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issue 239 | 17.09.12 | Page 1

Forest research ‘safe’ in Budget

Complete solid timber processing systems

Queensland housing revival on way as $15,000 new home grant kicks in


Clear path for forest research in state Budget.

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A Better Earth Idea from Osmose

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•F  IAT pulls out of forest peace talks •E  co-terrorists: an accident about to happen

F  inal CLT panel hoisted at Docklands

Just Go t ood W

ne ree


Cont Page 8

This Issue




FOREST research in Queensland has escaped the chopping block in a state Budget that cuts billions of dollars in expenditure as part of the LNP government’s promise to rein in spending. Also, the Budget has delivered good news for the building industry with an increase in the first home owners grant to $15,000. Brisbane’s Salisbury Research Centre, a dedicated wood products development facility, has a clear path now for ongoing research with most projects locked in to external

funding for the next four to five years. Staffing remains stable, although two senior researchers at DEEDI’s Ag-Science Queensland have accepted redundancy packages Development of an industrywide engineered wood centre of excellence based at Salisbury, which was approved by the former Labor government, has been shelved. But the centre remains the national hub for research and development of wood composites, solid wood

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issue 239 | 17.09.12 | Page 1


Ed Vincent

Terry Edwards

David Pollard

Bryan Green

Forest peace deal divide as FIAT pulls out of talks

Industry, contractors support decision

FOREST contractors and timber industry leaders have supported the withdrawal from the so-called peace talks in Tasmania by the state’s peak industry body. The Forest Industries Association (FIAT) is refusing to rejoin the talks claiming the state government has broken a promise over the restructure of Forestry Tasmania. FIAT says government officials gave assurances the stateowned company would retain control over production forests. Acting Premier Bryan Green has announced he will push for the establishment of a new statutory authority to take control of Tasmania’s production forests. Chief executive of the Tasmanian Forest Contractors Association Ed Vincent shares the concerns of FIAT about the management control of the state’s public production forests. “It is critical that the commercial forest manager be responsible for that forest to ensure, not only appropriate regeneration, but silvicultural management, as well as roading, harvest and the cycle repeating,” Mr Vincent said. “The expertise and culture, appropriate to productive forest management, just does not and, in our opinion, cannot exist outside the commercial body tasked with managing the

Page 2 | issue 239 | 17.09.12

production forests. “Further, it must manage the forest in the best interest of the whole Tasmanian forest industry. “Over the long term, this will be best achieved by an independent statutory corporation whose articles of establishment clearly state the

management criteria that it is expected to achieve.”

Mr Vincent said it was now vital that the cabinet sub-committee moved quickly to resolve the fundamental matters around the forest management structure. Cont Page 6

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Last of CLT panels hoisted on multi-res building at Docklands Forte reduces emissions by more than 1400 tonnes

LEND Lease last week hoisted the final panel of cross-laminate timber in place on the 10th storey of its innovative new Forte building in Melbourne’s Docklands. The $11 million project makes use of the lightweight CLT building material, commonly used in Europe, which has a structural strength similar to concrete and steel. The company maintains it will have cut ordinary construction times by 30% once the internal fitout of the 32 m tall, 10-storey apartment is finished in November – a faster build than many stand alone homes. Being the first of its kind in Australia, when it opens its doors Forte will be a test case for residential property buyers unfamiliar with wooden building materials. Lend Lease made a deliberate decision not to sell apartments in the building until it was complete, according to head of operations development Daryl Patterson. It wanted to avoid misconceptions that Forte was like a timber-frame house, he said. ‘’It’s very important for people to be able to come and touch and feel the product and understand that it’s as solid as any other apartment,’’ Mr Patterson said. He said the company also treated Forte like a pilot project, learning while building. It discovered just how effective modular components were in CLT construction.

Lend Lease anticipates that 30% to 50% of its residential projects in the pipeline could be executed in CLT

Cross-laminated timber .. unlocking a new era for sustainable development of multi-res buldings.

By using CLT, Forté will reduce carbon emissions by more than 1400 tonnes, compared with building in concrete and steel.

Mark Menhinnitt .. viable alternative to traditional construction.

Forte’s modular bathrooms were manufactured in Brisbane and trucked to the site. ‘’The toilets are in. The taps are in. The shower screens are in. The mirrors are up on the wall,’’ Mr Patterson said. ‘’The benefit of them being factory constructed is they are built to much higher standards of tolerance and quality of finish than we normally get on a construction site.’’ Forte had proven that ‘’this is the way we want to keep building’’. Forté aims to be Australia’s first five-star green star as-built certified residential building.

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The advantages continue for residents too. Forté apartments will require 25% less energy to heat and cool than a similar apartment built in concrete and steel. Looking to the future, Lend Lease’s Australian chief executive Mark Menhinnitt said the project would “unlock a new era for sustainable development by offering a viable alternative to traditional construction options, which are carbon intensive”. Mr Menhinnitt anticipates that 30% to 50% of the company’s residential projects in the pipeline could be executed in CLT.

Cont Page 11

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issue 239 | 17.09.12 | Page 3


Eco-terrorists in the forests.. an accident about to happen

Dangerous tactics of intimidation endanger workers A RISING tide of green militancy in the nation’s forests has alarmed industry and community groups who are demanding police and government intervention to fight sabotage, safety breaches and production delays caused by reckless protesting. The forest industry warns that new tactics by conservationists are dramatically raising the risks of injury and violence. Mountain ranges in southeast Australia are at the centre of the latest environmental flashpoint, with bushfire devastation intensifying concern and activism among grassroots groups about how to deal with the remaining timber resource. Victorian Association of Forest Industries chief executive Lisa Marty has warned that dawn raids in the state’s forests by masked intruders and attempts to shut down 40-tonne equipment by stealth meant that the workplace was becoming perilous. She criticised anti-forestry activists for using dangerous tactics of intimidation to stop workers from doing their jobs, and endangering the lives and safety of other people. The actions of these activists

Page 4 | issue 239 | 17.09.12

– including illegally entering workplaces in the early morning dark – made their claims about being peaceful protestors hard to believe. “Intimidation has no place in any workplace,” Ms Marty said. “Dawn raids by masked activists would not be considered acceptable in an office, a factory or a construction site. “Just because these workers operate in a forest should not make it alright.” Ms Marty said by intentionally entering a high-risk workplace with heavy machinery, and interfering with people trying to make their living, it appeared these activists were trying to create conflict. “If this kind of behaviour continues, we are concerned

‘We call on the police, Work safe and the Victorian government to act with the full force of the law against those acting illegally and endangering people’s safety in any workplace’ – Lisa Marty

Lisa Marty .. threatening lives of foresty workers and safety of others.

someone will be injured in what should be a safe workplace,” she said. “Everyone has the right to protest, but this can be done without illegally entering another person’s workplace, and without creating conflict. “The industry calls on environmental groups to oppose illegal and unsafe protest activity and engage with forest managers and industry on their concerns. “We call on the police, Worksafe and the Victorian government to act with the full force of the law against those acting illegally and endangering people’s safety in any workplace.” Meanwhile, Friends of Forestry president Brett Robin has told

protestors to “celebrate while you can”, after charges against them for invading a logging coupe near Toolangi last year, were withdrawn in Melbourne’s Ringwood court recently. “It is no victory for them; the charges were simply withdrawn due to a technicality. They can make out their actions were vindicated, but they know as well as we do, this is the last time they will escape penalty,” Mr Robin said. “Celebrate while you can,” he said. “Next time, the result in court will be very different!” Mr Robin said Friends of Forestry had full confidence that the government was working towards making sure illegal protestors faced the full brunt of the law if they continued their dangerous activities on logging coupes in Victoria. [The group is made up of residents of Kinglake, Toolangi, Yarra Junction, Millgrove, Lilydale and Healesville areas representing a broad crosssection of the community including timber workers, business owners, tourism operators and other bush users].

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2-4: Future Build 2012. Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Contact Australian Exhibitions and Conferences (03) 8672 1200 or email:

3-4: Joint ISCs and Skills Australia conference: The Future of Work In 2011, Australia’s 11 industry skills councils and Skills Australia held their inaugural joint conference. Join MC Kerry O’Brien, Q&A panel moderator Tony Jones and a range of industry identities to explore the future of work, and its implications for building Australia’s human capital. Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Drive, Darling Harbour, NSW.

4-6: Malaysian Timber Council’s (MTC) Global WoodMart 2012, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia. For further information go to For information about complimentary hotel accommodation and other assistance, including sponsorship invitation and application forms contact John Halkett at john.halkett@bigpond. com or +61 (0)2 9356 3826. Wood Innovations 2012. 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. Visit www.

14-17: Australian Forest Growers conference. Gympie Civic Centre, Gympie, Qld. More than 50 speakers will present at 20 sessions. Three concurrent streams will feature growing, products and markets and integration. The middle day will feature six field trips heading in all directions from Gympie to examine local growing and processing in action. This will be followed by the presentation of the national Tree Farmer of the Year Award at the conference dinner. Visit for further information or contact Terry Greaves on (02) 6162 9000 or email terry.greaves@afg.asn. au

18: AFS Ltd certification seminar, Brisbane. An update update on development in certification. Topics include a general introduction to forest management and chain of custody certification; an international context to certification; linkages between certification and GBCA green star, government and company procurement policies, and illegal logging legislation; and general information on how to achieve chain of custody certification. Contact Richard Stanton on (02) 6122 9000 or email richard. 25: Australian Forestry

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Standard Ltd annual general meeting and certification seminar, Melbourne. The seminar will provide members and interested stakeholders with an update on developments in certification and a report on progress in the review of the forestry management standard AS4708. Contact Richard Stanton on (02) 6122 9000 or email richard.stanton@

30-31: ForestWorks and First Super 5th annual Industry Development Conference In 2011, Hyatt Hotel and Parliament House. Canberra. This is an important opportunity for all current and aspiring leaders of the forest, wood, paper and timber industry to engage in strategic and political debate on critical issues affecting the whole industry in Australia. This year’s conference will consider the future opportunities and challenges for manufacturing timber, wood and paper products in an advanced and multi-speed economy. 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 on positive future directions for the industry. Registration inquiries contact: The Events Manager at or phone (03) 9321 3500.For further information, including announcements of speakers and topics, visit www.forestworks.

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 239 | 17.09.12 | Page 5


Security of wood supply and industry growth at risk: AFPA

From Page 2

Labor’s minority government partner had been arguing for the forests to be transferred to a government department. “The industry had been concerned about ensuring that there is no ministerial control over the management of forests in Tasmania,” Bryan Green said. “I agree with that. We’re putting in place a process to ensure effectively a body is developed to allow that to happen, (and) it is independent from ministerial control. “What I’m looking to do is ensure that we get an outcome that everybody can be happy with.”

‘Any arrangement which separates the management of the production forests from commercial operational management undermines the durability of any forest agreement’ – David Pollard

Page 6 | issue 239 | 17.09.12

At risk .. long-term wood supply in Tasmania.

FIAT was threatening to walk away from the peace talks if the Greens got their way. Mr Green said he had found a “sensible” solution which he hoped would see FIAT remain at the table. But FIAT’s chief executive Terry Edwards says the pledge falls “substantially short” of what industry requires to stay in the peace talks. Mr Edwards says the state government had made commitments that production

forests would remain with Forestry Tasmania. Members voted unanimously to stay out of the peace talks until the government fulfills its original pledge. “When we signed the interim agreement we had been assured that the expectations we had about forest management would be met,” Mr Edwards said. “We had been assured that. That assurance now hasn’t been honoured and as a result

the government has now got the situation they now find themselves in.” Mr Edwards says the association will stay out of the talks for four weeks to give Mr Green time to change his mind. “I want to give the government a genuine opportunity to resolve this problem. I don’t want to talk about destroying these talks. “The process is still there, we’re committed to continue to use that process to try and produce an outcome but we will not do it in circumstances where we cannot be assured that any outcome will be durable and this is, in that context, a key durability issue.” Greens leader Nick McKim has compromised, agreeing to consider Mr Green’s plan to establish a new independent statutory body. But Mr McKim’s stance on FIAT’s push remains the same. “The Greens are not prepared to support those forests remaining with Forestry Tasmania,” Mr McKim said. “We’ve been consistent about that since day one and that

Cont Page 13

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AFS releases second draft of standard

Commentary by industry stakeholders closes October 1 THE standards review committee appointed by Australian Forestry Standard Ltd to review forestry management standard AS4708 has released the second draft for public comment. The draft revised standard has been sent to a broad range of stakeholders in forest management. The commentary period will close on October 1. The committee released the first draft of the revised standard for public comment in March and the comment period closed in May. About 30 detailed submissions were received from stakeholders. The majority of submissions were broadly supportive of the revised draft standard but they included more than 500 specific, individual comments or suggestions about how particular clauses in the draft could be further improved. The committee has considered the submissions and has undertaken further redrafting before releasing a refined draft for a second comment period. The review process is being undertaken in accordance with Standards Australia procedures. AFS Ltd is accredited as a standards development organisation and can therefore develop and review Australian standards provided the necessary procedures are followed. The second draft revision of the standard and a submission form can be downloaded from the AFS Ltd website. The five yearly review of the Australian standard for chain of custody (AS4707) is due to commence this year and will

The majority of submissions were broadly supportive of the revised draft standard

be conducted in accordance with Standards Australia procedures. A number of organisations have now nominated representatives for the standards reference committee (SRC4707) which will undertake the review process. Subject to the finalisation of these nominations, AFS Ltd is confident that the committee includes the relevant interests and expertise. The committee will commence its work in the very near future. For further information contact Richard Stanton on (02) 6122

9000 or email richard.stanton@ The annual general meeting of AFS Ltd will be held in Melbourne on October 25 and AFS is seeking nominations three directors to represent the forest and Wood Products Sector Members and one director to represent general members. A certification seminar following the AGM will update members and interested stakeholders on developments in certification and report on progress in the review of the

forestry management standard AS4708. AFS Ltd will also host a certification seminar in Brisbane on October 18. Topics include a general introduction to forest management and chain of custody certification; an international context to certification; linkages between certification and GBCA green star, government and company procurement policies, and illegal logging legislation; and general information on how to achieve chain of custody certification.

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issue 239 | 17.09.12 | Page 7


Industry plan must not overlook importance of engineered wood

From Page 1

processing, timber seasoning and wood preservation. The newest addition is a $1.3 million timber composites research facility working to improve the economics of hardwood plantations by turning early plantation thinnings into saleable products. To this has been added a hightech automatic bond evaluation machine from the US which will provide rapid screening and development of adhesives for veneer composites – technology widely used in the US and Europe. Forest and wood technologists are hopeful that the state’s timber industry ‘roadmap’ plan does not overlook the market opportunities for these engineered wood and composites products and the research on them that is now well advanced at Salisbury. The Newman government is targeting a $4 billion turnaround in the state’s financial fortunes through a combination of reduced expenditure and extra revenue in the hope of producing a surplus by 2014-15.

Engineered wood and composites .. market opportunities boosted by Queensland research.

The Budget confirms 14,000 public servant jobs will go. In its maiden Budget, the government delivers on key commitments to lower the cost of living, revitalise front line services, grow a four pillar economy and help re-gain the

state’s AAA credit rating. The $15,000 first home buyer construction grant for those buying newly-built homes or off the plan will assist more Queenslanders into their first home and boost confidence in the construction sector

‘Raising the fist home grant to $15,000 is a major benefit for the housing industry and converts into another 4000 homes being built in Queensland – Rod McInnes

“Raising the fist home grant to $15,000 is a major benefit for the housing industry and converts into another 4000 homes being built in the state,” the chief executive of Timber Queensland Rod McInnes said. He said the grant boost came at a time when a new report on building points to an upturn in housing starts within 6-8 months. BIS-Shrapnel’s latest building industry forecast is based on a continuation of very low interest rates. Although total building in Queensland by value has dropped 12% this year, it should rise to 13% during 2013 and up to 32% in 2014 and beyond. Alterations and additions, says the report, will be up 7% in 2012-13 and up 14% in 201314. BIS-Shrapnel says there is an underlying demand for 30,000 houses by 2014. Master Builders Queensland was the driver to get government to focus the first home owners grant on new homes only. “We wanted the government to consider specific measures Cont Page 10

Opportunity: new engineered product Project seeks access to on-going timber resource

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Loggo products have undergone comprehensive testing at the engineering faculty of the University of Technology Sydney.

Page 8 | issue 239 | 17.09.12

The project is keen to establish a plant near a guaranteed resource. Contact: (02) 4256 4767 or email

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‘Green tape’ slows economic growth of forest industries

PRO-development NGO World Growth has delivered a stinging rebuke of policies backed by environmental organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace that want to impose higher costs on pulp producers and forest operators at a time when the global economy is weak and commodity markets are fragile. World Growth chairman Alan Oxley says that campaigns by ‘green’ NGOs aimed at having companies adopt certification standards they endorse, threaten to raise costs when pulp and timber markets are struggling. Mr Oxley was addressing a pulp and paper industry event in Hong Kong last week while launching a new report on the impact of western policies on forestry in developing countries. “Pulp and timber producers are struggling with a slump in prices. Margins are being squeezed for pulp and timber producers. Paper producers are faced with flat demand that may spread from the US and EU to emerging markets,” Mr Oxley said. “The response of Greenpeace and WWF to this economic storm is to impose higher costs on businesses in the forest, pulp and paper sector. “They are calling on businesses to effectively pay for their overly-expensive sustainability endorsement known as the

‘The response of Greenpeace and WWF to this economic storm is to impose higher costs on businesses in the forest, pulp and paper sector

Alan Oxley .. margins squeezed for pulp and timber producers.

Forest Stewardship (FSC) certification.


“Very few exporters in key exporting markets can afford to pay for Greenpeace’s seal of approval. Smallholder foresters are even less able to afford FSC certification.”

Mr Oxley said these measures would adversely affect forest industries in developing countries.” FSC’s supporters claimed that it was the ‘gold standard’ for forest certification and that it supported sustainable development. “However, our new report shows that FSC is riddled with governance flaws and lacks transparency,” Mr Oxley said. “It has a bias against commodity producers, particularly in emerging markets. “Analysis has shown that imposing these types of measures on exporting nations will have a significant economic impact, including a drop in value-added of almost 9% and a drop in employment in the forestry sector of around 12%. “This is no way to inspire an economic recovery.”

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issue 239 | 17.09.12 | Page 9


Reducing ‘cost divide’ in housing will build up consumer confidence

From Page 8

in the state Budget that would address the current low building activity levels, so we are delighted that our calls have been heard and actioned,” executive director Graham Cuthbert said. “One of the biggest challenges faced by the residential building industry is low consumer confidence and we believe the new-look grant will

Building figures confirm Master Builders decision to call for long-term stimulus measures in the state Budget

InSurAnce.. It’S All In the SelectIon

Rod McInnes .. Budget benefits housing industry.

Paul Bidwel .. long-term stimulus measures needed.

offer first home owners a very real incentive to build a new home and address the rising cost divide between new and established housing. “The news isn’t just good for

those thinking of building a new home; improving the outlook for the building industry is also vital because this industry has lost 15,000 workers in three years across the state. “These job losses pose a risk to the wider economy. Not only is the industry the largest employer of full-time workers, construction activity has a substantial economic multiplier effect.” Mr Cuthbert said Master Builders was also pleased that this was a long-term measure that would commence immediately. Unlike the building boost grant, the new first home owners construction grant commences from September 12, ensuring there is no short-term drop off in demand while those interested in building wait for the grant to be available. “In addition to the first home grant, we’ve also called on the government to consider a strong capital works program and a review of existing property holdings and commercial business units,” Mr Cuthbert said. The July 2012 regional building approval figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reinforce Master Builders calls for stimulus measures to encourage building activity in Queensland.

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Page 10 | issue 239 | 17.09.12

Master Builders director of housing policy Paul Bidwell, said private sector housing and total dwelling unit approvals at a Queensland level showed a disappointing fall, while regional figures confirmed that activity levels were mixed across Queensland, with some regional centres driving growth while southeast Queensland and tourism centres floundered. “Regions with a strong mining presence were again standout performers, although we anticipate that some of the heat may come out of these markets as the growth in both mining investment and mining-related employment slows down,” Mr Bidwell said.

“Southeast Queensland remains a key area of weakness with drops in both new house and total new residential approvals. This is of particular concern given the region typically accounts for the bulk of new residential construction activity in the state. “The Wide Bay-Burnett region had mixed results, with Bundaberg and Maryborough approvals rising and Hervey Bay remaining stable in comparison to a drop for the Burnett. Overall, the region recorded a very modest increase in approvals. “Unfortunately, Townsville and Cairns both experienced falls, with Cairns in particular struggling against a high Australian dollar which is impacting negatively on the tourism industry.

“All in all, the figures confirm Master Builders decision to call on the state government for long-term stimulus measures in the state Budget to address the low levels of building activity.”

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Suncorp to sell Forestry House

FORESTRY House in Mary Street, Brisbane, is for sale by the owner financial and insurance giant Suncorp Group Ltd. Built in 1987, Forestry House has a net annual income of $6.5 million. Forestry House and Health House in Charlotte Street owned by Suncorp are both 100% leased to the state government. The lease on the Mary Street building expires in five years. Industry sources expect the sale of the B-grade towers to realise at least $100 million. Last year, Suncorp sold its head office, Suncorp Tower, at 310 Ann Street for $64 million in line with the group’s strategy of



the timber product you are buying has been

Forestry House .. rents for $6.5 million a year.

simplifying its operations and focusing on its core businesses.

Gunns sells another mill in SA

GUNNS Ltd hasreportedly sold a sawmill in South Australia to a Mount Gambier company. It was reported that the buyer, South East Pine sales, would retain the 18 employees. The

price has not been revealed. It is also understood buyers have been looking at the Bell Bay softwood sawmill and the Tarpeena mill also in South Australia.


Be sure, safe – and satisfied – that the plywood, wood panel or furniture you choose meets Australian and New Zealand standards. All products manufactured by members of the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia are guaranteed to comply with these standards and are BELOW formaldehyde levels recommended by health authorities. EWPAA products are certified

EO and E1

A race that goes sky high

From Page 3

Site work on Forte commenced in February. Once complete, it will house 23 boutique residential apartments and four townhouses with prices ranging from $430,000 to $795,000. Lend Lease has beaten the Grollo family in the race to build Australia’s first high-rise timber apartment tower. Forte

under strict JAS-ANZ rules.

rises 242 cm above the world’s tallest similar buildings – Bridport House and Stadthaus in London.

The Grollo family announced plans last year to build a timber high-rise at the old Carlton United Brewers site on Swanston Street. That structure has been shelved until next year.





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Advertising: Tel +61 7 3266 1429 Email: issue 239 | 17.09.12 | Page 11


NZ forest owners endorse criticism on changes to ETS trading scheme

FOREST owners in New Zealand have endorsed the strong criticisms made by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright of proposed changes to the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme. “The commissioner and our members continue to believe that an ETS is the right mechanism to price carbon and reduce emissions,” the chief executive of the Forest Owners Association David Rhodes said.

David Rhodes .. right mechanism to price carbon.

Jan Wright .. critical of proposed changes to ETS.

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“But despite being significantly weakened by previous amendments, changes now before a select committee will weaken the scheme further,” he said. “With carbon prices hovering around $NZ5 a tonne, there is no incentive for emitters to invest in clean technology when even that price is halved for them. Nor is there the incentive for land owners to plant trees to store carbon.” Mr Rhodes says that for carbon forestry to stack up as investment, a minimum carbon price of between $15 and $20 tonne is needed. Indeed, at present carbon prices it is once again economic for forest owners on suitable land to pay any conversion liabilities and convert forests to dairying, tourism or lifestyle blocks. “The forest industry will not fade away and most existing forests will be replanted at harvest but new planting for carbon will be virtually nonexistent and there will be deforestation,” he said. “If that is what the government wants, that’s its call. But it does run contrary to everything that the major political parties were saying during the development of the ETS. Namely, that addressing climate change was a critical issue and that forestry would play an important part in helping New Zealand reach its emission targets. “It is also at odds with the efforts being made by every other international ETS to try to encourage forestry and other offsets. Even the EU is now looking at incorporating forestry’s contribution. “The government has a right to change its mind, but in so doing it must recognise the long-term nature of a forest investment. This needs to be central to anything it asks of the industry.”

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Security of wood supply put at risk From Page 6

remains our position and will remain our position.” The Australian Forest Products Association fully supports the position of the Tasmanian forest industry in suspending further involvement in the forests agreement negotiations. AFPA has actively promoted in discussions with the Tasmanian government, and with forest agreement signatories, the need to maintain a single, integrated and independent statutory manager with

fiduciary responsibilities. Chief executive Dr David Pollard said the manager should be responsible for commercial operations and have full control of the permanent (multipleuse) production forest zones to provide the necessary security for investment that is at arm’s length from government. “Any arrangement which separates the management of the production forests from commercial operational management undermines the durability of any forest agreement,” Dr Pollard said.

“Without such durability provisions, the long-term security of future wood supply and industry growth is put at risk by the minister and politics of the day. This is fundamental to any forest agreement and has been a consistent theme in negotiations, now threatened by the government’s decision.” AFPA has suspended its participation in the Tasmanian negotiations pending (the) satisfactory assurances from government. “We are disappointed that the opportunity to resolve the

decades long dispute over forestry in Tasmania is being threatened by this unnecessary proposal, and we urge the government to reconsider its position in the full context of the outcomes all parties are seeking to achieve through the forest agreement process,” Dr Pollard said. “In participating in this process, AFPA has consistently maintained the requirement for the durability of outcomes for the forest products industry, its employees, contractors and associated communities.”

Norske Skog invests in $84m Boyer plant NORSKE Skog will convert a machine at the Boyer mill in Tasmania to the production of coated grades, and close one newsprint machine at the Tasman mill in New Zealand. The machine conversion project will be an $84 million investment at the Boyer mill. The Australian government will contribute $28 million in grants to help fund the project, and the Tasmanian government is providing a $13 million loan. Completion is targeted for the first quarter of 2014. The permanent closure of the 150,000 tonne capacity Tasman mill will create a better balance between demand and supply for newsprint in the region. The implementation arrangements and time frames would be subject to consultation with employees and other stakeholders, Norske Skog resident and CEO Sven Ombudstvedt said. The final costs of the restructuring will be determined once the consultation process at the Tasman mill is completed.

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issue 239 | 17.09.12 | Page 13


Cutting corners, cutting prices a worry for treated timber industry Who’s walking the beat to police the problem?

THE old chestnut about houses built with untreated wood and how this will eventually smear the industry’s image has been around since the first pine plank was dipped in CCA. It’s still happening – spurred on now by the fierce, crazy, sell-‘em-at-any-price mentality of some traders in a wood industry is crisis and changing home-owner lifestyles. Reports abound along the eastern seaboard of trucks of untreated timber frames and trusses being under-sold to builders on site who don’t give diddly-squat that they might be eaten away in five years. “There’s a disturbing trend among some builders,” says one of Queensland’s biggest project builders based at Toowoomba on the Darling Downs. “They don’t give a damn if the timber comes with a 50year guarantee against termite attack, or a 10-year guarantee or no guarantee – they just want the lowest price a fabricator can offer,” he said. “And the modern home builder doesn’t care either. No longer do they want a home for a lifetime, say 50 years, like the families of past years; they often move out and move on and upgrade to a different style of house within five years. “It’s left to the poor unfortunate soul who buys this house and in a few years discovers that it’s a honeycomb of structural faults and that those responsible have left town.” He said treated wood still remained the preference for responsible project builders but in these hard times a lot of others go for a quick, cheap sale with untreated wood – and there’s no policing, nothing to

Page 14 | issue 239 | 17.09.12

discussed in many meetings at Timber House in Brisbane, but never taken up. Now the pigeons are coming home to roost and the market is starting to dictate terms. “As one who was instrumental in helping pioneer the treated pine industry back in the early 80s, my thoughts concur entirely with references to a slackening in quality control. “Then we had the services of the forestry ‘police force’ to ensure all parties – timber treaters, sawmillers and resellers – complied with TUMA legislation.” Dowding says what is happening now is a repeat of the mid-1980s when newcomers entering the industry had a different agenda.

Wood preservation .. best treatment for timber industry.

stop them. “Just what does this do for timber’s image in the long run?” The timber preservation industry is repeating its messages about quality and durability in service. With the demise of legislation such as the Timber Utilisation and Marketing Act in Queensland, came moves for industry self-control to assure the market of consistency in quality. As Robin Dowding, a former sales and marketing manager with Koppers Hickson with more than 30 years’ experience in timber preservation, recalls: “At industry meetings years ago, everybody agreed on the concept of industry self-control. But that was where it stopped. Reason? It cost money and nobody wanted to pay. “Preservative suppliers were united in being prepared to supply the administrative knowledge and technical


“They saw a rising market as a cash cow. So they wanted profit, plenty of it and quickly. This led to strong competition and the inevitable price-cutting – a road many a product has travelled.


“Next to suffer was treatment quality. Corners were cut to get the next sale.

know-how, to run such a scheme. But that would have incurred a small surcharge on preservative supplies (not unlike other countries). “The




“I’m not suggesting for a moment that all producers went down this track; many have weathered the storm without compromising on quality or service. But it is fair to say that the number of timber treatment companies and sawmillers who have gone out of business in the last few years bears testimony to hard times, competitive markets and desperate measures to counter them.”

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Buyers settle in ‘wood city’ as first six-storey condo goes up Developer says greater affordability biggest attraction

THE first of two six-storey wood-frame buildings to be built in the inner city of Vancouver is ready for people to move in, and developers around the Canadian province are watching the project closely. Quattro3 will be the first six-storey wood-frame condominium to be completed. Before 2009, wood-frame buildings were capped at a height of four storeys. In 2009, the province changed the building code to allow the construction of six-storey wood-frame buildings as part of the British Columbia Wood First Act, aimed to stimulate the province’s timber industry as well as the construction industry. “The entire development community will be weighing the ‘’pros and cons of six-storey wood-frame buildings,” says Charan Sethi, chief executive of Tien Sher Group of Companies, which developed Quattro3. Advantages were that the perunit land costs and construction costs were reduced, he said, so the consumer benefited from lower prices than for similar apartments in concrete or four-

‘Clearly, it represents a future trend in British Columbia construction – lower cost for consumers is the big advantage offered by this type of building’

This six-storey, woodframe condominium building – shown here still under construction – was tested and shaken with earthquake forces that occur, on average, only once every 2500 years.

storey wood-frame buildings. “A disadvantage is that they are a bit more complicated to build,” Mr Sethi said. He said suites in concrete buildings in the district sold for about $425 to $450 per square foot, while those in wood-frame buildings sold for $330 to $370 per square foot. “Today’s market is all about

affordability,” Mr Sethi said. “We need to produce a product that people want and they don’t want anything expensive, but they want nice homes.” Peter Simpson, chief executive of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association, said other builders were considering building six-storey wood-frame buildings. “There are builders and

Peter Simpson .. other builders are now considering constructing six-storey wood-frame buildings.

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developers who will be watching the Quattro3 with great interest. They will be watching this and learning from it, so we might see more of them now,” he said. Anne McMullin, CEO of the Urban Development Institute, agreed. “Clearly, it represents a future trend in British Columbia construction,” she said, adding that the lower cost for consumers is the big advantage offered by this type of building. “Some people would be willing to pay double for a concrete building, but some might like to pay less and buy in a wood building. It’s providing more options for people.” A 39.5 sq m studio apartment in Quattro3 sells for $159,000, while a 52.5 sq m one-bedroom suite sells for $208,000. The only other six-storey woodframe building in the province’s lower mainland is the Remy project in Richmond, which is in the process of being rebuilt after a 2011 construction fire destroyed it. Len Garis, president of the Fire Chiefs Association, said the fire safety of people living in sixstorey wood-frame buildings should be equal to the safety in any other building. “These buildings are fully sprinklered and our research suggests to us that in a sprinklered building, a fire is likely to never leave the room of origin, has historically never left the floor of origin in a building,” Mr Garis said.

issue 239 | 17.09.12 | Page 15


Canada celebrates forestry week in an atmosphere of industry recovery

NATIONAL Forest Week celebrated across Canada from September 23 to 29 will also mark a recovery under way in the forest and forest products sector. This year’s theme – Forests for People – provides a great opportunity to reflect on the benefits forests provide; British Columbians make millions of trips into the forests each year for work, recreation, and pleasure. The Minister for Forests Steve Thomson said British Columbia’s forest sector continued to provide great economic benefits, accounting for more than 55,000 direct jobs supporting families all around the province and contributing $7.3 billion to the province’s GDP.

“With a number of mills reopening throughout the province, including mills in Kitwanga, Midway, Savona and Vavenby, hundreds of workers are back on the job and communities are seeing the benefits of the forest sector as it continues to recover,” Mr Thomson said. . “With lumber exports still on the rise and exponentially increasing demand from China, British Columbians will continue to benefit from

increased demand for wood products. “We are also diversifying the forest economy. More than 50 communities are enjoying the benefits of forestry by managing local community forests for local values. “As well, 144 ‘first nations’ are enjoying the benefits of forestry through revenue-sharing agreements and direct access to timber. “But forests aren’t only about jobs. We manage our forests for

a multitude of values including fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, cultural heritage and recreation, to name just a few.” Mr Simpson has urged citizens to get out into the woods during the week and take time to enjoy one of the 1200 recreation sites or 800 trails around the province. The celebration was first established in 1920 as Forest Fire Prevention Week when there was no apparent shortage of trees for industrial expansion and the greatest threat came from forest fires. Since then National Forest Week, as it was renamed in 1967, has evolved to encompass the many and varied human and environmental aspects of Canada’s forest resources – past, present and future.

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Page 16 | issue 239 | 17.09.12

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Put a little heart in it: wood campaign will be ‘trucked’ around New Zealand

NZ Wood rolled out its new national campaign on the sides of a long haul truck and trailer unit in Dunedin last week to encourage people to use wood. The truck’s new livery promoting “Put a little heart in it, Build with Wood” was unveiled by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and National MP Michael Woodhouse. NZ Wood chief executive Jane Arnott said the decision to launch the campaign in Dunedin was a “no-brainer” as City Forests, owned by the Dunedin City Council and therefore the city’s ratepayers, was the oldest forestry company in continuous New Zealand ownership. The truck will travel the South Island while in the North Island two double-articulated units

Hearty launch.. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull (left) and National MP Michael Woodhouse launch NZ Wood’s ‘Put a little heart in it, Build with Wood” campaign.

will be decked out similarly. NZ Wood hopes to encourage people to consider building in wood and encourage professionals to get up to speed on modern timber design and technology which had taken

giant leaps in the past 10 years. “Excellent designs that capture the benefits of timber – this is what we want for everyone building a new home,” Ms Arnott said.

Mr Cull said Dunedin’s forefathers had a lot of foresight when in 1906 they planted the exotic forest that provided the timber for some of Dunedin’s first state houses in the 1930s. New Zealand was particularly suited to timber construction and that had not changed, he said. Mr Woodhouse said the government strongly supported the forestry industry, which was New Zealand’s third-largest exporter. He praised the “tremendous imagery” on the side of the truck. Given the significant increase in harvesting expected in the next 10 years and the rebuilding of Christchurch, there was a lot of potential for the use of wood, he said.

Invitations are due to be sent out, however you can get in early and book your table or seat at this year’s Queensland Timber Industry Awards Gala Evening. rd The event will be held on Saturday 3 November 2012, at Victoria Park Functions Centre. This prestigious industry event will showcase and recognize our industry’s finest. This is the ONLY event of its kind for the Queensland Timber Industry and it is our chance to recognize those who excel in their chosen field. Tickets are $143 each or a table of 10 is $1,325 GST inclusive. Phone Alicia on 3254 3166 or email Tickets includes 3 course meal, 5 hour beverage package and live band. TABMA QLD is proud to be hosting the event, sponsored by a host of businesses including timber industry and commercial entities.

Brisbane Hoo-Hoo Timber Industry Club 218 Inc.

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issue 239 | 17.09.12 | Page 17

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