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ISSUE 296 | 18.11.13 | PAGE 1

Sounds like a plan

THIS ISSUE • Queensland leads uplift in building • unity among timber merchants

State government to release industry’s blueprint for future growth December 5

AFTER an 11-month incubation, the Queensland government is set to hatch the state’s Forest and Timber Industry Plan, announcing is release for December 5 at the Salisbury Research Centre in Brisbane. “This is delightful news; we have a plan to help secure and cultivate the future of the state’s $2.7 billion forest and forest products sector,” Timber Queensland CEO Rod McInnes said. The plan points to new timber manufacturing technologies and advanced building systems as opportunities to deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits to Queensland. Developed by a forest and timber industry working group, chaired by Mr McInnes, the

Opportunities .. John McVeigh, Queensland Minister for Forests (right), discusses the Forest and Timber Industry Plan with Rod McInnes, Timber Queensland CEO.

plan was presented to John McVeigh in December last year. It was given the green light by Premier Campbell Newman on the eve of Timber Queensland’s

• •

annual general meeting, held in Brisbane on November 8. Mr McInnes said after almost

Forestry must have a succession plan timber dominates national architecture awards Building watchdog must be restored VicForests rejects ‘re-cycled’ claims norske skog wins FSC award

Cont Page 2


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12 months of consideration by the government, the plan would finally be released and he was hopeful there would be few changes to the industry’s proposal presented in December last year. “We look forward to working with the government on implementing the plan and growing the industry over the next 30 years,” he said. The release of the plan on December 5 has been scheduled by the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry and key forestry and timber industry stakeholders will gather for the event at the Salisbury research centre, a dedicated wood products research and development facility working with the forest products and construction industries. Mr McInnes said a critical part of the plan was to pursue policy settings that supported further investment. “Queensland currently meets around 70% of its own timber needs with local product,” he said. “However, imports have increased significantly and action must be taken to increase the capacity of local forest resource to meet forecast demand.

Resource .. timber plan seeks commercial access to, and availability of, sufficient wood fibre to meet forecast Queensland demand for timber products.

“The processing sector also needs to expand to include a broad range of processors that can make best use of the available resource; from high value pruned log material to low-value sawmill and forest.” The plan recommends the state government continues its mission of cutting red tape, working closely with industry to ensure R&D investment is focused on industry’s needs, and supporting investment in innovative processing facilities within a highly competitive market for investment funding. “For its part, the industry needs to adopt best practice technologies and business and environmental management practices.” Mr McInnes said. The plan seeks to:

• Sustain existing markets and drive new demand for timber and wood products by promoting application and use, and removing any unreasonable barriers to that use. • Forecast Queensland demand for timber and wood products along the plan path 2012-2040. • Facilitate commercial access to, and availability of, sufficient wood fibre to meet forecast Queensland demand for timber products. • Encourage investment in primary and secondary processing facilities in both metropolitan and regional areas to provide long-term employment and career opportunities.

‘Getting smarter’ about timber durability TIMBER Queensland is holding the last seminar in their 2013 ‘Get Smarter’ series this week. ‘Get finished: paints, oils and stains for durability’ will provide the latest information about the pros, cons and future of timber finishes. CEO Rod McInnes said the seminar was a ‘must-attend’ for building professionals working or selling with timber.

“It’s essential that people understand how to select the most appropriate coating products for certain applications to enhance the appearance and natural durability of timber,” he said. “The seminar is also an opportunity to hear some of the latest thinking about the future of timber finishes – water based versus oil finishes and advances in finishes to prevent

resin bleeding.” Mr McInnes said knowledge gained at the event would provide a good understanding of the characteristics of different timber species that impacted application and durability of paints, oils and stains. The seminar on November 20 will be held from 2.15 pm to 5.30 pm at Moda Events, Portside Wharf.

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industry news

Queensland shines as leader in nation’s brighter building sector

Commercial construction stays in holding pattern By Jim Bowden

THE delivery of the Forest and Timber Industry Plan in Brisbane on December 5 comes at a time of positive rejuvenation in the Queensland market. Traders are reporting upward swings and many truss and frame manufacturers say they are “flat out” with September their “best month for orders in a very long time”. “This is a better-than-usual preChristmas trading burst and we can only hope it is sustained in the New Year,” Timber Queensland CEO Rod McInnes said. Latest ABS housing finance figures paint an optimistic national picture and further boost industry confidence underpinned by healthy September building approvals. The Master Builders Association believes the uplift in the building sector will continue through next year, bolstered by low interest rates, the lower dollar and government stability in Canberra. “Queensland is definitely leading the way in the building

Confidence .. housing industry takes fast track to recovery.

Peter Jones

Paul Bidwell

Shane Garrett

‘we’re not going to see a downturn in commercial and industrial building, and that’s good news’ – Peter Jones

revival – and not before time,” Master Builders chief economist Peter Jones told T&F enews. Queensland, Master Builders Association deputy executive director Paul Bidwell says the state’s housing finance commitments had increased by 3.4% from 9317 to 9629, seasonally adjusted. “This represents a return to positive territory following two consecutive months of falls and is more in line with our confident outlook for the 201314 financial year,” Mr Bidwell said. “We anticipate that, as consumer and business confidence improves on the back of a more stable political environment and other favourable economic conditions, these finance commitments will begin to translate into building activity.” Comparing figures to the same time last year, Mr Bidwell said commitments had risen by 10.9%, which is further good news. However, one area that remained a cause for concern Cont Page 9

Building watchdog must be restored: HiA THE Housing Industry Association has welcomed the introduction into parliament of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013. According to David Humphrey, HIA’s industrial relations spokesman, the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and the watering down of the building industry laws previously administered by the ABCC was the wrong decision and were matters that HIA

publicly opposed. Re-establishing the ABCC is essential to boosting Australia’s productivity and to ensuring law and order prevails at our nation’s building sites,” Mr Humphrey said. “The re-emergence of pattern bargaining, the black-banning of certain suppliers and manufacturers and the use of standover tactics against independent contractors and other non-EBA businesses are unacceptable in a modern

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economy and should not be tolerated in the building industry. “Accordingly, HIA now urges both Houses of Parliament to support the legislation to ensure the swift return of a strong and effective industry watchdog.” Meanwhile, Master Builders Australia has welcomed the government’s establishment of the Productivity Commission Inquiry into infrastructure costs and financing.

“The construction industry welcomes the inquiry’s focus on pinpointing the ‘real world’ factors that influence infrastructure financing, determine production costs and identifying innovative solutions,” Master Builders CEO Wilhelm Harnisch said. “While broad in scope, the inquiry’s terms of reference must be widely read to include the full gamut of infrastructure and the construction sector,” he said.

issue 296 | 18.11.13 | Page 3

industry news

VicForests rejects ‘re-cycled’ claim by anti-timber activists

Significant improvement in financial performance “But importantly, our focus remains not only on short-term profitability but also on ensuring the long-term sustainability of the timber industry in Victoria. “Harvest levels in Victoria’s forest are the lowest they have been in 20 years and earlier this year we announced its plans to further reduce harvest levels in ash forests. “While we welcome the scrutiny of our financial performance, similar claims regarding VicForests’ return on equity were made by the same groups last year using figures taken from a report written in 2009.” Mr Trushell said the original 2009 report clearly stated projected returns were based on favourable market conditions

STATE-owned business VicForests has rejected recycled claims by anti-timber activists about its financial performance. The director of corporate affairs Nathan Trushell said recent financial results showed a significant improvement in VicForests’ financial performance including an after tax profit of more than $800,000 in 2012-13 and improving its cash flow position by more than $8 million. “Despite claims to the contrary, as we have already indicated in our annual report, we’ve proposed a dividend of $250,000 for the state following our positive financial result this year,” Mr Trushell said.

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“This reduction is a direct result of the impact of large scale bushfires on areas of forest available for timber production. “With only 6% of Victoria’s native forests available and suitable for timber harvesting, and less than 0.1% harvested and regrown each year, we need to make sure our operations continue to be managed responsibly.” Nathan Trushell .. focus remains on long-term sustainability of timber industry.

and did not allow for any impact from major fire events. “Since this time we’ve gone through a global financial crisis and harvest levels have been reduced by one-third in response to the effects of the 2009 bushfires,” Mr Trushell said.

Mr Trushell submitted key figures regarding VicForests’ financial position: • More than $12 million in profit has been generated since 2004. • Dividends of more than $5 million have been paid to the Victorian government. • An after tax profit of $802,000 was recorded in 2012-13. • Cash flow position improved by almost $8 million over the last 12 months.

‘we need to make sure our operations continue to be managed responsibly’ – nathan trushell

Chris Hay re-elected as timber Queensland chair A UNANIMOUS decision by members returned Chris Hay, general manager of Northside Truss & Frame, for another term as chair of Timber Queensland. Sean Gribble, national operations manager at Agora Timbers, was elected deputy chair at the meeting in Brisbane on November 8. Election of directors: Chris Hay (timber fabrication); Sean Gribble (timber wholesaling) Skene Finlayson, managing director, Finlayson Timber & Hardware (timber merchants); James Hyne,

production manager, Hyne (exotic pine sawmilling); Robert Tapiolas, director, Parkside Group (hardwood sawmilling); Curly Tatnell, chairman, DTM Timber (hardwood sawmilling); Doug Simms, managing director, Simms Group (araucaria sawmilling); Brian Farmer, CEO HQPlantations (forest growing and management); Tony Moxon, chairman Moxon Timbers (cypress sawmillers); Paul Bidwell, deputy executive director, Master Builders (professional subscriber members).

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wHAt’s on? 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. 25-26: Bioenergy Australia 2013, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley. Technical tour November 27. Abstracts for presentations and posters are currently being sought. The conference covers all aspects of bioenergy including biomass feedstocks, energy conversion technologies and overarching issues such as greenhouse gas balances and financing. Contact Daniel Evans at bioenergyconf@ au or Stephen Schuck, Bioenergy Australia Web: 26-27: ForestTech 2013 (including the forest industry safety summit and steep slope wood harvesting conference – Rotorua, NZ. www.foresttech2013. com

mAy 2014

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

mArCH 2014 19: Forestwood 2014. Politics, Policies and Business impacts. Pan-industry conference jointly hosted by Forest Owners Association, 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 Visit

19-20: Frame Australia – Park Hyatt Melbourne. National event for engineered timber and building pre-fabrication, providing a unique forum on markets, products and systems for timber and wood used in the detached housing and multi-residential markets The conference – Prefab Timber and Engineered Wood in Building Construction – covers truss and frame pre-fabrication on Day 1 and pre-fabrication in building on Day 2. Frame conveys the very latest information at a global and local level to provide valuable knowledge on timber and engineered wood as sustainable and cost-effective construction systems for residential and commercial building. Spponsorship options available. Contact: Frame Australia Pty Ltd, PO Box 242, Albert Park, Viic 3206. Tel (03) 9537 3800. Fax (03) 9537 3822. Email: info@frameaustralia.

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:

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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 296 | 18.11.13 | PAGE 5

industry news

unity among timber merchants strengthens through all states TABMA forms management committee in SA By Jim Bowden

AN industry unity meeting in Adelaide has further strengthened the national working link between timber merchants and TABMA Australia. The meeting, attended by timber traders and frame and truss fabricators, brought the state more closely into TABMA’s ‘circle of industry service’ with the formation of a South Australian management committee. “The new voluntary group will contribute to a cross-pollination of ideas for the national organisation, giving it new support and direction,” TABMA Australia chief executive Colin Fitzpatrick said. • Pictured at meeting in Adelaide last week are sA management committee members, from left, Ben easom, timco, Brenton Thain, Gunnersen, Andrew Bone, Bone timber industries (committee chairman), Andrew Koch, tABmA state manager in South Australia, Simon Angove, Le messurier, and david thomas, Freeman wauchope.

Mr Fitzpatrick said TABMA

PAgE 6 | issuE 296 | 18.11.13

TABMA Australia chief executive Colin Fitzpatrick (left) and TABMA president Peter Hutchison (centre) welcome federal Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Senator Richard Colbeck to the TABMA dinner and awards night in Sydney.

membership was growing across all states. “I am particularly encouraged by our on-going discussions

with the Timber Merchants Association of Victoria which is bringing greater harmony among members of both

organisations,” he said. “There’s a real improvement in dialogue which is a ‘win win’ for all of us.” Mr Fitzpatrick said crossattendance at meetings of both organisations by TABMA president Peter Hutchison and TMA board member Glenn Tilling was a way forward. He said TABMA offered many services including a strong membership link nationally with the Australian Timber Importers Federation and the Windows and Door Industry Council. TABMA Australia president Peter Hutchison suggested this closer liaison would help in the Cont Page 8

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industry outLooK

Forest contractors: it’s still a long haul after half century in tasmania IN three generations, Tasmania’s logging contractors have gone from the bush to Canberra and back. “Fifty years ago, I would have been sitting on the side of a bull dozer with my father, working in the forest industries behind Burnie,” says Colin McCulloch, chief executive of the Tasmanian Forest Contractors Association, which has just celebrated its 50th anniversary. “I guess that sowed a seed that’s lasted right through to today,” Mr McCulloch said. At its peak in about 1990, the association boasted more than 200 members and had the backing of the major forest products companies. But membership has been decimated since the global financial crisis of 2009. The revenue base has collapsed and forced the merger of the Tasmanian association with the Australian Forest Contractors Associations under a national banner. The Australian Forest Contractors Association’s Canberra office has been closed and Colin McCulloch is running the reduced organisation from the former Tasmanian Association office in Launceston “There’s a long way to go to rebuild,” he said. “It’s been tough going through this massive downturn. I guess most primary industries evolve and dissolve, depending on market trends. “It’s no breaking news where we’ve been for the last four years; it’s been an extraordinarily difficult period. “But we’re there, we’re ready

and if the industry, and when the industry comes back on track, to the extent it will, then we’re ready and waiting to assist all our business members to rebuild and go ahead in a strong fashion.” Colin McCulloch says the stated aim of the association is to do down-stream processing of forest products in Tasmania and mainland Australia. “I think we’ve got a resource base that is the envy of a lot of the world,” he said. “We’ve watched the social

Colin McCulloch .. forest contractors ready and waiting.

experiment of not having a pulp mill over the past four years and it’s an ugly scene. Our society has suffered badly. “A feedstock that’s been planted over 20 years to provide for that particular process is sitting idle.” Mr McCulloch said a lot of people were quite angry in the private and public sector; they’d given up land to plant for a world-class down-stream processing plant. – Extracts from an ABC Rural report.

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issue 296 | 18.11.13 | Page 7

industry news

engineer takes key role in standards ENGINEER Dr Bronwyn Evans has been appointed chief executive of Standards Australia. She replaces retiring incumbent Colin Blair. “The appointment follows an exhaustive and rigorous process in which many high calibre candidates were considered and assessed,” the chairman of Standards Australia Dr Alan Morrison said. An engineer by profession, Dr

Dr Bronwyn Evans .. extensive global career in engineering.

Evans will come to the role following an extensive global career in health care and engineering; most recently she was senior vice-president, quality, clinical and regulatory, at Cochlear Ltd. Dr Evans held senior positions at GE Healthcare and Ultrasound. She is a fellow of Engineers Australia. Dr Morrison said an orderly transition was planned, with Mr Blair continuing to serve in the

role until Dr Evans commenced on October 28. As CEO, Dr Evans is responsible for the implementation of Standards Australia’s 201418 Strategic Plan which unambiguously outlines the organisation’s vision, mission and priorities. Dr Evans is a recipient of the 2012 Harvard Business School scholarship awarded by Chief Executive Women and Women’s Leadership Institute Australia.

Better times: new confidence in the merchant sector From Page 6

creation of a more powerful voice for timber traders, which might extend beyond the merchant sector. “We have been moving millimetre by millimetre towards this aim. Perhaps it’s now more ATIF AdvertFINAL.pdf 1 a metre by a metre approach,” he said.

Both TABMA executives expressed confidence in the merchant sector which was experiencing better times. “There’s certainly improved activity in southeast Queensland and frame and truss manufacturers are reporting full orders books as 3/12/12 11:59 AM Christmas and they approach the New Year,” Mr Hutchison

said. “However, not everything is as it should be in New South Wales, structurally, at this time of the year, with builder activity lagging behind those in Queensland and Victoria. “The state’s builders are still struggling from previous governments’ tax imposts, building levies on developers

and a lot of red tape, which have been burdens over the last 15 years. “But the industry has bottomed out, and although the outlook is segmented, small and large builders are busy ahead of Christmas. It’s the middle range builders that seem to be missing out.”

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PAgE 8 | issuE 296 | 18.11.13

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industry news

dwelling starts to reach 170,000 a year by 2016-17 From Page 3

was the first home-buyer segment of the new home market. The proportion of finance commitments to first home buyers was the lowest since the ABS started reporting on them in 1991, 22 years ago, according to Peter Jones. “It will be concerning if this trend continues because first home buyers are in important driver of the housing market,” Mr Jones said. “One positive note emerging from the latest housing finance data is that demand for ‘new’ housing increased in the month with finance for construction up by 1.8% offsetting a 2.1% decline in finance for purchase of newly constructed dwellings as stock levels fall. The two components combined rose 0.4%, up by 12% through the year.” Mr Jones said there was also a solid increase of 5.2% in the value of loans for investment housing in September, to be up by 21.9% through the year, with commitments to investors for the construction of dwellings increasing by 54.4% in trend terms. Turning to commercial and industrial buildings, Mr Jones said at best this sector’s growth could be considered at least to be stable. “We’re not going to see a downturn, and that’s good news,” he said. “We are seeing strong activity in mega-projects such as offices, hospitals, factories and educational facilities but the building market over 201314 and beyond will be driven more by residential building, renovations and high-res apartments construction.” Mr Jones was confident

commercial construction “won’t go backwards”, but timber & Forestry e-news is the most authoritative against this was the fact that and quickest deliverer of news and special features businesses around Australia to the forest and forest products industries in were still struggling though lack of demand, which is not high Australia, new Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region. enough to employ big numbers weekly distribution is over 7,000 copies, delivered of builders. every monday. Advertising rates are the most “Big business is still in a costcompetitive of any industry magazine in the region. cutting mode and until there’s a timber&Forestry e-news hits your target market – pick-up in demand there won’t every week, every monday! be a switch to a growth mode at least for the next year,” Mr HEAD OFFICE Jones said. Custom Publishing Group unit 2- 3986 Pacific Highway “But the Reserve Bank’s maintenance of low interest Loganholme 4129 Qld, Australia rates, with a possible further cut, and the downward dollar, Address all correspondence to will definitely improve the Po Box 330, Hamilton Central, Qld 4007 situation.” Meanwhile, the Housing Industry Association’s national spring outlook highlights higher levels of new dwelling commencements and a PUBLISHER steady recovery in renovations dennis macready investment from 10-year low. “The improving level of dwelling commencements achieved in 2012-13 will be consolidated this year before moving up a further leg in 2014-15,” HIA mAnAgIng EDITOR senior economist Shane Garrett Jim Bowden said. Tel: +61 7 3266 1429 “Renovations investment is Mob: 0401 312 087 expected to grow in most states and territories,” he said. “Growth in housing starts ADVERTISIng during 2013-14 will be Tel: +61 7 3266 1429 concentrated in large states like New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia,” he said. “Growth in renovations will be much more broad-based, with increases occurring across most states.” Looking further ahead, opinions expressed on timber & Forestry e news are not necessarily the Mr Garrett sees dwelling opinions of the editor, publisher or staff. we do not accept responsibility commencements lifting above for any damage resulting from inaccuracies in editorial or advertising. the 170,000 a year mark by the Publisher is therefore indemnified against all actions, suits, claims or damages resulting from content on this e news. Content cannot be 2016-17, matching the highs reproduced without the prior consent of the Publisher- Custom Publishing achieved during the post-GFC Group. stimulus.

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issue 296 | 18.11.13 | Page 9


norske skog’s Boyer mill wins FSC forest management award

Newsprint conversion from eucalypts to plantation radiata THE Norske Skog Boyer mill located in Tasmania’s Derwent Valley, which converted its newsprint production from eucalypts to plantation radiata in an $84 million joint venture, has won the FSC Forest Manager of the Year Award. Twenty-three entries across seven categories were judged in the Forest Stewardship Council Excellence Awards presented in Melbourne on November 7. The Boyer mill produced Australia’s first newsprint in 1941 and remains one of the state’s major employers with an annual revenue of $250 million and production capacity of 290,000 tonnes a year – 40% of Australia’s newsprint consumption. The conversion project in 2009 was funded by $43 million from Norske Skog, a $28 million federal grant and $13 million from the Tasmanian government. Parent company in Norway Norske Skogindustrier is the world’s largest producer of

Excellence in forest management .. director-general of FSC International Kim Carstensen (left) presents the FSC award to Arnold Willems, logistics and supply manager, Norske Skog Boyer mill.

newsprint and magazine paper with 18 mills around the world. Norske Skog has dual forest certification in the region – FSC and the Australian Forestry Standard AS4701, which is recognised by PEFC. It manages about 18,600 ha of pine plantation, predominantly in southern Tasmania, and 560 ha of eucalypt plantations. Three harvesting regimes are used:

• Stands that will receive a first and a second thinning and will be harvested at age 25 years or older with the intention of producing a high proportion of sawlogs. • Stands that will receive one thinning and be clear felled at age 22 or later will produce less sawlog and more pulpwood. • Stands that have not been thinned and are too old to be thinned or stands that

can not be thinned due to operational constraints will be harvested without thinning. Norske Skog has formed close links with research organisations, both through direct funding and in-kind support. These include the Southern Tree Breeders Association, CSIRO, CRC for Forestry, Forest and Wood Products Australia, Forestry Tasmania and the University of Tasmania. The FSC Excellence Award for Forest Management was presented by Kim Carstensen, director-general of FSC International, based in Bonn, Germany. Other FSC award winners were: FSC Supplier: Kimberly-Clark Australia and New Zealand. FSC Print Services: Kosdown Printing. Innovation in Design: Adelaide City Council. Retailer of the Year: OfficeMax. Responsible Procurement: K.W Doggett Fine Printing. Constructive Engagement: Pinnacle Quality.

New owner sought for this business. Contact David Ginnane on (07) 5529 3700

PAgE 10 | issuE 296 | 18.11.13

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nAtionAL ArCHiteCture AwArds

marine ply hidden wonder material in winning marriage of metal and wood

Queensland hardwoods architect’s first choice for interior A BEACH house on a ridgeline above the Great Ocean Road in Victoria has clinched the country’s most prestigious residential architecture prize for a second year in a row for John Wardle Architects in Melbourne. The Fairhaven Beach House is a showpiece of Queensland hardwoods and engineered wood. Winners of the Australian Institute of Architects National Awards were announced at a ceremony at the Sydney Opera House this month. It is only the second time in the history of the Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture that the same practice has taken the top award two years running. The national architecture awards are Australia’s premier awards and recognise the best of Australian architecture, while the Robin Boyd Award is the institute’s highest honour for residential architecture. The Fairhaven residence is like a piece of zinc-clad origami that winds around a protected courtyard, sheltering it from the harsh prevailing winds. In contrast to the green-grey of the zinc cladding, the interior is completely lined in timber – Queensland blackbutt

(Eucalyptus pilularis). Unseen, but crucial to this marriage of metal and wood, are hundreds of sheets of 15

mm certified marine plywood that cover the whole building as a substrate for the zinc. “The marine plywood is a

wonderful moisture barrier. We clipped the zinc cladding to the Cont Page 12

Be sure. Be safe.

John Wardle .. national winner of the Robin Boyd award for residential architecture.

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issue 296 | 18.11.13 | Page 11

nAtionAL ArCHiteCture AwArds

Perth arena used 12,000 sheets of interior ply From Page 11

plywood using unique stainless steel connectors,” said project manager Diego Bekinschtein. “Also, Australian timbers were the only choice for the interior and we used blackbutt for all the walls, ceilings, flooring, windows and joinery.” Mr Bekinschtein said a lot of the blackbutt found its way into 18 x 19 mm ‘tight tongue and groove’ flooring. Fairhaven is located on top of the ridgeline above the Great Ocean Road on the Victorian coastline. The site enjoys panoramic views over the southern ocean and surf beach below. The house winds around a protected central courtyard, which creates an outdoor space sheltered from the harsh prevailing winds. The form of the house is coiled and stepped around the courtyard. The living area doors and an oversized sliding kitchen

Timber in every corner .. Queensland hardwoods dominate the interior of the winning residential building in the Australian Institute of Architects National Awards. – Picture by Trevor Mein

Perth Arena .. certified plywood throughout.

window open up and integrate it with the house proper during fine weather. The Fairhaven House won the Timber Window and Door Award in the recent Australian Timber Design Awards. The main award for public architecture, the Sir Zelman Cowan Award, went to Perth Arena, a $550 million sports stadium designed by ARM Architecture and Cameron Chisholm Nicol. The structure used more than 12,000 sheets of certified 19 mm AC interior ply supplied by Austral Plywoods in Brisbane. The awards judging panel was as chaired by Melbournebased architect Shelley Penn and included the Australian architect Richard Hassell from WOHA in Singapore, South Australian government architect Ben Hewett and Sydney-based architect Hannah Tribe.

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Prefab Timber and Engineered Wood in Building Construction PAGE 12 | ISSUE 296 | 18.11.13

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Forestry’s challenges must have a succession plan: seminar view

Changes to international standards need young skills IN a far-reaching presentation on forestry issues at a special seminar in Melbourne earlier this month, speakers agreed the principal challenge was to find young people with the skills and patience to review approaching changes to international standards “How to interpret those changes and re-write the current Australian standard for forest valuation, and to interact and consult with other relevant professional bodies, were specific to the debate,” said respected forester Jerry Leach, co-author of a revised version of the Standard for Valuing Commercial Forests in Australia. Mr Leach, a former long-term staff member of the Woods and Forests Department of South Australia (now ForestrySA) and Ian Ferguson, emeritus professor at Melbourne University, combined their skills and years of specialist knowledge to produce the revised standard. This was introduced to about 50 delegates at the seminar – Continuing Professional Development on Forest Valuation – organised by the Institute of Foresters of Australia, in conjunction with forest industry specialist Pöyry Management Consulting Australia. The amended standard was assisted by funding from Forest and Wood Products Australia. In his presentation, Jerry Leech reviewed the somewhat tortuous history of the involvement of the Association of Consulting Foresters of Australia (ACFA), now a division of the IFA; and he left no doubt that the challenges ahead needed a succession plan. Rudolf von Rensberg, a senior principal with Pöyry

Speakers at the Melbourne seminar on professional development on forest valuation, from left, Braden Jenkins, principal of Sylva Systems Pty Ltd, Prof. Ian Ferguson, emeritus professor at Melbourne University, Jerry Leach, former long-term staff member of the Woods and Forests Department of South Australia (now ForestrySA), and Will Barton, director of CBRE’s Agribusiness Group.

Management Consulting, gave a review of the global context of forest investment and markets, quickly focusing on the Asia Pacific Region. The data presented showed a major gap or deficit between fibre supply now and that in 2020, thanks to population and economic growth in the region. He pointed out that currently, countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia had, in total, surpassed the annual Australian exports of hardwood plantation chips. But that the region generally faced an increasing shortage of land suitable for growing trees and the saw log supply from native tropical forests was rapidly declining. “This bright future, however, is at odds with the declining real price of wood products and stumpage in Australia over the last several decades, so the question is when or if real prices will turn around,” Mr von Resberg said. He continued in his next brief to review the role of a consultant valuer, emphasising the legal and reputational risks to the consultant as well as the client

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IFA national president Rob de Fégely welcomes delegates to the Melbourne seminar.

involved. Brian Johnson of Pöyry reviewed the methodologies involved, starting with the trio of sales, income and cost approaches. He pointed out that the income approach, involving the calculation of discounted cash flow, was widely used because markets were often thin and relatively inactive compared to consumer goods. He noted the need and difficulties of evaluating alternative uses and their land

values – the so-called ‘highest and best use’ (HBU), especially where active markets were lacking. This was a theme at the seminar that recurred in later discussion with some concerns expressed about the lack of well-trained rural property valuers. Mr Johnson dealt with the ‘implied discount rates’. This is a rate imputed from the sales price of forest estates and he noted its dependence on the assumptions made by the valuer concerned. In conclusion, Mr Johnson spoke about standards, pointing out that AASB141 and IAS41, in requiring the separation of biological asset and land, were at odds with fundamental valuation principles, which would normally focus on the combined asset in the case of a going concern. The next three seminar presenters dealt with key data needed for yields, prices and costs. Senior Pöyry consultant Andrew Crisp took delegates through a systematic review of how a forest estate is described and the data verified by a consultant, reminding the seminar of the need to adjust for risks such as those involving fire and wind-blow. Rudolf von Rensberg took up the analysis, estimation and forecasting of market prices. “These are not always easy to obtain and it is necessary to distinguish between price sellers and takers in markets, especially in new ventures,” he said. Andrew Crisp then outlined analysis, estimation and forecasting of costs. He emphasised the importance of ensuring that units of sale were appropriately reconciled given Cont Page 14

issue 296 | 18.11.13 | Page 13

iFA- PÖyry meLBourne seminAr

must be search for better ways to manage and plan the forest estate From Page 12

changes in moisture content and other tricky detail. Director of CBRE’s Agribusiness Group in Sydney Will Barton gave some valuable insights into the valuation of rural property, pointing to the need for care in dealing with zoning issues that often lead to speculation ahead of anticipated future changes, thereby complicating the identification of the HBU. Later discussion pointed out that the necessary Australian Property Institute’s approach of valuing land on a title-by-title basis – and therefore at small scale – could result in apparent anomalies in the HBU within a large forest estate, where the large scale is an integral and necessary part of the going concern. Brian Johnson then attacked the elephant in the room – the choice of discount rate. He dissected the widely used weighted average cost of capital (WACC), arguing that the inclusion of a market premium component for market risk was inappropriate in a longrun venture such as forestry and that a stochastic analysis would be more appropriate. Mr Johnson pointed out the

Forestry’s challenge .. finding young people with the skills and patience to review approaching changes to international standards.

added complexities posed by taxation, noting that this is one of the few areas of difference between the Australia and New Zealand institutes because of the difference in taxation treatment of sales of forest estates. Braden Jenkins, principal at Sylva Systems, noted the omission of carbon from corporate forest valuation and its treatment as a separate asset, despite joint production with other wood products. He stressed the contingent liabilities that price changes for carbon posed to the business.

Insurance underwriter Darryl Hawke led the seminar through the intricacies of insurance and provided a humorous inadvertent example of the difficulty of interpreting the fine print. Prof. Ian Ferguson focused on the challenges ahead, repeating the plea for ACFA to maintain its oversight and to address succession planning. He identified some areas for improvement in data, notably for more precise estimation of log grade assortments and argued for integration of accounting and planning IT

systems for better long-term planning. He noted the need to correct biases by reconciliation with independent data and then distinguished between (1) corrections for imprecision by reconciliation; (2) corrections by simulation for seemingly unpredictable risks like fire and wind-blow by simulation; and (3) the known unknown risks that are unpredictable in time, space and extent (supervolcanoes, mega solar flares, etc.) for which disregard and/ or prayer are the only solutions. These issues also highlighted the need for stochastic analysis to provide probability distributions of the forest value rather than the single deterministic number. Consultants and clients could then get a better feel for the role of risk and uncertainty and better gauge their appetite for risk in buying, selling or investing in risk-reduction and silvicultural measures. Finally, Prof. Ferguson emphasised the need to look beyond the present tendency to focus solely on THE number in forest valuation and to search for insights as to better ways to manage and plan the forest estate.

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.

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PAGE 14 | ISSUE 296 | 18.11.13

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

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Speakers at the Continuing Professional Development on Forest Valuation seminar in Melbourne, organised by the Institute of Foresters of Australia, are Andrew Crisp, Brian Johnson, and Rudolf van Rensburg – all from Pöyry Management Consulting Australia.

Melbourne seminar speaker Andrew Crisp of Pöyry Management Consulting Australia. takes delegates through a systematic review of how a forest estate is described and the data verified by a consultant.

Master of ceremonies at the Melbourne seminar Stephen Walker, president, Institute of Foresters of Australia, Queensland division (right) with speaker Darryl Hawke, an insurance underwriter, who led the seminar through the intricacies of insurance.

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ISSUE 296 | 18.11.13 | PAGE 15

exchanging reds: wine to Canada, western red cedar to new Zealand British Columbia looks for more business in Pacific region THE New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website calls Canada an important market for the country’s goods, mostly items such as beef, lamb, Merino wool and wine. In the year ending March 2012, Canada was New Zealand’s 17th largest trading partner, with two-way trade between the countries amounting to more than $1 billion. New Zealand exported around $516 million worth of goods and imported $546 million. According to figures from Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, trade between British Columbia and New Zealand totalled $251.7 million in 2012. The province exported close to $87 million worth of goods and imported $164.7 million. Topping the list of items sent to New Zealand was almost $16 million worth of sulphur, salt and lime – followed by just over $13 million worth of wood and wood products. The bulk of the wood sent to New Zealand is western red cedar, about $11.8 million worth last year. “New Zealand, although small in population, has the largest per capita use of western red cedar,” said Jack Draper, managing director of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association. “It’s certainly not our largest market but it’s a significant one and has been for a number of decades.” The red cedar shipped to New Zealand was primarily used for siding, Mr Draper said. The largest import from New Zealand into British Columbia

PAGE 16 | ISSUE 296 | 18.11.13

A toast .. to wood and wine.

is meat, at almost $39 million, followed by $37.7 million worth of machinery and mechanical appliances. Beverages and spirits were next at $17 million. Melissa Trochon, New Zealand’s consul-general and trade commissioner in Vancouver, said there was potential for British Columbia companies to do more business in New Zealand. Nerella Campigotto, president of the Canada Australia New

Zealand Business Association, said many companies overlooked New Zealand as a place to do business. “Both Australia and New Zealand ... everybody knows about those countries from the perspective of tourism and wine and lifestyle,” Ms Campigotto said. “But they never really think about those places from a business perspective.” New Zealand’s size can be both a benefit and a hindrance

the bulk of the wood sent to new Zealand from Canada is western red cedar, about $11.8 million worth last year

to British Columbia companies looking to do business; New Zealand has a population of around 4.4 million, about the same as British Columbia. The small market would assist in maintaining supply lines, especially for smaller firms looking to expand. Other companies might question if the investment would generate enough profit, especially considering the distance from Vancouver to Auckland. “It’s hard to generalise, but I think there might be opportunities for certain businesses, especially small businesses that might be ready to go offshore,” Ms Campigotto said. British Columbia businesses could benefit if the TransPacific Partnership agreement is reached. Canada is among 12 Pacific Rim countries hoping to reach a trade deal that would envelope a region comprising 797 million people and a GDP of $27.5 trillion. Talks are covering all aspects of trade, including improved market access for goods and services, investment, financial services, government procurement, intellectual property, the environment, and labour. Two-thirds of British Columbia’s land base – 60 million ha – is forested and more than 90% is publicly owned. About 96% of the forested land is coniferous, giving the province about half of the national softwood inventory. In 2009, the timber scaled was nearly 49 million cub m. Coastal forests provided about 30% of the harvest while about 70% came from the interior.

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internAtionAL FoCus

science clones ‘unclonable’ tree Famed giant sequoia lives on in Michigan laboratory

BIG news in the world of horticulture – literally. Scientists have managed to successfully clone a genetic replica of a famed giant sequoia. Three reasons why this is a big deal: The 21.5 m tree was planted by John Muir, who had a heavy hand in the founding of Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks; the tree is being ravaged by an airborne fungus; and critics didn’t think a tree of this species could be cloned after its 80th birthday. This tree is about 130 years old. A report in the Los Angeles Times says credit for the feat goes to the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, which has other feathers in its cap: it has also cloned trees planted by George Washington at Mount Vernon. The clone was born in a Michigan laboratory from one of two dozen cuttings from the tree, which were divided into much smaller pieces and subjected to what Archangel’s co-founder describes as a “hormone cocktail”. Roots have formed, indicating

Cloning around with trees .. a giant 130-year-old sequoia like this one has been reproduced successfully in a US laboratory.

that the cloning worked; the clone needs to grow to a .76 m in height before it can leave the lab. Once that happens, it will be put in the ground at Muir’s San Francisco-area homestead, hopefully within a year.

Another famed tree that will live on. Sequoia sempervirens is the sole living species of the genus Sequoia in the cypress family Cupressaceae. Common names include coast redwood,

California redwood, and giant redwood. It is an ever green, long-lived monoecious tree living 12001800 years or more. This species includes the tallest trees living on Earth, reaching up to 115.5 m in height (without the roots) and up to 7.9 m in diameter at breast height. Coastal redwood redwood reproduces both sexually by seed and asexually by sprouting of buds, layering, or lignotubers. Seed production begins at 10-15 years of age, and large seed crops occur frequently, but viability of the seed is low, typically well below 15%. The low viability may discourage seed predators, which do not want to waste time sorting chaff (empty seeds) from edible seeds. The winged seeds are small and light, weighing 3.3–5.0 mg. The wings are not effective for wide dispersal, and seeds are dispersed by wind an average of only 60-120 m from the parent tree. Growth of seedlings is very fast, with young trees known to reach 20 m tall in 20 years

A love trap: synthetics provoke pine beetle mania THE mountain pine beetles destroying Canada’s boreal forests may be eradicated by luring them into deadly love traps. Scientists at the University of Alberta are using pheromones as bait to capture the lovesick insects before they can ravage strands of lodgepole and jack pine. “When the female releases a pheromone, hundreds of beetles congregate,” Nadir Erbilgin, an associate professor and Canada research chair in forest entomology, said. “It is a very effective tool for communicating.” Dr Erbilgin and his team spent the summers of 2011 and 2012 testing baits in traps placed in lodgepole pines near Grande

Prairie and found pheromones effective for attracting swarms of beetles. Thousands can be trapped in a matter of a few days – there are “more than trillions” in the forests in Alberta and British Columbia, Dr Erbilgin says. Pheromone field trials will continue in the summer of 2014 with the hope of developing a commercial product specifically for use in jack pine forests within the next few years. Mountain pine beetles have killed lodgepole pines across the western US, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and Alberta for decades, but have only recently begun invading swaths of jack pine in eastern Alberta close to the Saskatchewan border.

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Love bait .. Dr Nadir Erbilgin is testing a pheromone-based bait to attract and trap destructive mountain pine beetles.

Female beetles land on trees first and begin emitting pheromones as they chew the bark and create burrows. That attracts a wave of males with

whom the females mate, with the airborne chemicals that they create drawing in even more and more beetles over the next few days. By trapping the beetles and extracting pheromones, Dr Erbilgin and his team have been able to use the natural chemical to create a synthetic pheromone in their laboratory that they then use for bait. “We are creating a message and sending it out to the male and female beetles, and then they come and congregate,” Dr Erbilgin said. “But it turns out to be the wrong message.” The synthetic pheromones can be used by forestry companies to lure beetles to trees for counting purposes, or to bait trees that are later cut down.

issue 296 | 18.11.13 | Page 17

on tHe roAd

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PAGE 18 | ISSUE 296 | 18.11.13

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