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issue 275 | 24.06.13 | PAGe 1

Fire brand scares building industry

tHis issue • Industry restructure sign of tough times • Bioenergy potential for tasmania’s forests

Forged documents mislead manufacturers on cedar treatment in bushfire-prone areas

By JiM BOwden

Bogus fire retardants have failed tests for bushfire-prone areas.

truckers launch anti-carbon tax campaign • Bright commercial future for forest industry • John McNamara joins Parkside Group • Gunns receiver ramps up woodchip mill

Just Go t ood W

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Cont Page 8

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A FORGED document purporting to have been issued by New Zealand research and testing authority BRANZ that fraudulently recommends the use of fire retardant Firetard 120 on western red cedar window products and other components is under legal investigation by CSIRO and the ACCC. The fabricated documents are labelled Test Report FH 4084 and Test Certificate FTC 502 and were issued by a company registered in Australia and believed to have gone into administration. The application of the fire

retardant has rendered thousands of dollars worth of cladding, decking and window fittings completed or signed off in bushfire prone areas as not fit for purpose. “There is no evidence that western red cedar timber treated with Firetard 120 and subjected to the testing requirements of AS39592009 Appendix F (accelerated weathering followed by fire testing) meet the fire performance criteria for bushfire resisting timber,” BRANZ CEO Pieter Burghout said in a notice to industry.

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issue 275 | 24.06.13 | PAGe 1


industry news

Forest trust opens Asia-Pacific region office in Melbourne

GENEVA-based global environmental charity Forest Trust has established an office in Australia to serve the AsiaPacific region in programs mainly related to illegal logging issues. The Forest Trust, formerly the Tropical Forest Trust, helps companies run responsible supply chains with its main focus in Australasia and southeast Asia is focused on illegal logging trade issues. Experienced forester Michael Pescott has been appointed Asia-Pacific program manager, based in Melbourne. He holds degrees in forest science from Melbourne University and has worked with the Victorian government on forest sustainability and bushfire impacts and with the Food and Agricultural Organisation based in the Asia-Pacific office in Bangkok. The Forestry Trust works at the point of raw material extraction through to production in mills and factories to ensure products are traceable throughout the supply chain and that people and the environment are respected. The majority of the organisation’s staff are fieldbased, working with farmers and plantation and factory owners. Offices are located in the UK, France, Switzerland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, India, the US, Africa and Liberia. The trust was founded by Scott Poynton in 1999 after encouraging six major European retailers and their main suppliers to invest in eradicating illegal timber from their garden furniture supply chains. The companies were inspired to invest and leverage their supply chains to transform practices on the ground. With this commitment, the

PAgE 2 | issuE 275 | 24.06.13

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

Michael Pescott

Scott Poynton

Forestry Trust set up traceability systems and helped bring forests up to Forest Stewardship Council certified standards. In February last year, the trust began working with Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP), one of the world’s largest producers of paper and pulp. In February this year, APP announced an immediate end to all natural forest clearing in its supply chains in Indonesia and published a forest conservation policy which outlined its commitment to ‘no deforestation’. Scott Poynton will address an industry value chain seminar in Melbourne on October 11, to be run in conjunction with the annual general meeting of Forest and Wood Products Australia and a meeting of the Australian Timber Importers Federation.

FREECALL

1800 177 001

Melbourne

(03) 9321 3500

Sydney

(02) 8898 6990

Adelaide

(08) 8219 9028

Launceston

(03) 6331 6077

forestworks@forestworks.com.au

www.forestworks.com.au

ABN: 58 006 212 693

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industry news

Forest and wood products sector has a commercially bright future FWPA releases 5-year strategic plan for industry AN industry five-year Strategic Plan developed by Forest and Wood Products Australia has been distributed to members. The plan incorporates feedback from consultation with industry executives over the last 12 months, as well as consultation with national industry associations and the Australian government. Introducing the plan, FWPA chairman Ron Adams said the industry’s service company was committed to working collaboratively to deliver programs that would help secure a better economic future for the forest and wood products sector. “Throughout 2012, a series of meetings with members and key stakeholders identified priority activities for the company and explored a business case for an expansion of activities,” Mr Adams said. “The message from this consultation is clear; while there is in-principle support for a number of collaborative programs across the value chain, the industry is not in a position to fund these programs in the current challenging economic climate. “FWPA will focus on activities that have a shorter payback period, such as market development or where cost savings can be realistically achieved. This means that some previously supported

programs will be curtailed or deferred until levy income improves. “The expansion of activities will be revisited when industry is in a stronger position to make the appropriate funding investments.” Mr Adams said the consultation process identified the need to urgently address the collection and analysis of industry statistics. The current arrangements were costly and an impediment to good decision-making. “In response, FWPA has established a new program to provide improved coordination and build better systems for data collection and analysis,” he said. A key initiative will be the development of a secure, online portal for the consolidation of all key statistical data series.” Despite the challenges facing the industry, Mr Adams says there are realistic grounds for optimism. “Strong population growth trends, a substantial residential housing shortage, increasing recognition of the environmental and climate change abatement attributes of wood products, and the development of new engineered wood product applications for commercial high-rise construction all point to an exciting future for the forest and wood products sector.

stora invests $45m in mill upgrade STORA Enso is investing about $A45.3million in its Skoghall carton board mill in Sweden, primarily to rebuild a fibre line in the sulphate pulp mill and improve chemical recovery operations. This is expected

to increase the mill’s pulp production capacity by 45,000 tonnes a year. The

project

will

begin

immediately and is expected to

a range of key areas, including community engagement, market development, productivity improvements in growing and processing, as well as new product developments.

Ron Adams .. realistic grounds for optimism.

“To capture these opportunities in a timely and cost-effective manner, the industry will need to explore collaborative investments along the supply chain and pursue innovation in

“With scientifically robust R&D, community support and strengthened industry capability, the forest and wood products sector has a commercially bright future and the ability to contribute to key social, economic and environment policies of the nation.” A copy of the 5-year Strategic Plan has been published online (http://www.fwpa.com.au/ Strategic-Plan-2013-2018).

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issue 275 | 24.06.13 | Page 3


Page 4 | issue 275 | 24.06.13

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wHAt’s On?

JuLy

30 June-July 3: the new Zealand institute of Forestry conference and awards dinner– Taranaki. Venue: The Devon Hotel, New Plymouth. Visit NZIFConference. co.nz website for more detail and registration

AuGust 24: (saturday): the Cat Goes Gold. Brisbane Hoo-Hoo Club 218 50th anniversary celebration. Fratelli Italian Ristorante, 103 Crosby Road, Albion, Brisbane. Contact 0401 312 087 or 0428 745 455 for bookings.

sePteMBer 3-5: woodeXPO 13 – Albury, nsw. 11-13: woodeXPO 13, Rotorua, NZ. World leaders in wood processing, manufacturing and new product technologies will speak at the region’s first ‘business-tobusiness’ wood industry show. The new expo will provide local companies – management as well as production staff – exposure to new technologies that can improve their own efficiencies and productive capability. Leading technology providers from Europe, North America and Asia will join with each of the main equipment and product suppliers from New Zealand and Australia. Full details on the expo, summit and technology workshops are available on www.woodexpo2013.com

OCtOBer 11: Forest and wood Products Australian AGM. In conjunction with meeting of the Australian Timber Importers Federation and an industry value chain seminar. An industry dinner is planned for

Thursday evening, October 10. Information about the AGM and seminar will be circulated at a later date. 11: Forest and wood Products Australia (FwPA) AGM and research forum. Time: 8:30-10:30 am. Venue: Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour Hotel, Sydney. Inquiries to Ric Sinclair, FWPA (03) 9927 3200 or ric.sinclair@fwpa. com.au 11: Building stronger value chains – Australian timber industry seminar. Time: 10.30 am-5 pm. Venue: Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour Hotel, Sydney. Joint hosts: Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA); the Australian Timber Importers Federation (ATIF) and Timber Merchants and Building Material Association (TABMA). This will be the industry’s ‘must-attend’ event for 2013. Inquiries to John Halkett, ATIF (02) 9356 3826; Colin Fitzpatrick, TABMA (02) 9277 3100 Ric Sinclair, FWPA (03) 9927 3200 or Eileen Newbury, Leading Edge Events International (03) 9597 0948. Seminar sponsorship inquiries to John Halkett. 11: Australian timber industry annual gala dinner and awards presentation. Time 7:30 pm onwards. Timber and Building Material Association (TABMA) Doltone House, Pyrmont, Sydney. Pre-dinner drinks 6:30 pm. Inquiries to Colin Fitzpatrick, TABMA (02) 9277 3100 or colin@tabma. com.au

nOVeMBer 23: tABMA Queensland timber industry gala dinner. Moda Events Portside Level 2, Portside Wharf Hamilton. Contact Alicia on (07) 3254 3166 or alicia@tabma.com.au

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eVents 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 www.foresttechevents.com

FeBruAry 2014 17-21: Gottstein wood science Course, Melbourne. Inquiries to Dr Silvia Pongracic (Gottstein Trust), 0418 764 954 or secretary@gottsteintrust. org or www.gottsteintrust.org

MArCH 2014 19: Forestwood 2014 Conference. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington. A panindustry conference jointly hosted by Forest Owners Association, the Wood Processors Association, Pine Manufacturers Association , Forest Industry Contractors Association and supported by Woodco, NZ Farm Forestry Association and the Frame and Truss Manufacturers Association. Sponsorship and trade exhibition opportunities will be available from the middle of May 2013. Contact the conference organiser Paardekooper and Associates. Tel +64 4 562 8259. Email: info@forestwood.org.nz www. forestwood.org.nz

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 info@awisa.com or call Geoff Holland. Tel: (02) 9918 3661. Fax: (02) 9918 7764. Mob: 0412 361 580 Email: info@awisa.com

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 275 | 24.06.13 | PAGe 5


industry news

Industry restructures, job losses a sign of tough economic times Falling dollar offers some hope for wood processors THE Australian Forest Products Association is concerned at the loss of Australian jobs across the industry with two announcements of industry restructures on two consecutive days. AFPA CEO Ross Hampton said the redundancies in Western Australia from one of the state’s largest timber mills and the job losses from Boral Timber in New South Wales would impact on regional employment and had the potential to undermine the social fabric of these tight-knit communities. “Sustainable native timber forestry has been, and will continue to be, a vital part of Australia’s regional life providing economic and community benefits as well as multiple use conservation outcome,” Mr Hampton said. “When we discuss meat consumption we applaud those who advocate a no waste, ‘nose-to-tail’ approach. However, some fail to appreciate the same positive approach to the fibre we sustainably harvest from our trees. ‘Woodchips, mill residues and indeed biomass for renewable

PAgE 6 | issuE 275 | 24.06.13

energy are important parts of sustainable native forest management. Better policy for the use of native forest residues as a source of renewable energy would help industry competitiveness and better protect jobs in regional Australia. “The distress felt by families reliant on incomes from this renewable and carbon neutral industry deserves compassion. Both Boral Timber and Whittakers Timber Products deserve our gratitude for minimising the impact on regionally based communities during challenging economic times.” Whittakers, one of Western Australia’s largest millers of native hardwood, says it has not been able to reach an agreement with the state government on a viable volume of log resource and as a result its future is now uncertain. The sawmill is ceasing log deliveries and is preparing to close the green mill and part of the dry mill, making 44 people redundant. The mill sources jarrah, karri and marri from the state’s sustainably managed forests

Ross Hampton .. concern over industry redundancies and restructuring.

under a state contract. The timber is used to produce a range of products including flooring, decking and joinery. The executive director of the Forest Industries Federation Melissa Haslam says without an agreement on log resources the company can’t support new investment. Ms Haslam still believes there’s a strong future for mills in the south. “We need a commitment to at least the current volume, which is 131,000 cub a year from a good quality resource and at the right price,” she said.

Meanwhile, some small joy for industry has come in the form of an Australian dollar continuing its decline and Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s repeated promise to abolish the carbon tax if elected. As enews went online, the Australian dollar had fallen to 92.24 US cents, its lowest point since September 2010 after news about slowing growth in China and the rush of investors to the US dollar after the Federal Reserve Bank scaled back its $US85 billion a month bond-purchase program as the American economy strengthens. The tumbling dollar will take some pressure off industry as timber imports get more expensive. Imports have been setting the market price for some time and the weaker dollar will give Australian manufacturers some room to recover after being hit by rising operational costs over the last few years. Removal of the carbon tax – that would add at least $12 cub m to plywood production costs – would be welcomed by the engineered wood sector.

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industry news

Gunns receiver plans to ramp up woodchip production to 1m tonnes GUNNS receiver Bryan Webster of KordaMentha says the woodchip mill at Long Reach, near Launceston, operated by failed timber company Gunns, is back in business after stopping production in 2011. A shipload of woodchips had already been exported from Burnie with plans to ramp up production to a million tonnes a year to keep the pulp mill plan alive. Mr Webster said the Long Reach mill began accepting logs last month and the first ship, bound for Japan, was due to sail next month. He said the reopened woodchip mill boosted the chances of the pulp mill being built on the neighbouring 600 ha site on the Tamar River, as it kept forestry skills in the state. But he said the outcome of court action over managed investment scheme forestry, now in process, was much more important to the pulp mill’s future. This was because the court outcome would influence the amount of available wood. The Long Reach woodchip mill will produce about 500,000 tonnes for the year to March next year, all contracted to customers in Japan and China. The woodchips are from 40,000 ha of eucalypt plantations owned by Gunns and controlled by the receiver; all have FSC certification. Mr Webster said the estate could produce up to a million tonnes of woodchips a year in perpetuity, and he expected that would happen. Mr Webster said since being appointed as receiver in September last year he had worked hard to keep the woodchip ‘end-to-end’’ business going, consisting of the Burnie and Long Reach mills and port, laboratory and nursery. “It is a very tough [woodchip]

market at the moment and the margin that we are making on this is not a lot,” he said. “But I wanted to avoid that [shutting business down] at all costs because if we shut everything down there would be a massive skills drain from Tasmania,

particularly

from

forestry as people are forced to find other types of work or go Back in business .. Gunns woodchip mill at Long Reach, Tas.

work on the mainland.”

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Contact the Australian Lonza team for full details of the Lonza value package. phone:1300 650 636 issue 275 | 24.06.13 | Page 7


industry sPOtLiGHt

‘On-site engineering solutions are going to cost a lot of money’ From Page 1

He warned that the fabricated BRANZ documents FH 4048 and FTC 502 must not be relied on for verification of performance. BRANZ fears the problem is bigger and has a far wider affect on buildings already constructed than was first thought. “It seems Firetard 120 has been accepted as suitable for purpose for quite some time.” Mr Burghout has urged those who have used the fabricated fire test report or fire test certificate as part of the veification process of suitability to contact the relevant state or territory certifying or approval authorities. BRANZ Ltd is an independent research and testing company owned and directed by New Zealand’s building and construction industry. The executive director of the 500-member Australian Window Association Tracey Gramlick said at least six members among 60 AWA timber window manufacturers were caught up in the fraud. “Western red cedar timber is a major component in our industry and a lot of this treated with Firetard 120 has gone into buildings in BAL 29 (bushfire attack level) areas,” Ms Gramlick said. “On-site engineering solutions to products already installed in these areas are going to cost a lot of money. “Window manufacturers have used the fire retardant product in good faith, based on the certificates issued by the Australian distributor. Now the horse has bolted and these manufacturers are in a parlous situation.” Australia last year imported about 25,000 cub m of western red cedar (Thuja plicata), a native to western North

PAgE 8 | issuE 275 | 24.06.13

Pieter Burghout .. no evidence to support use of Firetard 120.

Tracey Gramlick .. presenting case to ACCC.

America. Ms Gramlick said the BRANZ notice will be reviewed at the AWA board meeting this week. Meanwhile, the association was talking to its lawyers and had presented a case to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). “This is just another instance of what’s happening in this country with faulty building products,” Ms Gramlick said. “This will be our 44th dispute this year over illegal and substandard material flooding into Australia, products such as poorly-performing glass and window fittings, engineered wood and a whole range of other building materials. “In every aspect of building there’s something coming in that fails to meet Australian standards; it’s cheap, it costs Australian jobs and there is absolutely no policing by either state or federal governments. “How long can it go on? It’s a world gone mad.” The chief executive of Cyndan Chemicals Andrew Kelly told T&F enews he had sold a fire retardant product to a distributor in Australia in 2010.

He said he believed this had been re-badged and sold as a certified fire retardant for timber. Cyndan Chemicals manufactures a product called Cyndan Fire Retardant Liquid, a passive fire retardant tested for use on radiate pine. Cyndan claims it inhibits the spread of fire once the source of fire is removed and is certified to meet AS 3959:2009 as a fire retardant liquid used in construction. The latest version of Australian standard 3959:2009 was hurried into release after the devastation of the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria in February 2009, which killed 173 people and destroyed more than 2000 homes. The latest release of AS3959 has significant changes, bringing major changes to construction of homes to be built in the future. Under this new standard all proposed building requires the builder or landowner to undergo a BAL (bushfire attack level) assessment. This requires a report tabled to establish the threat of bushfire on this future proposed dwelling. The report takes in matters

‘This is just another instance of what’s happening in this country with faulty building products’ – tracey Gramlick

such as the area FDI (fire danger index), ground slope, vegetation type and density to determine the intensity of fire attack, split into six levels. The six levels relate to the intensity of radiant heat exposure, with the levels being BAL-low (no threat or construction changes needed), diaBAL-12.5 (radiant heat levels would calculate 12.5kWm2), BAL-19 (19kWm2), BAL-29 (29kWm2), BAL-40 (40kWm2) and BAL-FZ (flame zone, which can be as high as 100kWm2). AS3959:2009 therefore instructs what changes and test methods are required for construction to comply with the BAL assessed levels. AS3959:2009 has been adopted as part of the Building Code of Australia. The AS3959:2009 bushfire standard declares some timbers as inherently fire retardant. These timbers can be used in all BAL levels up to BAL29 without any compliance requirements: ash, silvertop (Eucalyptus sieberi), blackbutt (E. pilulars), river and red gum (E. camaldulensis), spotted gum (Corymbia maculate), red ironbark (E. sideroxylon), kwila (Intsia bijuga) and turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera). There are many other timber types permitted in sections 5 and 6 of each BAL level section of the standard and are referenced in Appendix E. Most are of the eucalyptus family. They basically fall into two groups – 650kg per /m2; and; 750kg per /m2. These timbers can be treated with a fire retardant and tested for compliance. Any timber that is on the list of inherently fire retardant timbers, or has been treated with a fire retardant and tested to meet compliance, can be used in all instances up to BAL29.

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industry news

John Mcnamara to manage hardwoods for Parkside Group

John McNamara

Robert Tapiolas

QUEENSLAND timber industry identity and marketing expert John McNamara has been appointed CEO of the hardwood division of Parkside Building Supplies. Mr McNamara, who will be based in Brisbane, was a former managing director of both Hyne and Dale and Meyers. Established in 1947, Parkside is one of the largest privately owned companies in Australia, specialising in home construction and development, sawmilling, timber and hardware through to land development, retirement villages, shopping centres and finance companies. Parkside director Robert Tapiolas said his new hardwood CEO’s extensive knowledge of the industry from forest to production, marketing and sales would be a great asset to the company. Parkside has timber operations at Builyan, Wandoan, Wondai and Theodore and a pole treatment plant at Eidsvold. Timber and hardware outlets are located at Townsville and

Mackay (both truss plants), Cairns and Ayr. John McNamara, who was appointed last week, has hit the ground running visiting all hardwood operations over two days.

timber & Forestry e-news is the most authoritative and quickest deliverer of news and special features to the forest and forest products industries in Australia, new Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region. weekly distribution is over 7,000 copies, delivered every Monday. Advertising rates are the most competitive of any industry magazine in the region. timber&Forestry e-news hits your target market – every week, every Monday! HEAD OFFICE Custom Publishing Group unit 2- 3986 Pacific Highway Loganholme 4129 Qld, Australia Address all correspondence to PO Box 330, Hamilton Central, Qld 4007

He has close to 40 years’ experience in the timber industry dennis@industrye-news.com and has held senior positions with Auspine Ltd, Risby Forest PUBLISHER Industries and Boral. He said he was looking forward to the challenges facing the hardwood sector and would work to maximise the company’s products from hardwood logs. Parkside’s biggest hardwood processing sites are at Wondai in the South Burnett, 240 km northwest of Brisbane, and Wandoan on Queensland’s Western Downs. “The company’s hardwood division enjoys a good position operating on longterm contracts in state forests negotiated with the Queensland government,” Mr McNamara said.

dennis Macready dennis@industrye-news.com

mAnAgIng EDITOR Jim Bowden tel: +61 7 3266 1429 Mob: 0401 312 087 timberandforestryenews@bigpond.com ADVERTISIng tel: +61 7 3266 1429 timberandforestryenews@bigpond.com

Sharp drop in US plywood imports US plywood imports from China have dropped significantly since the Department of Commerce announced in February the preliminary countervailing duties on Chinese plywood. Imports

of other wood products were largely stable in March, except for a decline in furniture imports. Hardwood plywood imports fell in March due to significantly lower intakes from China.

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Opinions expressed on timber & Forestry e news are not necessarily the opinions of the editor, publisher or staff. we do not accept responsibility for any damage resulting from inaccuracies in editorial or advertising. the Publisher is therefore indemnified against all actions, suits, claims or damages resulting from content on this e news. Content cannot be reproduced without the prior consent of the Publisher- Custom Publishing Group.

issue 275 | 24.06.13 | Page 9


industry news

trucking industry launches angry campaign on Gillard’s carbon tax THE Labor Government’s plan to extend its carbon tax to truck fuel would cause more small trucking businesses to close, the chairman of the Australian Trucking Association David Simon said. Mr Simon was launching the ATA’s 2013 election campaign which focuses on the carbon tax, as well as fixing the road funding system and the way the industry is charged for its use of the roads. The Prime Minister Julia Gillard has confirmed that under Labor the transport sector will be hit with the carbon tax from July 1 next year. Extending the carbon tax will add around an extra seven cents a litre to the cost of fuel for heavy transport. The government is yet to introduce the legislation, but the Greens have indicated they want to extend the carbon tax to also include petrol. The Australian Trucking Association estimates the cost of the carbon tax being added to the trucking business will be more than half a billion dollars a year. The Transport Workers Union says the tax will add $200 a week to a truck driver’s fuel

supermarket is delivered by truck.” Mr Simon said the Labor government expected trucking operators to switch to alternative fuels such as biodiesel, which were not subject to the carbon tax. “The problem is that many truck engine manufacturers recommend against using fuel with more than 5% biodiesel in their engines, and it’s hard to get – biodiesel makes up less than one half of one per cent of the diesel market,” he said. Heavy load .. introduction of a carbon tax fuels concerns about the viability of trucking operations.

costs. David Simon said most trucking businesses did not have the market power to increase their freight rates to cover the cost of the tax and operated on very tight margins. Mr Simon said a carbon tax would force even more small trucking businesses to close.

“This would be a tragedy for the people involved, who in many cases would have invested everything they had in their business,” he said. “It would reduce the industry’s flexibility and productivity, and ultimately raise costs for everyone, because every item on the shelves of every

‘Most trucking businesses do not have the market power to increase their freight rates to cover the cost of the tax and operate on very tight margins’ – david simon

During the formal election campaign, which starts on August 12, the ATA will provide the public and the industry with a report card on how the parties compare. Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Warren Truss said the Coalition would begin the process of removing the carbon tax on day one of a new government. “Legislation to scrap the tax will be the first legislation to be introduced to the new parliament,” he said.

BOARD VACANCIES FWPA is seeking to appoint two Directors at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (Friday, 11th October) due to the completion of a 3-year term by Ron Adams and Dr Michele Allen. Ron Adams has expressed his desire to seek re-nomination. Voting Members of FWPA are entitled and encouraged to propose candidates to the Director Selection Committee. Information about FWPA and the process for appointing Directors is set out in FWPA’s Constitution (http://www. fwpa.com.au/FWPA-Constitution). The appointment process can be summarised as follows: · Persons or organisations propose candidates to be Directors of the company

PAGe 10 | issue 275 | 24.06.13

· A Director Selection Committee, established under the Constitution (with representation from four national industry associations), will consider nominations · The FWPA Constitution requires the company to have a skills-based Board and the Committee is required to select candidates that fill identified skills gaps within the ongoing Board · The Constitution also requires a minimum of two independent Directors · The Director Selection Committee will recommend candidates to the FWPA voting members at the next annual general meeting to be held on Friday 11th October) It should be noted that the Director selection process operates totally independent of the FWPA Board.

Proposals for candidates should: · Provide sufficient information about the candidate to allow the Director Selection Committee to fully consider the candidate’s nomination · Include specific information about the candidate’s ability to meet one or more of the requisite skills and experience nominated in FWPA’s Constitution ·

Include a statement that the proposed candidate is aware of his or her nomination and is willing to accept appointment as a Director of FWPA if elected

Please send proposals for candidates to Rob Lockwood via email (rob.lockwood@fwpa.com.au) by 5.00 pm on Friday July 5th 2013.

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eVents

study tour of europe takes in best examples of timber construction Wood forum in Germany focuses on prefab housing A STUDY of landmark structural wood projects in central Europe in December will include a visit to the International Timber Construction Forum in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southern Germany. The study tour of Germany, Austria and Switzerland from December 1 to 7 has been arranged by WoodSolutions and will be led by Andrew Lawrence, a working specialist timber engineer and Associate in Arup’s advanced technology and research group in London. “It will be a very personalised tour with guest speakers at dinners and on the tour with us visiting their own projects and discussing the ups and downs and details,” says Eileen

Newbury of Leading Edge Events which is coordinating the tour. “We have some great engineers and architects already lined up such as Konrad Merz, a structural engineer in Austria and architects from Shigeru Ban and Hermann Kaufmann to name a few.” Projects to be visited include the Binderholz CLT Factory Community Centre in Ludesch, Austria, and an eight-storey apartment block in Bad Aibling, which at almost 25 m high is the tallest timber-frame building in Germany. The entire supporting structure is made of wood with a timber-clad façade offset by Eight-storey Bad Aibling apartments .. tallest timber-frame building in Germany.

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Cont Page 12

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meet these requirements. In fact, laboratory tests show many imported non-certified products are continuously failing Australian standards for emissions and bonding strength and are life threatening. FACT: Manufacturers, agents and suppliers trading in inferior quality, unlabelled and non-compliant plywood and LVL risk damage to their business, media exposure and high penalties under Australian law.

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issue 275 | 24.06.13 | Page 11


industry news

nZ chases Chinese investors to back mega-mill in north island CHINESE investors are being sought to back a huge sawmill project in New Zealand’s central North Island. The concept of a ‘mega-mill’ is being floated to a potential consortium of investors by Taupo District Council and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. The council has sister-city links with the Chinese city of Suzhou. Will Samuel, the council’s business development manager, said talks were “still exploratory” and the council’s role was purely as a facilitator. “All regions across the central North Island were asking how they could get more value out of the flood of logs leaving the country,” he said in a comment reported in the Dominion Post. “An alternative to building a new mill was coordinating excess capacity at the region’s many sawmills.” China is now New Zealand’s biggest export destination for wood products and a close second to Australia for sawn

Attracting investors .. radiata plantations hug the highway in New Zealand’s central North Island.

timber. As New Zealand’s wood harvest rises, forest industry players have called for further investment in the processing sector to give it the necessary scale. For investors, the central North Island area has several attractive features with almost a third of the country’s plantation forests and a good infrastructure already in place. “But its biggest advantage is likely to be its geothermal

Will Samuel .. getting more value out of logs.

power,” says Glen Mackie, the Forest Owners Association’s senior policy analyst. “China has started to flag that it’s having energy issues and may start to ration energy to certain sectors.” There was plenty of wood, “but it still has to be proven to be economic to process the lumber in New Zealand and ship it to China and compete against other lumber suppliers”. The central North Island is the hub of the New Zealand forest industry with a third of the plantation estate, but major new areas such as Northland, East Coast (NI), Nelson/ Marlborough and Otago/ Southland planted in 1970s are now ready to harvest. Since 2003 there have been large scale changes to the ownership of plantation forests in New Zealand, with international timber management organisations (TIMOs) the most active buyers.

Meet the people who inspired and built the projects From Page 11

isolated rendered areas. The International Timber Construction Forum (IHFGarmisch 2013) in the Bavarian town of GarmischPartenkirchen from December 1 to 3 will provide architects, engineers and builders with an opportunity to report on experiences, processes and goals related to wood structures and construction. At the same time, the conference provides an opportunity for architects, building officials, builders and craftspeople, practicians and educators to learn about the latest developments and to exchange experiences. “Combining a multi-stream seminar program with

PAgE 12 | issuE 275 | 24.06.13

content ranging from case studies to academic display area, the conference will be supported by many of Europe’s leading universities, professional associations and manufacturers,” Eileen Newbury said. “This is an invaluable opportunity to gain an overview of contemporary timber construction innovations.” An opening forum session has been organised by the German Federal Society for Prefabricated Housing and the Austrian Prefabricated Housing Association focusing on the topic ‘Building for Municipal and Institutional Clients’. Ms Newbury said the study tour would be seven days and eight nights of wonderfully inspiring,

landmark projects – and meet some of the people who inspired and built them”. The tour is limited to 25 people and includes an optional twoday ski extension in Saint Moritz. Those first in with a deposit of $500 will confirm their registration.

Andrew Lawrence .. leading WoodSolutions study tour of central Europe.

informative and fun events – from Munich to Zurich. She invites industry to “join a group of architects, engineers, developers and building professionals who will visit

Land-only tour cost is $A3850 p.p. twin share (including gst) with a single supplement addon of $A585 p.p. Registration for (IHF-Garmisch 2010) is at the special reduced fee of $500 p.p. Contact Eileen Newbury, Leading Edge International, on 61 (0) 4193 13163 or email: eileen@leadingedgeevents. com.au

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BiOMAss reseArCH

German scientist sees bioenergy potential from tasmania’s forests Study shows wood waste worth millions of dollars A FIVE-month study has found millions of dollars in potential bioenergy could be generated by using waste from Tasmania’s forests. Professor Andreas Rothe from the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan in Germany has spent most of this year looking at the potential to generate heat and electricity from wood waste and low quality eucalypts. He found that more than 3 million tonnes of biomass could be sourced for bioenergy from native forests and plantations in Tasmania, and the bulk of it from private land. In an ABC report, Prof. Rothe says per person Tasmania has a forest resource on a par with the highest in Europe, in Finland and Sweden. “These countries produce 30% of their total energy from forest biomass and the Tasmanian potential would be similar,” he said. Prof. Rothe says for the process to gain wide community support as a renewable resource it is important that biomass is sourced from plantations and sustainably managed native forests.

Valuable waste .. more than 3 million tonnes of biomass cold be source from low quality eucalypts.

Prof. Andreas Rothe .. there is no need to harvest intensively.

“It really depends on the forests where you source the biomass from. You shouldn’t source the biomass from an old growth forest because this in the short term, produces more carbon than it releases. “But if you do it from a plantation, which is the main source in Tasmania, or if you do it from native forest regrowth, as it’s done all over Europe, then it’s renewable.” His research institution in Bavaria is undertaking a project estimating the sustainable

supply of forest biomass in Europe that can be harvested without harming biodiversity. “In Europe we have a strong consensus that it is a renewable resource, it’s supported both by the European Community and local governments. It’s subsidised. “But there are concerns that they are going too far because it has tripled in the last 10 years in Europe. It’s sustainable but not endless.” Prof. Rothe says the standards used in the Tasmanian biomass study were much more conservative than those used in Europe. “Tasmania has so much potential and such good forests there’s just no need to harvest intensively.” Dr Andreas Rothe is a Professor in the Forest Faculty of the University of Applied Sciences Wiehenstephan in Bavaria.

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issue 275 | 24.06.13 | PAGe 13


industry news

Campaign against forest contractor exit packages ‘grossly misleading’ Senate committee reviewing allegations on misuse of funds By JiM BOwden

THE mainstream media and people masquerading as contractors had conducted a scurrilous campaign against the forest harvesting sector in Tasmania, the chairman of the Australian Forest Contractors Association Colin McCulloch said in a blunt response to a report on the ABC 7.30 program about alleged misuse of federal industry exit packages. “The ABC program reached a new low in reporting with no time given to industry leaders to challenge these dubious claims ‘from the other side’,” Mr McCulloch said. The program’s presenter Leigh Sales referred to a series of federal government rescue packages to get timber contractors out of Tasmania’s native forests “to save both the forests and the livelihoods of timber families”. “But,” she said “allegations have emerged of millions of dollars being wasted amid widespread rorting of the schemes”. Mr MCulloch said the program had created false illusions around the issue and was grossly misleading. “In many instances, native forests have been the main component of business for contractors,” he said.” They have exited and lost this business at great cost and are entitled to make their own arrangements to work in other types of forest harvesting. “They are entitled to sell their assets to whomever they choose.” Mr McCulloch said to ambush a log transporter on the road – as the 7:30 reporter did – was a low act. This fellow was obviously traumatised as a mate had lost a load of logs and had only narrowly escaped

PAgE 14 | issuE 275 | 24.06.13

Colin McCulloch .. scurrilous campaign against contractors.

Lara Giddings … exit payments scheme generally well run

serious injury. “There are proper processes for people to register complaints if they are so aggrieved,” he said. “This business of creeping up on workers is nasty stuff. “There’s a senate inquiry, so one would suspect they might have waited for that outcome. It’s due process.” The ABC roadside taunt went something like this: Reporter: Why did you change the name [transport company] into your son’s name? Contractor: That’s my business decision. Reporter: He’s 19, isn’t he? How can he afford to run all these trucks? Contractor: What’s age got to do with it? Reporter: Well, age has a lot to do with it when you’re talking about the financial investment of these trucks, surely. I mean, how much did he buy them off you for? Contractor: He’s borrowed the money. Reporter: Without any financial assistance from you? Contractor: Exactly right. Reporter: And who’s he working

in native forests for? Contractor: He’s carting off other contractors. He’s already been working in native forests. He’s had his own truck since he was 17. Reporter: So you have no involvement in the business anymore? Contractor: No. Reporter: Then why are you here? I mean, this is your son’s truck. Contractor: I work for the business. I’m just a worker. Reporter: Isn’t that hard to believe, that you received $1.9 million from the taxpayer and here you are, working on the [transport company] job? Contractor: I’ve got to have income somewhere. I’ve gotta work for somebody. Reporter: Can you see how people would be frustrated that your son continues on in the industry? Contractor: Oh, look, everybody’s frustrated with everybody in the industry. All this while the contractor was standing among fallen logs from the truck and a driver was being treated for shock.

‘they are entitled to sell their assets to whomever they choose’ – Colin McCulloch

Referring to his own situation, Mr McCulloch said he took an exit package in 2011 and virtually lost a life’s work in native forest harvesting. “But I had an existing arrangement to harvest pine plantations in Victoria.” He said if somebody had found a loophole in the exit scheme, then there was a weakness in the strategy. Meanwhile, forestry industry groups want contractors accused of defrauding the federal government scheme to be named so they can defend themselves. A senate committee wants a full investigation into claims some Tasmanian forestry contractors have accepted industry exit payouts but stayed in the logging industry. In February, the commonwealth auditor-general found millions of dollars had been misspent under the $45 million scheme. The inquiry was set up three months later to investigate the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s handling of the money. The Forest Industries Association of Tasmania wants the rorting allegations to be made public. FIAT has welcomed the inquiry’s recommendation to have the allegations further investigated but chief executive Terry Edwards says it is time for the allegations to be revealed in full. “I’m heartened by the view that these issues will be properly investigated rather than allegations being made in private by a couple of disgruntled individuals in a star chamber environment where the people against whom these allegations are being made are Cont Page 17

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trade fears blocking progress on redd+ at un climate talks

Bonn wrestles with the drivers of deforestation NEGOTIATORS at the recent UN climate change negotiations in Bonn wrestled with the question of how to go about discussing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation – the source of about 15% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Central to this discussion are the strong market incentives, operating on a global scale, that currently drive the production of commodities in ways that destroy forests. That means discussing international trade. However, some negotiators argued that questions relating to trade should be left out of the talks altogether. And their reason seems straightforward: trade is the domain of the World Trade Organisation, while climate change sits under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). If the negotiators venture into this debate, any agreements they reach could clash with those of the powerful global trade body, possibly triggering disputes. But, while there are legitimate questions surrounding the differing mandates of the two multilateral bodies, these are neither reasons for negotiators to fear that all trade-related action under the UNFCCC will result in conflict, nor justification for them to avoid discussing issues that could impact trade – a result that would severely reduce, if not destroy, the negotiators’ chances of addressing forest emissions. The WTO aims to liberalise

Children play on illegal timber which was confiscated by local authorities in Pelalawan, Riau, Indonesia.

international trade, by ensuring that trade flows “as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible”. To this end, its principles forbid members from discriminating between ‘like products’ (products which are determined to be similar according to WTO criteria) and from subjecting each other to restrictions on imports and exports, other than charges such as duties and taxes. Certainly, the WTO is not on a mission to address climate change. However, both on paper and in practice, the WTO does recognise exceptions to its principles, allowing measures to protect human, animal or plant life or health, or to conserve exhaustible natural resources – on the condition that such measures apply

not just to member countries’ trading partners, but also at home. So, with the WTO’s constraints and exceptions in mind, it is immediately possible to identify measures that parties to the UNFCCC could adopt without fear of provoking trade disputes. A good starting point is public procurement. Governments have considerable buying power, constituting up to 10% of the market for a product, and up to 25% when the knock-on effects on other suppliers and retailers are considered. Their procurement policies can therefore lead the way in creating increased demand for sustainable products derived from tropical forests, such as timber and palm oil. Countries can also work together to define ‘sustainable’

Governments have considerable buying power, constituting up to 10% of the market for a product, and up to 25% when the knock-on effects on other suppliers and retailers are considered

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products, and to implement bilateral or multilateral agreements that restrict trade of products that don’t fulfil the criteria. Mechanisms already exist which function in this way, an example being the Voluntary Partnership Agreements within the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, which has been used to combat the trade in illegal timber. Other possible measures that could be considered under the UNFCCC include preferential import tariffs for sustainable commodities. Of course, action under the UNFCCC by no means makes the WTO an inappropriate place to recognise the centrality of trade related measures within global efforts to address forest emissions: simultaneous efforts to understand address the problems and solutions, under the UNFCCC, the WTO and other bodies worldwide, can only be a good thing, especially if these organisations learn to speak the same language and communicate with each other. But climate negotiators must not use the existence of these other organisations to shy away from their task of addressing forest emissions through the most effective means possible. Ultimately, if our ambition to maintain the status quo under the WTO exceeds our ambition to tackle climate change, we’re in dire straits Source: Christina MacFarquhar and Matt Leggett, Global Canopy Program.

issue 275 | 24.06.13 | PAGe 15


internAtiOnAL FOCus

weyerhaeuser climbs on news of new CeO and $2.65bn timber buy Tall buildings changing conversation about timber STOCKS have climbed for Weyerhaeuser as the giant lumber company named a new CEO and announced a $2.65 billion deal to buy one of the most valuable freehold timberland portfolios in the US northwest. The company is also exploring strategic options for its real estate company that could include a merger, a sale or spinoff of the business. Doyle Simons, 49, was appointed president and chief executive, effective August 1, succeeding Dan Fulton, who turns 65 this year and will be retiring as planned. Mr Fulton will serve as executive vicechairman of the Weyerhaeuser board of directors until his retirement in October. Weyerhaeuser has bought Longview Timber which owns

Dan Fulton .. executive vice-chairman of the board.

Doyle Simons .. new chief executive at Weyerhaeuser.

and manages about 263,045 ha of prime, freehold timberlands in Washington and Oregon. This represents one of the most valuable freehold timberland portfolios in the region. Specialising in Log Cabin Logs Longview manages its timberlands on a sustained-

yield basis and is SFI certified. The company’s specialty log program produces a wide variety of products including cabin logs, character logs, poles, and any other unique logs that are difficult to find. Weyerhaeuser is purchasing Longview Brookfield Asset

Management. The transaction, which includes the assumption of debt, is expected to close next month. Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world’s largest private owners of timberlands, began operations in 1900. It owns or controls 2,428,113 ha of timberlands, primarily in the US and manages another 5,665,599 ha under long-term licenses in Canada. The company is one of the largest manufacturers of wood and cellulose fibre products, and develops real estate, primarily as a builder of singlefamily homes. Last year, Weyerhaeuser generated $7.1 billion in sales and employed about 13,200 people.

Lumber and the story of immigration at Pier 21 THE Canadian Museum of Immigration has hosted a wide variety of exhibits over the years that highlighted the Canadian story. But never anything quite like the latest project on Pier 21, a former ocean liner terminal in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that operated as a terminal and immigration shed from 1928 to 1971. Large beams of lumber come together to make miniature skylines throughout the gallery for the latest exhibit called ‘Migrating Landscapes’. The museum staff have been putting the finishing touches together, assembling the large fixtures one by one. Chief curator Tanya Bouchard says they’ve never assembled something like this before. “So we’re putting the last pieces

PAgE 16 | issuE 275 | 24.06.13

Canada’s story .. a city of lumber sprouts on Pier 21.

together and completing the landscape, which is composed of about 28,000 linear feet of lumber,” she said. “It’s made up of lumber pieces cut at different sizes, 12x12, 6x6, 4x4, 3x3, 2x2 and they’re each cut at different length, all which was done here, locally.” Migrating Landscapes showcases a series of model

‘dwellings’ by young architects and designers, inspired by their personal experiences of immigration and migration. From model skyscrapers to cabins, the dwellings are nestled in an abstract wooden landscape. The architectural models are brought to life by accompanying videos that draw on the artists’ cultural

memories. “This exhibit has a duality of being architecturally based, but the theme is about immigration and migration,” Bouchard said. “There’s a very human story to it.” The landscapes are built with lumber to represent the natural resources of Canada and to show its inherent novelty Bouchard said. The powerful smell and scope of the lumber is almost overwhelming as you enter the gallery, something not lost on the designer. “I’m hoping people will come and think about their own migrations and think about how they’re bringing their memories with them,” Bouchard said. “I think almost everyone can relate to migrating, even if it’s just within Canada.”

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industry news

‘Payment scheme has worked well’ The senate into the $45 million forestry contractors exit program heard Forestry Tasmania had mistakenly backed some contractors’ eligibility for compensation.

From Page 17

given no opportunity to defend themselves,” he said. “These allegations have been made in-camera without the details being known. “We are led to believe individuals and company names and individual names are used in those and it’s our position that those allegations ought to be made so that people have a right to defend themselves against them.” Colin McCulloch agrees: “We’ve always welcomed any form of investigation.” He says some contractors may have accepted the payments without understanding the conditions. The Tasmanian Premier is playing down concerns of widespread rorting. Lara Giddings says any fraud was on a small scale, and the exit payments scheme was

But Forestry Tasmania’s Bob Gordon told the inquiry the letters that backed the contractors’ applications and eligibility were withdrawn and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry advised them immediately when the bungle was discovered. Lost business .. native forests have been the main component of income for contractors.

generally well run. “There have been some issues with the program, but on the whole it’s worked well,” she said. “You will not allow one or two bad eggs to ruin the whole program for all of those good,

honest people who have done the right thing through the program.” The federal Forestry Minister Joe Ludwig has claimed his department had investigated 18 allegations of fraud and none was found to be valid.

Mr Gordon has said there was nothing untoward in the mistake. He said the federal Forestry Department had ignored his warning that buying out too many contractors would hamper Forestry Tasmania’s ability to meet its legislative obligations.

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issue 275 | 24.06.13 | PAGe 17


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