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issue 248 | 19.11.12 | Page 1

Complete solid timber processing systems

‘We must spruik the value of forests’

Sid Sidebottom .. forest industry is a clever industry.

Cont Page 3

This Issue

• Industry not so hot on people management • Timber industry elects leaders

Australian law gives shelter to illegal acts

Just Go t ood W

ne ree


have the world believe is not the case,” Mr Sidebottom said. “Wood and its products are naturally and perfectly attuned to our physical environment. “That forests, timber, wood and wood products are the stuff of living, of building, of making and crafting, of recreating in, on and amongst, and importantly, drawing, painting and writing on and reading from. In short, wood is an inspiration that inspires. “Social media campaigns are used by people who would harm this industry. Social media then must be adopted


r sm




“ONE of the biggest challenges facing wood lovers is to communicate this passion – to show that we value wood because it is valuable.” In a had-hitting, emotional address to the industry development conference in Canberra, the Parliamentary Secretary of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Sid Sidebottom said the industry must use every contemporary means to educate, communicate and enthuse fellow citizens about the benefits of wood and its products. “Because it is sustainably grown, managed and harvested – no matter what some would

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issue 248 | 19.11.12 | Page 1


Struggling ..housing industry needs further interest rate cuts.

Housing recovery still a long way off

Widespread calls for interest rate cuts FINANCE figures for new homes released last Tuesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics have dashed the building industry’s hopes of a housing recovery taking hold. Chief executive of Master Builders Australia Wilhelm Harnisch said the September figures reinforced the call for further interest rate cuts from the Reserve Bank. “The 6.3% fall (seasonally adjusted) in the number of housing loans for the construction of new dwellings will leave residential builders very nervous,” Mr Harnisch said. “The figures show that the housing sector will be struggling for some time to come. It puts at risk the Reserve Bank’s assumption that the housing recovery will offset the decline in the resources sector in 2013. “Clearly, the RBA rate cuts to date have not been sufficient to offset the lack of confidence of potential new home buyers. “The only bright spot in the September housing finance data was the increase in the number of first home buyers. This increase is expected to continue as various state government new home buyer incentives start to take effect.

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“The figures reinforce widespread calls for further interest rate cuts and soon.” Macquarie senior economist Brian Redican said following the November 6 announcement of no interest rate change, the RBA appeared to be taking a more positive view of how Australia’s economy was going. “The key thing is that they’ve moderated their discussion about a peak in the mining boom,” he said “They’re still saying it will peak in the next year, but the implication is that they’re only going to monitor the economy as that peak approaches – (it is not expected to be an abrupt change), so it’s a very reactive stance, rather than a proactive one.” The ABS data reveals a 0.6% rise in Australian capital city house prices for the June quarter, while for the year to September they were up 0.3% - the first annual rise since March last year. The increases were most evident in the mining states of Queensland and Western Australia, with lifts of 0.4% and 1.8% in Brisbane and Perth respectively.

ForestWorks performs a range of industry wide functions acting as the channel between industry, Government and the Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) system

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Industry shouldn’t live in a permanent state of tension

Wood sector based on sustainable forest management

From Page 1

to combat this attack on this value-adding industry. “We all need to step up to spruiking the value of this industry in every whichway possible and adopt contemporary spokespeople and platforms to do this. “Stepping up the value chain must also mean stepping up the value of the forest, wood, paper and timber industry – such a natural product is naturally better. “This is the truth. This should be the message.” He added: “There is something warm and inviting about timber. Steel and concrete are cold in comparison. “Wood makes you want to touch it, to stroke it. I don’t get off on concrete and steel.” Mr Sidebottom referred to the continued pressure from environmental non-government organisations around native forest harvesting, as well as opposition to plantations from some environmental, community and farming groups. In addition, there were some self-proclaimed anti-forestry activist groups who were using unconscionable tactics to negatively affect markets and customers of wood products which are sustainably managed and harvested. “Despite this, the government believes we can have a vibrant and successful forest industry based on sustainable forest management,” Mr. Sidebottom said. “We want environmental sustainability and we want social and economic sustainability. “It is possible to have all three – they shouldn’t have to live in

Enjoying the industry liaison dinner at Parliament House, Canberra, are Nick Steen, ITS, Rob Rule, Timber Training Creswick, and Kersten Gentle, executive officer, Frame and Truss Manufacturers Association.

a permanent state of tension.” Mr Sidebottom said industry research in Australia must be directed at a better understanding of the carbon properties of wood products, with the view to enabling the forest industry to contribute to the national climate change mitigation effort. He said the federal government had invested $4.8 million through the Forest Industries Climate Change Research Fund to help industry better prepare for the impacts of climate change. “This will help the industry build capacity to adapt to predicted scenarios and to benefit from the reductions in carbon pollution that well managed forests provide,” Mr Sidebottom said. “Across Australia, farmers and land managers are now

able to plant permanent native forest trees under the Carbon Farming Initiative and receive credits to establish and manage permanent native forests. “Land holders can generate extra revenue by selling these credits to businesses who want to offset their carbon pollution.” Mr Sidebottom said the National Institute for Future Forest Industries, working out of the University of Tasmania and funded by a $2.5 million government grant, would retain much-needed skills and knowledge already associated with forestry research in Tasmania, and drive research, development, innovation, extension and training for future forest products and industries. NIFFI’s research activities would range from plantation management systems and productivity through to

‘Self-proclaimed anti-forestry activist groups are using unconscionable tactics to negatively affect markets and customers of wood products which are sustainably managed and harvested.’ – Sid Sidebottom

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sustainable forestry, cleaner technologies and new forest economies including carbon and environmental services. Referring to Minister Greg Combet’s White Paper on the pulp and paper industry, Mr Sidebottom said the government was determined to work with the sector to enable it to undertake the investment and develop the skills required to secure long-term sustainability and prosperity. He said the government’s response to the report highlighted many of the economy-wide reforms already undertaken since the report was released, including: • Releasing the Clean Energy Future package. • Improving Australia’s antidumping system. • Introducing illegal logging legislation. • Encouraging research and development through the new R&D tax incentive. • Introducing the Building Australia’s Future Workforce skills package. “The government has also committing $9.5 million towards Australian Paper’s $90 million investment in a new deinked pulp facility at Maryvale in Victoria and up to $28 million towards an $84 million project to diversify output from Norske Skog’s Boyer Mill in Tasmania,” Mr Sidebottom said. Pulp and paper industry representatives have been invited on to the recently announced manufacturing leaders group. The advisory group will ensure the industry’s views are considered as part of the manufacturing group’s broader work.

Cont Page 6

issue 248 | 19.11.12 | Page 3


Timber industry elects leaders Representing forests through to finished products

TIMBER Queensland, the peak body representing the state’s $2.4 billion forest and timber industry, elected new executive officers at its annual general meeting in Brisbane last week. The board of directors elected Chris Hay, general manager of Northside Truss & Frame at Brendale, as chairman, and Sean Gribble, state manager, Amerind Forest Products, Yatala, as his deputy. Mr Hay was also elected a director representing timber fabricators, and Mr Gribble was elected a director representing the timber wholesale sector. Other business saw Brian Farmer, chief executive HQPlantations, elected as a director representing forest growing and management, and Tony Moxon, chairman

Chris Hay

Sean Gribble

Brian Farmer

Moxon Timbers, Brisbane, a director representing cypress sawmillers. Timber Queensland chief executive Rod McInnes said retaining the stable, experienced board and complementing it with new areas of knowledge was imperative during the most

difficult market conditions endured for decades. “We look forward to the leadership and guidance our new chair Chris Hay will deliver during these tough times,” Mr McInnes said. Mr Hay started out in the timber industry 35 years ago as a forester involved with establishment and harvesting. Since then he has been involved in sawmilling, sales and in recent years in truss and frame manufacture. He has graduated with a Master of Commerce and a Master of Marketing (Logistics) and is also the president of the management committee for FITEC Australia. Mr Hay says he hopes to deliver better value out of the timber supply chain in Queensland. “We now have representation on our board from growers through to users of the end product,” he said. “Running a business in the timber industry and now as chair of Timber Queensland it’s all too apparent that we are all facing some of the hardest business conditions in history. “Given this, maintaining and growing our Industry’s united voice is more important than ever. Timber Queensland fulfils this need and continually demonstrates its value by representing our needs to government, specifiers and the wider community to

build a stable future for our businesses.”

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Other directors elected at the AGM include:

• Skene Finlayson, managing director, Finlayson Timber & Hardware, representing Timber Merchants • James Hyne, production manager, Hyne Timber (exotic pine sawmilling).

• Craig Neale, facility manager, Carter Holt Havey, Caboolture (exotic pine sawmilling). • Robert Tapiolas, director, Parkside Group (hardwood sawmilling). • Curly Tatnell, chairman, DTM Timber (hardwood sawmilling). • Doug Simms, managing director, Simms Group (Araucaria sawmilling).

• Warwick Temby, executive director, HIA Queensland (professional subscriber members).

New director Brian Farmer of HQPlantations is a graduate forester from the Australian National University and has broad work experience in forest operations, marketing and management. Tony Moxon brings more than 36 years of experience working in the Australian and international forest and timber industries.

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9: ALCAS (Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society) roundtable – MLC Centre, Level 47, 19 Martin Place, Sydney, 9am-1pm. German Experiences in Timber Assessment and Building Sustainability Rating Tools and Directions for Australia. Keynote speaker is visiting international scientist Sebastian Rüter from Germany’s Johann Heinrich von ThünenInstitute. He will present the results of a recent LCA project of German forest products in the context of Environmental Product Declarations (EPD). His presentation will focus on sustainable building certification schemes in Germany. The roundtable is a ‘free’ event for ALCAS members and invited guests ($50 for non-members) or join ALCAS for 2012-13 at $99 and attend for free). Agenda (and log-in details will be emailed to registrants. Email: roundtable@ 13: VAFI annual dinner – Grand Ballroom, Park Hyatt, 1 Parliament Square, Melbourne. 6:30-11:30pm. The dinner presents an opportunity for members and stakeholders of Victoria’s forest and wood products industry to network and showcase the industry, and its achievements, in a relaxed atmosphere. Special guest speaker Peter Walsh, Minister for Agriculture and Food Security and Minister for Water. Masters of ceremonies Nick Duigan and Andrew Hart from the TV series

Going Bush. Contact Jillian Roscoe on (03) 9611 9002 or for bookings. 26: FSC Australia 6th Annual Excellence awards, Melbourne This year sees a redesign of the awards, and the introduction of three new awards categories. Visit 28-29: ForestTech 2012 – Improving Wood Transport and Logistics. Melbourne and Rotorua

30: NSW Forest Products Association annual conference and timber industry dinner. Parkview Room, Doltone House, Darling Island Wharf, 48 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont. Conference 9am3.30pm. Theme: Community Engagement for the Forestry Industry. Keynote speaker Troy Grant, Parliamentary Secretary Natural Resources. AGM for FPA members at 4pm. Dinner starts at Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf, Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont, at 6.30pm. RSVP: November 2. Tel: (02) 9279 2344. Email: Web www.

APRIL 2013

7-10: 6th International Woodfibre Resources andTrade Conference, Istanbul, Turkey. ‘Woodchips and Biomass for Global and Regional Markets’. Hilton Istanbul Hotel. Discounted rooms for conference delegates if booked via the online process. Book before November 2, 2012 to ensure a room. Visit www.

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Residues-to-Revenues 2013 Conference and CleanTECH Expo Wood energy and ‘cleantech’ industry developments. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland, April 10-11, 2013; Bayview Eden Hotel, Melbourne, April 15-16, 2013. Event website: www.

7-11: Institute of Foresters of Australia conference – Canberra Rex Hotel, Canberra. ‘Managing Our Forests into the 21st Century’. Inquires to Alison Carmichael, chief executive, IFA, PO Box 7002, Yarralumla ACT 2600. Tel: (02) 6281 3992. Mob: 0414 287 079. Email: alison. Web:

April 28-May 12: EuroWOOD 13 study tour to LIGNA Hannover (May 6-10). Study tour and tourist visits to Austria and Germany, starting in Vienna and finishing at LIGNA, Hannover, Germany. Add-on tour options to Finland and UK and European destinations. The 15-day tour is supported by the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA), in collaboration with other industry bodies and companies. Participants will have the option to attend the full LIGNA program in Hannover and join selected visits to surrounding wood manufacturing factories and a university outside LIGNA for one or two days, allowing three full days at LIGNA. Internet site available soon. Costs, program and itinerary available at

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 248 | 19.11.12 | Page 5


Forest industry innovation has clear need for skilled workforce

From Page 3

Mr Sidebottom said future employment and manufacturing opportunities in this sector would require government and industry to continue research and innovation into improved methods of forest planning and management, efficient harvesting and processing techniques, productivity and growth rates of plantations,

product diversification and value adding. “This focus should lead to the improved profitability of the industry – innovation that can happen in the industry and is happening,” he said. “The forest industry is a clever industry; it has to be in order to deal with all the pressures it must confront.” Mr Sidebottom said to support

industry in innovation, the federal government would continue to fund research and development through Forest and Wood Products Australia. He said as well as the need for innovation in the forest industry there was also a clear need for a skilled workforce. “Despite the many varied careers available in the forestry industry, labour and

skills shortages persist. This highlights the importance of the work being done by ForestWorks,” he said. “The continued encouragement of students, job seekers and existing workers to the industry is vital, as well as the development and maintenance of national industry skills standards and qualifications.”

Why North America is buying our forests Robust markets, long-term supply and stability to grow investments

PLANTATION forests were a compelling asset class for institutional investors, Joe Bachman, a partner in USbased timber investment management group Global Forest Partners, said at the ForestWorks conference in Canberra. Mr Bachman, who is GFP’s portfolio manager in Australia and New Zealand, and previously headed the management team at GFP headquarters in New Hampshire, USA, said this attraction was based on real

Page 6 | issue 248 | 19.11.12

assets, cash yield, limited downside risk, market efficiencies and international opportunities. “Attributes of timberland have been attractive to institutional investors in the US since the late 1980s,” he said. “The idea of ‘timber’ as an asset class started in the early 1980s with four firms leading the way. “Most of the focus was on educating investors about timberland as a financial asset. Early success yielded significant growth in assets

Joe Bachman .. we like Australia – and we liked Australians.

under management as integrated companies sold timberland to financial investors through the 1990s.” Mr Bachman said consistent returns with low perceived risk allowed the asset class to grow significantly in the new millennium with increases in both the assets under institutional management as well as the number of TIMOs (timber investment management organisations). He said international (ex-US) timberland investment had Cont Page 9

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TPAA treated to a celebration Half century of service by peak industry body


THE Timber Preservers Association of Australia celebrates the 50th anniversary of its formation this month. The origins of TPAA go back almost 50 years when a steering committee was appointed on November 5, 1962, comprising J.S. (John) Moss of Hicksons Timber Impregnation Co. Pty Ltd (convenor), E.J. (Eric) Roughana of Kauri Timber Co. Ltd, and N.S. (Norton) Ladkin of the Radiata Pine Association of Australia. Over the years, the association has developed to become the peak representative national body for the Australian timber treatment industry. TPAA eventually became incorporated in 1988 and 10 senior industry leaders were registered signatories: Colin Galley, Harry Greaves, Mark Greenacre, Richard Hyne, Derek Maude, Terence Mullen, Robert Newman, Brian Page, Patrick Shelton and Allan Wilson. Despite its origins as an association of corporate and individual members of Australia’s timber preservation industry, TPAA operated for some years as a federation of regional treater groups (RTGs). Membership comprised each of the following four regional treater groups, all of which had been formed to address daytoday local issues: • Forest Industries Federation of Western Australia Timber Treaters Group (FIFWA TTG). • Southern Timber Treaters Group (STTG) – covering Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. • NSW Forest Products Association Timber Treaters and Suppliers Division (NSW FPA TTSD). • Queensland Timber Board Timber Preservation Division (QTB TPD).

Each RTG nominated two representatives to the TPAA national council annually. The eight councillors then elected a president and the president’s RTG then nominated a further council representative. Thus, during those years, TPAA was governed by a national council of an independent president and eight national councillors, with each councillor having equal voting rights and the president voting only if a casting vote was necessary. However, with the

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John Moss (Hicksons Timber Impregnation Co. Pty Ltd) who convened the first meeting of the TPAA steering committee on November 5, 1962. Mr Moss, 92, lives in Sydney and regularly attends meetings of the Lateral Thinkers Clubs, a group of Koppers-Hicksons luminaries.

increasing recognition and acknowledgement of the association’s national role, along with the cessation of all but one state group, TPAA’s membership representation through delegates from regional treater groups effectively ceased in 1998. The representational system reverted to individual corporate memberships according to the constitution and the annual general meeting elected a new council from the individual

Cont Page 8

issue 248 | 19.11.12 | Page 7


National council elections in Melbourne

From Page 7

company representatives. The stage was set for TPAA to be reactivated as the peak body representing the Australian Timber Preservation Industry. TPAA has effectively done this ever since! *** *** *** TWO of the original signatories to the incorporation of the Timber Preservers Association of Australia in 1988 were reelected to the national council at the TPAA annual general meeting in Melbourne last month – Dr Harry Greaves of H. Greaves Consulting,

Flashback … delegates at a timber preservation conference on Queensland’s Gold Coast in May 1983 are Steve Retter (then president of the Timber Preservers Association of Australia), Michael Baker (then president of the International Research Group on Wood Preservation) from London, Dr Harry Greaves, CSIRO division of chemical and wood technology (IRG conference committee chairman), Jim Smart, Queensland Conservator of Forests, and Doug Howick, CSIRO (IRG conference convenor). -– Photo Jim Bowden.

Melbourne, and Pat Shelton of Shelton Timber Treatment, Colac, Vic. Other elected councillors are Elias Akle (Osmose Australia), Phillip Burke (Australian United Timbers), Ian Clarke (TimTech Australia), Tim Evans (Independent Verification Services), Peter Herde (Portland Pine Products), Angelo Hrastov (Lonza Wood Protection), Garrie James (Outdoor Timber Wholesale), Wayne Lewis (Koppers Wood Products), David Marlay (MATES), and David Spence (Aussie Timber Co). Phil Burke of Australian United Timbers, Burraga, NSW, was elected president, Peter Herde was elected viceresident, replacing Ron Eddy of TimTech New Zealand who had completed several years of contributory service as a councillor - and Pat Shelton was re-elected honorary treasurer. Doug Howick was reappointed national secretary, operating from the national office in Melbourne. Mr Howick edits the TPAA newsletter, CONTACT, which is produced every two months. In addition to the council, many of the achievements of TPAA result from the work of the technical committee which for 2012-13 comprises Dr Harry Greaves (chairman), Peter Cobham (CD Technology Enterprises), Dr Laurie Cookson (L.J. Cookson Consulting), Dr Stephen Crimp (Osmose New Zealand), Richard Forrester (Forests NSW), Greg Jensen (Lonza Wood Protection), David Marlay (MATES), Neil Mora (TimTech Chemicals), Jack Norton (DEEDI Qld), Rick White (TimTech Chemicals), and Geoff Stringer (Hyne).

ph: +61 7 3266 1429 Page 8 | issue 248 | 19.11.12

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Sharing a table at the liaison dinner in Canberra are Sid Sidebottom, Parliamentary Secretary or Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and Jim Adams, chief executive, Timber Communities Australia.

Investment in Australia has scale and diversity

From Page 6

grown in the last five years as opportunities had declined in the US. Global Forest Partners is one of the oldest and largest timber investment management organisations, managing a globally diverse $US3 billion portfolio of closed-end commingled timberfunds on behalf of institutional and other qualified investors. GFP believes that astute plantation forestry investments in globally competitive timberproducing regions can enhance portfolio return while reducing overall risk. “As a result, we have developed an unmatched global footprint in areas of strategic interest to the firm,” Mr Bachman said. GFP has equity holders and investment managers in Auckland, Canberra, Singapore, Santiago, Chile, Curitiba, Brazil, Montevideo and Uruguay, Since 1995, the group has conducted more than $4 billion of forestry purchases and sales and raised nearly $3 billion for strategies focused on sustainable plantation forestry. Mr Bachman said GFP’s investments in Australia had both scale and diversity, and along with the latest acquisition of the Portland chip export terminal from Gunns Ltd, included:

• Joint venture acquisition of CSR to form Green Triangle Forest Products – now 22,000 ha of radiata, manufacturing and marketing assets (1999). • Aggregation of private MIS forming Hume Forests – 14,000 ha or radiata (2004). • Acquisition of Norske estate to form Murray River Forests – 6300 ha of radiata (2005). • Acquisition of Timbercorp assets to form Australian Bluegum Plantations – 92,000 ha of Eucalyptus globulus plantations. • Acquisition of Willmott’s estate to form Snowy Mountains Forests – 24,000 ha of radiata (2012). • Acquisition of Elders Forestry assets – 34,000 ha of E. globulus and Albany chip export terminal (2012). Mr Bachman said his company liked Australia .. “because we like Australians”. He said it offered robust markets and the requisite stability to grow investment grade forests. Plantation species were well-suited for commercial application and the strong domestic market had a history of wood construction and a high standard of living. GFP also favoured the scale of assets and long-term supply agreements; export market potential; land tenure; and the rule of law.

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issue 248 | 19.11.12 | Page 9


Peter Roberts passionate about timber Industry mourns the passing of a true friend

A MAN passionate about wood, devoted to his family and friends and with an entertaining sense of humour, Peter Roberts has died aged 62 after a long illness leaving heavy hearts in the timber industry he loved. Well known and respected in timber merchandising for many years, a past president, long-standing board member and immediate past executive officer of the Timber Merchants Association, and a Vietnam veteran, Mr Roberts died in Melbourne in the early hours of Sunday morning – Armistice Day, November 11. “Peter’s infectious smile and character will be remembered by all who came into contact with him,” reflected Ron Caddy, president of TMA (Victoria). “After a long career in timber trading, he joined TMA as executive officer and turned the association around. “We set him loose and he tore into it, doubling membership

“After a long career in timber trading, Peter joined TMA as executive officer and turned the association around – Ron Caddy

‘Maybe some other time, in some other place, With our love in your heart and a smile on your face. You will know who I am. When that time comes you’ll know who I am’ – Do You Know Who I Am? – written and recorded in 1969 by Elvis Presley in his home town of Memphis.

Peter Roberts (right) welcomes Tham Sing Khow, deputy chief officer, Malaysian Timber Council to the TMA office in Melbourne last year.

within two years.” At various stages of his career,

Mr Roberts worked with Greythorn Timber at Doncaster

(on his return as a Vietnam soldier), Hazelwood and Hill at Burwood, and Mathews Timber at Vermont. A strong supporter of the HooHoo movement in Australia, Peter Roberts (L-83986) was a life member and past president of Melbourne Club 217 and a vice-president of Hoo-Hoo International, Jurisdiction IV. As a member of Melbourne Hoo-Hoo Club, he headed a committee that worked tirelessly to support victims in the Ash Wednesday bushfires that decimated forests in southern Victoria and South Australia in 1983. “Peter was quite an entertainer, too,” Ron Caddy said. “Many times he would rock up with his impersonations of Elvis Presley. He was a real fan of the singer and his music.” Peter Roberts is survived by his wife, Robin, children Trent and Sally, and three grandchildren. He held on long enough to hold his third grandchild, Sally’s son Freddie-Pete, who was born just four weeks ago. A celebration of the life of Peter Roberts takes place at a service at W.D. Rose Funerals, 139 Marriage Road, Brighton, on Friday, November 16 at 2.30 pm. – JIM BOWDEN

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

ThIs engineered product is manufactured from small diameter treated true round plantation logs that would normally be chipped or destroyed. Resource cost is minimal. The production system is low capital cost and can be set up in a minimum of time and at a minimum of cost. Compared with current systems such as LVL, sawn timber etc. this product has unrivalled versatility, fire resistance, projected longevity and sustainability. This product has the ability to lower the costs of floor and wall framing in modern homes, as well as being ideal for low-cost housing The entire buildings can be erected on site using unskilled labour. The product has undergone comprehensive testing at the engineering faculty of the University of Technology Sydney under the guidance of internationally renowned timber engineer Prof. Keith Crews.

Engineered Timber Products

Loggo products have undergone comprehensive testing at the engineering faculty of the university of Technology sydney.

Page 10 | issue 248 | 19.11.12

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

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WA logging limits harmful to industry

A FORESTY industry expert says there will be major ramifications in Western Australia if the government’s forest management plan further limits areas which can be logged. Submissions closed last week for the government’s draft forest management plan, which will determine what happens with forests in the state’s south from 2014 until 2023. Plantall Forestry consultant David Wettenhall says there is

‘Green tick’ for emissions safety

ADHESIVE labels with a message to wood suppliers and consumers about the safety of Australasian plywood and panel products is being packaged for delivery at Plywood House in Brisbane. Opening a batch of the labels are Susanne Steiger, technical officer at the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia, and Ingrid Contarini, administration assistant. More than 100,000 labels will be distributed to EWPAA members and the furniture industry – a ‘green tick’ that guarantees engineered wood products and furniture manufactured in Australia and New Zealand are tested to have formaldehyde levels below those required by health authorities. The labels promote the safety of EWPAA member products that are tested to emission standards of Super E0, E0 and E01.

already an excessive amount of forest area that is protected by conservation reserves and there would be no environmental benefit in further restrictions. He says forests can be protected without being in reserves and the Conservation Commission needs to recognise that in the plan. “The forests that are available for harvesting actually are very important conservation areas in their own right,” he said. “They contribute a lot to the wildlife and flora. “The real threat to the ecosystems is when we

David Wettenhall .. forests can be protected without being in reserves.

clear forests, not when we manage them on a sustainable management basis.”

Mr Wettenhall says additional limits would severely hurt an already struggling industry. “Western Australia has got over 50% of the forests in formal conservation reserves and only about 35% of the forests are available for logging,” he said. “A lot less than half of our forests are available for logging so the balance of them are effectively conservation reserves.” But, conservationists say Western Australia could be cashing in on carbon credits from next year if it bans the logging of native forests in the South West.

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issue 248 | 19.11.12 | Page 11


Plantations done wrong by Dyne Mayor’s outburst ignores community benefits

THE Gympie region could miss out on a great economic and environmental opportunity because of misconceptions held by its council. Timber Queensland chief executive Rod McInnes said the outburst by Gympie’s Mayor Ron Dyne about proposed timber plantations in the Mary Valley being a “monoculture” and bad for jobs suggests he either didn’t know what he was talking about or was badly advised. “Firstly, what’s the difference between a plantation of eucalypt trees or macadamia trees or avocado trees? They’re all monocultures; all planted crops albeit with different rotation cycles,” Mr McInnes said. “Quite frankly, leasing Mary Valley land to grow trees guarantees proper land management as timber plantations have to abide by strict government imposed codes of practice. So there is no chance of feral weeds and animals taking over the landscape which is likely under the current proposals.” Timber Queensland forecasts that logs harvested from local hardwood plantations could deliver 85,000 cub m of sawn timber each year or be peeled

into high value veneer for appearance grade products – work that would deliver rather than cost jobs. “Indeed, that volume available on a sustainable basis could see a new processing plant built worth tens of millions of dollars with hundreds of jobs during the construction and a similar number operating the plant,” Mr McInnes said. “When was the last time that sort of investment occurred in and around Gympie? What about the flow-on economic value for new mill workers spending their wages in town,

MAJOR Tasmanian forestry employer Ta Ann says it could quit the state if there is no peace deal between the industry and environmentalists within two weeks. The Malaysian-owned timber processor says protest action is making it too difficult to continue operations in Tasmania. Ta Ann last week was the target of protest group Groundswell activists who chained

themselves to equipment at a mill in the northwest town of Smithton. A tree was also set alight outside the company’s Hobart office. Green groups had previously taken their campaigns directly to Ta Ann’s Asian customers in an attempt to stop them buying Tasmanian timber products. The peace talks, which have stalled after several deadlines were missed, had been aiming

Carbon-absorbing .. timber plantations can be used for other purposes while trees are growing such as horse and trail bike riding, bee-keeping, foliage production and animal grazing once the plantation is thinned to its final crop stocking.

Ron Dyne .. missing out on a great economic and environmental opportunity.

not to mention the support businesses in transport, fuel, machinery and supplies?” Mr McInnes said if Mayor Dyne was concerned about losing rate revenue he should think about ways to negotiate ‘rate equivalent’ charges that could be paid to assist in road maintenance and other council operations. Timber Queensland also points out that Mayor Dyne’s opposition ignores that greater community good delivered by plantations absorbing the tens of thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide pollution from the Bruce Highway. “Pollution from those cars would be soaked up and stored in the trees and the products produced from the trees forever. “And don’t forget the timber plantations could be used for other purposes while the trees are growing, for example bee-keeping, horse and trail bike riding, foliage production and animal grazing once the plantation is thinned to its final crop stocking. “But then maybe all of these great social, financial and climate friendly advantages aren’t for Gympie.”

Ta Ann may be forced to quit industry

Page 12 | issue 248 | 19.11.12

to end the bitter war over the state’s forests amid a downturn in the sector. “Our operations in Tasmania are now on a knife edge,” Ta Ann executive director Evan Rolley told ABC radio. “We need an agreement about the areas of supply for this company. It’s costing thousands of dollars to try and run these operations in this environment. “We need a resolution and we

need it in the next two weeks.” Mr Rolley said markets had been misinformed by claims the company used logs from old growth forests. “It’s made it very difficult to operate when people have told lies about the operations of the company, misinformed markets about the company,” he said. “Companies have been blackmailed into a view that Tasmania can’t somehow sustainably supply materials.”

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‘Workplace invasions outrageous’

WORK site invasions by environmental groups at Ta Ann Tasmania’s Smithton mill and at a logging coup near the north-west town were outrageous and dangerous, industry spokesman Ed Vincent said. The protestors included global environmental group Groundswell. “While everyone is entitled to promote their point of view, no-one should be subjected to the bullying behaviour by a group of masked, black

clad people, carrying chains and metal pipe, that a forest contractor employee was reportedly subjected to early in the morning,” said Mr Vincent who is chief executive of the Tasmanian Forest Contractors Association. “This threatening turn of events places any potential for a forestry agreement at greater risk and is counter to the objectives of the industry, the community and even the vast majority of environmentalists.

“This sort of behaviour is unacceptable and should be condemned by all society.” Speaking against the illegal protest, Ta Ann Tasmania said it was not a logger as falsely claimed, but a timber processor. Certified sustainable regrowth and plantation logs are supplied by Forestry Tasmania to its mills from areas approved by the state and federal governments within the Intergovernmental Agreement process.

Ed Vincent .. behaviour should be condemned by all society.

Australian law shelters people who commit acts of terrorism Environmental groups abusing privileges

AUSTRALAN law shelters people who commit illegal acts in the name of the environment, while in the US such activities are elevated to the status of terrorism, federal Opposition forestry spokesman Richard Colbek said. That is one of the key themes in a research paper presented at the Australian National University by parliamentary intern Jenna Holmes. Ms Holmes, a University of California student, has been studying in Australia and prepared the paper for Senator Colbeck as part of an ANU intern program. “Unfortunately, both countries will be found to be at opposite ends of an extreme continuum where Australia rewards illegal actions when the offender has performed those actions for the purpose of protecting the environment with essentially a free ride, or an excuse,” Ms Holmes says in her paper. “On the other end, the US seeks to make illegal actions that are

Senator Colbeck congratulated Ms Holmes on her work and said







number of relevant issues. “Environmental Australia




significant privileges, including

charity status and exemptions under



Consumer Act,”

Colbeck said. “Unfortunately,





abused that privilege and are conducting



destructive attacks on many

legitimate businesses that are, quite frankly, just unacceptable.

Jenna Holmes .. if an act is illegal it should be illegal for all.

performed in defence of the environment carry a stronger penalty than if the same illegal actions were to be committed for different purposes.” Ms Holmes argues each government needs to reform the rules – Australia’s framework is too lax and America is in danger of infringing First Amendment

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rights, which protect the freedom of speech. Her paper also considers the issue of not-for-profit tax concessions, which can be granted under discretionary powers in Australia, but are absolutely limited in the US for groups which are involved in lobbying politicians.

“As Jenna quite correctly said, ‘If an act is illegal it should be

illegal for all, no matter the purpose of the individual.’

“Given the disgraceful misuse

of these privileges, they should be reconsidered.

“It is only fair that everyone play by the same rules.”

issue 248 | 19.11.12 | Page 13


Australian industry not so hot on people management: Roos Conference speakers confront the issues head on

INDUSTRY skills body ForestWorks has thanked all those who participated in the 5th annual industry development conference in Canberra last month for an outstanding two days of frank, open and enlightening discussion on the future of the forestry, wood, paper and timber products industries. Chief executive Michael Hartman said he was pleased with the positive responses of attendees to the sessions and the manner in which key speakers didn’t shy away from confronting the issues the industry faced in the modern era. “The theme of the conference this year was ‘stepping up the value chain’ so we were trying to unearth what it is that companies can do and what the industry can do more generally to compete in the current tough environment,” Mr Hartman said. “It’s not just forestry, of course, every trade-exposed sector of the economy is struggling to compete with the high Australian dollar – if price is the thing you are competing on. That’s why we must shift to competing in other areas. “For Australia and the rest of the world to have a smaller carbon footprint we need to be using more timber products and we know that there is a variety of innovative products that are being developed that can be used in industry. We need to drive that innovation locally. “The key to generating innovation is people – their education and their capabilities. “We need to ensure our workforce has the highest possible skill levels and that

Page 14 | issue 248 | 19.11.12

Shadow parliamentary secretary for forestry Senator Richard Colbeck (centre) discusses industry issues with Col Shipard of Strategic Risk Assessments, who was presented with an award for his services to forest contractors, and Bob Gordon, managing director, Forestry Tasmania.

those skills are being utilised.” The conference flew out to a dynamic start with a dense and invigorating address by Professor Göran Roos, recently ranked as one of the world’s 13 most influential thinkers of the 21st century. Prof. Roos said he saw enormous potential in the industry globally, but Australian enterprises needed to confront some hard realities to make sure they were able to compete. “Management in capability in Australia is second tier,” he said. “It’s not third tier… but it’s definitely not first tier. If you look at the difference between first-tier countries, which would be the European manufacturing belt countries, you can see where Australia is behind.” Presenting a graph showing Australian management versus world best practice standards in other countries, Prof. Roos didn’t mince his words: “In operation management Australia’s doing OK.

Performance management – doing OK. And then comes people management where you really are bad. “Within people management there is something about managing talent – which is all about innovation – and you are absolutely atrocious at that. This is the biggest challenge [the Australian sector faces]: improving management capability – that capable, entrepreneurial, demanding management that can lead the innovation that’s necessary to succeed. Here you have a big challenge.” Prof. Roos said Australia must aim for a high-value add, low volume, niche product-service system. “A healthy manufacturing sector is a ‘must’ for any advanced economy with ambitions to maintain economic and social wellbeing,” he said. Trade Commissioner and Global Practice Lead, Forestry Innovations with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

(DFAIT), Andrew Caddell, was among a number of insightful international guests with relevant messages for Australia. Mr Caddell said Canada provided a concrete example of the way innovation could drive a local industry forward. “Canada suffered a significant downturn in its forest industry in 2008, when the US housing market downturn reduced demand for Canadian lumber, and the impact of the higher Canadian dollar, the reduced demand of the ‘paperless society’ the internet and cheaper foreign imports hit pulp and paper,” Mr Caddell told the conference. “The response was to turn to value-added products, including cross-laminated timber, nanocrystalline cellulose and other cellulose products as well as research and development in lignin and biofuels. Much of this was done by FPInnovations, the largest R&D organisation in forestry in the world. Canada also sought out emerging markets like China, India and Vietnam for traditional forest products. “The result has been growth in the industry, as well as significant potential as the fibre industry grows, with the use of sustainable value-added wood products.” Although several conference attendees raised concerns about the pressure exerted on the forestry industry from environmental activism – with calls to lobby for tighter legislation to mitigate damaging campaigns – CFMEU national secretary Michael O’Connor said stakeholders needed to keep focused on the big Cont Page 15

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Conferring at the ForestWorks conference are Mike Wilkinson, manager, Stronach, Newcastle. NSW, Eva Down and Karen Hall, Tasmanian Forest Contractors Association, Cheyane Ackroyd, Stronach, and Mark Blackwell.

Russell Matheon, MP (left), catches up with Dr Mal Washer, MP, at the Parliament House liaison dinner.

Enjoying a dinner night out a Parliament House are Dr Michael Kimbs, Tim Goodall, Warrnambool Timber, Mrs Dianne Goodall, Noelen Blair and Jacynta Annesley.

Representing Mangan Logging at Oberon, NSW are Lisa and Michael Mangan, managing director, and Michelle Corby.

‘You can’t legislate against passion’

From Page 15

of international speakers who expressed positivity about the standard of conference discussion. “I was impressed with the calibre of the speakers. I thought the people who were speaking about the opportunities in value-added forestry products were hitting the nail right on the head,” he


“Anyone who thinks the biggest problem facing our industry is environmental activism is dead wrong. The high Australian dollar dwarfs all other threats.

In many ways it is the single defining challenge our industry faces today and it’s unlikely to come down any time soon. “The only way our industry can address the problem it faces today is to first acknowledge and understand it. We can’t afford to be distracted by lesser issues.” Mr Cadell was among a number

RECEIVERS to collapsed timber company Gunns Limited expect a number of binding bids for two timber-processing mills. KordaMentha spokesman Mike Smith said several parties had expressed interest in the

Bell Bay softwood mill and a mill at Tarpeena in South Australia after an international advertising campaign. Industry sources say interested parties include Chinese-linked company Kingsland Timber, AKD Softwood, Westpine from

Western Australia and Hong Kong-listed Samling Global Ltd. Mr Smith also said the sale of the pulp mill permits and the Bell Bay site had attracted a lot of national and international interest.

He said parties interested in the mills had done due diligence, including site visits and inspection of a data room of financial records.


“You can’t legislate against passion,” he told the conference.

“It struck me there were many

people who had a significant

interest in collaborating with

Canada. I also appreciated

the chance to speak to so

many leaders in the industry, and to dine at the spectacular Parliament House.”

Buyers testing waters on Gunns’ assets

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“Binding bids are expected by November 26,” he said.

issue 248 | 19.11.12 | Page 15

Chinese wealth fund on verge of $100m Canadian forest deal

Positive signs from gradual improvement in housing starts

CHINA Investment Corp., one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, is close to closing a $100 million deal to purchase a stake in Vancouver Island forest company Island Timberlands. The reported move by China into British Columbia comes at a time when the federal government is reviewing its policies on foreign investment by state-owned funds and less than three weeks after Ottawa rejected a $5.7 billion natural gas purchase by Malaysian state-owned oil giant Petronas. Further, Ottawa is expected to rule by December 10 on stateowned China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s $15.1-billion purchase of Calgary oil company Nexen. Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the government would be making decisions “very soon” on a framework for dealing with such investments. The much-smaller Island Timberlands purchase is not expected to attract the same scrutiny as the Petronas and CNOOC deals because CIC is expected to be taking only a 12.5% stake in the company, rather than buying it outright. “CIC also takes a longterm, passive approach to investments,” says Gilbert Chan, president of NAI Interactive Ltd., which connects North American companies with Chinese investors. “They are always strategic. I don’t think people should be too sensitive about this, thinking ‘hey, they are taking away our stuff’. They always take a business approach, they are always looking at what will make a good investment for

Page 16 | issue 248 | 19.11.12

Canada has become an important supplier of logs to China.

them,” Chan said. Island Timberlands, which owns 254,000 ha of prime forest land on Vancouver Island, is part of Brookfield Asset Management, a Canadian real estate and infrastructure company with global holdings. Kevin Mason, analyst with ERA Forest Products Research, said Island Timberlands had built a strong log export program to China and it made sense for CIC to be interested in owning a piece of the company for that reason. “From a Canadian perspective, there is a bit of a question on foreign direct investment, but this is a toehold. It’s not as if they will have control of the company. We are a very important supplier to China and obviously, for them, it is good to have a toehold,” Mason said.

Gilbert Chan .. I don’t think people should be too sensitive about this.

CIC is believed to be making the investment in Island Timberlands as a hedge against inflation, according to the Wall Street Journal, but Mason said the fact that CIC is also acquiring an asset in high demand in China likely plays

China forecast to have a wood shortage of 200 million cub m a year by 2017, about three times the amount of the annual BC timber harvest

into the investment. “We know we have assets that the world wants. This is proof of that,” Mason said. “If this plays out as it has in other commodities, I think we are going to see the Chinese making more investments in fibre-related areas.” China Investment Corp. is a $300 billion sovereign wealth fund that also manages a portion of the Chinese government’s $2.85 trillion worth of foreign exchange reserves. It opened its first overseas office last year in Toronto. CIC already has a large stake in Vancouver-based mining giant Teck Resources, buying a 17.2% stake in 2009 for $1.5 billion. Teck president Don Lindsay has stated in the past that CIC’s holding in Teck has enabled the mining company to form important business relationships in China. Kevin Mason said he expected CIC’s reported investment in Island Timberlands could also open doors in Asia. “At the end of the day, what do we have a competitive advantage on? It’s our fibre. Our fibre gives us an edge. It isn’t easily replicated,” Mason sad “We have a comparative advantage in growing trees and that’s where we get the best value. It’s something we’ve got and they need. We should focus on growing more of it.” China had been investing in the British Columbia forest sector already, Gerry Van Leeuwen of consulting firm International Wood Markets said. – Vancouver Sun.

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Santa’s helpers hard at work on the world’s largest Christmas tree farm

WITH the possible exception of making toys or herding reindeer, it’s hard to imagine Mark Arkills doing anything but farming Christmas trees. He has a full white beard, ruddy cheeks, blue eyes, and an ample belly. He’s surveying a vast field of 1.8 m and 2 m tall Douglas firs growing in neat rows in Willamette Valley in the US Pacific northwest state of Oregon. Two machete-wielding farmhands are quietly shaping each tree into something appropriate for the living room. “It’s nice and quiet here now,” Arkills says. “But trust me, it won’t be this way for long.” Arkills is the production manager for Holiday Tree Farms, the world’s largest Christmas tree producer. Beginning in late October, Holiday’s staff will swell from about 250 employees to 700 working 16hour shifts. They will fan out across the company’s 3440 hectares, while about a halfdozen helicopters crisscross

Americans bought nearly 31 million Christmas trees last year, spending an average of $34.85 and generating more than $1 billion. Holiday Tree Farms grossed $25 million in 2011, mostly from Douglas and noble firs.

It was Holiday’s founder, Hal Schudel, who in 1955 pioneered growing Christmas trees in rows.

Americans bought nearly 31 million farmed Christmas trees last year.

the sky, each hauling 15 trees per load to processing centres. The trees are then transported to markets as far away as Puerto Rico and Pago Pago, Samoa. By mid-December the company will have cut and

transported one million trees. “We’ve got a small window of opportunity to get it right,” Arkills says. “We’re one of the few agricultural products where after a certain date, the product is completely worthless.”

‘We’re one of the few agricultural products where after a certain date, the product is completely worthless’ – Mark Arkills

“We really are no different than any other crop,” says Hal’s son John, who owns the company with his two brothers and two of his nephews. Each year Holiday plants more than 1 million two-year-old seedlings. After two years, workers prune the trees once a year, shaping them into that perfect cone.

Holiday harvests its Douglas and noble firs after six to eight years. The company is now growing more of what Arkills calls ‘table-top trees’. – Fortune Magazine.

Log prices continue to tumble in Brazil

PULP mills and sawmills in Brazil became more competitive in 2012, because the costs for the wood raw material, which accounts for about 70% of the production costs, have declined by more than 20% since 2011, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. The weakening Brazilian Real has helped; Pine sawlog prices in Brazil, in US dollar terms, fell 22% in just one year, and prices in the second quarter this yea have been at a level below where they were just before the financial crisis that hit in 2008. In the local currency on the other hand, prices have actually increased steadily and

in the second quarter were at their highest levels in over four years. Domestic demand for wood products has been a key driver for the higher log costs. In 2010 and 2011, the local lumber market was strong because of major investments in the housing construction sector in Brazil. With the Real expected to continue to stay weak

against the US dollar, market participants are hoping for increased exports of lumber, plywood and value-added products in the coming months. If this scenario actually comes to fruition, demand for sawlogs may go up and log prices will likely move up in both Real and dollar terms. Although Brazilian pulp log prices have not changed much in the local

With the Real expected to continue to stay weak against the US dollar, market participants are hoping for increased exports of lumber, plywood and value-added products

currency, they have fallen dramatically in US dollar terms as the Real weakened this past year. Eucalyptus pulp log prices in the second quarter this year were down 28% from the same quarter in 2011, while pine pulp log prices declined 26% from a year ago, according to WRQ. Since wood fibre costs accounted for about 70% of the production costs for pulp mills in Brazil, the substantial reduction in pulpwood prices has made the country’s pulp mills more competitive in 2012 relative to other pulp producers around the world.

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.

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Issue 248 Timber & Forestry E news  

Weekly news for the Timber and Forestry Industries

Issue 248 Timber & Forestry E news  

Weekly news for the Timber and Forestry Industries