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issuE 278 | 15.07.13 | PAgE 1

TCA to stay, but with key changes

THis issuE • Cypress sawmiller shuts shop • Oceania talks give update on wood trade

Board steps aside in a restructure of industry grassroots organisation

Tim Woods

Mick Stephens

Warwick Ragg

Australian Forest Growers, a long-standing board member, Tim Woods, a consultant who led the TCA review, and Mick Stephens, manager of strategic policy, Australian Forest

Cont Page 3

Cutting red tape boosts housing • Busy times at FSC Australia • Paper chase to support Australian jobs • Great Southern class action mounts • US law protects forest operations

Just Go t ood W

ne ree


Products Association. Speaking as interim board chair, Tim Woods said a future reference group would provide early, representative


r sm




A STRUCTURAL makeover of Timber Communities Australia signals the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the grassroots organisation. Following close consultation with all sectors of industry and the recommendations of a national review, the TCA board will step aside to allow an interim board of three directors who, among other priorities, will seek to develop a reference group as one component of ensuring a workable, representative and supportable new structure. The three interim directors are Warwick Ragg, CEO of



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issuE 278 | 15.07.13 | PAgE 1


Oceania conference timely update on NZ, Australia wood trade Challenges in Melbourne program A FOREST plantation and wood trade conference in Melbourne next month will give delegates a timely update on the position of most segments of the industry in Australia and New Zealand. Both countries have undergone several radical changes to their industry structures over the last 10-15 years, and these will reviewed at the DANA Oceania Forest Plantation and Wood Trade Conference in Melbourne on August 8 and 9. The industry starts at the forest gate, and major ownership changes have occurred – from government and industry, to institutional ownership in both countries. DANA director and industry consultant Dennis Neilson says the ‘musical chairs’ of ownership is likely to continue, especially with a newly announced New Forests $570 million ANZ II Fund, a planned new overseas investment fund being raised by a US TIMO, and three major Chinese buyers entering the industry in New Zealand. The conference will focus on this trend and will ask – is this trend going to become big-time in both countries? In Australia, the MIS industry fallout still has a way to go. Mr Neilson said the major woodchip export trade for both softwood and hardwood was challenging in 2013 as high Australian and NZ dollar rates had pushed up costs. But some relief might be on the way with weakening currencies. “On the other hand, the softwood log export trade has

Dennis Neilson .. ‘musical chairs’ of ownership is likely to continue.

been booming in 2013, with major expansions to Australian ports, and large volume increases,” he said. “And, a fledgling hardwood log export industry from Australia might develop into sizeable business.” The New Zealand sawn timber sector is heavily reliant on exports, and has suffered at the hands of European timber taking such a large share of the Australian domestic market – previously New Zealand’s major customer. This competition has also seriously affected Australian domestic producers. Two large softwood sawmills changed hands in Australia in late 2012, signalling a new investment cycle in Australia. The forestry and forest industry sector of New Zealand is the third largest product exporter and plays an important part in the country’s economy. In Australia, it makes up a smaller share of the economy, Cont Page 9

The New Zealand sawn timber sector is heavily reliant on exports, and has suffered at the hands of European timber taking such a large share of the Australian domestic market Page 2 | issue 278 | 15.07.13

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National coordination, effective communications remain critical From Page 1

important input into the required organisational changes. The interim board would operate for a short time, oversee the required changes (constitutional amendments, consultations with members, branches and potential affiliates, and some communications system improvements) and move quickly to the new structure. A new national coordinator would also be appointed at the appropriate time, Mr Woods said. A TCA annual general meeting will be convened at the earliest possible date to elect a new board. The three interim directors would leave the board at that time. The recent review of TCA confirmed that the organisation needed to change – to reflect the changing communities it serves. “Importantly, as part of the review and after receiving feedback from TCA members, the TCA board and some key stakeholders have now worked through a proposed and revised structure which can be more grassroots, more efficient and more durable into the future,” Tim Woods said. This structure proposes to: • Retain branches and ensure they are represented on the board, with the aim of achieving

Fighting for jobs at the grassroots .. the timber community rallied in Huonville last year to support the forest industry in Tasmania.

broad representation from as many states as possible. • Support branches which want to become separate organisations and to ‘affiliate’ to TCA [it is a matter of pride for TCA that some branches have reached the stage where they have become fully fledged community organisations with a wide range of interests]. • Create a new category for existing community based organisations to ‘affiliate’ to TCA and be represented on the board. • Establish a forest industries stakeholder forum for TCA to meet and discuss the important

issues to communities and industry with the forest industry and industry stakeholder organisations. Membership will remain open and members will be supported by modern communications systems that are effective and efficient. “Everyone knows financial resources are tight in Australia’s timber communities,” Mr Woods said. “However, national coordination and effective communications remain critical, so efforts are under way to secure enough stable funding to ensure TCA can continue to operate.

‘The TCA board and some key stakeholders have worked through a proposed and revised structure which can be more grassroots, more efficient and more durable into the future’ – Tim Woods

“The aim of these changes is to place TCA’s grassroots members, branches and other like-minded community organisations at the head and at the heart of TCA. The changes are designed to improve the effectiveness and representation of timber-based communities.” To protect their interests and because the job roles are changing, the staff of TCA, with their agreement, were made redundant, just prior to the end of June. Mr Woods said the outgoing board, on behalf of all members, wanted to record its appreciation to the staff of TCA, both past and especially present. “Their efforts have been tireless and in recent years, stressed and stretched by limited resources and seemingly limitless challenges,” he said. “They, and the outgoing board, have earned and retained the respect of industry.” In a message to industry, Mr Woods added: “This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for TCA and for Australia’s timber communities and the people who live in them. We hope that like all of us, you will participate in this process and where possible, assist to rejuvenate TCA.” He said TCA members would be kept informed as the transition proceeded.

Cypress mill ‘white-anted’ by government red tape ONE of Australia’s biggest cypress producers has been forced to shut down, blaming tough marketing conditions and “ever-mounting red tape” by government authorities. “It’s a sorry state of affairs,” said Don Collins whose family has operated N.K. Collins Industries, based in Toowoomba, for more than 60 years. “We just couldn’t hang on,

the hurdles were too great. Successive governments at all levels have burdened us with increasing workers’ compensation, rates, power costs, the list goes on,” Mr Collins said. “We were left with 60 employees and this was costing $30,000 a month in workers’ compensation. Rates at the Toowoomba site alone were $50,000.”

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N.K. Collins goes into voluntary receivership after 60 years of considerable investment in the industry. The company at one time operated five sawmills and invested millions of dollars in machinery. The Toowoomba processing plant boasted the largest modern kiln drying plant as well as high speed planing machines, sizing and proof grading equipment, automatic

fault line dockers, and a state-ofthe-art automatic end-matcher. In the 1990s, the company diversified part of its operations into the export market with sales to US, New Zealand, Brazil, southeast Asia and Japan. The US and Japanese markets expanding rapidly due to the unique properties of cypress being durability class 1 and termite / white ant resistant.

issue 278 | 15.07.13 | Page 3


Growth performance .. property owner Gavin Ellis (right) during a 2006 inspection of unthinned stands of western blue gum (left) with Tasmanian E. globulus on the right.

Directors warned on Great Southern forest yields claim TESTIMONY by a former director of Great Southern Group will have major ramifications in a massive class action against the failed forestry and agricultural investment company. Court documents reveal former board director and forestry manager Gavin Ellis has come forward to claim he personally warned the company’s most senior executives that publicly listed yields for Great Southern’s forests were flawed early in the previous decade. A report in the Financial Review says these forecasts were a key sales plank for the former listed company as it raised $1.8 billion from 47,000 investors during a half-decade. The FN report says the new evidence has prompted the lawyers, representing 20,000 investors seeking redress in the case, to ask successfully in the Victorian Supreme Court for the trial to be reopened. The case has already run for months and closing arguments were due to be heard this month. It centres on whether the company misled investors with its claim that it could yield 250 cub m of timber from every hectare of woodlot. Court documents show Gavin Ellis’s evidence would be partly based on a personal portfolio he had kept after leaving the

Page 4 | issue 278 | 15.07.13

company. The plaintiffs’ lawyers claimed this was highly significant because it revealed that there were doubts about the yield claim well before the company collapsed in 2009. Mr Ellis has said he had complained about demands to keep information from other board members. The Financial Review report says that the documents are claimed to show communications between key management about the productivity of the land, complete land evaluation reports, and worksheets detailing yields. Mr Ellis is reported as saying that relying on improved farming practices to bridge the gap between “actual yields of existing schemes and the forecast yields of future schemes was unrealistic”. In 2006, a WA Forest Products Commission report on a trial plot planted in 1998 on Gavin Ellis’s personal property at Dingup near Manjimup showed the growth of western blue gum against a Tasmanian provenance of blue gum ( Eucalyptus globulus) wildly surpassed early predictions. On volume per hectare, the western blue gum plantation outperformed the Tasmanian provenance by an incredible 63%. The trees were also taller and straighter with double Cont Page 13

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8-9: DANA 2013: Oceania Plantation, Forest and Wood Products Trade Conference. Bayview Eden Hotel, Melbourne. Email: danamelbourne2013

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.

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: 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. 27: FSC Friday. A global celebration of the world’s forests highlighting the importance of responsible forest management. Every year, schools, businesses, individuals, forest owners/managers and other organisations around the world get involved in spreading the word about FSC and responsible forestry. Visit http://www.fscfriday. org/index.htm

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 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

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NOVEMBER 23: TABMA Queensland timber industry gala dinner. Moda Events, Portside Level 2, Portside Wharf, Hamilton. Contact Alicia on (07) 3254 3166 or

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

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

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: www.

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. Tel: (02) 9918 3661.

Fax: (02) 9918 7764. Mob: 0412 361 580 Email:

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 278 | 15.07.13 | Page 5


Oregon law will allow loggers to sue activists who block forest operations THE Oregon Senate has approved a bipartisan House Bill that allows logging companies to sue environmental activists who block logging operations. The state, with more than 12.1 million ha of forest land, is the number one lumber producer in the US, accounting for 18% of total US softwood production. Nearly half the state is under forests and there has been virtually no net loss of forests throughout Oregon’s recorded history. The Senate passed Bill 2596 on a 25-3 vote. The bill allows logging and forest management companies with contracts applying to state lands to sue activists for financial damages when activists obstruct or sabotage logging and forest management operations. The House approved its version of the Bill in April, but the Senate added an amendment reducing the statute of limitations from six

Nearly half the state is under forests and there has been virtually no net loss of forests throughout Oregon’s recorded history

Page 6 | issue 278 | 15.07.13

Order and fairness .. new state law protects Oregon logging operations.

years to two. “This bill benefits Oregon by ensuring there is order and fairness to all in the state’s forest practices of our state,” Senator Betsy Close said. “That benefits our economy and the public’s safety.” A companion Bill, HB 2595, would have created a crime of “interference,” applying to protesters who intentionally engage in conduct that “hinders,” “impairs,” or “obstructs” forest management practices in a forestland or forest access road. Offenders would have faced a mandatory minimum prison sentence and fine. The Bill died in the senate judiciary committee in late May after some senators expressed concern it might violate free speech rights by

Senator Betsy Close .. bill benefits economy and the public’s safety.

specifically targeting logging protesters. John Charles, president and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, a public policy research

organisation based in Portland, supports the Bill. “I believe HB 2596 will benefit Oregon by allowing contracts that have been lawfully executed to be implemented on the ground,” he said. Mr Charles said he supported the companion bill, also. Senator Close said protesters were taking the law into their own hands by trying to physically block legal activities. “Their ability for remedy is in the court system. Once a logging contract is signed and found in compliance with Oregon’s Forest Practices Act, the private entity has a right to proceed under the law,” she said. “Those who hinder are technically trespassing, and they should be held accountable. They are breaking the law.” Environmental activist group Cascadia Forest Defenders is in no doubt the Bill will be signed into law. “Our reaction is basically ‘bring it, we aren’t going anywhere,’” a spokesman said. “Cascadia Forest Defenders will continue to do whatever it can to physically block any native forest clear cutting that we have the resources to address, regardless of any legal or financial penalties.”

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‘In the face of community outcry, the Minister calls on his mates’ COALITION forestry spokesman Senator Richard Colbeck says it was farcical for Tasmania’s Economic Development Minister to respond to grave concerns by industry and local government by meeting instead with parties which have a vested interest in the sham industry shutdown. Facing communities in crisis and a collapsing timber industry, David O’Byrne called a meeting of the very people who signed the deal killing the state’s economy. Senator Colbeck said the minister had met with a subcommittee of signatories to the so-called forest peace deal, with both issuing releases brushing aside angst over poor governance, rushed process and misdirected money. “This proves Labor and the Greens have learnt nothing from successive Auditor General reports,” Senator Colbeck said. “Let’s call this out. It’s not a strategic development process – it’s a tacky shortterm stimulus package. It’s not about reshaping Tasmania’s economy, it’s about trying to buy votes.” Senator Colbeck also discounted a list of motherhood statements released by Mr O’Byrne to try to deflect real scrutiny about accountability issues with the scheme. He said David O’Byrne had not answered questions asked on June 11 and reissued on July 2 relating to the application process to access the funding; who was eligible; what were the terms and conditions; the process for assessing projects or applications; who was on the panel with Professor West and how would they operate;

what are the compliance arrangements? “We simply can’t afford to spend taxpayers’ dollars shutting down Tasmanian businesses and jobs,” Senator Colbeck said. “What happened to Kevin Rudd the self-proclaimed fiscal conservative? “Instead, he’s back – the real Kevin – reckless Kevin and Labor’s reckless spending. It is time this reckless spending stopped.”

Senator Richard Colbeck

David O’Byrne

what was the process for

announcing the grants; and

Wood Protection

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Contact the Australian Lonza team for full details of the Lonza value package. phone:1300 650 636 issue 278 | 15.07.13 | Page 7


Busy times at FSC Australia

Policy CEO, new staff members appointed A STRONG understanding of voluntary standards schemes has equipped Daniel Mackey well for his new position as deputy CEO, policy, at FSC Australia. The role will be pivotal in running the standards development process, coordinating stakeholders and ensuring that submissions are coordinated to FSC International on the many policy issues under way. Mr Mackey has spent the last five years working with Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand managing stakeholder engagement and running policy initiatives He is completing a Masters in Trade and Diplomacy where he has conducted extensive research into the Australian forest industry and the institutional context for developing norms around best practice and sustainability where FSC is a subject of detailed study. He also holds qualifications in international trade, politics and international studies.

New appointment at FSC .. chief executive Natalie Reynolds welcomes deputy CEO, policy, Daniel Mackey.

Mr Mackey starts with FSC Australia on August 5, which aligns with the organisation’s timing of having a contract with the commonwealth signed and putting out expressions of interest for the establishment of the standards development group. FSC Australia CEO Natalie Reynolds says it has been a busy couple of months for the team – the AGM and networking dinner, appointment of two new

directors, the launch of the 2013 annual excellence awards and attendance at the global network meeting in Frankfurt early in June. FSC Australia has also appointed two other staff members – Madeleine Alafaci, trademarks officer, and Belinda Marino, accounts officer – and has been working on acquiring funding to ensure delivery of a rigorous FSC Australian national forestry standard. Ms Reynolds said the signing of the funding agreement for the

$500,000 promised in the federal Budget had been delayed due to the change in government structure following the leadership change. “We are in the final stages of negotiating the terms of the agreement and look forward to getting under way,” Ms Reynolds said. “FSC Australia is also in discussions with a major foundation to fund a portion of the project, and our ‘expression of interest’ has progressed to the second stage,” she sad. “In the coming weeks, FSC members and certificate holders will receive correspondence seeking support to build the standard. “We understand that times are tough, and that some will not have the capacity to assist, but we are putting the call out to anyone who might be interested, or might know someone who may be interested in being involved in funding a portion of the development process.”

‘We are in the final stages of negotiating the terms of the agreement and look forward to getting under way’ – Natalie Reynolds

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NSW government bio-energy move applauded by industry THE Australian Forest Products Association has welcomed the announcement by the NSW EPA that the state government intends to change the rules to allow timber waste and residues to be used for electricity generation. CEO Ross Hampton said this common-sense move brought NSW in line with other states and helped bring Australia up to speed with the rest of the developed world. Biomass is the small branches and offcuts left over when trees are harvested and sawmill waste, such as chips and sawdust, that are generated by cutting round logs

into square timbers. The use of biomass from byproducts of timber harvesting and from the manufacturing of timber flooring, furniture and house frames is actively encouraged in advanced countries such as Finland where it is recognised that using biomass is carbon neutral over the long term. “Using biomass is good for the environment as it displaces fossil fuels with a renewable carbonneutral resource,” Mr Hampton said. “You can’t grow new coal, but you can grow new trees, recycling the CO2 in the atmosphere.”

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Sawmill changes flag new investment cycle in Australian industry From Page 2

but it is still an important sector, especially in regional centres. Both countries share radiata pine as the most important softwood, but unlike New Zealand, Australia has a large eucalyptus plantation estate, which feeds into the woodchip export business. The wood panel industries in both countries have followed similar paths, especially for MDF – with an early major expansion phase, followed by some difficult times, with mills changing hands and/or closing. The major expansion action has been occurring in China over the last five years but increasing worries about China’s ability to provide raw material for further expansion could play out back to Oceania. Other ‘new’ sectors such as wood pellets to Asia and biofuel/bioenergy opportunities are also on the horizon. All of these topics will be discussed at the Melbourne conference. Speakers include Greg McCormack, chairman, Midway Limited and president

AFPA; David Brand, managing director, New Forests Asset Management Pty Ltd; Tim Woods and Robert Eastment, directors IndustryEdge; George Goroyias, principal, head of wood products Asia-Pacific Management Consulting, Rudolf van Rensburg, senior principal, Poyry Management Consulting Australia; Peter Thode, national fibre supply manager, Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts Australia; Tony Price, managing director, Australian Bluegum Plantations; Andrew Morton, vice-president, URS Forestry in Melbourne; Russell Taylor, president, International Wood Markets Group, Canada; Andrew Lang, vice-president, World Bioenergy Association; Pat Groenhout, managing director, PF Olsen (Aus) Pty Ltd; Jim Houghton, statistics and economics manager, Forest and Wood Products Australia; Doug Parsonson, director, Parsonson & Partners Pty Ltd, Australia. To see the latest topic and speakers visit www.prcc. or email Pam Richards at

$2m panel-cutting robot part of unique CLT plant WHAT some are referring to as the world’s most sophisticated panel-cutting robot has arrived in Okanagan Falls in British Columbia, Canada. The federal government is chipping in $2 million for an addition to Structurlam Products plant, which includes cross-laminated timber panels that will be cut, drilled and notched by the robot. Structurlam president Bill Downing says the robot has been imported from Germany

and allows them to costeffectively manufacture CLT walls, which is the key to tall wood buildings that are up to 12 storeys high in other countries. The CLT plant is one of only two in North America. Structuram promotes CLT as being six times lighter than concrete; cost competitive against steel and concrete; reduces overall construction time; and one-third thinner than concrete.

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issue 278 | 15.07.13 | Page 9


Interpol clamps down on $30bn illegal timber trade across globe Law enforcement project fighting for forests

AS the federal government prepares to run information sessions across Australia to outline the Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill, world crime fighter Interpol has revised its estimate of the worth of the illegitimate timber trade up to more than $US30 billion a year. In collaboration with the United Nations, Interpol has launched the Law Enforcement Assistance for Forests project (Leaf), which fights the crime of illegal logging and the trafficking of such timber. In a BBC World Service interview, project team leader Davyth Stewart said the legitimate annual global trade was estimated to be $US115 billion. “Billions of dollars are invested in forest protection around the world and, as a result, organised crime is looking seriously at the timber industry as a way of generating revenue, and also for laundering the proceeds of crime,” Mr Stewart said. “That is theft of natural resources from some of the poorest countries in the world,” he adds. The private sector is also missing out significantly. “They are losing opportunities to tax that revenue,” Mr Stewart says, “They are losing opportunities to auction logging permits.” He said most of the profits generated by the timber industry were in the processing, transport and production of timber. He explains how Interpol is looking at the illegal logging industry at the highest level. “We are looking for those that are the kingpins in this ‘timber mafia’,” he says. “They are processing that timber and laundering those proceeds through foreign banks and tax havens.” The problem is global, he told

Page 10 | issue 278 | 15.07.13

Big money stream .. illegally-cut mahogany logs are floated down the Iriri River in Altamira, in the Amazon state of Para in Brazil.

Davyth Stewart .. theft of natural resources.

John Simon .. a guarantee to customers.

the BBC, with illegal logging prevalent in the Amazon Basin, the Congo, Borneo and Sumatra, southeast Asia, central America and Russia. “In Indonesia alone, illegal logging is estimated to cost up to $8 billion a year,” Mr Stewart said. However, global timber markets are moving to eliminate illegal logging through the US Lacey Act, the EU timber regulations and legislation in Australia and New Zealand. John Simon, chief executive of Simmonds Lumber in Australia, says the company took a decision at board level some years ago that any responsible

Jonathan Geach .. a complex technical feat.

business should implement a process of due diligence that ensures that any product they purchased comes from a legal source. “We were not prepared to stand in front of our customers and not guarantee the legality of the wood we sell them,” he said. “Although many of our customers at the moment are not demanding this, it was a decision we took to step ahead of the industry,” he said, adding it was a “moral responsibility”. Timber that Simmonds Lumber imports ends up as house framing, decking, flooring and in furniture. “Our customer base is timber

‘We were not prepared to stand in front of our customers and not guarantee the legality of the wood we sell them’ – John Simon

merchants, retailers, builders, cabinet makers and anyone who deals in timber,” Mr Simon said. “Our expectation is that within the next 24 months all importers of timber into Australia will be required to provide some due diligence that ensures legality under the new Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill.” He explains how, when buying from Indonesia, which is notorious for illegal logging, his company obtains a certificate that proves the provenance of the timber. Rather than relying on documentation, which can be faked, they have the scientific backing of a DNA system introduced in 2009. Ensuring a premium product increases the cost but, as the Australian market is highly competitive, it is not a cost Simmonds Lumber feels it can pass on to its customers. The company at the forefront of this DNA testing is Double Helix Tracking Technologies, based in Singapore. Jonathan Geach explains how the testing is a complex technical feat which enables the genetic maps to pinpoint where trees originated. It involves scraping a small amount of wood off a piece of furniture or a floor. “We then soak it in a number of different chemicals, send it through some centrifuges, and use different types of chemicals called primers to draw out and isolate the DNA,” Mr Geach said. Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry will meet with state government officials as well as timber importers, brokers and processors in the states and territories between July and September.

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‘Plyscrapers’ challenges concrete as taller timbers reach for the sky WHEN a little-known Canadian architect suggested last year that a skyscraper could be made almost entirely from wood, the head of wood engineering at one of Britain’s biggest builders scoffed. When the architects responsible for the world’s tallest building touted a similar ‘plyscraper’ in May, the idea became harder to dismiss. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has designed dozens of iconic skyscrapers, including the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower in Chicago, the new World Trade Centre in New York and the current record holder, the 830-metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai. All are made primarily from steel and concrete, the materials of choice for tall buildings for

A different view on building .. ‘plyscrapers’ made almost entirely from wood.

over a century. In its recent Timber Tower research project, however, SOM explored the possibility of recreating a 125 m-tall reinforced concrete residential building in Chicago using a combination of timber columns, wooden panels and concrete beams and joints. That the project concluded

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it was technically feasible, economically competitive with traditional building methods, and could reduce the building’s carbon footprint by up to 75% came as little surprise to Michael Green, the Canadian architect who kick-started the ‘tall wood/ concept in 2012. Mr Green is currently

overseeing the construction of North America’s tallest wooden building in northern British Columbia. Expected to be completed next summer, when it will stand at a relatively modest 30 m, it is a showcase for Canada’s wood products and building expertise. The case for wooden high rises is rooted in their environmental benefits; while concrete emits nearly its own weight in carbon dioxide during production, the raw material for ‘plyscrapers’ literally grows on trees, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere as it does so. Tomorrow’s wooden towers will bear little resemblance to pioneer-style log cabins popular across much of America. They rely on Cont Page 14

Don’t give traders who cut corners a licence to sell wood that threatens the lives and livelihood of our workers. Face the facts FACT: All EWPAA structural plywood and Type A bond exterior plywood have an emission class of E0 or E1 certified under a JAS-ANZ accredited system. FACT: All EWPAA products have a durability guarantee and all EWPAA members carry liability insurance. FACT: All EWPAA products can gain extra Green Star rating points – one for low formaldehyde emissions (E0 or E1) and one for super E0 in office fit out. FACT: Not all imported non-certified LVL and plywood

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.

Don’t risk it. Specify EWPAA products stamped with the approved certification. Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia Plywood House, 3 Dunlop Street, 4006 Queensland Australia Tel: 61 7 3250 3700 Fax: 61 7 3252 4769. Email: inbox@ewp,asn,au Web:

issue 278 | 15.07.13 | Page 11


Put your money where your mouth is: CFMEU call on Australian paper Political parties pressured on pulp preference

POLITICAL parties and candidates are being urged to “put their money where their mouth is” on supporting local jobs by publicly committing to use Australian-made paper for all their promotional materials during the upcoming federal election campaign. The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union has provided political party directors with a list of Australian paper products suitable for their needs. In a letter sent by CFMEU national secretary Michael O’Connor on behalf of pulp and paper industry workers, the union pledges to publish a full list of candidates and parties that commit to using Australianmade paper products. The letters coincide with the launch a postcard writing campaign involving thousands

Union is giving every party and candidate the chance to make clear exactly where they stand on supporting the jobs of Australian manufacturing workers

Buy Australian-made .. CFMEU puts pressure on paper users.

of pulp and paper workers who are writing to politicians from all major political parties to demand they support local jobs by using Australian paper for their election materials. The campaign follows the loss of more than 700 manufacturing jobs in the pulp and paper industry during the past three years, with mills closed at Burnie and Wesley Vale in Tasmania and machines shut down in Millicent, SA. “The CFMEU supports all efforts to secure and create Australian jobs, and we note many politicians and political parties make frequent comment to the same effect,” Michael O’Connor wrote. “To this end we are asking for

Michael O’Connor .. thousands of pulp and paper workers need protection.

your party to take this simple practical step to demonstrate that commitment.

“We will publicise the responses to this request, both from local candidates and from party administrations, to our members, their communities and the broader public.” The union has been pursuing bi-partisan support for procurement and standards policies to enable Australian manufacturers of paper products to compete with imported products on a more equal basis through their ongoing ‘Let’s Spread It Around’ campaign. Mr O’Connor said the union was now giving every party and candidate the chance to make clear exactly where they stood on supporting the jobs of Australian manufacturing workers. “We’re giving aspiring political representatives the chance to put their money where their mouth is by providing a tangible way that they can help support Australian manufacturing workers,” he said. “The CFMEU will be ensuring that come election time, the public will be able to find out which of their local candidates committed themselves to buy Australian made, and who refused to do their bit to support Australian jobs.”

Gunns receivers negotiating sale of Scottsdale site RECEIVERS for Gunns say they are keen for further talks with a Dorset industries group about buying the 34 ha Ling Siding sawmill site at Scottsdale. However, receiver Bryan Webster would not commit KordaMentha to delaying a proposed online sale of assets from the site, due to start last Thursday. Dorset Renewable Industries chairman David Hamilton

Page 12 | issue 278 | 15.07.13

called on KordaMentha and the ANZ Bank to delay the further sale until the industries group finds out whether its Tasmanian Forestry Agreement funding application is successful. Mr Webster said that most of the Ling Siding sawmill assets had been available on the market from earlier this year. Much of the plant and equipment was sold months ago. Seventeen large sheds are

scheduled to go on sale via online auction. David Hamilton said that his group had identified the Ling Siding site as a resource appropriate to the development of a new business. However, the further sale of the plant and equipment would significantly reduce its attractiveness. Mr Webster said that KordaMentha was awaiting

a decision by the Supreme Court of Victoria on the future of Gunns’ managed investment schemes so that it could work out which trees could be part of any sale of the company’s proposed Bell Bay pulp mill assets. “The decision may clarify the question in relation to supply options so that potential buyers have a better picture of the project’s potential,” he said.

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$27m program aims to improve SA’s sawmill productivity FINLAND’S technical research centre has been invited by the South Australian government to undertake a study of the state’s potential as a competitive forest industry. The industry is being significantly challenged as production levels fall due to declining export competitiveness and this is the focus of the proposed study by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland experts. Achieving world class productivity in existing business combined with the development of higher-value added products is the key to creating a sustainable future for the forestry industry. The VTT study into increasing industry productivity and developing more sustainable and highervalue add products from the Limestone Coast’s forestry resources involves working with local industry to identify achievable short, medium and longer term sustainable market opportunities. The study is a key initiative of the state’s manufacturing works strategy, and is also one of the key actions identified in the Limestone Coast Economic Diversification report. The goal is to identify new business opportunities suitable for local companies as well as raising the technological level of the region’s industry to meet the requirements of a competitive

modern fibre-based industry. In addition to the study, the state government has launched the South East Forestry Partnerships Program which is a $27 million state assistance package designed to encourage a viable and strong timber sawmilling industry in the region. The first phase of the project executed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland examines the current business structure in the Mount Gambier region. The second phase of the study will chart the future pathways for the forest industry in Mount Gambier and the opportunities for production with a higher added value. During the second phase, road maps will be prepared with the goal of guiding the development of new, fibre-based industries in the Mount Gambier region as well as identifying business opportunities utilising emerging technologies. Both the state and federal governments have committed the necessary resources for the two phases of the study. The approach being taken by the SA government in developing the strategy will be part of a wood processing summit in Albury on September 3. Full details on the summit, part of the WoodEXPO 2013, can be seen on the event website, www.woodexpo2013. com

Good growth in early FPC trials From Page 4

the number of straight trees compared with the Tasmanian provenance, which has been a recommended seed provenance for WA plantations for a long time. The forest commission’s tree breeding manager at the time said it was gratifying to see that all the work over the years had made such a significant difference.

“Since this first stage of improvement from the FPC’s open pollinated seedling seed orchard, further advances have been made and we are now developing clonal orchards where the predictions are for a 25% improvement. “But if history is to repeat itself then this could be a significant under estimation.”

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DANA Melbourne ‘Oceania Plantation and Wood Products Trade Conference: August 8 and 9, 2013 With less than a month to go until the DANA Melbourne Conference, it is time to register! There will be many “highlight” presentations at the meeting, all presented by recognised and highly regarded speakers on:

• The Oceania plantation transaction trade – given a very recent boost by a huge closing of the NF ANZ II Fund.

• The softwood and hardwood woodchip trade: from a

suppliers’, and an importers’ viewpoint; – and just how much pulpwood does Australia have?

• Oceania woodpellets – will they have a future with the expected new Asian demand growth?

• The global and Pacific Rim softwood log and lumber

supply demand and supply balance. Is a supercycle in the making – and how Oceania lumber production, domestic and export sales trends fit into this?

• The rapidly growing Oceania log export trade – how far can it go?

• The Pacific Rim Wood Panel industry, and where Oceania production might fit in the future.

• Global and Pacific Rim pulp and paper industries: has Oceania got much of a long term future in these industries?

• Tree-based carbon; moribund recently, but what might

give, with one new, and maybe yet another PM in 2013.

• A panel discussing exciting new biofuel and

biochemical developments, and (legal) engineered hardwood products. Small number of panel slots remain available.

• Keynote addresses on policy and supply chain issues so vital to the industry; and other talks on statistics, a new study on wood product manufacturing options, and FSC issues

We are u nlikely to again see such a strong li presente nkup of rs cover ing all impor tant the Ocea aspects of nia fores try and fore st produ cts industry

To register immediately, go to: danamelbourne2013 and just follow the registration links or contact Pamela Richards at issue 278 | 15.07.13 | Page 13


Volumes of wood required in USA might strain sustainable resources From Page 11

engineered wood products called ‘mass timber’ where multiple thin layers of wood are glued or pinned to form solid panels and beams. The production process removes natural variations from the wood, resulting in consistent and interchangeable structural elements. These are then cut to fit in computer-guided mills before being shipped to the building site, dropped into place by crane and bolted together. Michael Green hopes that his Canadian edifice will not hold the ‘world’s tallest’ title for long. He is making his construction system freely available to other architects and builders under a Creative Commons licence. But challenges to reaching

Michael Green .. desiging for tomorrow.

for the sky remain, especially for the biggest construction market in the West, the United States. There are no American manufacturers producing CLT panels. This makes it impossible for government-financed building projects, which are obliged

to use domestic materials, to make the transition to wood. Moreover, the volumes of wood required might strain sustainable resources. Building the Timber Tower would require the equivalent of 2700 km of 60cm x 120cm planks. Another drawback is

that CLT is unlikely to make an appearance in American building codes until at least 2018. Projects using nonapproved products can often still get built, albeit after expensive testing and with liabilities falling on the shoulders of designers, architects and engineers. None of these issues seems to be preventing some in the construction industry from branching out into wood. Michael Green is hoping to build a record-breaking 60 m ‘plyscraper’ for a university in western Canada. At less than a tenth of the height of the mighty Burj Khalifa, however, wooden skyscrapers still have a long way to grow. – The Economist

Adrian de Bruin pushes for biomass plant in Mt Gambier MOUNT Gambier, SA, forestry consultant Jerry Leech has backed calls for the production of biomass electricity in the region following a push by prominent businessman Adrian de Bruin. Dr Leech came out in support for the renewable energy source after Mr De Bruin told The Border Watch biomass electricity would

boost the region’s ailing forestry industry and local economy. Mr De Bruin, who sold his share in Auspine in 2008, said the opportunity to produce biomass energy was enormous, with a large supply of wood fibre available in the region. He said a 60 megawatt plant, which would need 600,000 tonnes

of wood fibre to run, would serve the ongoing energy demands in the region at a constant rate. Dr Leech agreed that a biomass plant could service the region’s energy needs while helping to revive the forestry sector. He said a biomass plant would eradicate waste by turning the wood fibre into pellets, which would then be

used to generate electricity. “If you have a plant that creates pellets, those pellets could go out either overseas from Portland or be used internally,” he said. Dr Leech said there were a number of potential locations for the plant but agreed with Mr De Bruin that a sawmill would be ideal.

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

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

Engineered Timber Products

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

PAgE 14 | issuE 278 | 15.07.13

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

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Cutting red tape policies will boost productivity in housing THE Coalition’s policy announcement last week on boosting productivity and reducing regulation as part of a critically important policy debate for the federal election has been welcomed by Master Builders Australia. CEO Wilhelm Harnisch said he looked forward to seeing the government’s policies to boost productivity and reduce regulation in response. “Building and construction is one of the most intensely regulated industries in Australia, with legislation and red tape applied at all three levels of government,” Mr Harnisch said “Time spent dealing with red tape and duplicative compliance processes diverts precious resources from the industry and stops it from doing what it does best – creating jobs, driving the economy and building homes, hospitals, schools roads and other vital community infrastructure. “There has been a raft of legislation and regulation introduced in recent years that are anti-productivity and add unnecessary costs. The policy discussion focusing on increasing productivity and decreasing regulation is certainly welcome.” Mr Harnisch said in recent times legislation had been introduced without robust and transparent consultation. Master Builders believed new legislation should only be introduced with an accompanying regulation impact statement that could not be circumvented by the government of the day. “Providing incentives for government and bureaucrats to reduce the amount of regulation and red tape imposed by legislation and setting aside parliamentary sitting days to repeal outdated legislation is a

Cutting red tape .. boosting productivity and reducing regulation in the building industry is a critically important policy debate for the federal election.

welcome approach,” he said. Master Builders has also welcomed Prime Minister Rudd’s announcement of a national competiveness agenda as Australia transitions from a resources driven economy. Mr Harnisch said the competitiveness agenda was an important turnaround in the national policy narrative. “The building and construction industry must feature large as the economy transitions from the mining resources boom,” he said. “The new agenda must result in an increase in global and domestic competitiveness as well as increasing productivity. “Master Builders would support an agenda that focuses on business productivity, addressing the regulatory impost on business, education, skills and training, infrastructure and improving the small business environment.

“While the national competitiveness agenda will have a focus on the labour market, Master Builders disagrees with the Prime Minister that the Fair Work Act represents the right balance in the workplace relations system. “The building and construction industry needs a more flexible workplace relations system that supports productivity and makes it easier for businesses to hire more workers and train apprentices. “The Fair Work Act is dramatically skewed towards the trade union movement and acts as a barrier for building industry employers, especially small businesses, to take on more workers. “Conversations about the labour market must also focus on returning to a respect for the rule of law in the building and construction industry, particularly by trade unions.”

‘Incentives for government and bureaucrats to reduce the amount of regulation and red tape imposed by legislation and setting aside parliamentary sitting days to repeal outdated legislation is a welcome approach’ – Wilhelm Harnisch

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Master Builders has called on the Prime Minister to commit to restoring the Australian Building and Construction Commission to curb unlawful union behaviour. “The national competiveness agenda should also include reforms to our tax system,” Mr Harnisch added. Meanwhile, Master Builders has joined growing calls for the government to reverse the $2000 cap on tax deductions for selfeducation expenses announced in May’s federal Budget. The cap is acting as a significant disincentive for building industry professionals to expand their skill and expertise. “The building industry is disappointed an extremely low cap for tax deductions on selfeducation expenses has been introduced. It will affect many ordinary workers in the industry,” William Harnisch said. “It acts as a disincentive to obtain vital licensing qualifications such as diplomas or certificates in building, which often cost in excess of $5,000. “It will also act as a disincentive for builders and contractors from attending important industry professional development opportunities to learn about the latest innovations in building practice and safety.” He said the cap was another example of legislation brought in by the government without proper consultation and one that worked against business, entrepreneurship and innovation. It also discriminated against those who may not have access to government subsidised training. Australia should be encouraging workers to expand their skills and expertise. Self-education had an important role to play to achieve a highly skilled national workforce.

issue 278 | 15.07.13 | Page 15

iKEA products use 1 percent of global commercial wood supply

Swedish retailer aims to be ‘forest-positive’ by 2020 THE wood furniture and home accessories found at stores around the world franchised by the IKEA Group are indeed made from actual lumber in some shape or form and, not surprisingly, the sustainabilityminded retailer consumes a whole lot of it. In news that really shouldn’t surprise anyone, it has been revealed that the Swedish retailer uses a staggering 1% of the global commercial wood supply to manufacture its trendy flat-pack home furnishings beloved by college students and budget-conscious decorators. That’s about 17.8 million cub yards of lumber being used to make more than 100 million products including hackable end tables and nonbook-friendly bookcases. Roughly, 60% of products sold at IKEA are made from wood in some shape or heavily engineered form (meatballs not included). This rather sobering figure has been thrown around a lot over the past few days after popping up recently on the Pacific Standard website. IKEA posted record revenues of $US36 billion in 2012 and an 8% increase in net profit. The US market was a primary growth driver, with $4.1 billion in total sales. Among many positive steps in the right direction by IKEA’s ‘people and planet positive’ strategy, it aims to source half of the company’s wood supply from FSC-certified forests by 2017 and become completely ‘forest-positive’ by 2020. In 2012, roughly 23% of IKEA’s

PAgE 16 | issuE 278 | 15.07.13

Mike Ward, president of IKEA USA .. growth market at $4.1 billion in total sales.

wood originated from FSCcertified forests. IKEA is deeply indebted to wood; this year it used 13.56 million cub m of solid wood and wood-based board materials, not including paper and packaging, meaning IKIEA alone uses almost 1% of all wood used commercially around the world. Already the company says that all wood used in its products is sourced from suppliers complying with its own Iway code of conduct. Now, the company says it is going step further. It will become ‘forest positive’ by 2020, meaning that, despite its continuing high demand for timber, it intends its business to have an overall positive effect on the world’s forests. Integral to this approach is the commitment

that it will be growing at least as many trees as it uses to make products by 2020. Crucially, it says it also intends to become one of, if not the biggest, user of certified wood and recycled wood products in the world. It will quadruple the use of wood from certified sources, translating into around 10 million cub m of wood by 2020. The IKEA Group’s ‘people and planet positive’ strategy is a brand striving for energy independence. The commitment is to produce as much energy it consumes by 2020 through a $1.95 billion investment in solar and wind projects. In the near term, the megafurniture retailer plans to gather 70% of its energy demands from renewable energy sources

Mega furniure retailer intends to become the biggest user of certified wood and recycled wood products in the world

by 2015, leveraging wind farms in six European countries that generated 152 gigawatt hours of electricity last year, about 12% of the total needed for its stores and distribution centers. “The ‘people and planet positive’ plan is designed to protect the company from price shocks and tap into customers’ desire for a greener lifestyle,” says IKEA president and CEO Mikael Ohlsson. “Alongside its energy and resource goals, the plan commits the company to helping IKEA’s 770 million customers save money through the use of more efficient products, improving sustainability throughout its supply chain, and supporting human rights and education efforts.” In the US, IKEA has upped the number of solar installations to 34 stores and distribution centres, with five more in the works, representing a 90% solar presence in the US, along with 33 electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the western part of the country. “We want to create a better every day for the many people. A better life includes living more sustainably,” Mr Ohlsson said. “We have been working towards that goal for many years and have already done a lot, and we are now ready to take the next big step. ‘People and planet positive’ will help us to do that; transforming our business and having an even greater positive impact on the world.” – Extracts from The Guardian

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Report: forest waste to increase production of biofuel in Sweden SWEDEN could easily increase its production of biofuels to cover more than a third of the nation’s automotive fuel needs by 2030 by using forestry residues, a biorefinery report has said. By utilising forest-sourced materials, such as residue from forestry operations, wood from forest grown for bioenergy and agricultural waste products, the country could increase its biofuels production 10 times in the next 17 years, states a Swedish government report. Part of the overall analysis of how to wean the Swedish transport sector off fossil fuels and make it more carbon neutral, the report, signed by the Swedish Knowledge Centre for Renewable Transport Fuels, said the country could produce as much as 25-35 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy, while keeping within today’s “technological restrictions, and to a certain extent also ecological and economic restrictions”. Trying to identify the most suitable production methods, the researchers looked into various factors related to different biofuel production strategies, their energy requirements and other sustainability factors. They said factors that matter most are the choice of raw materials, conversion route, location and size of production units, transport logistics and possibilities for joint production with other energy carriers or

Söderenergi, a Swedish energy company that generates and supplies thermal energy for households, industrial plants and offices, burns more than 1 million tonnes of fuel a year in five factories. About 600,000 tonnes of this is residues from forest clearing, such as tree branches and tops, transported by road and rail from Sweden and by sea from Baltic countries. The use of discarded wood from building sites and creosote-impregnated wood that is transported by ship and truck from the Stockholm region, other parts of Sweden, Norway, Belgium and England, represents 200,000 tonnes a year.

food or feed production. “The type of biofuel matters less,” says Joakim Lundgren from the Luleå University of Technology in Northern Sweden. “For a production system to be considered sustainable, it should be energy efficient and not compete with today’s production by the forestry industry or agricultural production.” Production of biofuel from forestry residues by way of thermal conversion was seen as the most efficient way of moving away from the dependency on

fossil fuels. Biofuel such as methanol or dimethyl ether (DME) could be produced by gasification of branches, tree tops or byproducts from biorefinery or pulp and paper making. Such technology could deliver considerable greenhouse gas reduction while requiring only low external energy input and cost per unit. Wood from ‘energy forests’ managed for the purpose of producing bioenergy also receives good marks for greenhouse gas reduction potential.

‘For a production system to be considered sustainable, it should be energy efficient and not compete with today’s production by the forestry industry or agricultural production’

“Automotive fuels produced from energy forests via gasification or ethanol combined [with agricultural production] leads to a reduction per hectare which is about 50% larger than for most fuel production systems based on traditional agricultural crops”, the government report says. “If we add in initial carbon losses due to an increased use of bioenergy it still will be a better alternative in the long run than fossil fuels.” External energy input for biofuel produced from lignocellulose by way of the gasification route is estimated at 5-10%, compared with about 50% for bioethanol made from grains, the report says. Finally, biomass-based waste from agricultural production could be used on a “somewhat” larger scale than today, in appropriate production systems, according to the report. The report also suggests focusing on technology maturing and improvement, for example making biogas via fermentation or rot of organic waste, which could even serve as a way to recycle general household waste. Moreover, Sweden could increase its use of land unsuitable for agricultural production to grow energy crops or rapid-growth deciduous trees.

Lumber rises to new high as North America mills slow output LUMBER futures have rallied to a seven-week high on speculation that North American mills are slowing output as demand increases from home builders in the US and China.

Some sawmills announced plans in June and July to reduce output, while exports from the US jumped 7% in May from April, including a 34% increase to China, according to Hakan Ekstrom,

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the president of industry researcher Wood Resources International. US builders started work on new homes at a 914,000 annual rate in May, up 29% from a year earlier, government

data shows. “Inventories are down through the system, and housing starts are increasing, so buyers and consumers of lumber want to make sure they have enough wood,” Mr Ekstrom said.

issue 278 | 15.07.13 | Page 17


TPAA rescues branding system

National body to maintain and operate plant register ACCORDING to the Standard AS 1604, treated timber products conforming to its requirements are branded with a special code. That code gives details of the registered treatment plant number and the allocated brand for the approved chemical with which the treatment has been carried out. These details have previously been supplied by the Forestry Corporation of NSW. However, due to the recent repeal of the NSW Timber Marketing Act, this no longer the case. Fortunately, however, the system has been saved. As the representative national body for the timber treatment sector, the Timber Preservers Association of Australia (TPAA) has accepted the invitation to preserve the system. As from July 1, the Timber

Timber treatment .. conforming to requirements.

Treatment Plant Registration Authority responsibilites have passed to TPAA which include the maintenance and operation of the Plant Register as well as the allocation of approved branding codes. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and Standards Australia have been advised of the change, and all treaters and forest industries associations are

now being supplied with relevant information by TPAA. Any queries should be addressed to the TPAA national secretary Doug Howick on (03) 9596 8155 or email doug@tpaa, TPAA represents the nation’s timber preservation industry. It is an organisation comprising timber treaters, suppliers of preservatives, research organisations, and individuals and bodies having an interest in

the use of preservative-treated timber. TPAA promotes knowledge of the principles and methods of timber preservation within the industry, assists in the establishment and adherence to standards for the treatment of timber, and promotes best practice in the production of treated timber. It is a requirement of the TPAA that its members treat timber to comply with national standards and state legislation. The association ensures its members operate under sound and responsible environmental procedures, and that they produce fit-for-purpose treated timber products. These members produce a range of treated timber products to suit all uses, from heavy industrial applications to treated products for the house and garden.

07 3266 1429

PAgE 18 | issuE 278 | 15.07.13

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Crusin’ with the Cruze: Holden’s Aussie-built baby sedan delivers AUSTRALIA’S first locally made small car since the 1990s, the Holden Cruze could topple the dominant Commodore for outright sales supremacy. The iconic Commodore, for many years, the country’s favourite passenger car, is nearing the end of the road with no guarantees of manufacture beyond 2016. Holden has started plans to build a medium-size, four-cylinder, front-drive car alongside the next generation Holden Cruze from 2017, but given the continuing strong growth in sales of SUVs, which are now the second biggest market, Holden says it may re-evaluate its position. We zipped up to Montville in the Sunshine Coast hinterland in the new Cruze sedan Sri-V AT and the 1.6 litre iTi turbo petrol engine – standard on both the Sri and Sri-V – delivered responsive performance and surprising efficiency. With two motoring writers on board, we agreed it was an exciting drive with 132kW of

Holden Cruze .. safety and economy.

power and 230Nm of torque. It feels a much better balanced car all round. The Cruze comes with a manual transmission for a combined highway and city fuel economy of 7.4L/100 km or the automatic for more responsive acceleration and a combined cycle of 7.9L/100 km. All locally made Cruzes come generously appointed with cruise control, power windows, auto headlights, trip computer, USB input with iPod functionality and the safety of six airbags and a

stability-control system. The SRi-V brings rear parking sensors, leather seats, heated front seats and a remote key that can be left in your pocket to open doors and start the car. There’s also satellite navigation with a large colour screen. Suspension and revisions to the overall tuning ensure the Aussiebuilt Cruze is a step up on its imported predecessor. The 17inch Kumho tyres deliver decent grip in the dry, though in the wet, they can reach adhesion limits sooner than expected.

Inside there’s roomy space and good adjustability to the driving position. Controls are well laid out. Boot space is very accommodating, with 445 litres of cargo rising to 1254 litres when the rear backrests are folded. The small car segment is ultracompetitive and the new Cruze is a compelling buy. Holden has sharpened the R.R. price tag on this baby – $20,490 for the Cruze Equipe 1.8 manual and $32,794 for the Cruze SRi-V auto. And that’s plenty of car for the money.

How sweet it is – the mulberry Mirage I BROUGHT the new mulberryhued Mitsubishi Mirage to a polite stop at the lights to be joined by a bellowing cattle truck on my left. The beefy diver looked down and blew me a kiss! The colour and size of the car had done it again. I smiled back - what else could I do? - and the semi chugged off. And I’m sure a heifer gave me a wink, too. The Mirage has a clear target audience with sales primarily in the metropolitan areas, with the majority of buyers young females and baby boomers downsizing from larger cars. The all-new Mirage gives Mitsubishi entry to the booming light car segment that has risen from a modest 12,000 units in 2007 to last year topping 60,000 - up 21,000 vehicles in 2012

Mitsubishi Mirage .. luring young females.

compared to 2011. Nine years after it was withdrawn from Australia, the Mirage has returned. Previously it was a three-door hatch, this time around it’s a five-door. As before, this car features sharp pricing; its recommended retail has barely altered in the nine-year absence. During the Mirage launch phase

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buyers paid a drive-away price of $12,990. There are three specification levels - Mirage ES, Mirage ES Sport and Mirage LS. Technology includes Bluetooth 2.0, with media streaming, USB and Aux input, and a CD player. The steering wheel features telephone and audio controls.

It has an all-new 1.2-litre, threecylinder engine with a choice of five-speed manual or CVT auto transmissions. The engine produces 57 kW at 6000 rpm and has maximum torque of 100 Nm at 4000 rpm. Mitsubishi Mirage ES with a manual gearbox has officially been rated at 4.6 litres/100 km fuel consumption with the slightly heavier Mirage LS rated at 4.8L/100 km in the manual and 4.9L/100 km with the CVT transmission. Affordability is the key, but buyers will be surprised by the interior quality and design; beige and black softer plastics create a light, airy interior assisted by a relatively narrow A-pillar that gives the driver good vision. The dash is highlighted by a glossy piano black centre stacker.

issue 278 | 15.07.13 | Page 19

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