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IssuE 287 | 16.09.13 | PAgE 1

Fresh growth

ThIs IssuE • Ta Ann plywood mill ready to go • Stylish designs in American hardwoods

Coaltion win confidence injection for forest industry, building sector

By JIM BOWDEN

A FRESH wave of business confidence is lapping the shores of industry across Australia as the Abbott government cycles into a new era of stability for all sectors. Immediate outcomes for the forest industry from the resounding September 7 Coalition election win include: • An upswing in trading for wood manufacturers, with a number of truss and frame producers in Queensland reporting their order books full for the first time in more than 18 months. • A government forest policy that supports long-term regional forest agreements and an expansion of research and

Tony Abbott .. man for the times.

development expenditure. • Vital government skills, training and innovation support. • Abolishment of the carbon tax – a direct aid to reducing costs in the timber manufacturing sector. • A return to sensible industrial relations policies in the building and construction industry. • A five-year stock market high with Asian-based investors managing funds worth billions of dollars pushing a case for increased investment in Australia. • Removal of the threat that the carbon tax could be extended to fuel in the transport industry. • A rude shock for environmental

Japan trade mission delivers environmental message • Illegal logging at low levels in PNg • China emperor of woodchip imports • Partnership boost for Aussie paper • Feeding tax dollars to forest fires

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Trade mission to Japan at odds with Coalition policy

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Delegation delivers environmental message By JIM BOWDEN

MEMBERS of a timber industry trade mission to Japan left Tasmania last week in a state of trepidation as the new Abbott government announced it was opposed to the state’s forest peace deal. The government is under intense pressure from the industry to reverse the Coalition’s Tasmanian forest policy, with fears it will destroy vital Japanese markets and cause hundreds of job losses. The Coalition also plans to reverse the heritage listing of 120,000 ha of forests. The Wilderness Society is warning the forestry wars would rage again if logging goes ahead and spokesman Vica Bayley says doing that would plunge the forestry industry back into conflict with conservationists. “You can’t just cherry-pick bits of a comprehensive agreement like that and expect it to hold together,” he said. In a statement, acting premier Bryan Green agrees it would reignite forestry conflict and erode international markets. Meanwhile, Tasmania’s Opposition leader says he would direct Forestry Tasmania to harvest in world heritage listed areas, if elected at next year’s state poll. State Liberal leader Will Hodgman says he would send the state-owned timber company in to the de-listed world heritage areas to access specialty timbers. “We’d allow that to happen and to provide a resource that’s needed to grow the industry ..

Evan Rolley .. clear environmental message from customers.

including in the recently listed world-heritage area,” he said. “We’ve had specialty timbers obtained to produce world-class products and this is a very important part of value adding.” At odds with the federal Coalition policy, Evan Rolley, Ta Ann CEO and former chief of Forestry Tasmania, reckons at the end of day it is important that before any policy framework changes are made – again – in Tasmania there needs to be a good, hard look at the market and the industry’s customers in it. Speaking to T&F enews before leaving for Tokyo on the Japanese trade mission last Wednesday, Mr Rolley said everyone understood that governments were elected on their policies and that they wanted to implement those policies. “But given the journey the forest sector has been through in the last three to four years, the most important priority before considering any potential new framework is to look at the empirical evidence of what’s

happening in the market,” he said. “Governments do not make markets; they can set frameworks how industry operates, but markets are determined by customers and there has been a very significant change in markets over past three or four years. “We’re getting a very clear environmental message from all of our customers, in Japan and other countries that they would like to see the adoption of dual forest certification of our forests, both PEFC and FSC. “They feel this guarantees them a very high degree of certainty that there is widespread government and community support for the way in which wood products are sourced. “We can put all sorts of points of view, but at the end of the day customers determine whether our wood processing business is profitable or not, so we certainly would be encouraging those with policy responsibility within the new federal government to really Cont Page 3

‘Given the journey the forest sector has been through in the last three to four years, the most important priority before considering any potential new policy framework is to look at the empirical evidence of what’s happening in the market’ – Evan Rolley PAgE 2 | issuE 287 | 16.09.13

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INDusTry NEWs

Lara Giddings

Steve Whiteley

Vica Bayley

Will Hodgman

Bryan Green

Environmental credentials must be part of the package From Page 2

look at these markets and analyse the factors that are influencing them and try to make sure any change benefits the market and the customers and improves production and profitability back here in Australia.” Evan Rolley has been working in Asian markets, particularly China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia, for more than 30 years. He says there is little doubt that market sentiments have changed. “China for instance is trading with Europe and the Americas and there is concern there among producers and customers that there must be clear signs of environmental certification to support wood products,” Mr Rolley said. “There is little doubt in our minds that eucalypts have a real market advantage in terms of strength and durability and general engineering performance in some of the product applications were are looking at such as flooring and stairwells where durability and strength are the features customers are looking for. “However, none of the markets can be fully realised unless we have environmental credentials as part of the package. “A lot of companies in north America selling into China and in Australia exporting to

southeast Asia realise they are in the strongest position if they have environmental credentials, and in Ta Ann’s case dual PEFC and FSC certification absolutely puts us in a prime position.” Mr Rolley said it was Ta Ann’s view that the Tasmanian forest agreement had a very strong environmental story to tell. “We have had to accept a reduction in our contract volumes in excess of 40%,” he said. “That was a business decision and we are now looking very hard and creatively at the potential for other wood products that we can put together in our scale.” Mr Rolley added: “Frankly, after enduring at least four years of diabolical trading conditions, the lower dollar advantage for exporters, a greater competitive edge in the marketplace and the gradual lifting in commercial and other building markets, environmental sustainability has become vital to putting the package together.” The outcomes and objectives of the Tasmanian forest agreement will be promoted to Japanese customers during the Asian trade mission this month. The Premier Lara Giddings has been joined by Forestry Tasmania CEO Steve Whiteley, Evan Rolley from Ta Ann Tasmania, Neville Smith Timbers and forest agreement signatories the Wilderness

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not have been dreamed of before the Tasmanian forest agreement,” Ms Giddings said. “The TFA is all about creating a sustainable future for the Tasmanian forest industry and responding to market demands.

Society and Environment Tasmania. Ms Giddings said the cooperative approach was consistent with one of the central objectives of the TFA, which is to secure international markets for Tasmanian forest products. “This is a scenario that would

Cont Page 9

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issue 287 | 16.09.13 | Page 3


ElECTIon 2013

Government to grow economy in face of rising global competition From Page 1

agencies that seek to close or restrict productive forests, with the support for the Greens dropping 8% in Tasmania and by 3.3% nationally. Labor was walloped in Tasmania and lost a string of seats in New South Wales and Victoria but an expected massacre in Queensland failed to materialise. Although it retained Adam Brandt’s seat of Melbourne, and will have a record 10 senators, the Greens’ first preference vote in the House of Reps dropped by 3.3%, while its Senate vote dropped by 4.4%. Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne has partly blamed her party’s poor election result in Tasmanian

Digging in .. Tony Abbott plants a tree at the National Tree Day community event in Mosman, NSW.

seats on the state’s high unemployment rate. Both Labor candidates and the Liberal Party say the collapse of both the Greens and ALP vote was due to the unpopular state minority government and the forestry peace deal. As T&F enews went on line,

the Liberal-National coalition is likely to govern with 92 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives. Labor holds 54 seats, the Greens one, Katter’s Australia Party one, Palmer United Party one and independents two. Meanwhile, the LNP is likely to

pick up Petrie, an undecided seat in Queensland, and has won Capricornia, covering more than 91,000 sq km in state, which had been held by Labor since 1998 – defying Kevin Rudd’s boast that Labor had held all seats in the state. Business leaders believe strong and stable leadership by the new government will grow the economy in the face of vastly increased global competition, declining competitiveness and a volatile global economic and political outlook. They say the incoming government must take decisive action to repair the budget, make the economy more flexible, reduce the cost of doing business, continue to invest in skills and capabilities Cont Page 15

Sponsorship Opportunity Frame Australia 2014 Conference and Exhibition Frame is the only national event for the complete supply chain of structural timber, engineered wood products and pre-fabricated frames for the detached housing and multi-residential dwelling markets, and embraces the key industry sectors from manufacturing through to building construction. Frame offers an exceptional opportunity to suppliers for access to target markets, and a Sponsorship Proposal is available at www.frameaustralia.com. For further information contact conference director Kevin Ezard: kevin@frameaustralia.com or phone (03) 9537 3800.

Prefab Timber and Engineered Wood in Building Construction PAgE 4 | issuE 287 | 16.09.13

2014 Advertising: Tel +61 7 3266 1429 Email: cancon@bigpond.net.au


WHAT’S on? sEPTEMBEr

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

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.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 am5 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 12: Precision silviculture in action – Beerburrum field day. Presented by HQ Plantations and Institute of Foresters of Australia members. Time: 9 am1.30pm. Venue: HQPlantations’ Beerburrum forest office, Red Road, Beerburrum. Lunch sausage sizzle with salads, drinks. Dress: Sturdy walking shoes/boots and sun hats. Helmets and high visibility clothing will be available. HQPlantations has a 99-year lease to manage, harvest and re-grow plantation timber on state-owned lands under AFS and FSC certification. The day will explore the application of precision silviculture in southern pine plantations and cover maximising genetic gain through family and site selection, low-input silviculture and management of southern pine natural regeneration on low quality sites. Contact: Steve Husband on (07) 5488 2127 or 0407 159 874.

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

DECEmBER 4-5. Focus on improving transport and logistics in theforestry sector.

It will build on the excellent program designed by the Forest

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EVENTs

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. Politics, Policies and Business Impacts. Pan-industry conference jointly hosted by Forest OwnersAssociation, 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. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington. Registration opens October 2013. Contact conference organisers Paardekooper and Associates on +64 4 562 8259 or email info@forestwood.org.nz Visit 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 287 | 16.09.13 | Page 5


WOrLD TrENDs

China soon emperor of woodchip imports as new pulp mills sprout MAJOR expansion of pulp manufacturing capacity in China the past five years has resulted in a dramatic increase in the importation of woodchips to supply new pulp mills. The country was the world’s largest importer of hardwood chips in the second quarter this year, says the Wood Resource Quarterly. Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are the major suppliers of woodchips, with Vietnam accounting for more than 50% of the imported supply. Growing demand for paper in China has not only forced the country to import large volumes of pulp to supply the country’s paper machines, but also resulted in investments in new pulp production within China. Because of a lack of

according the WRQ. It is only been a matter of time before China becomes the largest importer of hardwood chips in the world. In the second quarter 2013, China surpassed Japan with the record importation of almost 2.4 million cub m of chips.

China shows its fibre .. woodchips mount in holding yards at Asia Pulp and Paper’s mill in Yangpu, China.

competitively priced wood fibre, the two largest pulp mills in China, Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd and Asia Pulp and Paper, are procuring much of their wood fibre needs from out-of-country sources. As a consequence, importation of wood chips to

China has surged the past few years. In just five years, the import value for wood hips has increased from $US180 million in 2008 to $US1.3 billion in 2012, and this year the estimated import value could be close to $1.5 billion,

Another interesting development is that the average cost of imported woodchips has declined by almost 6% from the 2Q/12 to the 2Q/13. The biggest price decline has been in Australian chips, which have fallen over 11% in one year. Because of this price drop, in the 2Q/13, Australia exported its highest quarterly volume to China since 2010.

New Zealand government invests $2.5m in forest industry THE New Zealand government is investing $2.5 million over a maximum of five years to support research that will increase the productivity of the forestry industry. Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said the funding would support the development

PAgE 6 | issuE 287 | 16.09.13

of new technologies that can be used by pine tree breeders to reduce the time it takes to breed and plant new improved trees by 15 years. The forest industry is investigating new tree breeding techniques that could more than halve the time it takes to

develop new varieties of pine. The government is contributing half the cost of the $5 million research program. The Radiata Pine Breeding Co has formed a partnership between 16 forestry organisations, Scion and the

University of Canterbury to research and develop the new technologies. Chief executive John Butcher said using established selective breeding techniques could take up to 30 years to reach the stage of planting new tree varieties.

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INDusTry NEWs

Chatham House investigation says illegal logging at low levels in PnG INTERNATIONAL independent policy institute Chatham House says Papua New Guinea has low levels of illegal logging, especially when compared to other developing tropical countries. Speaking at the recent Illegal Logging Update and Stakeholder Consultation forum in London, Chatham House associate fellow Sam Lawson said a global illegal logging investigation concluded that 1015% of all logging in PNG was from unlicensed small-scale chainsaw loggers to supply the domestic urban market. This compared to 20% and 80% of all logging being undertaken by unlicensed small-scale chainsaw loggers in the Congo in central Africa. “Quite apart from the fact that the quoted rates of unlicensed logging in PNG are low, given the rights afforded to customary landowners, it is likely that rates of illegality are lower still,” Mr Lawson said. “Customary landowners in PNG have the right to harvest up to 500 cub m of timber per person each year without a permit; so much of the 10-15% referred to is likely to be unlicensed, but legal. The investigation also found that industrial log harvesting in PNG does not significantly exceed officially recorded volumes; and that there is little or no smuggling of timber abroad. The investigation concluded that the PNG legal framework is strong when compared to other developing nations, but that it is being undermined by failures in implementation and enforcement of forestry regulations. Despite such governance failures, which are a reflection of PNG’s current level of economic development, the study highlights the fact that illegal

Unlicensed but legal .. customary landowners in PNG have the right to harvest up to 500 cub m of timber per person each year without a permit.

logging in PNG is nowhere near as prevalent as suggested by environmental NGOs such as Greenpeace. The Chatham House investigation said there was ample evidence that commercial logging provided significant benefits to local communities.

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Contact the Australian Lonza team for full details of the Lonza value package. phone:1300 650 636 issue 287 | 16.09.13 | Page 7


Early warning -mark your diary now!

Australian Timber Industry Seminar 2013 ® AUSTRALIA

Building stronger value chains Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour Hotel, Sydney, NSW Australia

FRIDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2013 Also on the day: Forest and Wood Products Annual General Meeting and research forum TABMA-hosted Annual Gala dinner and awards presentation Seminar sponsors

Yes it is the Australian timber industry’s day of the year for 2013 – you need to be there! For seminar program and registration brochure go to: www.leadingedgeevents.com.au/building-stronger-value-chains.html PAgE 8 | issuE 287 | 16.09.13 Enquiries to: John

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hOusINg

Tasmanian eucalypt veneers .. markets growing in Japan.

‘We should be back stronger than ever in Japanese market’ From Page 3

“Having members of the environmental movement standing alongside industry will send a powerful message to Japanese customers that we have responded to their calls for change. “The recent passing of the interim reserve order is also clear evidence that the TFA is progressing and has the solid endorsement of the Tasmanian parliament.” More than 80 Japanese forest products, pulp and paper customers attended a TFA information seminar in Tokyo last Friday. “The strong response to the seminar showed that international customers who previously may have had concern about products are now sitting up and taking notice of what we are achieving through this process,” Ms Giddings said. She said the passage of the interim reserve order would also ensure that much-needed assistance could flow to sawmillers and contractors. “Formal funding deeds have already been sent to successful applicants under a $15 million high quality sawlog buyback scheme, and we are hoping that these will be agreed and finalised within a week,” Ms Giddings said.

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!

“The good news is that with the HEAD OFFICE passing of the Initial Reserve Custom Publishing Group Order, these successful Unit 2- 3986 Pacific Highway applicants will now be able loganholme 4129 Qld, Australia to receive the full funding amounts, rather than only a Address all correspondence to 25% down payment. Po Box 330, Hamilton Central, Qld 4007 “Offers can now be made to the eligible applicants under the Regional Sawmillers Structural Adjustment program, with the dennis@industrye-news.com funding pool increased from $10 million to $11.7 million. PUBLISHER “The $20 million program Dennis Macready to support workers and contractors commences this dennis@industrye-news.com month and hardship cases will be prioritised.” Evan Rolley said customers at the Tokyo meeting wanted to hear a clear message mAnAgIng EDITOR about certainty of supply, Jim Bowden the volumes available, Tel: +61 7 3266 1429 Australia’s competitiveness Mob: 0401 312 087 and the progress towards dual cancon@bigpond.net.au certification of wood. “This is the second in a series ADVERTISIng of market updates in Japan and Tel: +61 7 3266 1429 buyers at the Tokyo meeting cancon@bigpond.net.au this month have expressed a strong positive reaction to the visit,” he said. “In particular, we have enjoyed great support from the Australian Ambassador in Tokyo [Bruce Miller] who has a opinions expressed on Timber & Forestry e news are not necessarily the sound knowledge of the wood opinions of the editor, publisher or staff. We do not accept responsibility products business both in for any damage resulting from inaccuracies in editorial or advertising. Australia and Japan. The Publisher is therefore indemnified against all actions, suits, claims or damages resulting from content on this e news. Content cannot be “He strongly suggests we reproduced without the prior consent of the Publisher- Custom Publishing should be back stronger than group. ever in the Japanese market.”

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issue 287 | 16.09.13 | Page 9


INDusTry NEWs

Ta Ann plywood mill ready to go at Smithton in few months $15m investment shot-in-the-arm for economy By JIM BOWDEN

PLANS are well advanced for the building of a new $15 million value-adding plywood mill at Smithton in far northwest Tasmania by eucalypt veneer producer Ta Ann. Executive director of Ta Ann Tasmania Evan Rolley said design and construction of the mill was in its final planning stages with building approvals expected in a month or two. The go-ahead on the mill was accelerated by Forest Agreement legislation and the outcome will provide for immediate employment in the building and construction industry in Tasmania and the creation of 75 jobs in the initial one-shift operational phase. Mr Rolley said the value of production for Tasmania would be lifted by $30-35 million every year as the project reaches full production increasing employment to about 120 direct jobs. “We are working through an ‘expression of interest’ process for engineering design and construction and Ta Ann is hopeful that with progress through state authorities we can announce a commencement

Export action .. Ta Ann uses purpose-built ships to export rotarypeeled eucalyupt veneers from its $35 million mill in the Huon Valley.

date soon,” Mr Rolley said. Ta Ann has applied for membership with the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia and Ta Ann general manager Robert Yong is hopeful of working with EWPAA staff on product testing to ensure the range of products meets all required standards. Smithton is on the Bass Highway 85 km northwest of the port of Burnie which gives Ta Ann good shipping access to Melbourne and southeast Australian markets. The new plywood mill will be located adjacent to the existing

Ta Ann Tasmania veneer mill. The company also operates rotary veneer mill in the Huon Valley, the southernmost local government region in Australia. The mills are capable of peeling and drying eucalypt billets from regrowth and plantation forests. The Huon Valley mill contains two peeling lines using Meinan lathes, Uroko and Taihei dryers and a Raute wrapper. The Smithton mill also has two production lines using Meinan lathes, a Grenzenbach dryer and a Raute wrapper, capable of manufacturing 1.8 m long grain veneer and short grain

veneer up to 1.2 m. Ta Ann Tasmania has invested more than $80 million to develop the two veneer mills, commencing with the Huon mill in 2007 followed by the Smithton mill in 2008. Evan Rolley said the new mill at Smithton would link with Ta Ann’s strategy to proceed with dual certification of all products – PEFC and FSC – which would allow for a broader range of products for local and export markets. Ta Ann has chain of custody certification for its eucalypt veneer under the Australian Forestry Standard. This is sold domestically and internationally as high value flooring, laminated veneer lumber and other plywood products. Shipments occur from Hobart and Burnie ports about every three to four weeks. Both E. nitens and E. globulus plantation eucalypts have been trialled at the Smithton rotary veneer mill and further tree breeding and targeted planting/ silvicultural work will meet location, volume, quality, and production requirements.

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

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

PAgE 10 | issuE 287 | 16.09.13

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

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INDusTry NEWs

VicForests invites industry input on forest management practices

Preliminary assessment of FSC standards STATE-owned VicForests is inviting the timber industry to have input into its forest management practices as part of a preliminary assessment of its operations against Forest Stewardship Council standards. CEO Robert Green said the organisation was looking to get feedback regarding its draft forest management plan and management of high conservation values. “This assessment is an opportunity for everyone to have their say about VicForests’ operations and we believe it’s particularly crucial to get the views of those who are involved in the timber industry as part of this process,” Mr Green said. “We have engaged SCS Global Services, an accredited FSC certifier, to undertake an independent assessment of our operations against the FSC standards. “The industry has a unique perspective regarding VicForests and our operations so we would encourage everyone who has a view to share their thoughts with us. “Our draft forest management plan and our draft strategy for identifying and managing high conservation value forests are currently up on our website. The draft forest management plan is an overview of how we conduct our operations, and our draft high conservation

‘There is also an opportunity for members of the industry to speak directly with the auditors as part of the assessment process’ – Robert Green

value strategy outlines the process we use to identify and manage values within our forests which are considered to be significant for conservation.”

Corporate reporting .. audit an opportunity to test how VicForests stacks up against FSC standards.

Mr Green said there was also an opportunity for members of the industry to speak directly with the auditors as part of the assessment process. Cont Page 19

You’re walking the plank if you put your trust in imported untested non-certified wood The risk is too great. • Damage to your business • Possible loss of life • Legal action • Media exposure Not everything is what it seems. Trust only tested and certified products that are guaranteed*. Untested and non-certified structural plywood, wood panels, LVL and formply can cause serious accidents – even deaths – on building sites, resulting in litigation. They can be traced to the source of supply.

The choice is obvious

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issue 287 | 16.09.13 | Page 11


INDusTry NEWs

Australia re-affirms pledge to work with Indonesian traders

Tropical timber on breakfast menu in Jakarta AUSTRALIA reaffirmed its commitment to on-going consultation with Indonesia to develop a guideline for importers who source timber from the southeast Asian country, considered the world’s largest exporter of tropical wood. Speaking at a high-level review of Indonesia’s timber legality verification system – SVLK – at a special breakfast meeting in Jakarta on August 22, the Australian Ambassador Greg Moriarty said the guideline would outline what legal timber from Indonesia “looks like” and how importers can use systems such as SVLK to meet the requirements of the law. Thirty delegates at the breakfast meeting represented government, the private sector and civil society. Indonesia generates upwards of $US 5 billion annually, and more than 48 million ha of the country’s remaining forests are concessioned for logging. Indonesia shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Malaysia. Mr Moriarty said the guideline would be co-developed by Australia and Indonesia and would be a useful tool for Australian importers to meet the new regulatory requirements once they come into effect in November 2014. The ambassador made a separate reference to the matter of illegal logging – the Australian government’s Illegal Logging Regional Capacity Building Partnership, which is supporting the illegal logging policy objective. The partnership seeks to build capacity in the Asia-Pacific region for the development and implementation of timber

PAgE 12 | issuE 287 | 16.09.13

Getting together for breakfast in Jakarta .. Dean Merriless, Minister Counsellor (Agriculture), Australian Embassy Jakarta, Greg, Moriarty, Australian Ambassador, Robianto Koestomo, chairman, Agriculture, Forestry and Mining Sector, Indonesian Exporters Association, and John Halkett, general manager, Australian Timber Importers Federation.

legality verification schemes. Under the partnership, the federal government is providing $6 million to fund the Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade program, to be led by The Nature Conservancy; and $2 million to the Thematic Program on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade, managed by the International Tropical Timber Organisation. Through the implementing partners, TNC and ITTO, the program is supporting a wide range of projects, including engagement of governments and industry on timber legality verification systems and providing technical support to forest managers.

The breakfast was part of the Third High Level Market Dialogue 2013 in Jakarta attended by more than 250 business leaders, policy makers, including representatives of the Indonesian Exporters Association – host of the dialogue – ministries of trade, forestry, industry and finance and speakers from Australia, the UK, Europe, the US, Japan and China. Minister Counsellor (Agriculture) at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta Dean Merrilees opened the breakfast session by reaffirming strong commitments of the Australian government in providing strong support to the development and implementation of SVLK.

’The implementation of SVlK in Indonesia sends a positive signal to the EU market’ – Colin Crooks, Deputy Ambassador of the EU delegation

Australian Timber Importers Federation general manager John Halkett underlined the importance of bilateral cooperation between Australia and Indonesia, particularly to increase trade in woodprocessed products. Indonesia was expected to increase export furniture and value-added timber construction materials to Australia, he said. Mr Halkett said the Australian system for timber legality verification was very similar to the EU timber legality assurance system. He said that during the last few years, exports of tropical timbers had generally been declining. “On the other hand, demands for green building in the US, Canada and Australia continues to increase, a situation that creates a great opportunity for Indonesian wood industries to shift their production into engineered timber products such as glulam and CLT, important components for green building construction. Rachel Butler, a representative from the European Timber Trade Federation, suggested that in the preparation of new legislation-related regulations on prohibition of importation on illegal timber into Australia, especially on countryspecific guidelines, Australia would benefit in consultation dialogue with the EU on its experiences in developing its legality system. Ms Butler pointed out that there is no premium price given to legal timber in European markets. She said Malaysia had done good work Cont Page 13

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INDusTry NEWs

Reciprocal measures a ‘must’ to enforce laws and regulations From Page 12

on promotion to increase products value by establishing a promotion office in Europe and making innovative products. Colin Crooks, Deputy Ambassador of the EU delegation to Indonesia, said the implementation of SVLK in Indonesia sent a positive signal to the EU market. “But there is a lot of work still to be done,” he said. He noted that Indonesia will be the first tropical country to get EU VPA certification when this is signed off later this month. He also suggested that in its current form, SVLK had some limitations and might not be able to guarantee that all timber products entering the market were legal. “How good is good enough?” he asked, saying acknowledgement and reward in the market were important to further develop SVLK as a credible legality verification system. A representative of Environmental Investigation Agency Faith Doherty said the agency would continue to inspect forest operations and trade at field level in Indonesia. Ms Doherty expressed concern on non-SVLK wood materials from Indonesia that were exported to other countries and later re-exported to Europe and elsewhere. She wanted to know how the EU and other authorities detect and treat this nonVPA compliance wood. She suggested that the established dialogue between government and civil society continue, and hoped that Australia would be part of multi-stakeholder processes. Senior adviser to the Indonesia’s Nature Conservancy Wahjudi Wardojo

UK delegation in Jakarta .. Mark Canning, British Ambassador to Indonesia, Faith Doherty, forest team leader, Environmental Investigation Agency, London, Rachael Butler, technical adviser, European Timber Trade Federation, and Andy Rody, UK Government Muiltstakeholder Forestry Program, Jakarta.

said forest governance in the public sector had significantly improved over recent years. He noted, however, that forest governance in the private sector and at community level had to be further improved. He suggested that in order to manage natural resources sustainably, a 4-Ps principle – passion, patience, practice, and persistence – must be followed. Ministry of Forestry Indonesia representative Agus Sarsito said SVLK was an evolutionary process towards good governance and transparency in the forestry sector. He indicated that SVLK is implemented by independent third parties without any government involvement. Mr Sarsito said he hoped the EU would continue to

assist Indonesia in promoting SVLK so that it would be well recognised by European consumers. Robianto Koestomo, a director of private forestry business Mutu Hijau Indonesia, urged developed countries to provide continuous support to Indonesia for eradicating illegal logging and its associated trade. He said without such support, the implementation of SVLK would not be effective. “There must be reciprocal measures at both producing and consuming countries in order to enforce laws and regulations,” he said. “Developed countries are expected to give no protection Indonesian corruptors who are staying in their state, as well as not accepting any

“The breakfast session was able to re-state the dominant role Australia is playing in working with Indonesian authorities to advance timber trade legality certification’ – John Halkett

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‘hot money’ which is flowing to them, especially, when it involves investment in banking sectors. “This will only mean that developed countries are ‘legalising’ the practice of money laundering in their own territory. “These countries must send the corruptors and their money back to Indonesia.” On his return to Australia, ATIF general manger John Halkett said he was pleased at the strength of the Australian government’s involvement in the proceedings in Jakarta. “The significant role played by the Ambassador Greg Moriarty was very valuable in reaffirming Australia’s commitment to working with the Indonesian government and the timber industry to progress issues related to the legality verification of exported timber and timber products both in the context of Australian illegal logging legislation and more broadly. “The separated business breakfast session hosted by Mr Moriarty following the conference was widely considered a highlight of events in Jakarta. “The breakfast session was able to re-state the dominant role Australia is able to play in working with Indonesian authorities, trade representatives and businesses to advance timber trade legality certification and other mutually beneficial business and marketing tropical timber trade matters. “I received considerable feedback that the support of the ambassador together with that of the Australian timber trade was widely appreciated by the Indonesian government and trade representatives.”

issue 287 | 16.09.13 | Page 13


INDusTry NEWs

Brisbane Timber Industry Hoo-Hoo Club 218 has completed its run in the 2013 Variety Club of Returning to the actio Hoo-Hoo n ..Brisba Queensland Bush Bash, Club 218’ ne Timbe s ’77 Hold r for the 20 en Kingsw Industry 13 finishing in Mission Beach ood is from Emer Queensland Variety ald in cent Club Bush ready ral and Mount Ba in North Queensland Isa, to Mis Queensland, via W sh in sion Beac Queensla nd. h in Far N ton after travelling 3736 km orth from Emerald in Central Queensland.The Bash raised funds for disadvantaged children, travelling in the clubs’ veteran Bush Bash performer – a 1977 Holden Kingswood.The Variety Bush Bash in the club’s major children’s charity event this year. Club 218 thanks the wonderful sponsorships and contributions made to the event by forest and industry associations and many individuals.

Make it recycled .. campaign promotes the recycling of post-consumer waste paper.

‘make it recycled’ partnership boost for Aussie paper

For more information and to discuss sponsorship options contact one of the committee members: Alan Jones 0419 754 681 Don Towerton 0428 745 455 Tim Evans 0417 726 741 Jim Bowden 0401 312 087

AUSTRALIAN Paper has partnered with environmental organisation Planet Ark in a national program to boost the use of recycled paper. AP is building a $90 million paper recycling plant at Maryvale in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley which aims to save up to 80,000 tonnes of postconsumer waste paper from Australian landfill each year – equivalent to 16 billion sheets of A4 copy paper. “Australian-made recycled paper has a bright future,” AP CEO Jim Henneberry said. “We are calling on all Australians to ‘make it recycled’ and help grow demand for locally made recycled office and printing paper. AP expects the Maryvale plant to be fully operational around the middle of 2014. The partnership between Planet Ark and Australian Paper aims to increase the use of locally-made, high-recycled content paper by paper buyers all over Australia, including governments at all levels. \“Our research shows that many people would like to

PAgE 14 | issuE 287 | 16.09.13

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Members of the Bri sbane Hoo-Hoo Club 218 Bush Bash team commit tee prepare for the Variety Club’s ‘Su Queensland n, Saddles & Surf’ Variety Bash starting in Emera ld in Blackall and Stoneh central Queensland , west to enge, up to Winton Boulia, up to Mo , across to unt Isa and further north to Normanto then across to the n, coast via Georgeto wn to Mission Beach and Mareeba in North Queensla nd.

We sincerely thank the following sponsors: Major Sponsors John Crooke, Queensland Sawmills HQ Plantations Advanced Timber Systems

Sponsors (to date) Forest and Wood Products Australia Australian Forest Products Association Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia Austbrokers Premier Insurance Beyond Blue Tim Tech Chemicals Kop-Coat NZ Timber&Forestry enews

Frank Withey Alan Jones (Hoo-Hoo Club 218 president) Spiro Notaras (Notaras Bros, Grafton, NSW) John Gill (The Timberman) Thora Wholesale Timbers Noel Griffiths (Skyline Building Services) Nigel Turvey (Gro Group, NT) David Alcock (Asia Pacific Timber Marketing) Gerry Gardiner (iTreat Timber Pty Ltd) Tim Evans (Independent Verification Services) Tableland Timbers Paul Anderson (IMEMS Pty Ltd) Peter and Carolyn Mort Ron Bell

purchase recycled paper, but there is still a perception that it is lower in quality,” Mr Henneberry said. “While this may have been an issue in the past, recycled paper has continued to improve and there is now little difference between our recycled paper and the paper we produce from non-recycled sources.” The partnership will include several activities to promote recycling within homes and offices and will build on the recent ‘Enwhitenment’ TV commercial for Reflex 50% recycled carbon neutral office paper. “The amount of recycled office and printing paper used in Australia is quite low so there is a great opportunity for Australians to use more recycled paper,” Planet Ark CEO Paul Klymenko said. “We are excited to have formed this partnership with Australian Paper and look forward to working together to maximise the use of recycled paper in Australian homes and offices.”


ElECTIon 2013

Skills, workforce growth needed to realise industry’s full potential

Wilhelm Harnisch .. return to sensible industrial relations.

Michael Hartman .. new government friend of forestry.

From Page 4

for a modern workforce and address the infrastructure backlog. The Coalition has rightly acknowledged business is at the heart of continuing to grow the economy and jobs; its commitment to return to proper process in government will go a long way to restoring predictability and confidence, which in turn will foster a growing economy. In line with this, home buyer confidence has surged on the back of low interest rates and the Westpac consumer confidence index posted its strongest result in three years. House price growth is tipped to reach 10% this year, exceeding

Tony Shepherd .. mandate to support growth and jobs.

original forecasts of 5% and 6%. Master Builders Australia says the building and construction industry looks to the Abbott government to put as a high priority sound economic management, a return to sensible industrial relations policies, bringing back the Australian Building and Construction Commission and dealing with the under supply of housing and the issue of housing affordability. CEO Wilhelm Harnisch said normalisation of engagement with the business sector should be another high priority that should include wide consultation, the preparation of rigorous and transparent regulatory impact statements

David Simon .. transporters saved from fuel tax.

and proper parliamentary scrutiny for the introduction of new legislation. “This is crucial to restoring business confidence,” Mr Harnisch said. “Master Builders looks to the incoming government to get the economy on the right track not just for the next three years but for the next three decades. The building and construction industry will be a key to generating economic growth, building the nation’s infrastructure, creating jobs and lifting productivity,” he said. Skills and workforce developer ForestWorks has warmly welcomed the newly-elected Coalition government.

Christine Milne .. poor election results for Greens.

CEO Michael Hartman said he believed the new federal government would be an excellent friend to forestry and its related industries. “Historically, the Coalition has a strong record of supporting the forestry and timber products industry and recognising its importance to Australia and, in particular, regional Australia,” Mr Hartman said. “ForestWorks noted with satisfaction that vital skills, training and innovation support currently provided to our industry would benefit from continued investment as announced by the Coalition during the election campaign. Cont Page 18

The peak body for the Victorian forest and wood products industry

www.vafi.org.au info@vafi.org.au 03 9611 9000 Twitter: @VAFIOnline

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issue 287 | 16.09.13 | Page 15


WOOD DEsIgN

Talented architects create stylish designs in American hardwoods 6000 visitors admire stunning concepts in Sydney THE American Hardwood Export Council joined forces last month in Sydney for a successful collaboration with a number of Australian designers. Sydney Indesign attracted more than 6000 visitors in just three days to view work from Australia’s most exciting design companies and individuals. AHEC, a platinum sponsor of the event, took the opportunity to invite furniture designers from around Australia to create and exhibit pieces created from American hardwood. The stunning results included a range of American red oak furniture created by designer makers from Sydney’s Splinter Workshop and ‘ASH’ – a pair of thermally modified American ash benches from young designer Ben Percy. More established companies, and advocates of American hardwoods Evostyle and Zuster also participated. Evostyle launched its new range of retroinspired stools while Zuster collaborated with AHEC’s Criswell Davis to present to an audience on the growing role of American hardwood species in Australian design. AHEC director for Oceania Rod Wiles said the event presented a great opportunity to work with

some very talented individuals. “We know Australians have an appreciation for beautiful, environmentally honest materials and this occasion allowed us to showcase those materials to great effect,” Mr Wiles said. “We were fortunate that Speciality Timber Traders and Britton Timbers were involved and kindly donated the materials to make this collaboration possible.” The latest information released from the US Department of Agriculture shows 2012 was a successful year for exports of American hardwood to Australia. Figures show 8556 cub m of American hardwood lumber exports to Australia in 2012, marking an increase of 11% over 2011 and a value of $US7.24 million. As in 2011, American white oak dominated in 2012 accounting for 75% of the total volume of lumber shipped to

‘We know Australians have an appreciation for beautiful, environmentally-honest materials and this occasion allowed us to showcase those materials to great effect’ – Rod Wiles

Luke Ommundson and the Evostyle team at the AHEC/Evostyle stand in Sydney.

PAgE 16 | issuE 287 | 16.09.13

Young designer Ben Percy with his thermally-modified ash bench.

Australian shores. However, ash exports grew and red oak and tulipwood were shipped to Australia for the first time in 2012 as demand for a greater variety of species has risen. Matthew Lee from Sydney’s Specialty Timber Traders agrees American hardwood species definitely gathered momentum in 2012. “We have experienced a consistent demand from different sectors of the market, particularly in specified joinery applications,” he said. “The fact that the American species have strong environmental credentials certainly appears to have helped.” Rod Wiles said these figures are very encouraging; Australian architects, specifiers and designers were increasingly well versed in what American hardwoods had to offer in the context of the market. “The fact that these customers have the reputation for being discerning and environmentally conscious in their choice makes us particularly pleased that American hardwoods are being selected with greater frequency in Australia,” he added.

Dominic McNeil from Britton Timbers (visible on the right) joins Sydney Indesign visitors on the AHEC/Evostyle stand.

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Feeding tax dollars to forest fires when prevention is the best cure

Huge build-up of combustible fuels in US national parks By special writer JAMIE sIMONs in Southern Carolina AFTER years of living in Yosemite National Park, I learned that, contrary to the teachings of Smokey Bear, fire can be a welcome force for good. It rejuvenates the forest; it clears the way for richer, more diverse habitat; it is essential in the life cycle of the giant sequoia. And if you live in the mountains, surrounded by forests piled high with tinderbox-dry debris, nothing helps you sleep more soundly at night than being in an area that’s been burned. What isn’t good is a fire like the Rim fire, which at the time of writing had burned more than 96,000 ha in and around Yosemite. Fuelled by dense thickets of pine needles, undergrowth and fallen trees, fires like this one do not move slowly along the ground, clearing the underbrush but leaving parts of the forest intact. Instead, the flames leap through the crowns of trees, creating infernos that are hard to suppress and denude wide swaths of forest floor, making the terrain more susceptible to erosion by winter snow and rain. Even the mighty sequoias, able to withstand most fires and even thrive because of them, are threatened by a crown fire’s staggering heat. It doesn’t have to be this way; for thousands of years the Indians who made Yosemite their home set small fires to prevent such cataclysmic events. Contained

Can this be prevented? Funds must be allocated to hire more scientists, fire managers and fuel workers to clear brush and set controlled burns.

and manageable, their fires turned Yosemite Valley into a meadow that attracted deer for hunting and kept people safe. For decades, the federal government took the opposite approach. Worried about having to divert men away from the war and into the forests to fight fires during World War 2, the U.S. Forest Service and War Advertising Council created the Smokey Bear character. What followed were decades of fire suppression and teaching Americans that fires must be avoided at all costs. The result has been an unprecedented build-up of combustible fuels that has fed massive fires across the West in recent years. In the late 1980s, the government realised the danger of this approach and began the practice of brush clearance and controlled burns in strategically located parts of

the national forests and parks. But even though the practice has brought success where it has been used, we are still more oriented to fighting fires than to preventing them. Big fires are terrifying, and the Forest Service is under tremendous pressure to put them out at all costs. Right now, fighting forest fires comes with a virtual blank check. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for fire prevention strategies. Living in Yosemite, I came to understand just how painstaking and labour intensive prevention work is. Because public welfare is the No. 1 concern, a small burn in a single meadow can be years in the planning. In Yosemite, I knew scientists and fire managers who spent years poring over maps and then analysing weather patterns, soil

Fighting forest fires comes with a virtual blank check. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for fire prevention strategies

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composition, wildlife habitats and air-quality conditions before deciding to do a burn. And once they decided to move forward, the plans were studied, again and again, by specialists to make sure they were in compliance with safety procedures, current law and policy. Anyone who could be remotely affected by the burn – nearby towns, residents with health conditions, schools – had to be notified. Then, on the morning of a burn, dozens of government agencies might be on hand to give the final goahead. Such planning is timeconsuming and expensive, but fighting fires is too. Those people involved in fighting wild land fires know that managed burns, tree thinning, brush clearance – even letting wildfires burn themselves out when no people or structures are at risk – are the best tools in their arsenal when it comes to preventing future wildfires. That’s why, every year, the Forest Service and the National Park Service go hat in hand to Congress begging for more fire prevention funds. But their pleas have gone largely unheeded. Instead, budgets have been slashed (sequestration has made this year especially lean), which has left the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior scrambling for funds to fight the Rim fire and others like it. In fact, the Rim fire has so depleted the Forest Service’s fire fighting budget that it had to borrow from money set aside for, you guessed it, fire prevention.

issue 287 | 16.09.13 | Page 17


InTERnATIonAl FoCUS

logging ban strips Philippines of domestic wood product supplies

Plywood, veneers suffer biggest setback in forest cut PRODUCTION from major forest products in the Philippines fell by as much as 50% last year following the government’s strict implementation of a ban on logging in natural forests. Figures released by the forest statistics division of the Forest Management Bureau under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources showed that the production of logs, lumber, veneer and plywood went down by 40% to 50% in 2012. Records show that logs produced in 2012 totalled 519,349 cub m, down by 40% compared to the 2011 total of 871,126 cub m. Lumber produced in 2012 also dropped to 183,554 cub m, or 50% lower compared to the previous year’s total of 370,351 cub m. Veneer production last year also fell short, from a high of 184,768 cub m in 2011 to 67,873 cub m or down by 63%. Plywood suffered the biggest setback, reaching only 161,600 cub m. This is nearly 46% lower than the total production of 298,061 cub m in 2011. These forest products are produced from trees harvested in forest plantations, mostly in the Caraga region in the northeast portion of the island of Mindanao, which remains the country’s top producer of wood products. The ban on the cutting of trees in natural forests took effect in early 2011, with the signing of Executive Order 23 by President Aquino, consistent with EO 26 which called for the massive reforestation of the country’s bald forests under the National Greening Program. The program aims to plant 1.5 billion trees on 1.5 million ha of open, degraded and denuded forests, including mangroves

PAgE 18 | issuE 287 | 16.09.13

Decline .. the drop in the production of logs, lumber, veneer and plywood in the Philippines was expected with the ban on logging activities in natural forests still in effect.

along the country’s coastal areas between 2011 and 2016. As of August this year, more than 400,000 ha of land has been planted, exceeding the program’s 2011 and 2012 targets of 100,000 and 200,000 ha respectively. By the end of 2013, FMB director and national coordinator Ricardo Calderon said the government hoped to exceed its target of reforesting 300,000 ha. Mr Calderon said the drop in the production of logs, lumber, veneer and plywood, was expected with the ban on logging activities in natural forests still in effect.

ElECTioN 2013

Clear mandate to support jobs From Page 15

“Every sign from Mr Abbott and key figures in the Coalition is that they understand the importance of forestry, but also – vitally – that they understand its enormous potential in this country. “Wood-producing nations across the globe are harnessing their natural timber resources in a multitude of innovative ways and there is every opportunity for Australia to join them and lead this growth. “However, the industry will need to receive skills and workforce development support to realise its potential and ForestWorks’ current innovation skills program will continue to work with industry and government to increase the industry’s capacity to grow.” Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd said Australians had given the Coalition government a clear

mandate to support growth and jobs and provide for the future. “The Coalition’s planned Commission of Audit provides the best chance to get the budget back into a sustainable surplus over the next five years while providing for an ageing population, rising health costs, education and the infrastructure,” he said. Economic analysts say a revival in business and consumer confidence could, if sustained, lift economic growth and bring a return to budget surplus a year earlier than forecast. This would require the Coalition government to exercise much greater restraint on spending than Labor achieved. Treasury expects growth will average 3% next year and the Reserve Bank says it could be as high as 3.25%. Chairman of the Australian Trucking Association David Simon said the Coalition victory

removed the threat that the carbon tax could be extended to truck fuel – good news for hundreds of workers moving logs and timber products across the nation. If elected, the Labor Party would have extended the tax to truck fuel from July 1, 2014. The tax would have started at 1.6c per litre, but would have increased to 5.1c per litre by July 2016. “Most trucking operators are small businesses; they do not have the market power to pass extra costs on, and Labor’s tax would have just made their lives harder,” Mr Simon said. “The Coalition victory has freed the industry from the threat of this extra tax. The threat is gone even if the Senate tries to block the repeal of the carbon tax laws. The extension of the tax to truck fuel is not part of the existing laws and would have required new legislation.”

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INDusTry NEWs

scrutiny and transparency element of responsible forest management From Page 11

“Individuals and groups are invited to let us know how they would like to engage with VicForests or the auditors prior to the audit commencing,” he said. “This assessment audit does not lead to certification, but it is an opportunity to test how our organisation stacks up against the FSC standards and allow us to determine our next steps around FSC certification.” Mr Green said the preliminary assessment would commence on September 30. “Certification assures consumers the wood products they buy come from sustainable forestry practices and our operations are currently certified to the internationally recognised Australian Forestry Standard (AS-4708).

Independent assessment under way of VicForests operations against the FSC standards.

“This assessment will be a test of how our organisation stacks up against the FSC standards and we feel opening ourselves up to this type of scrutiny and transparency

is an important part of our commitment to responsible forest management,” Mr Green said. “All submissions we receive between now and September

30 will be made available to the auditors as part of the assessment and this process will assist us in mapping our next steps in relation to FSC certification.” VicForests is the only largescale native forestry manager in Australia to have been through the FSC certification process, having previously sought FSC certification in 2008. “We have made substantial improvements since this time and it is time to re-engage in the FSC process,” Mr Green said. Feedback on VicForests’ draft high conservation value strategy and forest management plan can be provided up until Monday, September 30, as part of the assessment process. The documents are available at www.vicforests.com.au

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issue 287 | 16.09.13 | Page 19


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Weekly news for the timber and forestry industries