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issue 255 | 04.02.13 | Page 1

This Issue

Flood and fire – Queensland cops the lot

• Producers call for CoC certification • Burke jumps the gun on listing

Truss plant washed away THE irony of natural disaster hit the Queensland timber industry last week as receding waters from the Australia Day weekend floods revealed bogged logging machinery and closed roads in western regions which only a few weeks ago were fighting bush fires that wiped out thousands of hectares of prime cypress forest. The state’s economy has

been severely bruised as the estimated cost of the widespread flooding balloons to $2 billion after rising waters inundated Brisbane and engulfed entire towns. Roads, bridges, sewerage lines, and electricity and communications infrastructure will have to be replaced once the muddy water subsides. The Local Government Association of Queensland estimates up to

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9000 km of council roads have been damaged. The floods followed three ‘mini-tornadoes’ caused by the remnants of cyclone Oswald that battered the Queensland coast forcing the evacuation of hundreds of families at Bundaberg. Receding waters in Maryborough and Gympie

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issue 255 | 04.02.13 | Page 1


INDUSTRY NEWS

High ‘Queenslander’ sets the ground for flood-proof housing

Seminar drives home message THE case for building highset flood-proof timber houses will again be driven home to more than 200 architects and builders at an engineered wood seminar in Brisbane in March. Timber Queensland CEO Rod McInnes, who last week joined representatives of farming and fishery organisations at a government task force meeting in Brisbane to assess the state’s flood damage to rural industries, said the seminar would be pushing the advantages of the raised ‘Queenslander’ style of housing. “We will show examples of how people have escaped the floods in these high-set dwellings,” Mr McInnes said. He said this was the method for house construction preferred by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, which was created to lead the rebuilding task after the floods and cyclone Yasi in 2011. The authority is only just over halfway through the $12 billion rebuilding task from past disasters. The Timber Queensland seminar on March 21 – World Forestry Day – at Portside, Hamilton, will be centred mainly on the development and future for cross-laminated timber. State Minister for Public Works and Housing Tim Mander will deliver the government’s policy on building and outline aspects of the Queensland Building Code. Representatives of Lend Lease will talk about the Forte CLT project in Melbourne, the world’s tallest timber apartment building. Heavy timber construction options, developments and resources for advice will be presented by Timber Development Association CEO Andrew Dunn, while Colin

Page 2 | issue 255 | 04.02.13

Improving our industry’s capacity to develop and maintain a skilled workforce ............................

Rod McInnes .. assessing impact of floods on industry.

John McVeigh .. assurances on assistance packages.

MacKenzie, manager timber application and use, Timber Queensland, explains how ‘removing barriers’ will gain building acceptance for heavy timber construction. Rod McInnes said Timber Queensland was assessing the impact of the floods on industry in light of some federal natural disaster relief trickling though. Forestry and Agriculture Minister John McVeigh has provided reassurances that assistance packages, similar to those offered during other recent natural disasters, will be available to affected primary producers. Mr McVeigh said producers could expect access to schemes such as the National Disaster Recovery and Relief

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Rains fall as cypress mills cut logs blackened by Christmas bushfires From Page 1

have revealed a region of damaged public and private infrastructure. One of the hardest hit was the Maryborough truss plant of DTM Timber – a $4 million hightech facility that was literally washed down the Mary River. “You wouldn’t believe it. There I was sitting on the back porch watching trusses, frames and packs of timber floating past,” remarked managing director Curly Tatnell. “It’s a total write-off and affects 70 workers. But we’re cranking up our Rockhampton plant to fill the supply gap and we’ll be back filling orders in a week or so.” DTM’s dry mill at Maryborough suffered some flood damage but this has not affected production. Flood waters entered the bottom of Hyne’s main Kent Street office in the town and power and phones were cut off. Because of the location and previous natural disasters, businesses in most of the Maryborough region do not qualify for flood insurance. Hyne’s division manger Shane Robertson said the Tuan mill was back in production after power was turned off last week and a day was lost because staff couldn’t get to the mill. “There have been some logistical problems but we are able to traverse some back roads to get timber orders to

First the fire .. then the flood.

market,” he said. The timber industry in flood-hit areas of the west and central east coast and at Grafton in the NSW Northern Rivers has fared much better than another tree crop – citrus. Growers in Australia’s orange capital of Mundubbera and neighbouring Gayndah have suffered losses of hundreds of millions of dollars, with some orchards entirely wiped out by the floods. Mye Ann Slack, who’s Gayndah sawmill escaped major damage from flood waters, said the two towns would never be the same again. “Trees were uprooted and floated away in the Burnett River. Whole orchards were wiped out by the disaster – the third natural disaster in recent years – and I’m afraid many growers will never recover,” she said. Ms Slack said the sawmill was

Curly Tatnell .. sitting on the back porch watching trusses, frames and packs of timber floating past.

above the flooded area but power cut-outs and access in and out of the yards were the main trouble. “We are also beef producers and many of our fences were washed away, but the property will provide us with our own logs until the roads are fixed.” As rain and mud swirled around

Because of the location and previous natural disasters, businesses in most of the Maryborough region do not qualify for flood insurance

his cypress mill at Miles on the Western Downs, Mitchell Goodchild and his father Harvey were cutting cypress logs burnt by fires just before Christmas. “Access to markets along raindamaged roads is the biggest hiccup for producers out here and I believe some mills in the flood zone around Chinchilla are not operating,” he said. Yuleba Cypress will be cutting fire-damaged logs until the middle of the year. Mr Goodchild said massive amounts of cypress forest were damaged in the NovemberDecember bush fires – all of the best cypress stands in the Barakula state forest were blackened and about 5000 ha of good timber in the Yuleba reserve was lost. “But the burnt wood is coming up really nice and recoveries are good. Interestingly, the fires were so fierce that branches have been burnt into the logs. There’s no stub and the branches have made hollows in the tree. “They cooked so hard that the wood is coming out with a sheen-smooth appearance.” Mr Goodchild said staff unable to get to the mill because of damaged roads had brought his 77-year-old father Harvey back to work. “Dad’s out there right now docking and stacking.”

Flood assistance packages are on the way From Page 2

Assistance and the Individual Disaster Stricken Properties program, which had previously included low interest loans. “It’s still too early to tell what the full impact has been, and that will continue to be clarified

as the flood waters recede, but there is no doubt that we have major losses in the horticulture and citrus industries and a lot of rebuilding that the Newman government will be right behind producers in addressing,” Mr McVeigh said. “Pending consultation with

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federal, state and local governments, the sort of assistance that has been provided after other recent disasters will be in place.” Mr McInnes said there was real irony in the fact that the state’s timber producers were now battling the effects of flood so

soon after forest fires. HQPlantations which manages 343,000 ha of plantations in Queensland, both softwood and hardwoods, has undertaken an aerial inspection of forests to assess damage to forest roads and the young plantation resource. – JIM BOWDEN

issue 255 | 04.02.13 | Page 3


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WHAT’S ON? FEBRUARY 7: Women in Forests and Timber Network – Nest, 56 Winton Street, Tumbarumba, NSW Invitation is extended to a wide range of women involved in the forest, timber (including haulage), and wood processing industry to attend this second regional meeting. The network is a national forum for women in the industry to meet, network, exchange ideas and ensure their voices are heard. Visit www.forestworks. com.au / womensnetwork. RSVP by February 5 to Theresa (0429729765) or Adele (0429495554).

MARCH 2013 5-6: ABARES National Outlook 2013 conference – National Convention Centre, Canberra. Australia’s leading event to debate the issues for the agricultural, forestry, fisheries and food sectors. Outlook 2013 will examine the leading issues for the sectors; understand the long term outlook for a range of commodities, explore industry issues so markets will be informed and access the many opportunities for conversations, meetings and networking with fellow delegates. Leading national and international speakers will provide their unique perspectives. Email the ABARES events team at conferences@ daff.gov.au or phone 02 6272 2303 or 02 6272 3051.

APRIL 2013 7-10: 6th international Woodfibre Resources and

Trade Conference, Istanbul, Turkey. ‘Woodchips and Biomass for Global and Regional Markets’. Hilton Istanbul Hotel. Included in the program is a pre- and postconference field trip, two days of conference and the opportunity to visit Gallipoli. Visit www.woodfibreconference. com to register. 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. woodresiduesevents.com 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. carmichael@forestry.org.au Web: www.forestry.org.au April 28-May 12: EuroWOOD 2013 study tour to LigNA Hannover (May 6-10). Study tour and 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 16-day tour is supported by the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA),

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EVENTS 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 for registrations available soon. Costs: $7550* (+gst) p.p. or $9370* (+gst) single with an option for single participants to twin share. Price includes all airfares, ground travel and most meals, including entry to the famous LIGNAHannover Fair from May 6-10. The study tour will inspect the latest technologies of factorybuilt prefabricated housing and cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction methods, revolutionary MDF processes, wood panel processing, structural timber frame housing construction, and all the machinery that puts it together. Generous time has been allotted to rest, relax and enjoy Austrian and German tourist locations along the way while travelling by luxury coach and staying at top hotels. Tour limited to 32 participants, including professional industry tour guides. Travel consultant: Harvey World Travel, Shop 18, Fountain Plaza, The Entrance Rd, Erina NSW 2250.Tel: 02 4365 2337. For a full itinerary and registration details, contact the EuroWOOD 2013 Secretariat, PO Box 330, Hamilton Central Q 4007 or email eurowood13@ bigpond.com * Tax deductible industry tour

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 255 | 04.02.13 | Page 5


INDUSTRY NEWS

Weyerhaeuser profit lift reflects recovery in US housing market Timber investors will see decent boosts in dividends this year WOOD supply giant Weyerhaeuser Co, a centuryold producer of forest products, has reported its highest revenue in more than four years, adding heft to recent government data showing that a recovery in the US housing market has taken hold. Fourth-quarter revenue rose 25% to $US2 billion – the best since the third quarter of 2008 – and the company said it expected significantly higher current-quarter earnings in its wood products business. The business, which sells lumbers and structural panels to residential and light commercial markets, had net revenue of $US832 million in the December quarter. About 21% of the company’s pre-tax earnings of $US182 million came from wood products. Chief executive Dan Fulton said the recovering housing market helped Weyerhaeuser improve

As the upward trend continues it will lift timber prices and the stocks of those that sell it

Page 6 | issue 255 | 04.02.13

its profit and raise dividend last year, and that the company would look to build on that. Housing starts rose 12.1% last month to their highest level since June 2008, according to a report from the US Commerce Department. Permits for future home construction were also the highest in about five years. The recovery in the housing market has already helped Weyerhaeuser, with its shares jumping 58% over the past year. It has a market value of about $17 billion. Speaking from Seattle, Weyerhaeuser’s vice-president,

Dan Fulton .. Weyerhaeuser building on housing recovery.

engineered lumber products, Carlos Guilherme told T&F enews that the much-improved

Housing on the up and up .. this year looks to be the beginning of a long-term bullish trend for the timber industry in the US.

housing industry was “still a long ways from where we need to be”. He said, however, the outlook was very positive in the medium to long term. “We’re around about 900,000 housing starts but a few years back it was around two million, so there has been some definite market repression,” Mr Guilherme said. “After the US housing boom went bust, the industry has spent the past several years under-investing in new home construction.” The slow recovery is finally starting to show signs of picking up; starts are rising from an annual rate of 851,000 in November to 954,000 on an annual rate in December. As this trend continues it will lift timber prices and the stocks of those that sell it. Because timber is a strong hedge against inflation, it could perform even better. That’s good news for timber investors who’ll likely see decent boosts in dividends this year, again putting to rest that notion that money doesn’t grow on trees.

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FLOOD AND FIRE

Hooligans add to trauma at Notaras sawmill: ‘the mongrels broke in at the peak of the flood’ By JIM BOWDEN

HARDWOOD sawmiller Spiro Notaras was pepared for the swirling waters that approached his Grafton, NSW, timber yard – but an unexpected shock was the ransacking at night of his office during the peak of the flood. “The mongrels – they broke in and damaged office equipment, stole a TV set, scattered papers all over the place and then went to work on the safe,” the angry 80-year-old said. “But I had the last laugh. They must have got a hernia trying to carry out the safe, but left it when they found it was unlocked and empty.” Mr Notaras said the sawmill was only a whisker from being flooded, a lucky break. “The water came to within just 15 cm of the office,” he said. “The timber yard went under but the hardwood logs don’t float and were safe. In fact, this is the first time I’ve had five weeks’ supply of logs in the yard so we’re OK. “There’s mud and mess everywhere and motors have shorted out and we’ll start up the mill again when we clear the debris.” Mr Notaras reckons it’s the biggest flood he has ever seen at Grafton. It peaked at 18.1 m. Dozens of people were plucked from Grafton’s raging Clarence River and more than 3000 were evacuated from surrounding areas during the flood last week. The city was saved by just 25cm, thanks to a 7.95 m levee bank.

But surrounding areas were not so lucky as rivers burst their banks and gushed – hundreds of metres wide – into towns. Spiro Notaras said business was picking up this year .. “at least we were not losing money”. He said he was forced to cut staff by 25% last year and was operating four days a week. “But after Christmas things got a move on, particularly in Queensland, and we went back to five days working seven hours a day,” Mr Notaras said. “So here was Queensland

mid-2012 – and then came the floods. “This has put us back and I reckon we can write off Queensland for the time being.” The Notaras family’s cinema in Grafton also escaped damage. “We lifted the seats and got ready to roll up the carpet but the theatre is high and dry,” Mr Nortaras said. Spiro Notaras .. only a whisker from being flooded.

starting to make a comeback – we weren’t selling anything in

Reports indicate that Boral Timber at Kyogle and the Hurford sawmill at Lismore escaped serious damage.

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issue 255 | 04.02.13 | Page 7


INDUSTRY NEWS

Burke jumps the gun on listing Announcement pre-empts state parliamentary process

The Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has announced the nomination of long-disputed Tasmanian wild forests to the World Heritage list. A goal of national environment groups for almost 30 years, the nomination is a central plank in the state’s forest peace deal. More than 130,000 ha of mainly tall old growth eucalypt forests fringing the existing Western Tasmania Wilderness would be protected by the nomination. However, Coalition forestry spokesman Senator Richard Colbeck says Burke’s “arrogant announcement” flies in the face of good governance. “He has pre-empted the Tasmanian parliamentary process by proceeding with a listing before legislation has been completed,” Senator

Colbeck said. “It is also a convention that world heritage listing only proceed with the agreement of the state government. There are very strong messages coming out of the Tasmanian government that they do not support this process. “The listing is clearly not supported by the Tasmanian Liberals or the Federal Coalition.” Senator Colbeck said the normal listing process involved an initial 12-month listing on a tentative list to allow for proper public consultation – followed by consideration by the world heritage committee in the following year. “Tony Burke’s decision to bypass this completely cuts off the opportunity for any other of the affected parties to have any

Tony Burke .. announcing wild forest nominations to World Heritage list.

say in this matter,” he said. “So the voices of the mining industry, agriculture, tourism, Tasmania’s fine furniture and design sector, woodcraft, wooden boat building and the broader community have been snuffed out.

“There are considerable questions about the values of these areas. They have been through no formal consultative assessment process and just because they are claimed by environment groups does not make them so. “This is evidenced even by the limited critique of the independent verification group (IVG) process conducted by the Institute of Foresters of Australia. “The areas include previously harvested areas some that have been clear felled and burned. “Given that the world heritage committee consideration of the submission will be so close to the federal election, I will be writing to them to request that consideration of this matter be held over for a further 12 months.”

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Page 8 | issue 255 | 04.02.13

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INNOVATIONS

Senator Richard Colbeck (centre) confers with Associate Professor Gregory Nolan (right) and Professor Stephen Loo at the Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood in Launceston. The structure at the rear was designed, cut and assembled in two days by participants in a recent fabrication workshop.

Smart approach will give Tasmania good future for its forests TASMANIANS have to challenge this ridiculous notion there is no alternative for the forestry industry other than just locking up forests, says Coalition forestry spokesman Senator Richard Colbeck. “That is absolute rot and part of the solution is right under their noses,” Senator Colbeck said after a visit to the University of Tasmania’s Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood. “The future for timber in Tasmania and nationally is in smart technologies and materials, and high-end, highvalue products.” The architecture centre operates out of the School of Architecture and Design at the University’s Newnham campus in Launceston. It houses nationally recognised researchers, laboratories, test buildings, and advanced design and fabrication tools.

dennis@industrye-news.com

“Timber is the construction material of the next century. You can build faster, cheaper and with a far lower carbon footprint than other traditional materials such as metal and concrete,” Senator Colbeck said. “It is vital to get policy and industry settings right to encourage investment in the sort of technologies and tools on display at the centre. “There is a real plan for the future of forestry in Tasmania. The Coalition has been articulating it for months, it’s just some people don’t want to listen. “We’ve said over and over again that a Coalition government will not recognise any of the reserves created from this sham IGA. We’d be working to build confidence knowing there is a bright future for the forest and timber sectors.”

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issue 255 | 04.02.13 | Page 9


PRODUCT SAFETY

High emission wood panel products still surfacing on Australian markets

Above-safe levels demanded by government health authorities for the assessment and safe use of industrial chemicals, has advised construction workers and wood panel users against the use of products that contain formaldehyde exceeding the low emission limits of E0 and E1. Products meeting E0 and E1 are considered safe in all applications including indoor and poorly ventilated applications. A report by NICNAS has detailed the potential health hazards associated with formaldehyde exposure from pressed wood products that fail to meet low emission standards. “This notice is very comforting for the wood processing industry that for many years has battled against marketdamaging high emission

FLAT pack book shelves sourced in Asia and purchased on the open market in southeast Queensland have failed Australian standards for formaldehyde emissions. In one sample laboratory tested by EWPAA last month, emissions were above 3 mg/L. All samples tested were above the safe emission level of E1, recommended by the federal government’s National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS). “This random testing has revealed unsafe materials are still entering the Australian market – a potentially serious problem,” EWPAA general manager Simon Dorries said. NICNAS, which is responsible

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Page 10 | issue 255 | 04.02.13

Safety .. Simon Dorries announces the EWPAA green label campaign on emissions at the Canberra forest industry conference in Canberra.

imported materials such as flat panel products that fail to meet Australia’s low emission standards,” Mr Dorries said. “Independent routine testing of imported panels purchased in the open market for formaldehyde emissions continues to show a disturbing failure rate when compared to acceptable low emission limits. “More importantly, product is seldom branded to identify to the consumer low and high emission product as required by Australian standards. Furthermore, some of the labelling claims which identify product as low emission are highly questionable.” Mr Dorries said the EWPAA strictly maintained JASANZ accredited certification schemes that guaranteed its members’ factories complied with the Australian standards on low formaldehyde levels. The association carries out regular laboratory tests

in its NATA-accredited laboratories for formaldehyde emissions from all certified products manufactured in the Australasian region. The construction industry and users of wood components have been notified to refer to the NICNAS material safety data sheet before purchasing any pressed wood products. The Information Sheet No 30 refers to Australian standards, labelling and product certification information available from the EWPAA. Pressed wood products are sheet materials in which wood is largely in the form of strips, veneers, chips, strands or fibres. The wood particles are bound together by glue which is commonly a formaldehydebased resin. NICNAS has identified pressed wood products as plywood for panelling, furniture and other products; particleboard for shelving, countertops, floor underlay, furniture and some laminated flooring; and medium density fiberboard (MDF) used for cabinets, furniture, doors and laminated flooring. Pressed wood products are used in the construction of furniture, kitchens and flooring and are commonly used in caravans, mobile homes and demountable buildings. The current national occupational exposure standard for formaldehyde is 1 ppm 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) and 2 ppm short-term exposure limit (STEL). Visit www.nicnas.gov.au and go to publications / information.

Product is seldom branded to identify to the consumer low and high emission product as required by Australian standards Advertising: Tel +61 7 3266 1429 Email: cancon@bigpond.net.au


TIMBER TECHNOLOGY

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Three letters say it all for future building trends .. CLT.

Year of solutions in wood design and construction THE year 2013 promises to be an interesting year for the design and construction industries and those working with wood and timber products, according to WoodSolutions. In 2012, three letters – CLT – put Melbourne’s Docklands precinct on the international design and construction radar. Why? At Melbourne’s Victoria Harbour Lend Lease built Forté, the world’s tallest modern multiresidential wooden building, using cross laminated timber. CLT and other heavy timber and composite construction systems offer a sustainable alternative to traditional materials for multiresidential and commercial projects. First developed in Switzerland in the 1970s, CLT is an extension of the technology that began with plywood and may be best described as a ‘jumbo plywood’. Having gained popularity in Europe, CLT – also referred to as ‘tilt up timber’ or ‘pre-cast timber panels’ – is slowly being adopted more widely as a viable alternative to more traditional building practices. So what’s happening in the Australian market? The answer is a lot. Activity, much of it not widely public as yet, is evident with two more heavy

timber buildings under way in Melbourne – the Dockland Library and Community Centre and Melbourne University’s Parkville Campus Architecture building. All in all, there are some 20 heavy engineered timber – mostly CLT – buildings in various stages of planning, design, documentation and construction in Australia. A range of WoodSolutions activities is scheduled for 2013, including: • Growing the range of local and international projects in the case studies on the WoodSolutions website. • Expanding the titles in WoodSolutions tchnical design guides to include more topics directed at architects and engineers. • Continuing to deliver free WoodSolutions tutorials to architects, engineers and other design and building professionals. • Presenting more WoodSolutions seminars, informing and inspiring audiences with outstanding speakers, all experts in their fields. • Offering a 2013 European field tour, with the opportunity for a small group to visit landmark projects and meet some of the people behind them. Visit www.woodsolutions.com.au

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the timber product you are buying has been

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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

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www.ewp.asn.au issue 255 | 04.02.13 | Page 11


INDUSTRY NEWS

Producers call for CoC certification

Clean and green a distinct competitive advantage PEAK industry body Timber Queensland predicts 2013 will see a rise in the number of environmentally conscious consumers looking for assurance they are buying timber and timber products from suppliers with sustainable forest management practices. CEO Rod McInnes says plantation growers, primary and secondary processors and wholesalers of timber products should prepare for the demand by obtaining forest and/or chain of custody certification.

Page 12 | issue 255 | 04.02.13

CoC .. tracking wood from the forest floor to the retail outlet.

“The desire for timber products that provide assurance of a clean and green bill of health is gaining momentum; the

businesses that can provide evidence of this have a distinct competitive advantage,” Mr McInnes said.

Chain of custody certification is an independently audited system that tracks the forest product as it moves through the processing phases. Timber Queensland recently welcomed SFM, a leading provider of independent certified forest management and forest consulting, as an associate member. SFM carries group forest certification under the Forestry Stewardship Council and the Australian Forest Standard. This system allows for SFM to certify eligible estates, both plantation and native, under one or both forest certification schemes. SFM also provides chain of custody solutions for sawmills and processors, offering group services where feasible which enables them to achieve the important chain of custody standard at a competitive rates. SFM’s business development manager Darryn Crook said joining Timber Queensland was an important step in becoming part of the state’s timber industry. “We aim to have a sustainable business within Queensland and given recent changes to local plantation ownership we want talk to estate owners about various management options. “Our management services ensure plantation and estate owners’ investments are managed to maximise returns at minimal risk. By undertaking all property and forestry management aspects, SFM is able to offer a fully integrated fence-to-fence solution to suit any estate owner large or small,” Mr Crook said. Timber Queensland also announced that Brisbanebased timber preservation scientist Jack Norton had been accepted as an associate member of the organisation.

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events

International forests perspective at IFA biennial conference in Canberra AUSTRALIA’S only professional body for forestry the Institute of Foresters of Australia will hold its biennial conference in Canberra from April 7 to 11. The theme is ‘Managing our Forests into the 21st Century’, and speakers will address delegates on both international and local issues that will face foresters and forest managers in the century, such as politics, policy and perceptions. President of the IFA Rob de Fegely says the diverse conference program will be of interest to anyone involved in the sustainable management of forests regardless of whether they are managing timber for conservation or commercial use of hardwoods, softwood or natural or plantation forests. Presentations will cover resource management, carbon, energy,

water, fire, urban forestry, and certification schemes. Two field trips take advantage of the ACT venue with a day’s study of urban forestry in “the city of trees” and a tour to the Cotter catchment with a focus on forest, fire and water management. The keynote speaker is Swedish born and trained Dr Peter Holmgren, an expert in forestry, climate change and food security at a global level. Before taking up his new post late last year as director of the Centre for International Forestry Research, Dr Holmgren worked for many years with FAO including five years as head of forest resources development and more recently as director of the climate, energy and tenure division. “We are honoured to have a true

Dr Peter Holmgren .. an international point of view.

internationalist as our keynote speaker,” Mr de Fegely said. “Too often our time is taken up in local squabbles and it will be a refreshing change to reflect on the bigger picture.” CEO of NSW Forests Nick Roberts, also with an international background

across Wales, South Africa and New Zealand, will respond with a more local view of the issues confronting forest management in the 21st century. Established in 1935, the Institute of Foresters of Australia is a professional body with more than 1350 members engaged in all branches of forest management and conservation in Australia. The IFA represents all segments of the forestry profession, including public and private practitioners engaged in many aspects of forestry, nature conservation, resource and land management, research, administration and education. Membership is not restricted to professional foresters. Other forestry professionals are welcome to join IFA.

Visit the World of Engineered Wood .. join the EuroWOOD 2013 study tour APRIL 26 – MAY 10, 2013 This fact-finding, fully-escorted 16-day tour of Austria and Germany starts in Vienna and concludes at LIGNA Hannover

EuroWOOD2013 is supported by the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA), in collaboration with other industry bodies and companies. The study tour will inspect the latest technologies of factory-built prefabricated housing and cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction methods, revolutionary MDF processes, wood panel processing, structural timber frame housing construction, and all the machinery that puts it together. Generous time has been allotted to rest, relax and enjoy Austrian and German tourist locations along the way while travelling by luxury coach and staying at top hotels. * Tax deductible industry tour . Tour limited to 32 participants, including professional industry tour guides. Travel consultant: Harvey World Travel, Shop 18, Fountain Plaza, The Entrance Rd, Erina NSW 2250 Tel: 02 4365 2337.

For a full itinerary and payment details, contact the EuroWOOD 2013 Secretariat, PO Box 330, Hamilton Central Q 4007 or email eurowood13@bigpond.com Advertising: Tel +61 7 3266 1429 Email: cancon@bigpond.net.au

* Tax deductible industry tour

$7550* (+gst) p.p. or $9370* (+gst) single includes all airfares, ground travel and most meals, including entry to the famous LIG NAHannover Fair from May 6-1

issue 255 | 04.02.13 | Page 13


INDUSTRY NEWS

Bio-fuels are a potential panacea for NZ’s renewable energy sector CROWN-owned forest researcher Scion is set to present a report into the viability of generating bio-fuels from trees at the end of next month, a move that could throw a much-needed financial lifeline to the struggling sector. Converting tree waste into bio-fuels and bio-plastics has long been a Holy Grail for the forestry and wood-processing industry. It could turn pulp wood and sawmill waste into real revenue streams. But while the technology has been proven in the laboratory, questions remain over the long-term commercial viability despite extensive research by forestry-dependent countries such as Canada and Sweden. That’s something Scion hopes to overcome with its Woodscape Report, which follows what Scion head of sustainable design Trevor Stuthridge calls a technoeconomic approach – or putting the numbers together with the science. Funded by Woodco, the Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Scion, the report will look at ways of generating the greatest return for the forestry and timber sector, with

Bio-fuels .. lifeline for forest growers

a heavy focus on bio-fuels. Bio-fuels are a potential panacea of the renewable energy sector, providing a means to produce fuel on a carbon neutral basis, but the production process is fraught with problems because of its reliance on energy to turn organic material into hydrocarbons. If that energy comes from power generated by fossil fuels, such as coal-fired power stations or boilers, it is no longer carbon neutral. And often the amount of energy input is greater than the equivalent units of biofuel produced. Mr Stuthridge believes that is where New Zealand is uniquely

Dr Trevor Sluthrige .. a technoeconomic approach.

placed to play a leading role in the sector. “Above the ground we have some of the biggest sustainable forest plantations, and below the largest energy resources

in the form of geothermal,” he said. “We have a tremendous opportunity to turn heat and steam into bioproducts.” Biofuels had huge economic upside potential for the country. Mr Stuthridge says if forest plantings doubled, about $5.5 billion worth of biofuels could be produced annually, effectively replacing imported oil. That would be on top of the $4.2 billion currently earned by the export of forestry and timber goods. It could also potentially set New Zealand up to be an exporter of carbon neutral energy in the form of biocoal, which could be used in power stations in China, for example. Should the investment case prove viable, it would be a lifeline for forest owners. Andres Katz, a forestry economist at Resource Management Services, said previous attempts to quantify the forestry biofuel market by Canadian officials had showed opportunities were not huge. “That doesn’t mean we can’t do it, especially once scale kicks in, but it’s an untested and unproven market,” he added.

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 14 | issue 255 | 04.02.13

The project is keen to establish a plant near a guaranteed resource. Contact: (02) 4256 4767 or email pat@loggo.com.au www.loggo.com.au

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NEW building TECHNOLOGY

Down-sized building system has a multitude of structural applications

Lighter Lamilog opens doors for low-cost housing BREAKTHROUGH technology at Wollongong, NSW-based timber engineering company Loggo Pty Ltd has successfully down-sized and reduced the weight of its traditional Lamilog product while retaining stiffness and strength for a multitude of structural applications. “The Lamilog 200 has shown to be extremely robust and is designed for the residential market,” Loggo principal Pat Thornton said “Lamilog 200 provides clear span joists up to 4.8 m as well as the ability to incorporate elements such as bearers, lintels, columns and trusses. “But there have been surprising results with the new Lamilog 160. Design analysis indicates that spans of up to 3.6 m may be achieved with joists at 450 centres. While ideal for the smaller floor frame market or Asian-style house, designs indicate that it could replace the Lamilog 200 in the largespan home market with the floor frame doing the same job at almost half the weight and substantially cheaper.” Mr Thornton said just as exciting was the section width – now only 100 mm – which also opened the door for the development of a more than competitive low-cost product in the lintels, headers and supporting beams market. “Its absolute suitability to

this market appears to be the ideal pathway to initiate greater market penetration,” Mr Thornton said. The Lamilog 160 has the following features when compared with Lamilog 200: • Reduced mass – the current beam has a design dry weight of 8 kg per metre. The new beam will have a design dry weight of 5.2 kg per metre. This will reduce transport costs and make for simpler one-man installation on site. • Strength – the Lamilog 160 has been optimised for residential building works. It is expected that it will carry 19 mm tongue and groove particleboard flooring at 450 mm centres for clear spans of 3.6 m while carrying the loads as prescribed by AS1170 ( the load code). • Cost – with 64% of the timber and reduced chemical treatment of the 200 Lamilog, it will enjoy a highly competitive place in the market – and this should also not understate the other considerable cost savings. • Forest recovery rates – because of this ‘downsizing’ and due to forest sizing restrictions for sawlogs, forest recovery rates should rise through collection of smaller diameter sections. Mr Thornton said subject to final design verification, product

Floor frame markets: Australian market – Stock Sizes 3.0, 3.6, 4.2, 4.8 m - Lamilog 200; 2.4, 3.0, 3.6 – Lamilog 160 Joists: Clear spans up to 4.8 m at 450 centres. Bearers: Clear spans up to 3.6 m at 2.4m spacing. Proven suitable timbers: Slash, slash/Caribaea, cypress, radiata

Pat Thornton .. surprising results with the new Lamilog 160.

testing would be carried out to verify the theoretical design. “We hope a number of design

InSurAnce.. It’S All In the SelectIon

improvements can also be added to the Lamilog range as this product is brought through the rigorous testing process,” Mr Thornton said. “There are a number of optimal scale systems where the sustainable source determines its most suitable applications. Generally, price and availability will determine the suitability of a selected species. “This again will be influenced by market opportunity and logistics.” Any of the Loggo systems can be quickly geared to satisfy local, regional and state markets.

Selecting the right equipment to maximise your production output is similar to selecting the right people to maximise your insurance protection. Austbrokers Premier has been working with the timber industry for over 25 years and we know what insurance best suits your industry and risks. Whether it’s a complicated business interruption loss or a burnt out frontend loader we work hard to get you the right outcome.

You can expect superior outcomes from Austbrokers Premier in the following key areas: • Focus on premium value and insurer security • Expert advice for Business Interruption • Premiums + claims + deductibles – self insurance option analysis • Committed claims management & settlement negotiations. • On-going service and advice, not just at renewal time. Call Alan Jones 0419 754 681 or Scott Hastings 0406 382 582 today.

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issue 255 | 04.02.13 | Page 15


EVENTS

International bio-energy experts assess potential for wood energy FIEA conference series in Auckland and Melbourne INTERNATIONAL bio-energy market analyst Brooks Mendell from Forisk Consulting in USA is booked as a keynote speaker at the biennial Residues to Revenues and CleanTech Industry Developments conference series in Auckland and Melbourne in April. Mr Mendell will provide insight into the maturing biomass for energy markets. Recent market reports have shown that North American suppliers of wood energy products have seen orders from large European wood pellet users ramped up over the past 12 months. The conference, organised by the Forest Industry Engineering Association, runs in Auckland at the Novotel Auckland Airport Hotel on April 10 and 11 and at the Bayview Eden Hotel in Queens Road in Melbourne on April 15 and 16. Mr Mendell will be joined by Don Roberts, a former keynote at FIEA conferences, whose role at Canada’s CIBC World Markets Inc is exclusively focused on clean technology developments around the world. Mr Roberts, vice chairman, renewable energy and clean technology, has been named the financial services industry’s top contributor to sustainable development in Canada. His primary mandate is to develop a renewable energy and clean tech practice. In 2009, he took

Brooks Mendell

Don Roberts

Keith Richards

a year-long sabbatical in order to identify opportunities for CIBC in these sectors, and to design and guide the national ‘Future Bio-pathways Project’. The keynote speaker for the second day of the conference Keith Richards of Thames Valley Bio-energy has long championed the development of regional and local targets as a key part of accelerating local use. He remains an expert evaluator for the European Commission and task manager for the International Energy Agency, a role extending for more than 25 years. Conference director John Stulen said: “We’ve widened the program to include updates from both North America and

Europe as well as including clean technology. The focus is where new clean technology industry opportunities are opening up and how that can be capitalised on by key players in the forest products industries in both New Zealand and Australia. “Our Auckland and Melbourne events are also designed to bring together local case studies from a range of innovative energy users combined with developments becoming market-ready. This collection of speakers alongside our global experts is certain to inform delegates in a range of ways – both practical and strategic.” Forest and wood residues

have gained in volume and attractiveness as a sustainable and renewable energy source over the past decade. From a diversity aspect, wood residues have an important role for developing diverse markets for forest and wood products as they prove to be the energy source of choice for smart energy buyers. Sustainability and renewable features are not always the main attraction – wood energy is making good business sense for more companies every day. The conference series is expected to attract a wide range of delegates including practitioners and wood-flow managers from the forest and solid wood products sector, pulp and paper companies, energy user group as well as many local government managers and those who manage energy infrastructure for local users of bio-energy.

Forest and wood residues have gained in volume and attractiveness as a sustainable and renewable energy source over the past decade

New FSC Australia office in Melbourne a ‘renovator’s delight’ FSC Australia describes its new office in North Melbourne as a “renovator’s delight”. The spacious office named FCS House is 300 m from the train station and is a welcome change from the 30 sq m suite that accommodates three people at

Page 16 | issue 255 | 04.02.13

Jeffcott Street, West Melbourne. “The artist in residence on the floor above will create us a gorgeous forest landscape for our entry way, and we are looking forward to getting out our paintbrushes and sprucing up the office with some GECA certified

paint in our FSC colours,” CEO Natalie Reynolds said. “Our existing office desks and furniture are recycled and were kindly donated by businesses such as the NAB. We are now looking to source a boardroom table and chairs and a reception

desk. We have every intention of having our fit out FSC project certified so we’re looking for anyone who might be interested in assisting us, FSC Australia’s new address from March 4 will be 96-104 Dryburgh Street, North Melbourne 3051.

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NEW TECHNOLOGY

‘Holding measures package’ for Ta Ann’s Tasmanian veneer mills THE board of Ta Ann Tasmania has agreed to support a comprehensive “holding measures package” designed to keep its hardwood veneer operations in the state while the Legislative Council Select Committee considers the Forests Agreement Legislation. Ta Ann Tasmania is deeply disappointed with the delays to the passage of legislation and the associated financial costs. “We are greatly encouraged by the overwhelming support the company has received from the signatory parties to the Forestry Agreement,” executive director Evan Rolley said. “Not only have we received encouragement that the parties will honour the forestry agreement and begin practical implementation, we have received new help with markets

and with our overall financial exposures.” Under the ‘holding measures package’ the company has agreed to the following new measures: • Extending the Christmas shutdown period of the two veneer mills by a further four weeks until at least the end of January 2013. All employees will be retained and paid for this period using a combination of brought forward maintenance and training programs and use of paid leave. • Accepting the supportive offer from Forestry Tasmania to not enforce ‘take or pay’ contractual conditions in this period. • Accepting the federal government’s offer to progress the contractual detail of the peeler buy back scheme.

Evan Rolley .. overwhelming support for company.

• Accepting the state government’s assistance with Newood infrastructure provisions for ongoing operations. • Agreeing to lower peeler log supply and future log supply only from forest areas agreed by the signatory parties in

accordance with the Tasmanian Forest Agreement 2012. • Working with signatory ENGOs and chairman of Forestry Tasmania for a January 2013 market support program. • Deferring the accelerated planning and development work for the proposed northern plywood mill. This high level of very broad ranging support has allowed Ta Ann to provide its employees, contractors and the markets with a measure of confidence for the future. “We also wish to acknowledge the support of Legislative Council members who have contacted the company and provided encouragement that the committee of the council will meet as soon as practicable,” Mr Rolley said.

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issue 255 | 04.02.13 | Page 17


BOOK REVIEW

Jinkers & Whims – a pictorial history book of timber-getting “I’LL have a foot, Blaze,” barked John Sorenson. The mighty 1800 lb hulk leaned forward on the leather harness, the steel links of the snigging chains came taut and the clutch of skinned Hoop pine thinnings slid 12 inches along the ramp skids. Fifty years back, horsepower in the forest was still delivered by Equus ferus caballus, in residual patches, like the hoop pine plantations at SF 124 Mary’s Creek near Gympie. Their handlers, like those hoarse-mouthed bullockies who trod the forest floor before, knew their charges well and vice versa. Jack Bradshaw, a 1962 AFS forester, has also trod the forest floor and takes us back to this real horsepower era and beyond to the beginnings and development of forest logging and sawmilling operations in the West Australian forests in his book Jinkers & Whims – A Pictorial History of TimberGetting. Jack has form and knows his stuff. This knowledge is born of DNA (have a gander at the front piece portrait of Jack’s great grandfather John Hughan who begot a line of saw doctors) and a passion for the native bush that comes out of a full life well spent within it. There is no substitute for the learning a young fellow gets from blue-tonguing with his forbears amidst forest tracks

and tracts. Combine this start with formal qualifications and decades at the operational front of forest ops and the result is coverage of the topic with real cred. East coasters will be familiar up to a point with the traverse of West Coast log-getting history, techniques and both purposebuilt and exotic machinery covered in descriptive pictures and words. From yesteryear’s basics to today’s tech-laden movers, most implements were seen over the Aussie plateau. The big exception is profiled in

the title ‘the Whim’. What a descriptor, what a piece of equipment. I asked my dad who snug logs behind dozers trailing a steel hooped arch on pneumatic tyres in the Gympie region for 35 years, if had he ever heard of a whim. “Yep, it was a windlass turned by horse and used in the early days of mining in the Gympie region to wind cables from deep shafts”. Not a thread of commonality with the WA beast! Indeed, when one first claps eyes on

One is left, as the author intended, with an admiration for the legion of men who founded, toiled and grew this vital industry of the West.

the rearing A-frame of a working WA whim with wheels twice the size of a man (P31 of the book) it looks as though it will do a ‘transformer’ metamorphis and evolve into a Hasbro-Takara Torny landscape dominator. Jack guides the reader effortlessly from pit sawing to twin Canadians, from wooden wheels to steel tracks, from adzes to chainsaws, from steam to diesel, from rag hats to safety helmets, from jinkers carrying 2000 kg at 1km an hour to tandem rigs transporting 50,000 kg payloads at 100 km an hour. All this in 110 pages spiked with 108 photos which transport the reader into the action of the eras. It did that for me, and it will for you. One is left, as the author intended, with an admiration for the legion of men who founded, toiled and grew this vital industry of the West. But there’s more. Go to the publisher’s web site (www.vividpublishing.com.au/ jinkersandwhims/) to purchase the book ($34.90 + $10 p&p) and take in a splendid array of short films that port you into the timber getting business in WA during the 1920s and 1930s. And there in real time is that beast of a machine, the Whim, crunching the terrain like some Archimedean war machine. Live it! – GARY BACON

Sustained effort by Forestry Tasmania staff helped contain wildfires FORESTRY Tasmania committed 252 staff who gave more than 22,400 hours responding to recent wildfire incidents throughout the state. They performed roles on the fireground, in various incident

Page 18 | issue 255 | 04.02.13

management teams and at the state operations centre. Sadly, damage to forest assets is expected to be substantial, with more than 12,125 ha of state forest burnt. This includes 420 ha of hardwood and 500 ha

of softwood plantations (not all FT owned). In his last major operation at the manager of Forestry Tasmania’s fire management, Tony Blanks said it had been a sustained effort by people right

across the company, from head office to the districts. Mr Blanks retired recently after 40 years’ involvement with fire. Nigel Foss has taken over as the new assistant general manager, operations support.

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