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issue 226 | 18.06.12 | Page 1

Microwave back in main stream? Timber treatment technology saving

This Issue • Industry at loggerheads on high cost of plantation timbers • Dual CoC certification at Myrtleford mill

up to 40pc in energy, chemical costs

Microwave wood technology .. ready for commercial use.

pulping interest has to consider the potential of such energy and chemical savings. Timber and Forest E-news was

Just Go t ood W

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A Better Earth Idea from Osmose

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• N  SW budget good news for housing •H  arvesting research capability fast disappearing • ‘Dual badging’ detrimental to forest management •W  ormald develops fire suppression solution •N  orth American EWP production soars

Cont Page 8

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curious as to the fate of the technology developed by the Cooperative Research Centre Wood Innovations. It followed and reported on developments by this CRC that included significant innovation in the field of preservative treatment and microwave processing. In fact, the CRC developed radically new methods of microwave processing including techniques for structurally modifying wood and its permeability. The technology was verified by three world-wide patents. Research funding for this CRC came to an end in 2008




BIG news is circulating in the timber press that a European consortium has developed microwave preservative treatment systems that are ideal for small and mediumsized enterprises. There is similar news in New Zealand. In fact, microwave technology is now a key research area in many wood product research laboratories throughout the world. Research into microwave pulping in the US is claiming savings of 30% in energy consumption and 40% savings in chemical use. Clearly in the wake of carbon accounting any green field



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Visit: or phone: 1800 088 809 Osmose® and MicroPro® are registered trademarks of Osmose, Inc. or its subsidiaries. A Better Earth Idea from Osmose sm and Treated Wood Just Got Greener sm are slogan marks of Osmose Inc and its subsidiaries. MicroPro timber products are produced by independently owned and operated wood preserving facilities. GREENGUARD® is a registered trademark of GREENGUARD Environmental Institute. * See MicroPro fastener and hardware information sheet. © 2011 Osmose, Inc.

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issue 226 | 18.06.12 | Page 1


NSW state budget sets national pace for housing upturn

$561m delivers 76,000 dwellings THE NSW state budget has set the pace for building industry recovery with a package that seeks to tackle the nation’s housing supply shortage by providing money for new housing and extra resources to build roads, sewerage and other infrastructure for new housing sites. Under this measure, a total of $561 million will deliver up to 76,000 new dwelling units – more than half of which will be built in Sydney’s southwest – aided by bringing forward the anticipated completion of the Camden Valley Way, an important link between Sydney and the historic town of Camden. In addition, all of this is coming on top of a 75 basis point cut in interest rates over the past two months. With the interest rate cuts and the latest budget incentives, both Reserve Bank governor Glen Stevens and NSW Treasurer Mike Baird are very popular among residential construction firms in New South Wales at the moment

The boost is more than welcome in the struggling state. In recent months, dwelling approval numbers in New South Wales have been awful and, at 30,830, the number of housing construction starts the Housing Industry Association predicted in its most recent forecast – which was made prior to rate cuts – is just above last year’s lean number of 30,550 and well down from the 32,680 housing

Page 2 | issue 226 | 18.06.12

Mike Baird .. incentives must be targeted where they are most needed.

starts the state recorded in 2010. For many years, housing industry groups in the state have campaigned for measures to reduce the tax burden and undertake reforms to boost supply. The NSW budget last Tuesday delivered this in many ways. The first came in the form of a more than doubling of the state’s first home owners grant, from $7000 to $15,000, though this figure will drop back to $10,000 in 2014. In light of the winding down of these grants in Queensland and Victoria, the NSW initiative is a bold and radical step. The continuation of stamp duty concessions for houses under $650,000, too, is a welcome move. With HIA claiming that taxes of various types account for 44% of the cost of new homes in Sydney, housing industry groups have long complained about the sector suffering an unduly heavy burden in this area. Cont Page 3

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Weak building approvals will come right up as the market strengthens Package to stimulate economic growth across the state essential infrastructure.

From Page 2

Furthermore, in an important step to encourage the purchase of new homes, as opposed to existing ones, non-first home buyers will be able to get a news $5000 grant for any purchase of a brand new home. With the interest rate cuts and the latest budget incentives, both Reserve Bank governor Glen Stevens and NSW Treasurer Mike Baird are very popular among residential construction firms in New South Wales at the moment. In the coming months, industry observers believe weak building approval numbers with come right up as the market strengthens. In the detail of the government’s ‘Building the State Package’, half a billion dollars will be provided for additional infrastructure that accelerates the delivery of up to 76,000 new housing lots and removes blockages in the development approval process. The First Home Owners Grant will increase from $7000 to $15,000 for new properties.

The NSW Government is determined to ensure grants and concessions provided to first-home buyers are effective. Under the previous package, NSW Treasury found the mortgage size of first-home buyers increased sharply with no boost to housing supply.

On the move again .. housing gets a spurt on in New South Wales.

The budget also introduces the new home grant of $5000 to all non-first home buyers buying a new property up to $650,000, while existing first-home buyer stamp duty concessions will apply on new properties up to that amount – an increase of $50,000. In 1995 more than 55,000 new homes were approved. However, over the last five years housing approvals averaged below 30,000 each year. Mike Baird said the NSW housing supply was not

keeping up with demand and incentives must be targeted where they are most needed: • $481 million of infrastructure to boost housing supply through the Housing Acceleration Fund. • An additional $30 million in interest concessions under the Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme, which will allow local councils to build over $1 billion of local infrastructure. • An urban activation precinct program that includes $50 million of incentives for local councils to build

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Under the previous package, NSW Treasury found the mortgage size of first-home buyers increased sharply with no boost to housing supply The Building the State package ensures incentives boost housing construction, which is where they are most needed. This will not only help first-home buyers get into the market, it will also stimulate economic growth across the State Industry obeservers believe weak building approval numbers with come right up as the market strengthens.



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issue 226 | 18.06.12 | Page 3


Sawmillers and FPQ at loggerheads over high cost of plantation timbers

‘Squeezing local producers out of the market’ A STOUSH is developing in Queensland between log processors and the state’s largest plantation timber company. Speaking on ABC Radio last week, Timber Queensland chief executive Rod McInnes said Forestry Plantations Queensland was threatening the future of the state’s $2.5 billion industry. Mr McInnes said the company had locked sawmillers into unsustainable contracts that did not reflect the depressed market. The former Bligh government sold FPQ in 2010 for $600

InSurAnce.. It’S All In the SelectIon

Constructive get-together .. Queesland Forestry Minister John McVeigh (second from right) is welcomed to an industry function in Brisbane by Julie George, general manager, management services, Hyne, Brisbane, Rod McInnes, chief executive, Timber Queensland, and Sean Gribble of NK Collins, Toowoomba, chairman of Timber Queensland.

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Page 4 | issue 226 | 18.06.12

million to Hancock Queensland Plantations, a company managed by US-based Hancock Timber Resource Group. The sale included a 99year licence to manage, harvest and re-grow plantation timber on government-owned lands. “The high cost of the logs is squeezing local producers out of the market,” Mr McInnes said. “They’re currently buying logs that they need from Hancock at the previous state government price.” Mr McInnes said FPQ was charging too much for logs; he believed it was more concerned about overseas markets than supporting the local industry. “If the market picks up here, how do they turn off that volume that’s now gone offshore to feed it back into the state sawmilling industry and the value adding and the jobs that it underpins in Queensland,” Mr McInnes said. “While they’re busy building their export networks and their export infrastructure with port facilities and whatever, our poor guys are just sitting there spinning their wheels, going

slowly broke.” Meanwhile, the Minister for Forestry John McVeigh has agreed on a plan to revive the lagging fortunes of the state’s timber industry. Speaking at function hosted by Timber Queensland, Mr McVeigh said the LNP government was committed to a vibrant forest industry and that its approach would be different to the previous government. He said his department and Timber Queensland would jointly develop an industry plan to provide a road map for the future. The minister’s statement that the plan will be a commonsense process looking at what access is required by hardwood millers to both state forests and plantations has been welcomed by Industry. Timber Queensland chief executive Rod McInnes and chairman Sean Gribble said they were pleased to hear of intentions for “a commonsense process looking at what access is required by hardwood millers to both state forest and plantations”. ‘The company [FPQ] has locked sawmillers into unsustainable contracts that dd not reflect the depressed market’ – Rod McInnes

Speaking to producers in Gympie last week Mr McVeigh promised to work with the region’s embattled timber industry on the “road map to the future”. That included a serious look Cont Page 12

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Planning for a sustainable future: the myths and facts about certification. PEFC International road show seminars are being held in the following cities: Sydney, June 12: Seminar for pulp, paper, packaging and printers. Perth, June 13: Seminar for architects, developers, builders and the timber industry. Adelaide, June 14: Seminar for architects, developers, builders and the timber industry. Hobart, June 15: Seminar for forests and the timber industry. Melbourne, June 19: Seminar for pulp, paper, packaging and printers. Sydney, June 21: Seminar for architects, developers, builders and the tmber industry. Contact organiser: Kayt Watts, Ingénue Consultancy. Mobile: 0400 140 303, or email: kayt@ 18: Timber industry dinner and forestry scholarship presentations – Mount Gambier Timber Industry Club 214. 6.30 pm for 7 pm at Southgate Motel. Andrew Lang of Smart Timbers Australia will speak on the carbon farming initiative, covering issues such as energy from agricultural and forestry waste, including carbon in soils from farming and forestry, and the carbon tax. Mr Lang has just returned from an extensive tour overseas, mostly in Europe, visiting timber producers, farmer energy cooperatives and government departments. Developments in bio-fuels to heat houses and small towns and large wood fired power stations have also been evaluated. Scholarships will be presented to two forestry students from the Mount Gambier campus

of Sothern Cross University. Course convenor Diana Lloyd will give an update on the courses provided at SCU. Dinner cost $40 p.p. includes three-course meal. Bookings by 5 pm, June 12. Contact Maurie Drewer on (08) 08 8725 5441, mobile 0408 394 296 of e-mail 18-19: Frame Australia 2012 conference and exhibition – Park Hyatt, Melbourne. Major national event for engineeredtimber and building pre-fabrication. The expanded program will include a focus on building and construction with increased dialogueand information exchangeon residential and commercialbuilding trends, andawareness of new BIM digital model technology. Delegate registration available online. Visit (save $100 with early bird registrationbefore May 21).

JULY 20: National Carpenters Day. Tel: (03) 9597 0948. Fax: (03) 9597 0958. Email: info@

AUGUST 13-15: Australian Window Association’s annual conference and exhibition. Fenestration Australia 2012 at The Esplanade Hotel, Largest gathering of local and international organisations associated with the window industry, bringing together more than 300 delegates from right across the value chain. Inquiries to conference secretariat on (08) 9381 9281 or email fenestration2012reg@ 22-23: Carbon Forestry2012. Auckland NZ. Forestry is New

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Zealand’s largest potential carbon sink and, as the ETS continues to grow in importance to NZ businesses,so does its investment future. A raft of new legislation,a dramatic drop-off in carbon trading and pricing during 2011, thsome international emissions units and uncertainty around the future alignment of New Zealand and Australia’s trading schemes has changed the landscape significantly. It’s led to uncertainty in the marketplace about the immediate future and opportunities that exist in carbon forestry. Visit www.carbonforestryevents. com

OCTOBER 10-11 (Rotorua) and 16-17 (Melbourne). Improving international cost competitiveness through smart science, research and technology. New Zealand and Australian forest products companies face increasing competition from low cost producers, and from lower cost, better performing non-wood products. Low costs and high fibre recovery,achieved through process innovation, are prerequisites to competing in today’s global forest product markets. This Australasian technology event will provide local forest products, wood processing and manufacturing companies with a unique opportunity. Visit www.

NOVEMBER 3: Queensland Timber Industry Awards Night – Victoria Park Function Centre, Brisbane. 28-29: ForestTech 2012 – Improving Wood Transport and Logistics. Melbourne and Rotorua

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 226 | 18.06.12 | Page 5


Wood innovations to improve international competitiveness Manufacturing key driver of productivity improvement

GLOBALLY, manufacturing is the largest investor in applied research and innovation. It’s also a key driver of productivity improvement. The spill-over effect is also critical for the remainder of the economy. Each job in manufacturing generates on average between two and five additional jobs. Processing or manufacturing in the forest products sector though is increasingly coming under pressure. Traditionally local companies have been very good at process innovation; how to squeeze as much as possible out of existing manufacturing operations is second nature to most companies. To improve competitive advantage against competing non-wood products, the industry is looking more closely at its product innovations and business systems The focus has been on improving product recovery from fibre inputs in order to lower operational costs, reduce delivery time or increase

Page 6 | issue 226 | 18.06.12

Wood Innovation 2012 .. bringing the very latest in new and emerging technologies.

flexibility. Wood Innovations 2012 in Melbourne and Rotorua in October bring a new technology program with a wide cross section of Australian and New Zealand companies addressing some of these concerns. “It’s a new initiative and it’s been a long time coming,” says Brent Apthorp, a director of the Forest Industry Engineering Association. “To improve competitive

advantage against competing non-wood products, the industry is looking more closely at its product innovations and business systems. “Our capacity to create and capture high-value and niche manufacturing is essential to the future well-being of the sector. Science, research and technology are central to this.” For more than 13 years FIEA has been working with wood producers to design and run

a wide range of technology events for the sector, both in Australia and New Zealand. The focus has been more on step change – in profiling new tools and technologies that can be adopted by local companies to improve their processing and manufacturing operations. Wood Innovations 2012 has quite a different focus: “It’s designed to provide a global insight into new innovations, new wood products and new business systems that can be employed to attract future investment and to increase their international competitiveness,” says Brent Apthorp. “The very latest in new and emerging technologies – in solid wood, panel products, bio-materials, wood finishing systems, wood modification technologies, building materials and construction systems that potentially can be picked up by local companies – will be the event’s focus.” The program runs in Melbourne October 10-11, and again in Rotorua October 16-17. Details: www.woodinnovationsevents. com

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Dual CoC certification standards at CHH Myrtleford plywood mill THE Myrtleford, Vic, sawmill and pulp mill, Australia’s biggest plywood producer, has celebrated the first year of its complete rebuild by achieving chain of custody certification for both AFS and FSC schemes. The sawmill, operated by Carter Holt Harvey, is the latest to be certified with Australian Forestry Standard chain of custody (AS 4707) by the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia. EWPAA, the peak body representing engineered wood producers in Australia and New Zealand, has delivered chainof-custody certification to 40 businesses and more than 60 sites, with the Tarpeena mill in South Australia one of the latest. EWPAA is now a ‘one-stopshop’ for a range of audited certification standards including chain-of-custody and certification aligned to the Australian Wood Packaging Certification Scheme. Timber has long been central to the life of the small Alpine town of Myrtleford in southeast Victoria. With some locals working in the old sawmill since the 1970s, a healthy timber industry has been important to the town and surrounding businesses. CHH purchased the Myrtleford operation in 1995 but in recent years, running costs and reliance on outdated processes were no longer competitive or sustainable. The company invested heavily in a new plywood mill to ensure production of CHH plywood products remained efficient and reduced off-shore demand. In mid-2010, CHH began a ‘phase out’ transformation of the old mill site; it began installation and replacement of outdated equipment, while the mill continued to operate during the construction phase.

The old sawmill was eventually decommissioned (other CHH facilities taking on that role) and the Myrtleford mill became ‘purely ply’ and, in fact, the biggest plywood producer in Australia. The new complex was officially commissioned in June last year. One example of the upgrade was the introduction of a highspeed lathe. The precision and speed of this lathe allows the production of thin ribbons of veneer used in the layup construction of plywood, at a

speed of one log ‘peeled’ every 9 seconds. The transformation has been an engineering feat. Many of the existing sawmill facilities were retained where they could still be utilised, with some of the boilers and kilns and the original buildings remaining. Meanwhile, CHH has transformed the whole facility, drawing on European and Canadian design ideas to construct the new plant. Overall, there will be an increased supply to the market

in the long term. There are also environmental improvements with less emissions, lower water use, better air quality and noise reduction. Safety also remains a fundamental priority and the plant’s design provides a safer workplace, with fenced safety zones. “Investment in the mill is transforming Myrtleford into an enterprise that’s long term, sustainable and profitable,” says Nicole Sumich, general manager of CHH Plywood.

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issue 226 | 18.06.12 | Page 7


Research equipment moves to new facilities at Creswick From Page 1

which saw the closure of the CRC. However, inquiries have revealed that research into wood treatment and microwave processing is still alive and well at the School of Forest and Ecosystem Science at the University of Melbourne. T&F enews talked with Professors Peter Vinden and Grigori Torgovnikov on forest products research post-CRC. “Closure of the CRC but more particularly the loss of the facilities housed in the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing was a blow for research into wood processing for the Australian forest industries,” Prof. Vinden said. “However, in the last few years we have been able to reestablish research capability by moving key equipment into new facilities located on the Creswick campus of the University of Melbourne. ‘Clearly in a country like Australia where labour costs are high, we have to look at technology and design to provide clean automated technologies to ensure that we remain competitive’ – Prof. Grigori Torgovnikov “Pilot industrial microwave processing and a Unitreat pilot plant are now operational again. Pilot plant developed for the fast low temperature pyrolysis of wood will also be operating shortly.” Prof. Grigori Torgovnikov said the developments in microwave processing in Europe and the US were not surprising given the natural fit that microwaves have for processing wood, changing batch processes such as timber and veneer drying, preservative treatment,

Page 8 | issue 226 | 18.06.12

Professors Grigori Torgovnikov and Peter Vinden .. relocated with their microwave and treatment infrastructure at the School of Forest and Ecosystem Science, Creswick, Vic.

dimensional stabilisation, wood bending and pulping into conveyor belt processes. “Clearly in a country like Australia where labour costs are high, we have to look at technology and design to provide clean automated technologies to ensure that we remain competitive,” Prof Torgovnikov said. “The comparative advantages of microwave processing don’t just include speed heating. The process also delivers rapid drying, moisture levelling and conditioning without stress development, conditioning to specific wood moisture contents, low environmental impacts (water pollution) greater energy efficiency through targeted heating, just in time conveyor belt processing, reduced drying defects and much lower strength losses than is associated with pressure steaming preservative treatment technologies.” Prof. Vinden said undertaking research into microwave technology and scaling up potential technologies before commercial application were two quite different things and underpinned why the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing was so unique. “Essentially,

scaling up the technology enabled us to identify potential teething problems before they arose commercially; it takes the technical risk out of adopting new technology. ‘To a greater extent it [microwave technology] reduces financial risk because industry will be able to make much more accurate estimates of total processing costs’ “To a greater extent it also reduces financial risk because industry will be able to make much more accurate estimates of total processing costs. “Examples of this include the scaling up of railway sleeper treatment. And standing trees of radiata pine could be processed into railway sleepers, power poles, horticultural posts or any ground contact commodity and installed in less than half an hour using microwave processing and Unitreat technology. This arises from the conveyor belt microwave conditioning of green wood in two minutes, rather than the 12-24 hours needed for pressure steam conditioning and then 2-10 minutes using conveyor belt

Unitreat technology rather than conventional wood treatment technologies. “Unitreat facilitates the CCA treatment of hot wood without causing preservative precipitation, but at the same time provides very rapid curing of the preservative in the wood.” The Unitreat technology was tested (early on in the CRC) following pressure steaming at a commercial plant in South Australia. The sawmill that tested and adopted the technology concerned estimated that the savings from environmental problems (having clean CCA) were about $250,000 a year just for one plant. A grant from the FWPRDC (now FWPA) partially funded the building of the Unitreat pilot plant at Creswick. This led to the successful adoption of conveyor belt Unitreat technology that is now being used in New Zealand. Prof Vinden added: “Scaling up of microwave conditioning of green wood was carried out at the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing where we microwaved, conditioned and preservative treated 3500 radiata pine railway sleepers. “The railway sleepers were incorporated into a five-mile rail track and are assessed periodically for performance. In scaling up and undertaking a semi-commercial run of microwave and preservative treatment we identified a problem that we had not encountered or anticipated in small scale testing, namely the build up of wood resins within the microwave applicator. “This then became a major focus for research. It took us Cont Page 9

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Microwave technology has reduced treatment times to about 10 mins From Page 8

five months, but we developed an automated system for cleaning the microwave applicators without stopping production.” Prof Vinden said scaling up before commercial adoption was essential. “Since the closure of the CRC we have been able to research new ideas for both microwave and Unitreatment. The most exciting development is possibly acetylation of wood to provide dimensional stability. ‘We ironed out all the design details that arise in scaling up microwave technology’ – Prof. Peter Vinden “We had always dismissed acetylation as a means of providing durability and dimensional stability, primarily because of the time needed for treatment – up to 16 hours! “However, with the application of a specific catalyst and use of microwave technology we have been able to reduce total treatment time to about 10 minutes. This work has only been done so far on a laboratory scale but we are hoping to scale up quite soon and the facilities needed to do this are now operational again. “We have similar development in the drying and conditioning of both hardwoods and softwoods and new technologies associated with pulping and biomass utilisation.” Prof. Vinden said developing the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing had its analogies with the Greek character Sisyphus and his rock, who defied the gods and every time he rolled his rock to the top of the hill it would simply roll down again. “However, we

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 6700 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!

Prof. Peter Vinden .. main stream technologies that will inevitably be adopted.

have a very strong foundation of generic fundamental research underpinning the 23 applications that we have identified for microwave technology and Unitreat. We have also ironed out all the design details that arise in scaling up microwave technology.” The costs of microwave processing range from $22$69 cub m, depending on the particular application. A number of microwave wood technology applications are ready for commercial use, for example techniques for preservative treatment, drying and pulping. Other applications such as relief of growth stresses in roundwood and new bio-composites require further experimental work. “There is no doubt in our mind that the technologies identified in the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing will become main stream technologies that will inevitably be adopted,” Prof. Vinden said. “The issue is simply where and when.

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issue 226 | 18.06.12 | Page 9


North American EWP production soars in the first quarter of 2012 THE first quarter production report from the American Engineered Wood Association was a stunner. There were huge increases in both LVL and wood I-Joist production, not only from the fourth quarter of 2011, but also compared with the same period one year earlier. The production leap was especially apparent for LVL. The total North American LVL output in the first quarter of 2012 of 12.9 million cub ft was 37% greater than the output of the fourth quarter of 2011 and was also up 25% over the first quarter of 2011. For I-joists, the increases were smaller but still large. At 125.0 million linear feet, first quarter

Production leap .. huge increases in engineered wood products use in North America.

2012 I-joist production was 21% higher than the fourth quarter total but was also 17% higher than the first quarter

2011 total. The jump in LVL output was not evenly spread between the USA and Canada. Canadian LVL

output vaulted 50% between the fourth quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, from 0.8 million cub ft to 1.2 million, and was 33% above production in the first quarter of 2011. Canadian I-joist producers continue to enjoy a larger share of total North American output than their LVL counterparts. As of the first quarter of 2012, 35% of North America’s I-joists were produced in Canada and 65% in the USA, and these shares matched those in early 2011. However, the Canadian share of North American LVL production in the first quarter of 2012 was only 9%, just a fraction higher than one year previous. Cont Page 12

A matter of trust. New Zealand engineered wood products – particleboard, MDF, laminated veneer lumber and plywood – manufactured by member mills of the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia They tick all the boxes Made in New Zealand - keeping jobs at home Reliable supply NZ Building Code compliant - 50 year durability for structural plywood with an A-bond All products specify EO or E1 emissions certified under JAS-ANZ All products must pass rigorous testing $10 million product liability insurance Free technical advice from qualified engineers

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Page 10 | issue 226 | 18.06.12

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Timbeck adds to WRC product range AUSTRALIAN western red cedar specialist Timbeck has released two new products as part of its ongoing commitment to expand products and services to meet the evergrowing demands of the professional design fraternity. Sharing a common home under the Timbeck Impression series banner, ruggedWALL and sculptureWALL have been added to the range of wall and ceiling options providing unmatched flexibility for design ideas in both internal and external applications.

With a Random lay-up, 0.9 m standard lengths are docked on site to provide the shorter length individual components. Varying the range of docked lengths also varies the ‘degree of ruggedness’ of the

finished surface. When applied in a Linear layup, the product is supplied in single lengths (limits apply) and installed in those lengths. The Linear appearance is less rugged than the Random

format and provides a slightly more elegant appearance while still offering a very unique character. ruggedWALL Linear is also an excellent choice for Cont Page 12

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New from Timbeck .. sculptureWALL a simple extension of a traditional shiplap product.

ruggedWALL is designed for internal and weather protected external wall facings. It comprises 10 different profile sizes which are all dimensionally matched. Timbeck says the matrix of profile combinations achieved with ruggedWALL is virtually without limit, and this is one of its main attributes which appeals to professional designers. To simplify using ruggedWALL, Timbeck has developed a ‘default’ mix of profiles which, if chosen, provides a medium degree of ruggedness to the finished installation. The ‘default’ (or any custom selected) mix can be installed in either of two formats : ruggedWALL Random and ruggedWALL Linear.

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issue 226 | 18.06.12 | Page 11


McVeigh: industry plan a ‘road map to the future’ From Page 4

at increasing access to forest resources by hardwood millers, such as Gympie’s Robertson Brothers and Corbett Timbers. Graeme Robertson, mill manager of Gympie’s Robertson Brothers mill, said the government’s refreshing policies would give the industry new confidence.

“The agreement gives us access to native forests until 2024, after which we are supposed to rely on farmed timber, but I’m not sure where all that is going to come from,” he said. Veteran forestry expert Ernie Rider, formerly a senior forestry official and later a QPWS officer, said in the Gympie Times that

the transfer of forestry areas to national park status had not led to environmental benefits, but had greatly damaged an important employmentgenerating Queensland industry. He said forestry workers had run a sustainable forest farming operation which had protected rare plants and animals,

promoted scenic areas and limited logging. It had been designed to provide Queenslanders with timber for houses and furniture “in perpetuity,” but this promise had been broken with the sale of forestry assets and the move of some areas to national park status.

Production of EWPs soars in US

From Page 10

Timber Queensland chairman Sean Gribble (left) catches up with TQ director Skene Finlayson of Finlayson Timber and Hardware at the industry function in Brisbane.

Unparalled design options From Page 11

ceilings, says Timbeck. Both ruggedWALL formats provide an optimum timber product where room acoustics are a consideration. sculptureWALL is designed for external cladding and internal panelling applications. It is a simple extension of a traditional shiplap product where the concept of ‘random’ has been

extended beyond board width to also include board thickness. sculptureWALL is a mix of four otherwise standard board cover widths, each produced in two thicknesses – eight very compatible profiles. Both products offer unparalled design options and are comprehensively detailed on the company’s web site:

Reasons for the startling growth in EWP production in the first quarter of 2012 are not entirely clear; certainly new home construction did not jump as much as EWP production. The answer is probably a combination of these factors, says the Engineered Wood Association. First, the mild winter weather in North America brought forward construction projects that would otherwise have been commenced later in the year. Second, inventories at the end of 2011 were very low, so part of the production surge in the first quarter of 2012 was designed to rebuild the inventory cushion through the distribution network. Third, EWPs continue to gain market share in new construction projects and this substitution may be aided by the reduction in supplies of timbers (used as beams and headers) and wide

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lumber. The loss of wide lumber output in British Columbia as SPF mills produce a smaller share of larger lumber and more narrow (2x4) lumber would be a primary contributory factor to this transition. It is unclear what the impacts will be of the recent revisions to the performance ratings for southern yellow pine lumber. But it is possible that the surge in EWP output in the first quarter of 2012 could be the first reaction of architects, engineers and contractors to concerns about possible legal liability in using this lumber in structural applications such as prefabricated trusses. A full evaluation of all these factors will only be possible as 2012 proceeds, but close monitoring of EWP production over the coming months will be warranted to see if these huge year-over-year changes persist or whether the quarter was a short-run flash-in-the-pan.



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Page 12 | issue 226 | 18.06.12

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PEFC: ‘dual badging’ detrimental to sustainable forest management Exclusive procurement policies hinder global progress

By KAYT WATTS SECRETARY-general of PEFC International Ben Gunneberg is on Australian soil to tell us about the activities of PEFC globally. The road show commenced on June 12 in Sydney, a successful seminar in which Mr Gunneberg gave clear and factual information on forest and wood product certification global progress. “PEFC role is to lead, promote and support the development and expansion of sustainable forest management globally,” said Mr Gunneberg, who heads the world’s largest certification scheme. The PEFC scheme is developed from the bottom up. The ‘bottom up approach’ is supporting the development of national standards and schemes that address national environmental, economy and social requirements that in turn are then audited and certified against the accepted global benchmarks. More than 30 countries have national schemes endorsed by PEFC. Another 15 are seeking PEFC endorsement and some are already on their way to undertaking their final thirdparty audit of their schemes for accreditation. China has submitted its scheme for PEFC endorsement and will soon be a major global supplier of certified forest products. “China has 3 million ha which will be certified once the scheme is endorsed with a further 20-30 million ha certified over the next few years,” Mr Gunneberg said. “PEFC has two-thirds of the world’s certified forests and China is a huge addition – and only the beginning of the certification expansion of

Ben Gunneberg .. focus on expanding sustainable forest management practices.

Asia under PEFC support and collaboration.” However, Mr Gunneberg told the Sydney seminar he is frustrated: “PEFC’s focus is on expanding the current certified area of the world’s forests by working with the countries with the 91% of non-certified forest area. China has submitted its scheme for PEFC endorsement and will soon be a major global supplier of certified forest products “What is detrimental to the cause of developing and expanding sustainable forest management practices globally is that forest managers and owners are being forced to dual badge. This is where a PEFC certified sustainable forest is forced to undertake FSC certification. “Dual badging does not expand global sustainable forest management.” The message was clear at PEFC seminars in Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, and Hobart: “Procurement policies that specify a preferences for one scheme, whether they be

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public or private policies or government legislation, are negatively impacting on the progress to achieve recognised sustainable forest management practices across 91% of the

world’s forests. “This exclusive demand forces already certified forests to obtain a duplicate certification with a different badge.” Mr Gunneberg said it was a priority of forest management certification schemes to focus on expanding sustainable forest management practices .. “it is why we came into this business, why we and our global members work so hard on continuous improvement of the scheme and why we work with governments and international policy leaders. “The objective is that 100% of the world’s forests is recognised and certified as being managed legally and sustainably.”

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issue 226 | 18.06.12 | Page 13



Komatsu 'FoREst XtREmE' FELLER BuNCHERs & HaRVEstERs Introducing Introducing

Komatsu Komatsu

Komatsu Forest offers the PC300LC-8 and PC400LC-8 as purpose built forest machines (FX) with specifications to match the toughest jobs. Forest Xtreme features: • ROPS/FOPS/OPS Cabin • Full heavy duty Gull Wing canopy • Heavy duty under body guarding

• Harvest or Feller Buncher boom sets • Single or double bar track grousers • Integrated 1200 litre fuel tank • Engine option; 260hp or 362hp

The Forest Xtreme machines illustrates Komatsu forest’s dedication to provide the best solution for the logging contractor.

Page 14 | issue 226 | 18.06.12



Komatsu Forest Pty Ltd 15C Hyland Cres Rotorua, New Zealand Komatsu Forest Pty Ltd. Dean O’Connor M: +64 of 277 718 254 11/4 Avenue Americas E: Newington NSW 2127 Australia John Kosar M: +64 2274 8653600 844 T: +61 9647 E: E:

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Harvesting research: need for an alliance with other countries

On-ground research capability fast disappearing

I KNOW I’ve been banging on about it, but I do want to revisit the issue of the adequacy of the harvesting, allied transport and planning research being carried here and perhaps elsewhere – at least in the southern hemisphere. You know I have been justifiably critical of the likelihood of the closure of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Forestry in Tassie. Another example – if we needed one – of the seemingly insatiable wish of the federal government to shut down the country’s forest industry entirely. The CRC has been doing very good work on the harvesting and haulage front. Its closure will clearly put at risk the continuation of this critical research that plantation and forest owners need to improve productivity and business performance at the cost intensive, sharp-end of the forestry business. Australia must have a progressive harvesting research capacity – for many Some of the northern hemisphere thinking is now focused on developments such as whole tree processing – moving harvesting to the next stage of complete tree processing reasons – not the least of which is that further research and innovation will help hardpressed contractors already carrying a disproportionate amount on the investment and risk burden to continue to contribute to efficiency and productivity outcomes of vital importance to the profitability

Improvements in log harvesting performance and reducing costs would be a substantial and much-needed step in rebuilding confidence and investment in the forestry sector.

of the industry. It’s instructive to have a peep at some of the harvesting-related research being undertaken in the northern hemisphere, notably in Europe. A proud Aussie I am, but I have to say that we are being left for dead when it comes to log harvesting research by forestry institutions and machinery manufacturers north of the equator. Collectively, they are a long way in front of our thinking and demonstrate a research capacity that is really embarrassing for us. Some of the northern hemisphere thinking is now focused on developments such as whole tree processing – moving harvesting to the next stage of complete tree processing with an emphasis on throughput and substantially reducing unit harvesting costs, with similar economic drivers to farming. Research – although not, I stress again originating in the southern hemisphere – is

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Deep in the Woods with ..

at a time when the industry is struggling to be internationally competitive – it can’t all be blamed on the high Aussie dollar. Certainly improvements in log harvesting performance and reducing costs would be a substantial and much needed step in rebuilding confidence and investment in the forestry sector in Australia. I know – I have heard it from many mouths – Australia doesn’t have the critical mass, research funding or researcher capability to do this sort of research and development heavy-lifting. While I agree that the funding is a constraint and on-the-ground research capability is fast disappearing here – and that in itself in a national tragedy – there is a possible solution.

Improvements in log harvesting performance would be a substantial step in rebuilding confidence and investment in the Australian forestry sector

Cheryle Forrester directed at the next generation of whole-tree harvesters and reducing costs by as much as half of present rates. Such opportunities should be music to the ears of research funders and providers here

Southern hemisphere forestry countries, if you like, such as Australia, New Zealand, Chile and South Africa, have more in common than divides them. Certainly in relation to softwoods all either use products domestically, have to compete against substitute product imports, or sell into northern hemisphere markets. So why not collaborate on harvesting research – same softwood species, similar forestry practices and all Cont Page 18

issue 226 | 18.06.12 | Page 15


Swedish log trucks fuelled by wood could put diesel motors off the road VOLVO has been field testing vehicles powered by bio-DME, a fuel produced from biomass. Ten specially adapted Volvo trucks have been operating on Swedish roads. They look like conventional trucks and travel the same speed, but are powered by bioDME renewable fuels that are claimed to reduce carbon emissions by 95% compared to diesel. The tests have reached their halfway stage and results are looking good. Bio-DME, a dimethyl ether produced from biomass, is a liquid produced from wood or by-products and waste from agricultural production. Predictions have been made that bio-DME could replace up to half of the diesel consumed by commercial vehicles in Europe within the next 20 years. The bio-DME fuel in the trials is produced from black liquor, a by-product from the production of pulp. After travelling up to 40,000 km truck drivers are all very satisfied with the operational performance of the vehicles. “The test results bode well for the future,” says Lars

“We wash the gas and then convert it to bio-DME. After that, the quality is checked and the fuel is transferred to a large tank near the mill for storage. The mill is then compensated with biomass known as forest slash, which is branches and the tops of trees that are left over when forests are cut down – a highly effective form of energy exchange,” explains Ingvar



director at Chemrec. Bio-DME production is still in Reducing carbon .. adapted Volvo trucks in Sweden running on fuel produced from biomass.

Mårtensson, environmental director at Volvo Trucks. “We have shown that it’s possible to take an idea from the laboratory to full-scale operation and we have also successfully spread this knowledge all over the world. There is now a clear-cut interest from countries including China, Russia and the USA and they are markets with huge potential,” he says.

The bio-DME he is using is produced just a stone’s throw from the filling station he uses, at the Chemrec plant in Piteå in northern Sweden, next to the Smurfit-Kappa Kraftliner paper mill. Bio-DME is produced in three stages. After collecting the black liquor from the pulp mill, it is converted to gas using pure oxygen producing singes, a gas that can be synthesised.

its infancy, but the potential is enormous. “At





using 1% of the black liquor produced at the mill. If we can use our technology to convert all the black liquor to bio-DME, it would be able to power around 2500 trucks, so we envisage incredible potential,” says Mr Landälv. “The black liquor




alone corresponds to about 20 mills like this one.”

Chile the bolter in international markets From Page 17

suffering from similar difficulties with economies-of-scale. There is an additional ‘plus’ for us as it has to be said that Australia’s current efforts put us at the back of the pack, so we would probably have the most to gain from some sort of collective research arrangement. It is clear, for instance, that Chile is presently the southern hemisphere bolter

Page 16 | issue 226 | 18.06.12

in international markets. This hasn’t happened by accident – the evidence is that Chile has taken research and innovation across the forestry and wood processing activity by the scruff of the neck. The dividends for Chile are

starting to be apparent in their increasing share of global markets. By comparison we have been sitting on our bums, so we would be a major beneficiary of any southern hemisphere research alliance, especially on

harvesting. Is anyone listening – is there anyone home at Forest and Wood Products Australia? That’s it from me this time. Catch up again in a couple of weeks.

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Wormald develops fire suppression solution for Logset forestry vehicle FIRE protection specialist Wormald has designed and installed a fire suppression system for Logset’s new forestry vehicle, the 10F Titan Forwarder. Logset is a Finnish manufacturer of forestry machinery and has recently started operating in the Australian market. Logset provides top-ofthe-line solutions to logging professionals and its new 10F Titan Forwarder is a heavyframed machine with a load capacity of 18 tonnes. Wormald was engaged to design and install a vehicle fire suppression system on the 10F. Firstly, the Wormald team carried out a formalised fire risk assessment of the vehicle, in accordance with Australian Standard, AS 50622006: Fire Protection for Mobile & Transportable Equipment (AS 5062-2006). They then installed a 35-litre automatic / manual foam water spray fire suppression system which is housed in a 5 mm thick steel box, designed by Wormald specifically for forestry equipment. Wormald’s foam water spray vehicle fire suppression (VFS) system is compliant with AS 5062-2006. It features high pressure and small droplet nozzles which target risk areas such as the turbo charger and starter motor in the engine compartment. The system utilises the fire suppressing and containment features of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). In the event of a fire, a continuous stream of foam water spray is discharged to rapidly suppress flames and dramatically cool hot surfaces. At the same time, the generated foam acts to smother fuel and oil-spill fires, helping to prevent re-ignition. Ian Vincent from Wormald’s

the fire suppression system for our 10F Titan Forwarder. We showcased the vehicle at this year’s AUSTimber show and it received a great response from attendees. “We are expecting to have more 10Fs available to the Australian market soon and will work with Wormald in fitting them with suitable vehicle fire suppression systems.”

In the event of a fire, a continuous stream of foam water spray is discharged to rapidly suppress flames and dramatically cool hot surfaces

The VFS system on the 10F Titan Forwarder is configured so that in the event of a fire, early detection and warning is provided to the driver.

Operating in nearly 40 locations throughout Australia, Wormald designs, manufactures, installs and services fire detection and protection equipment to a wide variety of industries including building and construction, mining, healthcare, military, oil and gas, leisure management, corporate, education and IT&T. Wormald also provides a comprehensive range of fire services from engineering advice to fire safety training.

A 35-litre automatic / manual foam water spray fire suppression system is housed in a 5 mm thick steel box designed by Wormald specifically for forestry equipment.

Albury branch in New South Wales says there are many combustible components in heavy forestry vehicles which are in close proximity to ignition and heat sources. “Considering the potential for timber to add to the fuel load, the risk of a fire can be very high,” Mr Vincent said. “The VFS system on the 10F Titan Forwarder is configured

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so that in the event of a fire, early detection and warning is provided to the driver. This should allow extra time to safely evacuate, while also quickly suppressing the fire to help minimise damage to the vehicle.” Markku Turunen at Logset added: “The Wormald team showed their expertise and professionalism in designing

Tyco Fire Protection Services, Asia Pacific is a business segment of Tyco International Ltd. Its major brands include Wormald, DBE, Thorn Security, Simplex Time Solutions, Exelgard and GAAM Emergency Products. TFPS employs about 4000 staff in nine countries and its products are used to prevent fires, safeguard firefighters and protect people and property.

issue 226 | 18.06.12 | Page 17


Canadian producer now world’s largest manager of FCS forests

Resolute’s North America program covers 10.3 million ha GIANT Canadian wood products manufacturer and newsprint producer Resolute Forest Products has become the largest manager of Forest Stewardship Council certified forests in the world. The company recently certified 3.2 million ha of forestlands in the Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec to the FSC boreal standard. This certification raises the total area of Resolutemanaged FSC-certified forests in North America to 10.3 million ha, an area twice the size of Nova Scotia and larger than Portugal, Hungary or South Korea. “Becoming the world’s largest FSC holder is a major milestone in our efforts to become a positive force for sustainability within the forest products industry,” Richard Garneau, Resolute’s pesident and chief executive said. “Resolute’s growing commitment to FSC complements other key sustainability initiatives, including the company’s membership in WWF’s climate savers program, which helps companies set and achieve ambitious emission reduction targets, as well as membership in the landmark Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.” FSC, an international certification and labelling system dedicated to promoting responsible management, was co-founded by the World Wildlife Fund in Canada in 1993,

sustainability – environmental, social and economic.

Richard Garneau .. environmental supplier of choice.

President and chief executive of WWF-Canada Gerald Butts said Resolute’s success, coupled with its commitment to the WFF climate savers program, showed the value and importance of making conservation a business priority, and the critical role that corporations could and must play in addressing major environmental challenges. Under the climate savers program, Resolute has pledged to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 65% below 2000 levels by 2015. Resolute also made a series of other commitments as part of its climate savers membership, including increasing its FSC certification to 80% by 2015. With the latest certification, Resolute has passed the halfway point in delivering on its 80% commitment.

“Resolute Forest Products has long played an important role in the Ontario forest products industry. Certainly this is a tremendous milestone for Resolute and we are proud of their ongoing commitment to sustainable forest management practices,” Ontario Minister of Natural Resources Michael Gravelle said. “Resolute will continue working to protect the forests entrusted to its care and to improve its overall sustainability performance, enhancing its reputation as an environmental supplier of choice,” says Richard Garneau. “Resolute’s growing commitment to FSC complements other key sustainability initiatives, including the company’s membership in WWF’s climate savers. Resolute is committed to the three pillars of

Resolute Forest is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including newsprint, commercial printing papers, market pulp and wood products. The company owns or operates 21 pulp and paper mills and 22 wood products facilities in the US, Canada and South Korea. Marketing its products in more than 90 countries, Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to sustainable forest management standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. Resolute and other member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada, as well as a number of environmental organisations, are partners in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. The group works to identify solutions to conservation issues that meet the goal of balancing equally the three pillars of sustainability linked to human activities: environmental, social and economic. – Canada NewsWire

COPYRIGHT NOTICE Items provided in this section of Timber & Forestry E news are drawn from a number of sources. The source of the item is quoted, either by publication or organizations in line with the practice of fair reporting.

Page 18 | issue 226 | 18.06.12

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Classifieds 2 NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to delivering long-term security for Victoria’s timber industries through its Timber Industry Action Plan. Established in 2004, VicForests’ vision is to be a leader in a sustainable Victorian timber industry, generating the best community value from the commercial management of Victoria’s State forests. VicForests is an autonomous commercial entity governed by an independent Board of Directors, and accountable to the Victorian Government through the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security and the Treasurer. In its seven years of operation, VicForests has made considerable progress in introducing market based competition for the sustainable harvest and sale of native timber in Victoria. VicForests now seeks to build on this progress by improving its commercial performance and facilitating a more productive and profitable timber industry, while maintaining an active community dialogue. As a result of the expiration of the term appointments of two Board members, we seek applications from appropriately qualified/experienced individuals with a desire to assist VicForests to respond to, and influence, the dynamic environment it operates within. The VicForests’ Board has six members and requires a diverse range of skills and expertise due to the variety of issues on which it provides direction. Combined board skill requirements include forest industries expertise, marketing, risk management/audit, legal, financial, strategic planning, business management, environmental management, and stakeholder relations. Please forward a CV and covering letter in strict confidence by Friday 29 June 2012, to the Department of Primary Industries at A position description and process requirements may be obtained via this email.


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issue 226 | 18.06.12 | Page 19

Knowledge Tree Series

Introduc tion to Green Star® and FSC Project Certific ation Are you in the construction, timber supply, development or contracting industry? Do you want to understand FSC and how to gain competitive advantage? Have you been asked to work on a Green Star® job and supply FSC Certified Products? Then come along to our free information breakfast specifically targeted to you to help you grow your FSC Knowledge Tree. Topics GBCA CPD points for - What is FSC & why is it important? attendance apply - Green Star® and the timber credit - Steps involved in Chain of Custody Certification - FSC Chain of Custody for Project Certification Speakers: Natalie Reynolds - Acting CEO FSC Australia Nick Capobianco – Senior Lead Auditor, Scientific Certification Systems Joshua Bruce – Sustainability Manager, ISIS When:

June 19th , 8–9.30am (Speakers will be available for Q&A, informal discussions and networking until 10.30am) RSVP must be in by 8th June to assure a place


Level 2, 263 Adelaide Terrace, Perth, WA 6000


RSVP is essential for catering purposes at This event is fully supported by TABMA and therefore is presented at no cost. Donations to support future Knowledge Tree Series are encouraged and are tax deductible.


Presented with   the  generous   support  of TABMA

Page 20 | issue 226 | 18.06.12

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Nominations Excellence :: Recognition :: Celebration The Queensland Timber Industry Awards are an important means of highlighting excellence in our industry and rewarding organisations who are leading the way in terms of service, innovation and commitment to improving both their business and the industry as a whole. The gala evening when these awards are presented is the only event of its kind; it provides a platform to celebrate our industry, our state and recognise our top performers. This evening is set for Saturday 3 November 2012 at Victoria Park Function Centre, Brisbane. To maintain the credibility of these awards and therefore the prestige and honour they represent for finalists and winners, the judging criteria for 2012 have been adjusted to reflect recent ideals and trends as well as give greater weight to operational areas of importance. The criteria for each category is available to view on the website, - Queensland - Information Sheets - 2012 QTI Awards Criteria.

Award Categories 2012 

Best Specialist Timber Merchant

Best Frame & Truss Operation (Metro)

Best Building Materials Centre (Metro)

Best Frame & Truss Operation (Regional)

Best Building Materials Centre (Regional)

Best Timber Manufacturing Operation

Best Timber Wholesale Operation

Best Sawmilling Operation

Best Specialist Service Operation

Trainee of the Year

Best Training Culture

Apprentice of the Year

Best Wholesale Sales Representative

Recognising Women In Forest & Timber

If you wish to nominate please visit - Queensland - News and Events - 2012 QLD Timber Industry Awards Nomination Form and complete an entry for each nomination. All nominations will be kept confidential and only be seen by TABMA Queensland management and judges. Nominations close 15 June 2012. Introducing the Sponsor’s...

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Issue 226 Timber & Forestry E News  

Weekly news for the Timber and Forestry Industries