to attend one show at one time,” Mr Apthorp said. “From previous technology events we know from delegates attending that the mill gets so much more from sending a cross section of staff from the one site. The opportunity from changing operating practices or adopting new tools or technologies as a consequence of an event like this is so much easier to implement if staff are ‘all singing from the same songbook’.” SawTech 2011 runs in Brisbane on June 15 and 16 and in Rotorua on June 21 and 23. The program is available at

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Architectural students get the good wood message at Forest Industries House from Professor David Flannery, University of Canberra, and Mick Stephens, deputy chief executive, NAFI.

Students get the good wood tour at NAFI building A GROUP of 80 university architecture students are wiser about the benefits of wood as a renewable building resource after visiting the Canberra offices of the National Association of Forest Industries. The visit by University of Canberra students is part of NAFI‘s celebration of the United Nations International Year of Forests. The students toured the impressive multi-level Forest Industries House at 24 Napier Close in Deakin, a unique timber structure in the ACT landscape. “As far as building resources go, the UC students will be hard pressed to find a better material than wood. The natural resource is versatile, renewable, attractive and cost effective. The NAFI building is a large carbon store,” NAFI chief executive Allan Hansard said. “Looking into the future, up and coming architects are continually looking at design from an environmentally friendly and sustainable perspective.

This is a view that the Australian forestry industry passionately shares. “Wood is a renewable material that helps tackle climate change by storing carbon for long periods, as well as relying predominantly on solar energy with lower emissions compared to alternative building products such as steel or concrete,” he said. The Australian forest industry will need to expand to meet the future demand of the building industry. “Forests provide the essentials of life including renewable wood used for building and construction. On our current course, Australia will not have enough locally grown wood to meet our future needs. Australia’s growing population will require 7.1 million new dwellings and at least 64 million cub m of construction timber by 2050,” Mr Hansard said. For further information on the UN International Year of Forests visit iyof2011/

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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 164 | 14.03.11 | Page 9


Working in a vacuum could save timber industry $24 million a year THERE is an old saying that nothing is created in a vacuum .. but Queensland government forestry scientists have found that vacuum drying hardwoods could potentially save the timber industry $24 million a year in processing costs. Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) scientist Adam Redman says the results of a three-year collaborative study has found vacuum drying can significantly increase forestry industry profit margins. “A reduction of 50% in current industry drying times, with a 5% improvement in dried quality, equates to around a $24 million profit a year for the Queensland hardwood industry [according to 2008 ABARE statistics].

Vacuum drying kiln .. big moneysaver for hardwoods.

“Often referred to as the ‘bottleneck’ of the production process, drying generally takes up to 90% of the production time and 70% cent of production costs,” he said. “Our results show that vacuum drying technology, being faster and more economical with less impact on the environment, has great potential to optimise future industry processing behaviour.”

Scientist Adam Redman monitors the moisture content of boards at the Salisbury Research Station in Brisbane.

“It is a relatively new process in Australia where only a very small number of the vacuum driers are currently operating. “Industry wanted to know more about the benefits before committing to this technology, which is widey used in the USA and Europe.” Mr Redman said the first 14 of 16 trials had been completed, drying native forest Queensland Corymbia citriodora, NSW Eucalyptus pilularis, Western Australian Eucalyptus marginata and Tasmanian Eucalyptus obliqua.” Using a 2 cub m capacity superheated steam vacuum

kiln located at the Salisbury Research Centre in Brisbane, the study involves predicting drying schedules and drying times based on wood properties and kiln conditions. Results of these trials have shown that drying times for Australian hardwood species can be reduced by 40 to 70%, depending on the species, and with the same or better dried quality than conventional methods. Mr Redman said drying timber to produce material for high quality applications was an expensive and time-consuming process.

Results of these trials have shown that drying times for Australian hardwood species can be reduced by 40 to 70%, depending on the species The vacuum drying research forms part of a three-year national collaborative research project led by DEEDI and supported by leading industry representatives and Forest and Wood Products Australia. “Our focus of research is to continue modelling effective drying techniques that will be essential for current and future refractory native forest and emerging plantation Queensland hardwood species,” Mr Redman said.

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Page 10 | issue 164 | 14.03.11

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‘I fear we are on the edge of a great madness’ From Page 2

price on carbon,” he said. “A carbon tax will rob our industry of a competitive edge; it will increase fuel and power costs and further reduce slim profit margin percentages. “The government is talking about compensation packages, but the fact is business still has to find the cash to pay the carbon tax. They may get something back in the form of a rebate [still undecided] but they will still be out of pocket.” The wood panels industry has estimated the impact of a price on carbon as an increase in manufacturing costs of up to 7%. This could be greater than the profit on some low margin products. Federal climate change minister Greg Combet said that to give certainty, business would be notified of a carbon price in advance. Forestry and agriculture have been ruled out of the carbon pricing system, but whether fuel will be included is still undecided. Forestry may be the big winners in the scheme but if the incentives are good enough growers may leave the trees in the ground and not harvest them. “If we don’t get some recognition about the amount of carbon stored in timber products then nobody will want to harvest trees and that’s the worst outcome for us,” says Rod McInnes, chief executive of Timber Queensland. Nationals leader Warren Truss has called on the Prime Minister to immediately rule out applying the carbon tax to fuel and said he was deeply concerned about the way the tax was unfolding. “I fear we are on the edge of a

Get fair dinkum! Warren Truss .. deeply concerned about the way the tax is unfolding.

great madness,” he said. Green Party senator Bob Brown was thought to have gone over the top by saying firstly, that man-made global warming had caused the floods, and secondly, that the coal mining industry should pay the bill. This absurdity proved too much; even the coal miners’ union thought he was talking nonsense. Meanwhile, Gillard’s handling of the carbon price and the Greens partnership is being attacked by some of her most senior colleagues. There is internal government debate over at least three points of complaint – the early push on climate change policy without detailed policy backup; the endorsement of the Greens which is putting innercity Labor seats in further peril; and the tolerance for Greens whose public comments have embarrassed the government. The complaints have been intensified by a recent Newspoll finding that the government’s primary vote has hit a record low of 30%. It was 40.5% on the eve of the 1996 election which gave victory to John Howard’s Coalition.

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issue 164 | 14.03.11 | Page 11


Forest festival branches out across New Zealand

Regions ‘on the ball’ for business A REGIONAL forestry celebration is branching out across New Zealand and will be in full bloom for Rugby World Cup 2011. As a world leader in plantation forestry and wood products for more than 100 years, New Zealand’s forest industries sector will be a centre of attention when visitors from around the world visit Winning with Wood – the New Zealand Forests and Wood Processing Festival in September and October. The festival is made up of a wide-ranging series of events that include the PF Olsen FI2011 expo, the BNZ FI2011 conference and the Kawerau Woodfest. Winning with Wood is the ideal showcase for New Zealand’s forestry industries, says NZTE Bay of Plenty regional manager Lionel Crawley, who chairs the Winning With Wood Steering

Group. “We all know New Zealand is the heart of the international forestry industry and this massive festival will show the world just why,” Mr Crawley says. He wants regions around New Zealand to create and join their own forestry or wood-related events under the festival banner, and to be highlighted on the new website which was launched last week. “This could be a wood carving competition, an art exhibition or a display of high end innovative wood products. The opportunities are endless,” Mr Crawley says. “It is important that we create events to showcase our forestry sector to the world this year. Rugby World Cup 2011 is a magnet for international visitors. If we can attract them

to our industry then they will be left with a much stronger impression of who we are as a country and how we can play on the world stage in business as well as sport.” The Bay of Plenty region is already planning Winning with Wood events. There will be Woodfest, including a national woodskills competition in Kawerau, the Forest Industries Expo, Tech Clinics and International Conference (FI2011), and FITEC national training awards in Rotorua. Waiariki Institute of Technology is also on board with an open day in its school of forestry. PF Olsen, New Zealand’s largest independent professional forestry services provider, has signed up as the naming rights sponsor of NZ Forest Expo 2011. Although the company

Rugby World Cup .. opportunity to promote New Zealand forest industry.

operates in Australasia, with 113 staff in 12 New Zealand offices and three in Australia, an increasing number of clients are international investors, according to PF Olsen marketing manager Peter Weblin. “We see this sponsorship as a good way to raise our profile in New Zealand and internationally in a positive way, while supporting a local business initiative,” he said. “Forest Expo has been a good event in the past and a good way to showcase New Zealand forest products and the benefits that forestry provides.”

Green light for Gunns Bell Bay pulp mill THE proposed pulp mill at Bell Bay in Tasmania has been given the green light by the federal government with the environment minister Tony Burke saying he had approved separate ‘modules’ for the project. These included effluent trigger levels, land clearing and marine monitoring and response strategies that kick in if and when different conditions relating to the mill were not met. “It will now be a condition of the project as a whole that the discharge can only occur through what’s known as elemental chlorine free light

Page 12 | issue 164 | 14.03.11

technology,” Mr Burke said. The technology is a form of bleaching – a much tougher environmental condition. “It is one that has been demanded by environmental groups. It is something which Gunns has been saying it is willing to do, and it will now have to do it as a condition of the development,” Mr Burke said. Gunns, which will now be stepping up its search for additional financial backing of the project, will only be allowed to use plantation timber in the mill. “No native forestry will be

allowed to be legally used through this mill,” Mr Burke said, adding that was a substantial variation on the original proposal. “These two changes make the proposal a very different one to what was first presented to my department back in 2007.” Opposition spokesman on forerstry, Tasmanian Liberal senator Richard Colbeck, welcomed the announcement. “This is good news for Tasmania,” he said. It is time to stop demonising the pulp mill project. The mill should now proceed for the benefit of all Tasmanians.

“Gunns is determined to put forward a mill that meets more stringent environmental conditions than any other mill in the world. “Advice from minister Burke regarding elemental chlorinefree light technology, plantationonly timber, alterations to the wharf design and pipeline and the ‘no backward step’ standard clause prove Gunns is sticking to its guiding principal.” While he welcomed the decision, Senator Colbeck said he was gravely concerned for the future of Tasmania’s native forest sector following Premier Cont Page 13

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Demand for new houses, renovations builds a ‘perfect storm’ for NZ builders AN unprecedented rise in the demand for house starts and rebuilds after the Christchurch earthquake has been described as a ‘perfect storm’ for the New Zealand building industry. Interviewed on NZ television, Pieter Burghout, chief executive of BRANZ and chairman of the Construction Industry Council, said the demand would require a fast-tracking of builder apprenticeships and job imports, likely from Asia. He said New Zealand currently was building about 15,000 new houses a year. “But if you factor in the Christchurch disaster, an additional 10,000 new houses will be needed along with 100,000 substantial renovations,” Mr Burghout said. “If you include work on commercial buildings, that converts to the equivalent of 30-40,000 new houses a year. “We have only experienced 30,000 new house start figures once before in our lifetime as builders, so we will really be stretching well in excess of this over the next five years.” Mr Burghout said builders had to respond to these challenges which would require the upskilling of as many people as possible as well as bringing new entrants into the building market. “Our first response should be to up-skill Kiwis,” he said. But he believed the general thinking was that this might be too big a task and that migrant labour might be needed to deal with the crisis. “What we are saying as a construction council is let’s sit down and plan this. We’ve got a year before it really starts. If we plan and manage this it might be far less a conundrum for the industry than otherwise might be the case.”

it should be but perhaps we can push people through the system a little faster with new learning ideas. “But it would be good to get a Kiwi response to this before we look internationally.” Meanwhile, the New Zealand timber industry will be hosting a one-day forum on September 7 as part of the FI2011 Expo titled “Winning with Wood. Political, local government and building experts have been suggesting that wood takes on a much more prominent role in rebuilding Christchurch.

Accelerating apprenticeships .. meeting the demand for housing in New Zealand.

Peter Burghout .. up-skilling to respond to the challenges.

Mr Burghout said in his own case, where he had put on a suit and stopped swinging the hammer, when industry got busy he put his builder’s apron back on and swung the hammer again. “I suspect there will be a good number of Kiwis who might actually be convinced to be a builder again,” he said. “These are the people we want to track back into the industry. On top of that, we might have to turn to the Asian market, if

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not China, for builders. We already have a good number of Asian workers doing good work in Auckland and maybe this has to filter through to the rest of the country.” Mr Burghout said at a recent skills forum, some of the ideas talked about included accelerating apprenticeships for experienced workers, those who had a good work ethic. “We don’t want to ‘dumb down’ the industry, we want to keep the skills standard where

‘What we are saying as a construction council is let’s sit down and plan this. We’ve got a year before it really starts. If we plan and manage this it might be far less a conundrum for the industry that otherwise might be the case’ This one-day conference will look at innovative products, designs and new developments for timber building. In addition to forestry and wood products companies that will be playing an important role in assisting the reconstruction in Christchurch, this theme will also attract architects, engineers and specifiers.

Concern for native forests From Page 12

Lara Gidding’s directions to Forestry Tasmania. “There is no scientific descriptor or set of scientific criteria for ‘high conservation value’. “Previously conservationists have claimed parts of 28-yearold old regrowth forests, previously logged forests, parts of an artillery range and pine and eucalypt plantations as ‘high conservation value’.

“Ms Giddings is taking Tasmania’s forestry industry into dangerous territory by kowtowing to an ideology campaign that is not supported by science. “Gunns made its own commercial decision to withdraw from native forest activity, but there are a number of other Tasmanian businesses who do not want to leave this sector.”

issue 164 | 14.03.11 | Page 13

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