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issue 181 | 11.07.11 | Page 1

Trying times Winter of discontent as industry faces changes on many fronts

Industry bends to changes in the landscape.

long winter recess, the industry must come to terms with the possibility that: • European forest growers could make good on their business

Just Go t ood W

r sm

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• Treated shingles stand the test of time • Industry development conference to focus on global trade dynamics • DAFF: better understanding on imports

Cont Page 2

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plans to put $2 billion worth of white pine structural framing into the Australian market within

• FWPA hits the road with R&D show • Demand soars for wood panels in Japan

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CONCERN is mounting in the forest and wood products sector about the possible impacts of the carbon tax, a federal government in disarray and dramatic events that are changing the industry’s landscape. With the Greens seizing control of the Senate from July 1, Julia Gillard and Bob Brown make for an extreme and dangerous liaison, and industry will suffer the consequences – a shrinking resource, higher wood processing costs, and hikes in transport charges for both logs and lumber. Left to guess how it will respond to these outcomes while parliament retreats into a

This Issue

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issue 181 | 11.07.11 | Page 1


INDUSTRY NEWS

Australia now attractive market for Europe, US

A date for your diaries!

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: info@vafi.org.au Web: www.vafi.org.au

Page 2 | issue 181 | 11.07.11

two to three years. • A big US wood producer could add to these numbers as it considers storing 1 million cub m of southern yellow (slash) pine in east coast warehouses. • Such imports could represent shipments of about 4 million cub m, almost the entire local production now consumed in Australia. The European debt crisis. a 60% downturn in the US housing market and the high Australian dollar are the chief motivators for this market ‘buy-out’. • Gunns Ltd, which has been closing sawmills in Tasmania and Victoria, will sell its core assets, including all hardwood and softwood sawmilling operations, to self-finance its government-approved $2.5 billion Tamar Valley pulp mill. • A number of the recommendations from the inquiry on the Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill are basically illegal under world trade rules and have little chance of passing into legislation. • The so-called ‘peace deal’ proposal tentatively agreed between representatives of the timber industry and the environmental movement remains clouded. • The housing market will weaken further, following an HIA report last week of another poor result for overall building approvals. • Severe price cutting of wood products could follow the creation of the hardware brand Masters by Australia’s biggest supermarket chain Woolworths as it goes head to head with Wesfarmers-owned Bunnings, the current leader in the home improvement market.

2011 TABMA

GalaDinner & Awards Night Julia Gillard .. huge fight ahead with the resources sector.

Bob Brown .. determined to close forest operations.

Taking the political challenges in turn, Greens’ policies will be very important to how Australia will be governed for the next two years, assuming the LaborGreens-Independents alliance holds together. Greens leader Bob Brown is resolute in his determination to close down all native forest operations. And from July 1, Labor will be squeezed by the Greens in the upper and lower houses of federal parliament – and by a party that was rejected by 86% of voters. Given Labor has never had the stomach to seriously take them Cont Page 11

The 2011 Timber Industry Dinner, incorporating the TABMA Awards, will be held in Sydney on Friday, October 28, at Doltone House – Darling Island Wharf. The dinner will be supported by TDA NSW, the Furnishing Industry Association of Australia, the NSW Forest Products Association, the Timber Trade Industrial Association, WADIC, the Australian Timber Importers Federation, TABMA Australia, and WoodSolutions Invitations will be sent out early in September.

Contact us on Sydney – (02) 9277 3100 Adelaide – 0407 102 244 Perth – 0414 908 465 Brisbane – (07) 3254 3166 Hobart – 0407 102 244

www.tabma.com.au

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industry news

DAFF officers inspect timber yards for better understanding on imports OFFICERS of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry are completing on-site inspections of timber import operations in eastern states to get a better understanding of the industry’s compliance measures to combat illegal logging. The inspections in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane follow recommendations issued by the senate standing committee inquiry on the Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill which mainly centre on the need for border declarations by traders on the legality of imports and random federal scrutiny of these declarations. Nils Koren, chairman of the Australian Timber Importers Federation and managing director of Gunnersen, said

there were some concerns over some of the recommendations, but it was too early to make a call on this. Chief executive of Simmonds Lumber said he was “quite comfortable” about the DAFF visits and appreciated their efforts to talk and listen to importers on the issue. “They appear to be keen to find a way of setting up solutions that don’t involve importers getting involved in a lot of bureaucracy,” he said. “But there’s still a lot of water to go under the bridge.” He said Simmonds already had a sound certification and DNA system working with Indonesia but when the industry talked about the requirements from other countries such as Chile and New Zealand, it was a new

advocates that importers and processors demonstrate due diligence under an internationally recognised thirdparty certification scheme, an individual country initiative, or have in place a management system to ensure legal compliance. The committee also recommends that DAFF ensures that the declaration requirements are consistent to the fullest extent possible with those in the US Lacey Act and EU regulation and others that meet a similar standard.

Scrutiny .. better understanding of timber import operations.

ball game. The senate

committee

It recommends that DAFF conduct a review of the Bill’s provisions five years after enactment.

The 2011 conference has been specifically scheduled to coincide with Parliamentary sitting week to maximise engagement opportunities with MPs. It is highly recommended that interested conference attendees to make travel arrangements early, as flights and accommodation are difficult to secure during Parliamentary sitting weeks. Associated workshops and meetings will be held on September 13 and 15. Registrations open soon. ForestWorks performs a range of industry wide functions acting as the channel between industry, government and the Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) system.

MELBOURNE: (03) 9321 3500 LAUNCESTON: (03) 6331 6077 SYDNEY: (02) 8898 6990 BRISBANE: (07) 3358 5169 EMAIL: forestworks@forestworks.com.au

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issue 181 | 11.07.11 | Page 3


Celebrate innovation and advances in forestry, wood products and design just before the international rugby starts on 9 September. Be part of the forestry and wood processing revolution. If you have anything to do with wood you and your company must be there. Book your place and get more information, www.fi2011.co.nz The PF Olsen Forest Industries Expo 2011 will showcase the latest equipment, technology and systems from New Zealand and around the world, to an international audience. You can book to attend or register for a display site indoors or outdoors through www.fi2011.co.nz The BNZ Forest Industries Tech Clinics will feature 14 practical and independent clinics that will cover every facet of the forestry sector, from new tools for improving efficiencies in forest management through to the very latest in timber design, construction and building practices. For more information go to www.fi2011.co.nz. The BNZ Forest Industries Conference on 7 September will focus on innovation and design in timber construction following the tragic earthquakes in Japan and Christchurch (2011), Haiti (2010), Chile (2010) and Italy (2009). International speakers will cover recent major advances in design, technology and construction. For more information go to www.fi2011.co.nz

Page 4 | issue 181 | 11.07.11

www.fi2011.co.nz

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events

WHAT’S ON? JULY 12, 14, 15: PEFC stakeholder breakfast seminars. Sydney, July 12, Pullman at Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush; Melbourne, July 14, at Amora Hotel Riverwalk; Brisbane, July 15, at Novotel Hotel. 13-14: Carbon Forestry 2011. Key investment drivers and future business opportunities. Auckland, NZ. Visit www. carbonforestryevents.com 19-20: FTMA Australia National Conference, Newcastle. Join FTMA Australia members on Tuesday, July 29, and network over golf at the Newcastle Golf Club and other activities. Wednesday, July 20,FTMA Australia AGM prior to conference commencing at 10am. 21-22: Reinventing Wood. Pine Manufacturers Association and Wood Processors Association joint annual conference. Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Nelson, NZ. Participate and learn how industry intends to position itself, post-Canterbury earthquakes. Reinventing Wood aims to lift the focus of participants from commodity production to highvalued manufactured and branded timber solutions in domestic and export markets. Strong emphasis on the potential for re-creating Christchurch with innovative wooden building. Registration form: www.pine.net.nz/annualconference/registration-2001 Program www.pine.net.nz/annualconferenceprogramme-2001. Contact: NZPMA. Tel: +64 3 544 1086. Email: info@pine.net.nz Visit: www.pine.net.nz 26-28: Malaysia Timber Council seminars, Melbourne

(InterContinential Hotel, Tuesday, July 26) and Sydney (Marriott Sydney Harbour Hotel, Thursday, July 28). Join the Malaysia timber industry contingent, lead by the Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and CEO of MTC for an update on industry on policy and business development in the Malaysian timber industry. There will be no charge to attend the seminars, but prior registration will be necessary. Inquiries: John Halkett (02) 9356 3826. Email: john.halkett@bigpond. com or John Bagley (02) 9487 2776. Email: bagleys2@gmail.com

AUGUST 28-27: Vareity Club Bush Bash, Queensland. Brisbane Hoo-Hoo Club 218 has entered the event to raise funds for children’s charities. Contact: Alan Jones (07) 3010 1823.

SEPTEMBER 2: Women of Timber High Tea. Curvee Lounge, The Sofitel, Brisbane. The aim of the event is to gather as many women of industry, representing a variety of roles and organisational sectors, to get together and share their knowledge, experience and ideas. Ticket price $55 p.p. (inc. gst). RSVP August 26. Tel: (07) 3254 3166. Email: karen@tabma.com.au 5, 6, 8: WoodSolutions 2011. Bringing together leading international and Australasian exponents of timber design. Adelaide (Monday September 5), Intercontinental Adelaide, North Terrace. Sydney (Tuesday, September 6), Sydney Marriott Hotel, College Street. Melbourne (Thursday, September 8), The Windsor Hotel, Spring Street. Visit www.woodsolutions2011.com.au

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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. Email: office@bawden.co.nz Website site: fi2010.co.nz 6-7: BNZ Forest Industries Tech Clinics 2011. Rotorua, NZ www. forestevents.co.nz 7: BNZ Forest Industries 2011 Conference: Innovative products, designs and new developments for timber building. Rotorua, NZ. www.forestevents.co.nz 14, 15: Industry Development Conference - Productivity and Competitiveness, Hyatt Hotel, Canberra. Hosted by ForestWorks, the conference will provide an in-depth exploration of the many impacts and opportunities facing the industry in 2011 and beyond. The conference has been specifically scheduled to coincide with parliamentary sitting week, providing a great chance for industry players, union representatives, policy makers and MPs to gather, network and share ideas. Tel: (03) 9321 3500. www. forestworks.com.au/conference

Australia’s forest, wood, pulp and paper products industry now has a stronger voice in dealings with government, the community and in key negotiations on the industry’s future, as two peak associations have merged to form a single national association. The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has been formed through the merger of the Australian Plantations Products and Paper Industry Council (A3P) and the National Association of Forest Industries (NAFI). AFPA was established to cover all aspects of Australia’s forest industry: - Forest growing; - Harvest and haulage; - Sawmilling and other wood processing; - Pulp and paper processing; and - Forest product exporting. For more information on the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) or to enquire about membership , please call (02) 6285 3833.

issue 181 | 11.07.11 | Page 5


industry news

John McNamara leaves Hyne after 17 years as CEO Driving force for timber icon

JOHN McNAMARA’S decision to step down as chief executive and managing director of Hyne was a personal one, company director Chris Hyne said. Mr McNamara, who resigned on June 30, joined Hyne in 1994 and was a driving force in repositioning the family business as a significant operator in the Australian timber industry. He was the first non-family member appointed to the position. “During this time, John has been an instrumental leader in both the company and industry more generally and has taken Hyne from its roots in Maryborough, Queensland, to a company known throughout Australia and internationally for its quality assets, products and its commitment to its customers,” Mr Hyne said. “The parting was amicable and John wants to move on.” Mr Hyne said it was the board’s view there was sufficient talent within the company from which to choose a new chief executive. “We will go through a selection process over the next three months,” Mr Hyne said. “Everyone at Hyne is highly motivated.” Hyne director Richard Hyne and chairman of the board Martin Kriewaldt are visiting the US and will assist with the appointment of a new CEO on their return. Mr Kriewaldt was a director of Suncorp from 1990 and chairman at the time of the merger that formed the SuncorpMetway Ltd group in 1996. One of Queensland’s most prominent company directors, Mr Kriewaldt is a former chairman

Page 6 | issue 181 | 11.07.11

John McNamara .. industry leader.

Martin Kriewaldt .. chairman of the board.

of the Queensland division of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. John McNamara has had more than 35 years’ experience in the timber industry and held senior positions with Auspine Ltd, Risby Forest Industries and Boral. He was the first chairman of Timber Queensland, an amalgamation in July 2003 of the Queensland Timber Board and the Timber Research and Development Advisory Council (TRADAC). He was president of Pine Australia and a director on numerous boards.

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TIMBER PRESERVATION

Treated shingles stand test of time Heritage cottage shows how it should be done

By JIM BOWDEN

A HERITAGE-listed ‘worker’s cottage’ in the inner Brisbane suburb of Paddington is testimony to the performance of timber when it is correctly treated, manufactured and installed. Built in the early 1900s, the cottage is now home to an art and music studio. But it was the performance and durability of the H3 CCA-treated radiata pine shingles on the awnings and outside walls that struck a happy chord with Jack Norton, timber preservation expert and senior principal scientist at Queensland’s Ecosciences Precinct. Mr Norton inspected the shingles at the invitation of Robin Dowding who supervised the installation of the shingles in 1980 when he managed treated timber supplier Creative Timbers.

30 years’ exposure to all subtropical weather conditions.” “They showed that even tiny pieces of wood properly treated can survive a lot longer than larger sections poorly treated.” The quarter-sawn undressed shingles were attached to hoop pine weatherboards and although displaying some Cont Page 9 Durability .. Robin Dowding and Jack Norton inspect CCAtreated shingles at Paddington.

‘This is certainly a counter to the recent negative publicity about the performance of treated timber’ “This was a ‘test model’ if you like for the first CCAtreated shingles installed in Queensland,” Mr Dowding said. “They were quartersawn shingles imported from Auckland. “As you can see, they are still in good shape after more than 30 years of service. This is certainly a counter to the recent negative publicity about the performance of treated timber. “And it proves again that chemically-preserved timbers, even thin pieces like these shingles, can stand the test of time if they are correctly treated, manufactured and installed.” Jack Norton concurred, adding: “The shingles showed no biological attack whatsoever. Even the awnings angled at 45 deg. were in good nick after

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issue 181 | 11.07.11 | Page 7


EVENTS

Industry development conference to focus on global trade dynamics THE program for the annual industry development conference and associated events in Canberra in September is well advanced. The conference – Productivity and Competitiveness – will be presented by ForestWorks, the industry skills council for the forest, wood, paper and timber products industry, in consultation with industry. A round of events at the Hyatt Hotel and at Parliament House will include: • Women in forests and timber meeting (Hyatt Hotel) on Tuesday, September 13. • Industry development conference (Hyatt Hotel) on Wednesday, September 14, and industry liaison dinner at Parliament House. .

CEDAR TONE

Dick Adams .. update on House of Representatives inquiry.

Michael Hartman .. unlocking opportunities for industry.

• Plantations investment seminar and Skills and Employment Council (SEC) meeting, Thursday, September 15. The industry conference will focus on international

competitiveness and global trade dynamics, challenges and opportunities for industry sectors; investors and investment – investing in resource and value adding; achieving productivity –

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directions for investing in scale, technology, labour and skills; and the price on carbon and its effect on traditional and emerging (non-traditional) products and markets. “The conference aims to provide Australian and international industry leaders, decision makers, stakeholders and federal and state policy makers the opportunity to consider and discuss global trade dynamics, exchange rates and investment in productivity, technology, labour and forest resources,” ForestWorks chief executive Michael Hartman said. “It will provide the chance to formulate industrywide strategies that unlock opportunities and secure the Cont Page 9

GREY MIST

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For comprehensive details on the full product range and complete information on colourWOOD and other coating and and finishing options, visit www.timbeck.com.au All sAles, technicAl AnD generAl inquiries – Brisbane (07) 3888 7788. sydney (02) 9709 4466. info@timbeck.com.au

Page 8 | issue 181 | 11.07.11

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wood preservation

‘Even tiny pieces of wood properly treated can survive’ From Page 7

discolouration over the years, their rough surface gives a rustic and historic look to the building, which in fact is a modern fashion. Along with the cottage, the shingle fascia has also gained heritage status. Paddington, located on a number of steep ridges and hills, was originally settled in the 1860s. It has become a very

desirable residential location and the median house price has risen more than 50% to $1 million in the past five years. Frequently built on stumps, the early 1900s high density housing that did exist came in the form of miniature all-timber Queenslander-style houses which resemble the much larger traditional styles but are sometimes only a quarter the size.

Timber & Forestry e-news is the most authoritative and quickest deliverer of news and special features to the forest and forest products industries in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region. Weekly distribution is over 6,400 copies, delivered every Monday. Advertising rates are the most competitive of any industry magazine in the region. Timber&Forestry e-news hits your target market – every week, every Monday! HEAD OFFICE Custom Publishing Group Unit 2- 3986 Pacific Highway Loganholme 4129 Qld, Australia PUBLISHER Dennis Macready admin@industryenews.com.au CONSULTING EDITOR Jim Bowden Tel: +61 7 3266 1429 Mob: 0401 312 087 cancon@bigpond.net.au

The art of preservation .. the century-old heritage-listed cottage at Paddington, clad in CCA-treated shingles.

Briefing on carbon pricing From Page 8

industry’s future.” Dick Adams, MP Lyons (Tas), who is chairing the parliamentary House of Representatives inquiry into the forest and forest products industry, will be a keynote speaker at the conference. His update on the inquiry will centre on resource security and management, environmental impacts of wood production in native forests and the definition of ‘old growth’ forests. Following the women in industry seminar, an evening briefing on carbon pricing and carbon initiatives and the opportunities for industry will be presented by Dr Bob Smith, a forester with

more than 40 years’ experience in sustainable and profitable use of natural resource. Dr Smith will report on the latest round of UN climate change negotiations in Bonn, Germany. He will also lead discussions on carbon pricing and the opportunities it can unlock for our industry. The popular industry liaison dinner at Parliament House will give industry leaders an opportunity to meet with government policy makers and MPs and enjoy a hearty dinner in the Great Hall. Registration inquiries: (03) 9321 3500 or visit www.forestworks. com.au/conference See notice, Page 3

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ADVERTISING Tel: +61 7 3266 1429 cancon@bigpond.net.au PRODUCTION MANAGER Leigh Macready production@industryenews.com.au

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 181 | 11.07.11 | Page 9


INDUSTRY NEWS

Japan ‘open for business’: demand soaring for structural wood panels EWPAA gets certification go-ahead for strandboard THE potential for ramping up sales of structural wood panels to earthquake-ravaged Japan is greater than ever. Both Canadian and New Zealand producers have recognised the huge market opening for OSB (oriented strand board) as residential construction soars after the March disaster. There has been an avalanche of inquiries about buying OSB (or structural wood panels as they are termed) because the earthquake and tsunami disrupted Japan’s plywood mills with a 30% loss in capacity. Canada has ramped up volumes of Japanese-grade OSB and the Engineered Wood Products

InSurAnce.. It’S All In the SelectIon

SOS for OSB .. Japanese building industry ramping up demand for oriented strand board after March earthquake.

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Page 10 | issue 181 | 11.07.11

Association of Australasia says Japanese authorities have confirmed it can extend JAS certification to OSB. Damage to Japan’s plywood mills has prompted a sudden interest in wood products including softwood plywood from North America and hardwood plywood from Southeast Asia, as well as OSB. Robert Fouquet, vice-president of marketing and sales for Vancouver-based Ainsworth Engineered Canada LP, says that at the end of April the company was selling double the rate of OSB relative to the period prior to March 11. Ainsworth’s overseas sales – mainly to Japan – had already increased 37.5% in 2010 over 2009, from $Can35.5 million to $Can48.8 million, he said. OSB – cut from small diameter logs into long thin strands that are glued together under intense heat and pressure – makes up just 5% of the Japanese market for structural panels, a percentage expected to rise

significantly over the long term. Japan is open for business; reconstruction is moving forward and supply chains are being restored. Industry observers of the post-disaster market say construction remains the most critical industry for Japan in the early stages of recovery and that there is an ongoing shortage of building materials such as plywood, wiring insulation and plumbing materials. One Canadian manufacturer of prefabricated houses is producing up to 100 kits a year to send to Japan for assembly. Meanwhile, the Seihoku plywood mills on the east coast of Japan, badly damaged by the March 11 tsunami, are under repair. The Japan Lumber Report says the Ishinomaki number 3 plant will start producing veneer this month. Number 1 and 2 plants will use the veneer from plant number 3 to manufacture plywood. Output is expected to be around 250,000 sheets of structural plywood in July and Seihoku hopes to have all three plants operating by the end of August. Prior to the crisis, total production from all mills was 1.7 million sheets but the company is saying that by the autumn this year it should have capacity up to around 60% of that prior to the March disaster. The operation of the particleboard and MDF mills will not be possible before November as both factories suffered extensive damage, according to the International Tropical Timber Organisation. ITTO says the total supply of plywood in the Japanese Cont Page 11

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Greens will call all the shots in July power grab From Page 2

on, the Greens will be calling the shots. “To date, there has been scant scrutiny of their policies or the dogmatic ideologues that espouse them. What the Greens stand for makes the socialist left of the Labor Party look mainstream,” says Nationals leader Warren Truss. Julia Gillard’s carbon tax plan is for carbon price fixing for 3-5 years, rising annually over that period at a set rate, before an emissions trade scheme takes over. Price is expected to be $20-$25 a tonne [to be confirmed in an announcement after T&F enews went online]. The Greens’ website denotes a ‘minimum’ carbon reduction target of 40% by 2020, and zero emissions by 2050. Even with a 25% reduction, which the Greens insisted on during the Rudd era’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, Australia would descend into an economic tail-spin. The cost of living would skyrocket. Entire industries would be driven to the wall

Get fair dinkum! Stuart St Clair .. carbon price big cost for timber transport.

or move offshore. Job losses would be massive. The Greens want a ban on new coal mines and new coal-fired power stations. They would ban the expansion of existing coal mines, and the refurbishment of existing coal-fired generating plants. Just last week, Bob Brown said the Australian coal industry should be shutdown. Coal is Australia’s number one export commodity, worth $50 billion, and employing 100,000 Australians.

Japanese ply mills back in production 20%.

market in April was 533,100 cub m, some 28% more than in April last year and 19% more than in March this year. There was a sharp increase in imports and domestic mills that were unaffected by the earthquake and tsunami increased production by almost

April

imports

That’s

Working together for ....

JOBS security on both sides of the Tasman Wood from 100% LEGAL forests Consistent QUALITY LOWEST emissions Structurally SAFE

Cont Page 12

From Page 10

Use Aussie and Kiwi wood and keep jobs at homethe spirit!

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337,100 cub m, 12% more than in April 2010. This was the highest monthly import level since October 2008 and more than 75,000 cub m more than the average monthly volume for

Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia Plywood House, 3 Dunlop Street, Newstead, 4006 Queensland Australia Tel: +61 7 3250 3700 Fax: +61 7 3252 4769 Emai: inbox@ewp.asn.au

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last year.

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issue 181 | 11.07.11 | Page 11


industry news

Forest and forest products industries remain greatest storehouse of carbon From Page 11

This appears to be another madcap decision considering the world’s big CO2 emitters, China, the US and India, will increase their combined CO2 output by more every week than Australia’s efforts achieve in a lifetime. Gillard says almost half of the 1000 big polluters will escape a direct hit from her carbon tax because fuel has been removed from the scheme. But the Prime Minister faces a growing backlash from unions, some of her own backbenchers plus a huge fight with the resources sector. While all liquid fuels, including diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), will be exempt from the carbon price at the pump, big business will end up paying the carbon price via equivalent cutbacks in fuel tax concessions Former sawmiller and chief executive of the Australian Trucking Association Stuart St Clair, says the government should exempt trucks from the carbon tax as well as cars. The government is expected to impose the carbon tax on the trucking industry by increasing the effective fuel tax paid by trucking operators. Only last week, their effective fuel tax increased by 0.5c a litre. Fuel taxes for motorists will remain unchanged. Mr St Clair said the carbon tax plan could be a disaster for the tens of thousands of small business people in the industry, including all transport operations associated with the forest and timber industries. “About 85% of trucking businesses have five employees or fewer. At a carbon price of $25 a tonne, these businesses will have to pay an extra 7c a litre for fuel,” Mr St Clair said. The trucking industry had

Page 12 | issue 181 | 11.07.11

Changing resource .. Gunns will concentrate on plantation thinnings for use as pulpwood or small sawlogs.

already spent hundreds of millions of dollars meeting higher emission standards through new engine technology, he said. The ATA released an independent report last week showing the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 35% per billion tonne kilometres between 1990 and 2011. Particulate emissions from new engines fell 92% between 1996 and 2010. “The government should exempt trucks from the carbon tax as well as cars, or impose the tax on all fuel users, not come up with an ad hoc arrangement to include some and exclude others,” Mr St Clair said. On many fronts, the timber sector is rapidly changing. There are executive changes at Hyne – the first in 17 years – Boral has pulled out of the plywood industry, Carter Holt Harvey is considering the possible closure of its Caboolture mill, Gunns Ltd is moving out of sawmilling, McCormack Demby Timber, one of the largest hardwood producers in Victoria, is selling its sawmill, log yard and 20 ha of land, and a state-of-the-art glulam plant has been stripped and mothballed at the Smithton, Tas, sawmill. Gunns says it wants a final

Greg L’Estrange .. wants final decision on native logging contracts.

decision on its native logging contracts as soon as possible and Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings has told parliament the state is already looking at buying back the Forestry Tasmania contracts, but could not put a value on it. Gunns chief executive Greg L’Estrange has said it was important a buyback did not work against the interim forest peace deal to stop logging in most public native forests. The so-called ‘peace deal’ proposal tentatively agreed between representatives of the timber industry and the environmental movement was prematurely released, subsequently withdrawn, and then rejected by at least one of

the participatory signatories. Nevertheless, the unsigned agreement’s proposal that most timber production be withdrawn from Tasmania’s public forests to facilitate the creation of more than 400,000 ha of new national parks and reserves, is being popularly portrayed as a deal that will eventually be done in return for federal government compensation payments totalling up to $800 million to former industry participants. This is being talked-up as a transition of the Tasmanian timber industry from native forests to plantations. It is interesting that the Australian Coal Association has attacked the government for cutting investment in carbon capture and storage, which they say will do more to cut emissions than renewable energy. The forest and forest products industry remains the greatest storehouse for carbon, both in the standing tree, the felled log and the processed wood product. A recent study by University of Helsinki and The Rockefeller University academics highlights the importance of forest density in carbon sequestration. The findings indicate that the size of trees and the density of forests – rather than just the area they cover – needed to be taken into account when measuring the potential for carbon dioxide sequestration. The report, based on a survey of 68 nations, found that forest density is increasing, as is the amount of CO2 stored in forests. In Europe and North America, the amount of stored CO2 increased from 2000-2010 despite little change in forest area, while in Asia density grew in the decade between 1990-2000, and fell slightly from 2000-2010 as forest area expanded.

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industry news

FWPA hits the road with R&D show “IT’S like a quick walk through a well-stocked library of the latest wood and forest science,” said Chris Lafferty during a break in the FWPA R&D Works seminar in Brisbane last week. Mr Lafferty, FWPA’s research and development manager in Melbourne, said the seminar, part of an Australia-wide R&D road show, allowed the cream of wood scientists to deliver technical research and solutions to industry in short

sessions that acted as ‘book marks’ to attract deeper followup interest in the subjects from participants. The Brisbane seminar last Thursday, and another in Gympie on Friday, are part of a series of R&D seminars being organised by Forest and Wood Products Australia in all major forestry regions this year. Presentations by up to 12 speakers at each seminar focus on treatment of engineered

wood products, maximising outturn of structural timber, building performance of timber in fire-prone areas, measuring emissions from wood products, growth responses in subtropical plantations, kiln drying, best practice in gluing and finger jointing, forest management and tools to predict internal wood qualities. All papers will be available on the FWPA website: www.fwpa. com.au

Shane Robinson, Hyne, Tuan, and Chris Lafferty, research and development manager, Forest and Wood Products Australia, Melbourne.

Simon Dorries, general manager, Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia, Andrew Dunn, chief executive, Timber Development Association (NSW), Marco Lausberg, research and technical advisor, Solid Wood Innovation, Rotorua, NZ, and Colin Taverner, technical manager, Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts Australia, Brisbane.

Darryn Crook, forest operations manager, SFM Forest Products, Hobart, Melanie Dare, CRC Forestry, Tas, Leslie Underdown, Creative Projects, Brisbane, and Dr Geoff Downes, principal research scientist (wood quality), CSIRO Eco Systems. Brisbane.

Dr Kevin Glencross, forest research science, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Barrie May, TreeMod forest consultancy, and Sean Clayton, Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts Australia, Gympie, Qld.

Christine Stomps, senior communication coordinator, Forest and Wood Products Australia, Melbourne, welcomes Multinail representatives Matthew Smith (chief engineer) and Michael Sadler to the FWPA R&D seminar in Brisbane.

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issue 181 | 11.07.11 | Page 13


EVENTS

Gippsland forestry jobs saved by $1.27m Gippsland restoration plan

State works with contractors to lift production capacity THE Victorian Coalition Government has stepped in to save the jobs of experienced East Gippsland timber contractors by providing funding for rehabilitation and silvicultural treatment of regrown forests. Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh has announced provision of $1.27 million to VicForests to manage a forest restoration and improvement program in East Gippsland from July 1. “This funding will secure the jobs of forest contractors who would otherwise be left without work and unemployed from tomorrow [July 1],” Mr Walsh said. “This new investment is needed to clean up a mess left by the Brumby Labor Government. “The Coalition Government has saved jobs which were put on the chopping block by Labor’s decision to turn 45,000 ha of harvestable forests into national park. Labor sold out East Gippsland forest workers when it capitulated to the

Job security .. extra work for East Gippsland forest contractors.

radical Greens. “Gippsland forest workers have found out the hard way that Labor’s promise of ‘no net loss’ of jobs wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. Stripping 45,000 ha from the timber estate inevitably meant less timber resources and fewer jobs.” Mr Walsh said the Coalition was committed to a viable native forest industry and had kept faith with forest contractors by providing extra work to save jobs. “The money will enable VicForests to hire forestry

contractors to undertake silvicultural and forest restoration works to increase the productive capacity of what are currently degraded and low-yielding forests,” Mr Walsh said. “This work is necessary to improve the quality of the trees and timber in the selected forest areas, but it could not have been undertaken by VicForests without support.” Mr Walsh praised The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull who fought to secure the funding and protect the jobs of forest workers.

Peter Walsh .. committed to a viable native forest industry in Victoria.

“Tim Bull championed the cause of these foresters and it is because of his strong advocacy that East Gippsland forestry families can enter the new financial year with confidence.” Following the current harvest and haulage tender process, VicForests will work directly with those East Gippsland contractors who may have the capacity to contribute to this program.

Activists ‘barking up the wrong tree’: FWPA ACTIVIST groups Markets for Change (MFC) and GetUp! are barking up the wrong tree by attacking the sustainable Australian forest industry and the thousands of jobs it supports. Allan Hansard, spokesman for the Australian Forest Products Association, said the group was promoting potentially unsustainable forestry practices overseas. “If these groups were real environmentalists, they would be promoting the use of Australia’s forests and our world’s best practice scientific

Page 14 | issue 181 | 11.07.11

management,” he said. “Tens of thousands of people are employed and many regional communities supported by the industry. One-third of Australian furniture manufacturers are in the solid wood market, which largely relies on timber from Australia’s well managed natural forests. There’s a lot being put at risk by this campaign. “MFCs report, Retailing the Forests, does nothing for its own credibility. Its imagery is doctored and its language is emotive and factually incorrect. “They claim 76% of Australia’s native forests are available for

harvesting. This is simply wrong. Around 6% of Australia’s native forest is zoned as available for timber production. A very small percentage, 0.06%, of public native forest is actually harvested each year. “All harvesting is carefully managed and then regenerated, so no deforestation occurs and these new forests store carbon as they grow.” Mr Hansard noted that timber products were produced in Australia in compliance with stringent federal and state laws; and over 90% of Australia’s commercial forest operations

complied with world’s best sustainable forest management practices as certified by either the Forest Stewardship Council or Australian Forestry Standard. Mr Hansard said plantations played a vital role in meeting the needs of Australian consumers for wood and paper products; but currently little plantation timber existed for appearance grade products, such as furniture, and new plantation development had actually declined in recent years.

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Classifieds Call for Director Nominations Forest and Wood Products Australia Limited (FWPA) is seeking to nominate three Directors to its Board via election by the Members at the next Annual General Meeting (October 28th 2011). An independent Director Selection Committee established under the Company’s Constitution will consider proposals for candidates, and recommend to the FWPA Board persons for nomination. The Committee is required to ensure that candidates will result in a balanced, skillsbased Board. Three current directors (Jim Snelson, Vince Erasmus and Nick Roberts) are retiring at the next AGM. Each of the retiring directors has decided to re-apply to the Director Selection Committee for election to the Board. All the non-retiring Directors of the Board support their renomination. Should the retiring Directors be re-elected, they have volunteered to alter their terms of appointment (to 1, 2 or 3 years) so that director renewal opportunities will occur over the next three years. The Director Selection Committee will review all applications for the three vacant board positions. There are currently three non-retiring independent directors on the Board, so applications from FWPA members are encouraged. Information about FWPA and the process for appointing Directors is set out in FWPA’s Constitution, available from the company’s website at www.fwpa.com.au/ All candidates should: • provide sufficient information to allow the Director Selection Committee to fully consider the candidate’s nomination; • include specific information about the candidate’s ability to meet one or more of the requisite skills and experience nominated in FWPA’s Constitution (clause 13.13); and • include a statement that the proposed candidate is aware of his or her nomination and is willing to accept appointment as a Director of FWPA if elected. Applications will only be received by email and should be sent to the Secretary, Director Selection Committee at: rob.lockwood@ fwpa.com.au Any inquiries can be made to 0419 259 481 Please note the closing date for applications is Friday, 22nd July 2011

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issue 181 | 11.07.11 | Page 15


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Issue 181  

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