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issuE 265 | 15.04.13 | PAgE 1

Forests can deliver on climate change

This issuE • CoC support scheme offers $5000 • NZ field trip inspects timber buildings

Little impact in carbon farm initiative if it precludes timber harvesting projects

Zoe Ryan .. carbon is only the ‘cherry on top’.

The carbon farming initiative allows farmers and land managers to earn carbon credits by storing carbon or reducing greenhouse gas emissions on the land. These credits can then be sold to

Mr de Fégely said long-term investment was needed to develop forest carbon projects Cont Page 2

Award recognises work in fire management • Lock-ups threaten viable wood industry • International timber voice launched in Rome • Wood the ‘sustainable super material’

Just Go t ood W

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people and businesses wishing to offset their emissions.


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WHILE activities under Australia’s carbon farming initiative enjoy bi-partisan support, the whole scheme will make little impact while it largely precludes registration of projects where timber is harvested. This was the message delivered by the Institute of Foresters of Australia president Rob de Fégely to more than 180 delegates to the IFA national conference in Canberra last week. “The science presented shows clearly that forestry can contribute most strongly to climate change mitigation in Australia through carbon stored in timber,” Mr de Fégely said.



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issue 265 | 15.04.13 | Page 1


Sustainable harvesting a positive contribution From Page 1

and this investment should not be held hostage to the “policy of the day”. “What we need is a robust forest carbon industry and to achieve this we need robust bi-partisan policies for the long term,” he said. Speaking at the conference, Dr John Raison, an internationally recognised scientist with more than 30 years’ experience researching the ecology and management of Australia’s native forest, agreed that the potential contribution of Australian forests to climate change mitigation is poorly represented in current government policies and programs. Dr Raison recommends actions that will enable forests to make a positive contribution to mitigating climate change including sustainable harvesting and replanting of forests, replacing energy intensive materials with harvested wood products, and using forest biomass for production of bioenergy. Leading carbon expert Zoe Ryan has seen first-hand how carbon can deliver significant benefits to landowners, and says that in south-western Queensland carbon revenues already supplement on-farm income. Ms Ryan is principal consultant with carbon project development consultant EAS

Improving our industry’s capacity to develop and maintain a skilled workforce ............................ Dr John Raison .. contribution of forests to climate change mitigation poorly represented in government policies.

which has been advising clients on the challenges of carbon project development and national greenhouse gas reporting systems for the land sector. She is an honorary fellow at the School of Forestry and Ecosystem Science at the University of Melbourne, and a lecturer in the Forestry Masters program Ms Ryan warns that current market uncertainty means carbon is only the “cherry on top” and not the “whole pie”. Speakers at the conference, held at the Canberra Rex Hotel from April 7 to 11, addressed delegates on both international and local issues facing foresters and forest managers in this century, such as politics, policy and perceptions. The event included field tours and a forum where delegates delivered a manifesto for the future management of Australia’s forests, plantations and woodlands.


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Sharing opinions at the IFA national conference in Canberra are Jerry Vanclay, Professor of Sustainable Forestry and head of the School of Environment, Science and Engineering at Southern Cross University, and Dr Dave Cassells, The Nature Conservancy.

Page 2 | issue 265 | 15.04.13

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Viable wood products industry lost by locking up forests: IFA

Economic security, employment threatened by policies THE economic benefits, employment and security that could be derived from Australia maintaining a sustainable wood industry would be lost by locking up forests, the president of the Institute of Foresters of Australia Rob de Fégely said. He was speaking at the IFA’s national conference in Canberra last week which attracted more than 180 delegates from across Australia and New Zealand. “A focus on locking up forests will simply encourage unsustainable timber imports and promote the use of alternative products such as plastic and aluminum that use more energy and actually emit carbon into the atmosphere, instead of capturing it,” Mr de Fégely said. “The clear message that emerged from the conference is that it is not about maintaining lines on maps, but about integrating agriculture, forestry and conservation at a landscape level.” Opening the conference, Senator Richard Colbeck, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Forestry, said it was ironic that forests in Tasmania managed

President of the Institute of Foresters of Australia Rob de Fegeley (second from left) welcomes IFA conference speakers Nick Roberts, Acting CEO, Forestry Corporation of NSW, Senator Richard Colbeck, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Forestry, who opened the conference, and Dr Peter Holmgren, director, Centre for International Forestry Research, keynote speaker.

sustainably for wood and fibre production over many decades had recently been nominated by the Australian government for world heritage listing. “The fact that they have been considered suitable for nomination is a testament to the work of the forestry professionals who have managed them,” Senator Colbeck said. Internationally acclaimed forest scientist Dr Sadanandan

Enjoying the welcome reception at the IFA national conference in Canberra are Alan Brown, the Institute of Foresters of Australia, Stephen Midgley, Salwood Asia Pacific Ltd, Farrer, ACT, Shannon Treloar, Department of Sustainability and Environment, and Tony Bartlett, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

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Nambiar also argued at the conference that the sustainable use of forests and conservation were not opposing values, but that they were mutually supporting objectives at large scales. Despite these opportunities and plenty of good science to back this, he fears that the absence of this recognition, myopic vision and politics are driving states such as Tasmania towards needless economic

and social pain. “Tasmania has one major advantage, the forestry advantage. Tasmanians should and can use their natural and renewable resources sustainably to re-build their future,” Dr Nambiar said. Australia’s only professional body for forestry, the Institute of Foresters of Australia held its biennial national conference in Canberra April 7 to 11.

Getting together at the Canberra Rex for the national conference are IFA members Stephen Walker, SFM Forest Products, Brisbane, Mike Anderson, Brisbane, Dennis Rolfe, Gympie, Qld, and Dick Pegg, The Consultancy Bureau, Brisbane.

issue 265 | 15.04.13 | Page 3

industry news

New international timber voice to be launched at Rome forum

A platform to facilitate greater world joint action A NEW international timber communications and information platform, jointly conceived and backed by the European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) will be launched next month in Rome at the Global Timber Forum. The forum on May 22 and 23 is supported by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO). Australia will be represented by John Halkett, general manger, Australian Timber Importers Federation. The concept for the GTF was unveiled during the Global Wood Mart in Kuala Lumpur last October. The proposal, said ETTF secretary-general André de Boer was to create a “conduit for information exchange and discussion” on key industry issues. The forum could also facilitate greater international joint action in the sector, spread best practice and promote greater coordination in national and international policy and legislation, Mr de Boer said. Initial suggestions are that it could facilitate meetings and other international industry events and develop an information and discussion hub

André de Boer

John Halkett

Michael Buckley

using online, and possibly other media. Ultimately, said Mr de Boer, the GTF could create greater industry cohesion on key issues. “For instance, it could help ensure that new rules in importing regions and countries, such as anti-illegal timber legislation, are applied widely to ensure fairness and avoid timber trade flow diversion,” he said. With the GTF concept also backed by UK Aid, the launch will include discussions on key

industry issues, such as new market legality requirements, promotion, timber and green building, and sustaining the forest. But the focus will be the GTF, with invited delegates from around the world giving input on its role and development. “The timber sector faces new challenges, an unlevel market playing field and increasingly complex legislation, making trading nothing short of risky,” said Michael Buckley of timber marketing specialist Turnstone Singapore who will chair the

GTF discussions.

‘The timber sector faces new challenges, an unlevel market playing field and increasingly complex legislation, making trading nothing short of risky’ – Michael Buckley

“Any meaningful cooperation, as proposed in the GTF, can only be worthwhile, provided there is follow through,” he said. Jukka Tissari, forestry officer, trade and marketing at the FAO Forest Products Service, said the FAO promoted dialogue between the timber trade and regulators, policy makers and legality experts to create a common vision for responsible trade practices in fighting illegal logging. “We expect GTF will propose deeper collaborative actions for fostering responsible timber trading,” he said.

Hoo-Hoo members gather in Mt Gambier for convention FOREST industry service organisation Hoo-Hoo International staged its Jurisdiction IV national convention in Mount Gambier, SA, last weekend. About 80 delegates from across Australia and from overseas converged on the timber city for the major convention, which included a host of events and tours of the region’s forestry sector.

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Convention publicity officer Brian Page said convention organisers had made efforts to connect with and contribute to local community groups, bringing some benefit to the region in Hoo-Hoo’s role as the community face of the timber industry. Australian Trucking Association CEO and Hoo-Hoo member Stuart St Clair presented a keynote address at the event,

giving an insight into key road transport issues. Mount Gambier Hoo-Hoo Club 214 president Maurie Drewer said the industry welcomed the convention to the city. “Mount Gambier is the centre of the largest plantation forest estate in Australia and a major wood processing centre,” he said. “We provide a business opportunity to see this dynamic region and to connect with

suppliers or customers.” The convention saw Pieter Verlinden of Brisbane Hoo-Hoo Club 218 elected president of JIV, succeeding Val Fennell of G&R Logging at Mount Gambier. Eight members of 218 have held the posotion of national president. Report and pictures, next issue.

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WHAT’S ON? APRIL 2013 10-11: Residues-to-Revenues conference and expo. Wood Energy and CleanTECH Industry Developments. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand. www.

15-16: Residues-to-Revenues conference and expo. Wood Energy and CleanTECH Industry Developments.. Bayview Eden Hotel, Melbourne. www.

18-19: Inaugural Local Government Forest and Timber Industry Conference – Bayview on Eden, Melbourne Aimed at both local government and timber industry professionals from across Australia. The program will have a focus on socio-economic issues and the relationship between local government and the timber industry, and will feature presentations, discussions, workshops and opportunities to learn from and share experiences. Contact: Municipal Association of Victoria. Tel: (03) 9667 5529. Visit 18-19: NTCA local government forest and timber industry conference. Bayview Eden, 6

Queens Road, Melbourne. RSVP (03) 9667 555 by April 15. Visit 20-23: New Zealand Farm Forestry Association 57th annual conference. Orewa Arts and

Events Centre, Auckland. www. 22: UNECE/FAO/InnovaWood Seminar on Innovation in the

Forest Sector. Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland. Visit www. 22-24: EPAN and WoodSolutions Christchurch, NZ field trip.

Review of review timber structures being used as a part of the rebuilding of the city. Open to New Zealand’s quake-hit city. Open to architects, engineers, project managers, developers and building owners. Contact Jane Letteri on1800 685 519 or email:

MAY 5-9: World Building Congress 2013. Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Triennial congress will focus on the relationship between construction and society. How can research help to maximise the contribution of constructed assets to social goals? How will the research community meet emerging social needs? Visit www. 16-21: 3rd International Congress on Planted Forests – Lisbon,

Portugal. The congress aims to investigate the contribution of planted forests to sustainable development in the context of global changes. Topics will include the sustainability of planted forests, changing climates and the future role of planted forests in environmental protection and REDD+. Five of the major European Atlantic countries (Spain, France, Ireland, UK and Portugal) with large areas of planted forests have joined forces to organise this congress under the coordination of the Atlantic regional office of the

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European Forest Institute and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. Deadline for abstracts is February 28. Visit

JUNE 15: Melbourne Hoo-Hoo Club 217 50th anniversary dinner (venue to be advised). Contact: Trish Waters on 0418 358 501. Email:

august 6-9: AWISA 2014 Exhibition. Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Australian Woodworking Industry Suppliers Association Ltd has decided that the exhibition will move from Sydney to Brisbane next year. Inquiries about booking space: email or call Geoff Holland on 0412 361 580 23: The Cat Goes Gold. Brisbane Hoo-Hoo Club 218 50th anniversary celebration. Brisbane Riverview Hotel, Cnr Kingsford Smith Drive and Hunt Street, Hamilton, Brisbane. Tel: 0401 312 087 or 0428 745 455 for bookings.

December 4-5. Focus on improving transport and logistics in the forestry sector. It will build on the

excellent program designed by the Forest Industry Engineering Association. Visit

AUGUST 2014 6-9: AWISA 2014 Exhibition. Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Australian Woodworking Industry Suppliers Association Ltd has decided that the exhibition will move from Sydney to Brisbane next year. Inquiries about booking space: email or call Geoff Holland on 0412 361 580

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 265 | 15.04.13 | Page 5


CoC support plan provides $5000 to reimburse cost of certification THE Queensland government and Timber Queensland have announced a chain of custody support scheme which will reimburse costs directly incurred in obtaining CoC certification under Australian Forestry Standard AS 4707 or the Forest Stewardship Council 40-004 (V2-1) EN. Timber Queensland CEO Rod McInnes said eligible businesses could claim 100% of the eligible costs to a cap of $5000 (ex gst). “Eligible businesses are Queensland operated primary processors, secondary processors and wholesalers of timber products sourced from certified timber grown and sourced in Queensland,” Mr McInnes said. Examples of types of costs that can be claimed are the initial audit, chain of custody systems development, application fees to a recognised standard, registration and logo use charges. Timber Queensland says recent research indicates that consumers purchase products from businesses that can prove their environmental credentials over those who cannot. “Certification will help local

Page 6 | issue 265 | 15.04.13

participating in the chain of custody support scheme can access more information and register for the scheme at www. or request an information pack from coc@timberqueensland.

Environmental credentials .. wood customers are demanding certification.

businesses protect and enhance their brand and reputation as well as service customers such as state and federal governments who specify certified products,” Mr McInnes said. Businesses interested in Rod McInnes .. interested businesses should sign up and proceed with the audit process as soon as possible.

‘Certification will help local businesses protect and enhance their brand and reputation as well as service customers such as state and federal governments who specify certified products’ – Rod McInnes

Timber Queensland will then confirm eligibility to participate in the scheme and applicants will need to engage and pay a suitable service provider to develop the relevant procedures for their businesses, and an auditor to confirm procedures and issue the appropriate certificate. Then businesses can submit a claim form to Timber Queensland. “Interested businesses should sign up and proceed with the audit process as soon as possible but they must be aware that registering their intent to participate will not earmark funds for individual companies,” Mr McInnes stressed. “Rebates will be paid to businesses in order of receipt of claim forms until all Queensland government funding for the scheme is allocated.”

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Wood the ‘sustainable super material’ New chairman of UK Wood for Good promotion campaign A LEADING architect has become chairman of the UK Wood for Good promotional campaign as part of its aim to drive the use of timber in construction. Craig White is the founding partner of Bristol-based White Design and one of the country’s leading exponents and advocates of cutting edge timber building. His practice’s work includes the headquarters of high-tech window supplier Velux, regarded as a landmark in its use of glulam, and Kingsmead School, which won the British Construction Industry and Quality in Construction Awards. Mr White becomes the first chair of the organisation from outside of the timber sector and will be tasked with directing the group’s strategy and operations. White Design, which celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2013, is renowned for its use of timber and for sustainable design, completing over 130 projects and securing over 25 industry awards. Mr White has also involved himself with the wider timber industry and headed up the Wood for Gold initiative, an offshoot of Wood for Good, which promoted the use of wood at the 2012 London Olympic Games. He describes timber as the “sustainable super material” and believes the UK has to use more to boost the energy efficiency and overall environmental performance of buildings, cut build times and

meet government eco targets, notably its goal of cutting overall carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. “Couple these considerations with the broader desire to increase not just the UK’s but the world’s forest cover in order to boost the planet’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide, and the case for driving demand for timber becomes ever more compelling,” he said. “Wood for Good has a vital role to play in educating the industry and its clients about timber’s enormous potential

Craig White .. case for driving timber demand is compelling.

to help UK construction make these transformative changes and contribute to global afforestation.” Mr White succeeds John Kissock, former managing director of leading UK sawmiller James Jones, as chairman. Mr Kissock oversaw the move of Wood for Good from pure marketing campaign, to a broader, promotional, educational and awareness driving initiative. He said Mr Craig’s appointment “marks an exciting new chapter for the campaign”.

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issue 265 | 15.04.13 | Page 7

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PAgE 8 | issuE 265 | 15.04.13

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Peter Collins .. diversified businesses in foresty, grazing and food processing.

Forester takes key management role at Plantation Timbers A QUALIFIED forester with a distinguished career in South Africa and Australia has been appointed managing director of Plantation Timbers Group Pty Ltd, based at Mount Gambier, SA. In the role, Ockert le Roux will focus on the organic growth of the company’s forestry and solar energy interests while former managing director and founder member Peter Collins remains chairman of the group. Plantation Timbers is a privately owned Australian company. Peter Collins has extensive experience in the agribusiness and forest industries and represents the fifth generation of the pioneering and entrepreneurial Collins family in the Green Triangle region. He has established diversified businesses in forestry, grazing, and food processing and has contributed to local, regional and state development in various voluntary capacities. Since its establishment in 1994, Plantation Timbers has grown into a medium-size forestry enterprise, rendering a portfolio of services to clients in the Green Triangle region and Mr Collins has decided to expand the group’s interest in both the forestry and in the renewable solar energy domain.

Ockert le Roux will lead and drive the expansion of the group’s interest. His forest industry experience spans more than 25 years and he has held various senior management positions. Mr Le Roux has extensive exposure in maximising forest product timber yields through cost effective silvicultural management standards, as well as broad experience in the protection of forest resources through effective fire protection measures, maintaining environmental conservation standards, developing strategic afforestation plan to ensure long-term sustainable wood supply and land management including land acquisitions, disposals, exchanges and project viability. Since the demise of managed investment schemes four years ago, the sector is experiencing a consolidation in ownership interest. Very few new investments took place in forestry since, leaving half a tree rotation or supply gap from Australia. Plantation Timbers remains optimistic about the future demand for hardwood woodchip in the Pacific trade region and will focus its growth and expansion in line with this outlook.

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issue 265 | 15.04.13 | Page 9


Gunns’ liquidator puts 200,000 ha of timber plantations on the market

Viability of Tamar Valley pulp mill still under question MORE than 200,000 ha of timber plantations established by the collapsed Tasmanian company Gunns are being put on the market. An ABC report says Gunns’ liquidator has abandoned a plan to sell the trees as a single entity, leaving the future of its proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill and millions of dollars worth of investor funds up in the air. Investors, known as growers, are being warned they should not expect to see the kind of returns they were promised when they bought into the timber investments. “I believe most growers will be relieved,” plantation investor Tom Ellison said. “It certainly makes it a finite process rather than a sale of the schemes on an ongoing basis that could have dragged out for years.” Liquidator PPB Advisory had previously said it was in talks with parties interested in taking over management of the multi-million dollar investment schemes. It is believed Macquarie Group and the company WA Blue Gum were among them. Now the liquidator has told investors it has walked away from those talks and a courtapproved sale process is in the best interests of growers. “I don’t think that any grower should be particularly optimistic about the return they’ll get on

Up for grabs .. timber plantations on the block.

their investment,” Mr Ellison said. “Certainly some schemes will sell for more than other; some of the assets were higher quality than others.” About 130 land owners, including many Tasmanian farmers, leased their properties for the plantations. They stopped receiving rent when Gunns entered administration last year and have previously claimed the trees now belong to them. It remains to be seen whether they will try to block the sale or stop buyers from coming on to their land to harvest the plantations. Gunns’ receiver KordaMentha had said it wanted certainty about the future of the plantations before putting the

David Brand .. business as usual.

shelved $2 billion pulp mill project on the market. Even if it is still possible to use the plantation timber to supply the mill, questions remain about whether the project is still viable. “What you would need for the

Even if it is still possible to use the plantation timber to supply the pulp mill, questions remain about whether the project is still viable

Gunns pulp mill to take off would be certainty,” forestry analyst Robert Eastment said. “Under the current government at the moment I think the state would acknowledge that there’s no certainty at all.” The liquidator expects to make the application to sell the plantations in the Victorian Supreme Court in the coming weeks. About 380 former employees of the collapsed timber company started work with their new employer, the Sydney-based company New Forests, which announced in December it was buying Gunns’ softwood sawmills at Bell Bay in Tasmania and Tarpeena in South Australia. It also said it would buy the collapsed Tasmanian company’s distribution businesses in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. The Melbourne-based company is trading under the new name Timberlink Australia, guided by CEO Ian Tyson, former general manager, timber, at Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts. New Forests managing director David Brand said there had been no great change. “We have a new name, a new identity, but the same business as usual.”

Forestry Corporation defends logging in far south west THE NSW Forestry Corporation has defended its decision to begin a harvest near waterways in the Eurobodalla on the state’s far south coast. An ABC report says a resident’s group has raised concerns the region’s water supply could be affected if the logging operation

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went ahead in the Wanderer and Mogo state forests, near Moruya, later this month. The Forestry Corporation’s planning manager for the southern region Kevin Petty says the project will not affect rivers and streams. He says studies have been done to

ensure the work is safe. “Most of the hydrology studies that have been done in the past in various areas show that timber harvesting has minimal or no impact on water quality,” Mr Petty said. “We’ve got those added protection measures in place to

ensure that the water quality is protected out there.” But one of the concerned residents Alison Walsh says she does not understand why the area needs to be logged. Ms Walsh says there is a significant risk to the environment by logging the forest.

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Field trip inspects timber structures used in the rebuilding of Christchurch AN investigative tour of Christchurch this month will review timber structures being used as a part of the rebuilding of New Zealand’s quake-hit city. Buildings to be inspected on the field trip from April 22 to 24 all use the latest large-span timber technology, such as post tensioned moment frames and shear walls, composite timber and concrete floors, long span roofs, and much more. The tour is recommended to architects, engineers, project managers, developers and building owners. Case studies will be presented by building designers, building owners and researchers who have developed the timber technology called EXPAN. The field trip is limited to 20 participants. The on-ground tour cost is $A200 and travel and accommodation costs – at participants’ own expense – will be announced soon. Participation in the tour can earn continuing professional development (CPD) points. (Contact your professional body for more information). Buildings to be inspected include: 3 storey office: GFA – 1850 m2. Technology used – post tensioned LVL frame system and Timber concrete composite floor; 2 storey office: GFA – 6700 m2. Technology used – post tensioned LVL frames and shear walls and Timber concrete composite floor; 4 storey office: GFA – 4000 m2. Technology used – post tensioned LVL frames and shear walls and Timber concrete composite floor. Contact Jane Letteri on 1800 685 519 or email: jane.l@tdansw. Participation should be confirmed prior to booking accommodation and travel Further information on EXPAN technology can be found at

The new St Elmo Courts in Chrischurch will be 180% of the earthquake building code. The building has been designed with timber, copper and ambercoloured glass to create what has been described as “warm, friendly and glowing”.

There is huge opportunity for the forestry sector in the rebuilding of Christchurch, an engineering

expert says. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the industry and

the new cityscape could be really special,” says Andy Buchanan, research director of consortium Sustainable Buildings of the Future. The consortium has advocated the use of structural timber to rebuild residential and commercial areas of the city.

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issue 265 | 15.04.13 | Page 11


Call for Nominations FWPA Statistics & Economics Reference Group

The FWPA Statistics and Economics Reference Group will provide advice and assistance to the Program to ensure FWPA delivers on the needs of industry.

Nominations are sought for senior representatives (CEOs and direct reports) of member companies to participate in the Reference Group.

For more information: Jim Houghton Email: Phone: (03) 9927 3260

Page 12 | issue 265 | 15.04.13

86% vote by growers gives green light for NZ forest harvest levy A REFERENDUM of forest growers in New Zealand has shown strong support for a levy on harvested forest products. “We have been given the thumbs-up to introduce a funding system that will provide greater certainty, equity and commitment for activities that benefit all growers, such as research, promotion and forest health,” Forest Growers Levy Trust chair Geoff Thompson said. “At this stage, we expect the levy to be introduced on January 1, 2014.” The audited referendum results reveal that 502 growers (86.3%) voted yes and 80 (13.7%) voted no. There was the same percentage support when the votes were weighted by area, with 947,762.71 ha (86.3%) in favour and 149,926.91 ha (13.7%) opposed. Mr Thompson said having identical percentages for voters and area was “simply a fluke”. Under the Commodity Levies Act, for the levy to proceed it must have the support by number and by area of more than 50% of those forest owners who voted. The trust believes the turnout was about 15% of an estimated 4000 eligible voters. Their votes represent more than two-thirds of the eligible forest area. “This was quite a good turnout, compared with other recent primary sector referenda,” Mr Thompson said. “The key message is that those who will be paying the vast majority of the levy are strongly in favour of it. This is the green light we had to see before we progressed any further. Now we can get on with groundwork and consultation that is still needed before we can ask the Minister for Primary Industries to put a Levy Order in place.” He said assessing the turnout

Geoff Thompson .. thumbs up for levy.

was complicated by the fact that only those forest owners who owned a plantation forest 10 years or more in age and at least 4 ha in area were eligible to vote. “Based on national age class statistics for forests, between 3095 and 5095 forest owners (a mean of 4000) could fall into this category. This is a generous estimate, given that only 350400 forest owners harvest in any one year and that only 1838 forest owners are listed on the Ministry for Primary Industries national database. “We need to bear in mind that the owners of many small farm forests will not have been motivated to vote. Also positive votes have been received from some owners where a single vote was for forests on many properties.” The month-long referendum was conducted for the trust by Research New Zealand, which has audited a random sample of votes, as well as the final results. Their audit report is posted on the Forest Voice website. Priorities for the trust include on-going communication with potential levy payers, further consultation with data collection agents, an application to the Minister for a levy order, trialling and implementation of the levy collection system, and a transition from the board that organised the referendum, to one representing levy payers.

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Commonwealth forestry prize rewards outstanding work in fire management Gary Morgan presented with award at IFA conference “I AM grateful that my forestry profession had led me to have friends and colleagues in every continent. This award recognises fire management and fire research as main stream forestry.” These comments were made by Gary Morgan, CEO, Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre, who was presented with the Commonwealth Forestry Regional Award by economist and former Labor minister John Kerin, AM, during the Institute of Foresters of Australia’s national conference dinner in Canberra last week. The award recognises outstanding work in the forestry

sector at a national and regional level. The Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre conducts research into the social, environmental and economic impacts of bushfires. Mr Morgan has played an exceptional role as a leader and a catalyst for cooperation in wildland fire management and control. He showed valuable leadership as chief fire officer in the forest land management agency in Victoria, with its high fire risk for forests, parks and reserves. This included Mr Morgan’s leadership in the very large fires in the Victorian alps in both

Jim O’Hehir, Forestry SA, with keynote speakers at the IFA conference Mark Brown, Professor of Forestry Operations, University of the Sunshine Coast, and Ric Sinclair, managing director, Forest and Wood Products Australia, Melbourne.

Andrew McEwan, president, New Zealand Institute of Forestry, confers with Rob de Fegeley, resident of the Institute of Foresters of Australia at the IFA conference welcome ceception.

John Kerin, AM, (right) presents the 2013 Commonwealth Forestry Regional Award to Gary Morgan, CEO, Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre, during the IFA national conference dinner in Canberra.

Friends catch up .. Gary Morgan, CEO, Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre, who was received the Commonwealth Forestry Regional Award at the conference, and Bob Newman, OAM, Commonwealth Forestry Association, who spoke on the National Forester’s Grove.

Taking a break at the IFA conference are, from left, Rachael Brownstein, Forest Industries Policy, Department of Primary Industries, Michelle Kovacevic, Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and Michelle Freeman, VicForests and IFA director.

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2003 and 2006. His guidance has extended to peak bodies such as the Australasian Fire Authorities Council and other international fire management cooperation arrangements, notably the relationship with fire agencies in North America. Mr Morgan’s distinguished service to the sector was recognised in 2012 when he was awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal. His liaison with universities and research providers, emergency service and land management agencies has resulted in Cont Page 19

Violeta Gonzales, Dr Peter Holmgren and Professor Peter Kanowski – all representing the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

IFA president Rob de Fegeley (left) with Gary Featherston, Forest Strategy Pty Ltd (chair of the conference session on certification), and the heads of Australia’s two forest certification systems Natalie Reynolds, CEO, FSC Australia, and Richard Stanton, national secretary, AFS Ltd

issue 265 | 15.04.13 | Page 13


Dubai wood show reflects a rising demand for lumber in Middle East HARDWOODS and softwoods took centre stage at the largest edition ever of the Dubai International Wood and Wood Machinery Show’ staged last week. The regional landmark event for wood trade and investment, popularly known as Dubai WoodShow, was 35% bigger than last year’s event as more than 550 global exhibitors from 40 countries showcased their products over three days. The show featured 12 international pavilions hosted by participating countries such as the US, Canada, Germany, France, China, Malaysia, Cameroon and the Congo. The event covered an area of 12,944 sq m and featured different halls for forestry and products, tools, equipment, finishing, timber and outdoor furniture. According to event organiser Strategic Marketing and Exhibitions the increase in both the number of exhibitors and the total floor space covered for the show is in line with the rising demand for hardwood lumber in the region, which is

key business opportunities and potential projects for its participants,” Mr Shezawi said.

Dubai Wood Show .. reflects rising demand for hardwood lumber in the region.

projected to reach an estimated $US1.5 million in 2012, growing by about 16% each year. “This is the largest edition of the show’s eight-year history,” Dawood Al Shezawi, chairman of the Dubai WoodShow organising committee, said. He said the show had attracted more players from

the construction industry and their related sectors and encouraged them to increase their use of wood for their respective projects. “This year’s event lived up to its name of being the premier exhibition for the region’s growing wood industry, resulting in the creation of

Hardwood lumber demand in the region is projected to reach an estimated $US1.5 million in 2012, growing by about 16% each year

One of the highlights was a special seminar focusing on the various possibilities to be gained from building with wood. Canadian company SPF Precut Lumber, which enjoys a majority market share of British Columbia lumber shipped to the Middle East, demonstrated its market leadership by hosting the first Canadian lumber grading seminar ever held in Dubai. Muhammad Amir, SPF Precut Lumber president, said all major players in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent — “most of them are our partners” — congregated in Dubai. “This gave us a perfect opportunity to host all of them at once,” he said. Attendees praised the seminar as an eye-opening education to improve their bottom line by empowering them to make better lumber purchasing decisions.

Sensitive move on harvesting of specialty timbers AN attempt to secure Tasmania’s specialty timber industry by adding a last-resort harvesting clause into the forest peace deal legislation has been added to the list of deal-breaking amendments by environmental groups. And specialty timber advocates say that while the proposal is better than the alternative, it’s not enough to make them support the legislation. Elwick independent MLC Adriana Taylor is introducing amendments to the Tasmanian Forests Agreement Bill that would allow single-tree harvesting of specialty timber

Page 14 | issue 265 | 15.04.13

in yet to be identified areas, including possible reserve or world heritage-nominated areas, if the specialty timber supply cannot be provided from existing logging areas. Ms Taylor said much of the specialty timber zone had been included in the nomination to extend the southwest wilderness heritage area. She said the amendment would only allow very ``low-impact’’ harvesting and ought to be considered an accepted activity, in the same way some low-impact tourism was allowed. ``I’m not asking for logging to

be used in these areas, I’m just asking for the specialty timber to be taken out,’’ she said. Ms Taylor said her proposal was more environmentally sensitive than an amendment adopted by the Legislative Council last month that would allow 10 nominated but not yet gazetted reserve areas to be logged if a specialty timber survey found that demand could not be met through existing production forests. Forest Industries Association of Tasmania chief executive Terry Edwards said he could not say whether the proposed amendment would be a deal-

breaker without knowing which areas were considered for selective logging, which would not be decided until after the amendment had passed. But Mr Edwards said this type of specialty timber harvesting would have to be done via helicopter and the cost to Forestry Tasmania would far outweigh the value of the timber. Tasmanian Woodcraft Guild spokesman George Harris said the proposed amendment was better than the existing specialty timber strategy, but ``probably the easiest thing to do is just reject the bill’’.

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A gypsy wagon and heavy horses travel in promotion of Qld timbers

Work of art reflects more than a century of mysterious culture A SYMBOL of a mysterious culture has been painstakingly carved, painted and fitted together with Queensland timbers by a Clifton man and a band of dedicated helpers. Harry Howarth’s interest in gypsy culture and heavy horses inspired him to build a traditional wagon modelled from those doing the rounds in England more than 100 years ago. Wagons built to live in developed about 1810 in France and were soon used in England by showmen travelling between fairs and circuses. Gypsies only began living in them in about 1850. “I started the project about 12 years ago,” said Mr Howarth who operates his craft at Clifton on the Darling Downs, 180 km southwest of Brisbane. “We got it about 20% done and then it sat in a shipping container for six years.” The bare frame re-entered Mr Howarth’s workshop two years ago and has since undergone countless hours of work to bring it to its current impressive state. Most of the bodywork including the forecarriage and under carriage was built from Queensland spotted gum (Corymbia citriodora) by Bill Ross a former ship’s carpenter of Eudlo. The shafts which attach to the rear of the horses were both laminated spotted gum and were actually four pieces glued together. Plywood was used for internal wall panelling and this was grooved to give them the appearance of the old English half-penny boards. Harry Howarth looked to the US for the wagon wheels which were assembled and fitted before shipment to Brisbane. These were built from steam-bent American hickory (Carya glabra),

Work of art .. Harry Howarth shows off the gypsy wagon at Eagle Farm racecourse in Brisbane admired by former timber preservation industry identities Robin Dowding, Brisbane, and Sharon Swan, Toowoomba.

Attention to detail .. artistic painter Ian Stewart-Koster puts the finishing touches to the gypsy wagon wheels at his Traditional Signs workshop on the Darling Downs.

The bare frame re-entered Harry Howarth’s workshop two years ago and has since undergone countless hours of work to bring it to its current impressive state

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a hardwood native to eastern USA, which was also used for the felloes, the timber ribs that join the spokes to the wheel rims. Toowoomba craftsman and retired architect Bruce Weier produced at least 1500 carved pieces for the wagon, mostly Australian beach with some crow’s ash (Flindersia australis) which were all primed then ornately strip-painted and scrolled by father-and-son painters Ian and Andrew StewartKoster of Traditional Signs at Peranga on the northern Downs. Harry Howarth said he had a long-time interest in gypsy culture. “You just get wrapped up in it,” he said He has also bought two Gypsy Cob heavy horses to pull his wagon. Mr Howarth said there was one gypsy tradition he hoped would not be carried out on his wagon. “When the head of the clan died, they burnt the wagon. So hopefully when I die, it will get passed on to somebody fully intact!” The ‘Clifton gypsy wagon’ was on display at the launch of the Lockyer Valley Heritage Festival at Eagle Farm racecourse in Brisbane on March 16 which featured the world ‘first’ heavy horse ‘sprint’. Thoroughbreds gave way to a Clydesdale, Percheron and Draft Horse as they battled it out over 100 m. The gypsy wagon will be on show again at the Lockyer Valley Heritage Festival at Gatton on May 4 and 5, an event that showcases the horses that helped build Australia including the shire, Percheron, Clydesdale and Australia draft horses. Festival president Ken Bowden said the launch at Eagle Farm was aimed at taking the festival and the heavy horse to a broader audience. – JIM BOWDEN.

issue 265 | 15.04.13 | Page 15

Joe Oliver

Christy Clark

Nick Arkle

MaryAnne Acrand

Adrian Dix

Canadian government invests $30m in research and new markets search

Industry enters ‘super cycle’ of strong sales, healthy prices CANADA’S federal Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver was in Prince George, BC, earlier this month to make a major funding announcement for the forest industry. Speaking at the Council of Forest Industries convention, Mr Oliver said the government would be investing $10.9 million in 2013-14 to help forest companies tap into new and emerging markets. He also announced an investment of $19.5 million to commercialise groundbreaking new technology in five projects in western Canada.” Mr Oliver says the “new and emerging market” included a Canadian wood products trade office in India. “It’s great to see better times return to the forest industry, and as a government we want to stay committed to the ongoing transformation of the industry,” he said. Meanwhile, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark announced $6 million would be given to nine associations that operate market development programs in international markets, and $2.4 million will go to BC’s Wood First program which promotes the use of wood as a building material in

PAgE 16 | issuE 265 | 15.04.13

mid-rise construction. Ms Clark says this money will help with market development in India, which is the newest market since China. “The new forestry innovation office in Mumbai has opened, and we need to make sure that we are promoting our products,” she said. “So that means people need to see the products, and they need to know how to use the products. It will go to the same purpose that it’s gone to previously for the last few years.” Ms Clark also announced that the government and the Council of Forest Industries (COFI) had committed to an agreement in principle to work together and find sponsors for apprenticeships, as well as identify what the training needs of the industry are going to be moving forward. Hundreds of delegates gathered in Prince George for a convention experts say marked another positive sign in the recovery of the province’s

struggling forest industry. This was COFI’s first full convention since the US housing crash more than five years ago. Chairman Nick Arkle is optimistic about predictions that the industry is heading into a so-called “super cycle” of strong markets and healthy prices. He cautions that the global economy is still shaky, possible affecting the recovery, but he’s hopeful Canadian forest companies are about to see an extended period of growth. COFI never actually folded nor did the industry stop making lumber during the economic downturn, but officials with the industry advocacy group said forestry has definitely come back to financial health. “We were in a deep depression over about five years,” said Nick Arkle who is based at Gorman Brothers Lumber Ltd in the Okanagan. “Our industry tends to lead into recessions and we also tend to lead out,” he said.

‘It has been the toughest five years I’ve ever seen in my 35 years in the industry. But the industry has gotten itself back into balance’ – Nick Arkle

“It has been the toughest five years I’ve ever seen in my 35 years in the industry. But the industry has gotten itself back into balance. A rationalisation took place. There is a whole new forest industry now but one that never stopped investing through those five years. “We knew eventually we would come out of it. There is nothing like a recession to sharpen your wits as a business. MaryAnne Arcand, CEO of the Central Interior Logging Association, cautions that her members expect to share in the gains as companies recover, although she says they won’t hold the industry hostage. Before the two-day convention closed on April 5, the estimated 450 delegates heard from BC Forests Minister Steve Thomson, federal Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver, new Democrat leader Adrian Dix and Premier Christy Clark. COFI members range from large integrated global scale public companies to mediumsized family owned operations to smaller independent niche players. They produce a range of products including lumber, pulp and paper, panels and engineered wood in more than 60 facilities.

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US Forest Services braces for a new season of blazing wildfires US Forest Service anticipates another difficult year ahead as rising temperatures and increased drought are expected to expose forested lands to blazing wildfires, while sequestration stretches the agency and its resources to the limit. Taking a $132 million hit in budget cuts, the agency has already declared that 500 less firefighters will be employed for the 2013 season. When sequestration went into effect March 1, the Department of Agriculture saw nearly $2 billion disappear from their 2013 budget, of which $42 million belonged to the US Forest Service. The department’s secretary Tom Vilsack wrote in a letter to the Senate Committee on Appropriations that with significant cuts in budget, the Forest Service could still do things to curtail their loss, at least initially. “For example, the agency could reduce up-front costs by reducing use of exclusive use aviation contracts, 115 engines, and 10 hotshot crews. However, this could result in larger fires, which will result in higher expenditures,” Mr Vilsack said. The Forest Service is considering closing as many as 670 recreation sites, including campgrounds, picnic areas and trailheads, in order to save. In total, the effects of sequestration leave the Forest Service in a tough position for 2013, as the agency is expected to work with a quarter less than the average budget needed to manage wildfires and protect the public. In 2012, the US experienced the third most devastating and costly year of wildfires, as nearly 4.5 million ha of wilderness was burned to the ground. In a May 2012 statement, deputy

Fight on their hands .. US Forest Service firefighters are in a tough position.

chief James Hubbard wrote: “We face a unique challenge in the 2012 fire season. Based on predictive service forecasts we expect above normal significant fire potential .. to result in suppression costs that exceeds the 10-year average appropriation.” With shallow pockets, the Forest Service elected to adapt their fire policy by shifting towards “aggressive initial attacks” on any fires sparked. Under this direction, the agency pushed to suppress even the smallest of fires, deterring any possibility of widespread destruction. The newly adapted strategy, however, came with much criticism. Speaking on behalf of the watchdog group Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, spokesperson Andy Stahl lamented: “At a time of both drought in the interior West and overall increases in average global temperatures, we will be seeing more fire on the landscape and not less. Yet this policy attempts to put our hands over our eyes and deny

Tom Vilsack .. significant cuts in budget.

that reality. “Rather than making our landscapes more fire resilient, we’re going to return to the mid-20th century approach and earlier of trying to stamp out every fire, which we can’t do.” Over the last decade or so, wildfires have become a growing problem for the US Forest Service. Recently published by the Climate Prediction Centre, a seasonal drought outlook graphic illustrates the regions of the

The desire to let wildfires run their course, at least those that are far from humans and development, stems from their contribution to an ecosystem’s durability

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country where drought will intensify, persist, improve or develop. As expected, states west of the Great Plains almost uniformly will see drought to either persist or intensify during 2013. The implications from this include effected crop production and diminished natural water supplies and increased wildfire potential. The desire to let wildfires run their course, at least those that are far from humans and development, stems from their contribution to an ecosystem’s durability. Citing the tank fire in Utah last September, Forest Service spokesperson Loyal Clark explains that wildfires in areas holding “high amounts of dead fuel –“ meaning a lot of dry brush, leaves and other natural but highly flammable material” – effectively eliminate the fuel source and decrease the chance of future blazes. Described in the 1995 Wildland Fire Policy, wildfires are “a critical natural process [that] must be reintroduced into the ecosystem” for this exact reason. Predicting this year’s fire season to be worse than last, local authorities are working hard to be well prepared for what lies ahead. Governor Matt Mead of Wyoming is proposing to use $60 million of the state’s ‘rainy day’ fund to help pay for the remaining costs of last year’s season as well as the costs of the 2013 fire season. In southern California, the Fire Lookout Host Program is asking for volunteers to work eight hours a month as an intower lookout post. Today, wildfire management accounts for over half of the Forest Service’s budget at $948 million, but with continued cuts from US domestic agencies, that number will surely decrease in 2013 and beyond.

issue 265 | 15.04.13 | Page 17

on the road

On ‘EyeSight’, the Subaru Liberty looks the part for style and luxury

A taller 2.5X is smooth on and off the beaten track WHILE we nibbled the Brass Monkey Stilton-style blue cheese at the Jersey Girl café, which it was agreed would have gone well with a glass of the previous evening’s viognier, a group comprising four young SUV aficionados and two brown cows inspected the shiraz-coloured Liberty 2.5X sedan parked alongside the farmhouse. We had pulled up at the organic cheese store of Karen and Ross Deeth at Thulimbah, near Stanthorpe on Queensland’s Granite Belt, which owes its name to a belt of igneous granite rock coughed up many thousands of years ago by underground volcanos. We drove up to the state’s apple capital, 170 km from Brisbane, in a test vehicle that doesn’t sacrifice on style and luxury, and the 2.5-litre engine with 123 kW on tap at 5600 rpm, and connected to the continuously variable transmission, delivered a responsive, smooth and dynamic drive, both on and off the beaten track. The Subaru Liberty is a midsize car built by the Japanese automobile manufacturer since 1989. Part of the original design goals for the Liberty model was to provide Subaru a vehicle in which they could compete in the lucrative North American midsize market against competitors Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The 2.5X is the perfect competitor, now with additional ground clearance, a unique body kit, chrome-type highlights, self levelling low beam Xenon headlights, and 18-in.alloy wheels. The Liberty has always stood tall in the Subaru family and now the popular sedan stands even taller – 50 mm to be precise. That’s the extra ground

Page 18 | issue 265 | 15.04.13

Subaru Liberty 2.5X .. stands tall among other SUVs.

clearance given to the Model Year 2013 Liberty 2.5X and 3.6X. The 18-in. alloys – silver with 2.5X, gunmetal on 3.6X – also help to give the vehicles an elevated position – 200 mm ground clearance. The resultant command driving position gives it outstanding all-round visibility. Subaru’s innovative EyeSight driver assist system puts the 2.5X up against vehicles deep in luxury car territory. Eyesight is Subaru’s name for a camera and sonar-based radar system that detects objects in front of the moving car. The system includes adaptive cruise control, lane-change monitor, lead vehicle start alert and an autonomous pre-collision braking system with emergency

brake assist. This driver-assist system makes the collision avoidance technology available in a sub$48,000 Subaru model for the first time. A reversing camera adds a further dimension to the driver’s ability to keep out of trouble with other road users, while satellite navigation provides a measure of certainty when travelling in unknown territory. The 123kW/229Nm 2.5-litre flat-four engine is adequate and helped by a CVT auto (with paddle shifters). The AWD system is constant, so it always has all wheels driven which gives good grip on gravel roads and wet bitumen. Inside, we were surrounded by

Inside luxury .. satellite navigation, dual zone climate control air-conditioning, power windows and leather steering wheel.

luxurious appointments such as dual zone climate control airconditioning, power windows and mirrors, and a leather steering wheel. All this style and luxury is underpinned by Subaru DNA – from the renowned Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and Boxer engine, to its 5-star ANCAP safety rating. It also comes with seven airbags, auto wipers and wiper de-icers. The 2.5X drives like any other Liberty around the city but corners and side winds make a subtle impact in the way the car holds the road. It’s typical of a car with extra ground clearance and is the reason why some expensive SUVs have adjustable suspension that lowers the vehicle at high speeds. Based on the latest depreciation data, the Liberty is one of the best cars for value retention. With two bottles of Ballandean Estate 2005 shiraz viognier and a cake of Rosco’s rough red firm-washed rind cheese on board, we returned in comfort through Cunningham’s Gap to Brisbane. And, to quote Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 – 4 July 1826), author of America’s Declaration of Independence: “What price Liberty?” Dealers will negotiate on a $48,000 driveaway price.

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Played pivotal role in forging links with fire-prone regions From Page 13

collaboration and publication of research findings that embrace all aspects of the management. He is responsible for the development of formal agreements with overseas organisations in the US, France, Canada, Greece, Germany, Portugal and Chile. “Gary’s vision and leadership has resulted in Australia playing a pivotal role in forging lasting links with the most fire-prone regions of the world,” said a citation delivered by Michael Bleby, CFA regional coordinator, SE Asia and Pacific and Bob Newman, OAM, vice-president of the CFA governing council. After an initial grant through the federal government’s CRC program in 2003 combined with substantial partner resources, the Bushfire CRC is now funded through 2013 to address key issues raised by recent major fires. The Bushfire CRC is made up of all the fire and land management agencies in Australia and New Zealand, CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Attorney

General’s Department and several other fire related organisations, working from a small executive office is in East Melbourne. The Commonwealth Forestry Regional Award is one of a number of CFA honours which includes the Queen’s Award for Forestry and the presentation of medals of excellence in other regions of the Commonwealth of Nations. The CFA also has a Young Forester Award which supports professional development through a short-term work placement in another country, and a Young Scientist publication award through its journal the International Forestry Review. The CFRA works to promote the conservation and sustainable management of the world’s forests and the contribution they make to people’s livelihoods. It was formed in 1921, and is the longest established international forestry organisation.

• More than 6700 deliveries and 15,000 viewers each week

Safety first in new ATA plan for trucking sector THE Australian Trucking Association will continue to focus on increasing the industry’s safety, professionalism and viability under its 2013-2015 strategic plan, released last week. The chairman David Simon released the plan at the ATA’s annual general meeting. Mr Simon said the actions set out in plan aimed to increase the industry’s safety, with work on the Heavy Vehicle National Law, best practice standards through TruckSafe and a focus on the Road Ahead to communicate the ATA’s message of sharing the road

safely. “The plan also aims to promote the highest level of professionalism across the industry, with the National Trucking Industry Awards rewarding excellence and best practice,” Mr Simon said. “It sets out how the ATA will work to improve the industry’s viability, with strong advocacy for a fair and effective road charging and investment system and a commitment to campaign against the federal government’s plan to extend the carbon tax to trucking from July 1, 2014.”

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Issue 265 Timber and Forestry  

Weekly news for the Timber and Forestry industries.

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