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ISSUE 309 | 17.3.14 16,000 delivered weekly to timber merchants, sawmillers, wood processors, foresters, members of national and state organisations and associations, builders, specifiers and selected architects.

Key industry post for Rob de Fégely

Senator to outline role of new council at forestry day celebration in Brisbane

The NATIONAL voice for


THE newly-formed Forest Industry Advisory Council, announced by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott at an industry dinner in Canberra earlier this month, will replace the Forest and Wood Products Council. The FWPC, a high-level forest industry advisory body to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, was formed in 2000 and formalised by the Howard government under the Regional Forest Agreements Act 2002. In announcing the formation of the FIAC, Mr Abbott named

• Timber Merchants • Suppliers

Newly-appointed co-chair of the Forest Industry Advisory Council Rob de Fégely (centre) confers with Ross Hampton, CEO, Australian Forest Products Association (left) and Michael Hartman, CEO of ForestWorks, at the Canberra industry conference.

the Institute of Foresters of Australia president Rob de Fégely as its co-chair.

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The Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses the gala industry dinner in the Great Hall at Parliament House.

FIAC supports an industry that has experienced a lot of division in last 20 years From P 1

Senator Richard Colbeck and Mr de Fégely, as joint chairmen, are expected to outline the FIAC’s role in more detail when they address a forest industry luncheon in Brisbane on March 28 (see notice, Page 10). The formation of the FIAC and its over-riding of FWPC is a sound decision; there is little merit in two advisory groups giving advice to the minister. The new advisory council is also expected to provide a broader service to the wood processing sector and will invite greater input from state forestry groups. The council’s role in providing funds for industry development will also be examined. Industry is also interested in how the FIAC will embrace the work of the Forest Industry Taskforce, an industrybased group comprising representatives of all sectors of the industry that has promoted community awareness of forestry and its many sectors including ecology, carbon renewable energy silviculture and recreation. Noting that the terms of reference for the new advisory council and committee members have not yet been finalised, Rob de Fégely said he

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was looking forward to the role. “It is too early to comment on what the committee might achieve, but I am looking forward to using my expertise and networks to create a more healthy, vibrant forest sector serving both conservation and production,” he said. “In theory, and in my own professional opinion, the new advisory council is all about supporting an industry that has had a lot of division over the last 20 years. “It will recognise positives such as carbon in the forest and improving plantations and resource development.”

Recognising positives in forest sector Currently, the FWPC committee includes Ron Adams, chairman, Forest and Wood Products Australia, John Halkett, technical manager, ATIF, representing the timber importing sector, representatives of Australian Forest Growers and Timber Communities Australia, and Michael O’Connor, national secretary of the CFMEU, the forest industry union. A meeting of the FWPC scheduled for February this

year was deferred. The last committee meeting in August last year was chaired by Sid Sidebottom, the former Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, who lost the Tasmanian seat of Braddon in the 2013 election. In 2012, the FWPC engaged a consultant to develop and report on a strategic planning process for the forest and wood products industry. The purpose of the report was to draft a set of priorities for an Australian forest and wood products industry plan for the next decade. The report summarised recent major industry reviews and provided a future work plan with a view to cooperatively progressing industry-led initiatives. This would enable the forestry industry to stay competitive and sustainable, to support productivity in the industry and strengthen the industry’s credentials as a good career choice. Rob de Fégely was appointed president of the Institute of Foresters of Australia in 2012 in recognition of the breadth and depth of his forestry experience in Australia and overseas for both corporate and government Cont P 3


Tasmanian timber company sets up sawmill in central Queensland Sensational outcome for the region, says mayor

TASMANIAN company Timber Marshalling Services has relocated some of its business to central Queensland, opening a sawmill at Bondoola near Yeppoon. Managing director Brendon O’Connor says the familyowned business has received a warm welcome. He said the region seemed like a logical place to establish the project. The sawmill is expected to create between 60 and 120 jobs with a predicted turnover of $65 million.

Wood will be cut from plantations in Byfield forest The company had been seeking industrial land in the Rockhampton region to construct a sawmill with an output of 90,000 cub m or about 175,000 tonnes of sawn timber a year.

Great welcome for Tasmanians .. Brendan O’Connor and his sawmilling team show visitors around the site at Bondoola near Yeppoon in central Queensland.

It comes at a time when job losses in the mining industry have affected the local community. “It’s been a great welcome here,” Mr O’Connor said. “In Tasmania you don’t get that sort of support because it’s very much divided.” The mill is mostly new but has used machinery from the company’s operations

in Tasmania and from other companies such as Gunns. The wood will be cut from plantations in Byfield state

forest and near Gladstone. Mr O’Connor said the resource suited the sawing down of timber to a tee, while at the same time being plantationbased. “We will cut about 30% of central and north Queensland’s requirements, so it will have an impact. But we’re not going to harm any other mills in the state, he said. It took Timber Marshalling Services about six to eight weeks to relocate the infrastructure from Tasmania. “I think there were about 55 truck loads, but three-quarters of the mill is brand new,” Mr O’Connor said. Livingstone Shire Mayor Bill Cont P 9

Great energy at industry dinner From P 2

clients. The IFA’s CEO Alison Carmichael said the institute believed Mr de Fégely would be an outstanding and passionate leader in the new advisory group, able to contribute years of forest business and technical acumen to committee deliberations. “Rob is the first to describe himself as ‘tenure-neutral’, meaning that he does not have a preference for where forests are situated or for what purpose, as long as they are well-managed for that purpose,” Ms Carmichael said. Reflecting on the gala

industry dinner in Canberra, Mr de Fégely said the energy and goodwill expressed was fantastic. “Hearing the messages of support expressed for sound forest management from the Prime Minister was heartening,” he said. “Wood is a fantastic renewable source, and must be part of Australia’s sustainable future, particularly in a carbonconstrained economy. “And we are indeed fortunate to have a Parliamentary Secretary in Senator Richard Colbeck who understands the value of good forest management.”

issue 309 | Page 3


Ta Ann standing firm on forests pledge by greens TASMANIAN veneer producer Ta Ann says the Malaysianowned business should be able to survive any change in forest policy after the state election. Ahead of the election last Saturday, there appeared to be a split in the environmental movement over a peace deal struck between three major green groups and Ta Ann Tasmania. Ta Ann executive director Evan Rolley says there is a ‘market compact’ commitment by green groups to support Ta Ann as long as it processes wood from uncontentious forests. “They have been to Tokyo and supported our products twice now in the markets in the last 12 months,” Mr Rolley said in an ABC report. “Our compact with them is outside of the formal agreement itself and that compact commits that we will only process wood from the agreed supply areas and in return they will support us in the markets. “We have no intention as a business in changing from that position.” Mr Rolley hopes the deal will help the company survive if a winning Liberal Party follows through on a promise to rip up the peace deal. Liberal Leader Will Hodgman is sticking by the pledge, saying his party can ensure Ta Ann has a supply of wood from noncontentious areas. He is yet to detail how the party plans to open up more forest for the industry when he dismantles the forest peace deal. Mr Rolley still wants the Liberals to keep the agreement, saying it is what the markets demand. Prior to the election, Premier Lara Giddings said the revelation about a separate peace deal showed the TFA should be left alone.

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Evan Rolley .. position unchanged.

Ms Giddings says the peace deal has worked and Labor would stick to the agreement. “Doesn’t this say a lot to you that industry is desperate enough to look at how it can continue the conversations with the environmental movement? They know how important peace and agreements are.” Mr Hodgman said Ms Giddings did not have a handle on the forest industry.

The peace deal has worked – Lara Giddings “The Liberals are the only ones who have a policy to support the industry, to provide resource security,” he said. The former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown says the Ta Ann agreement comes with no guarantees, while Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim would not be drawn on whether he thinks it is a good idea. He will only say the TFA should not be dismantled. “The question before Tasmanians is very clear – most Tasmanians thought we’d moved on from the forest wars,” he said.


2014 AROUND THE CIRCUIT MARCH 2014 MARCH 17-21: BRANZ-Prefab NZ seminar series. 17: Queenstown. 18: Christchurch.

and accommodation details, contact JIV secretary Trish Waters on 0418 358 501. Email:

MAY 2014

21: World Forestry Day luncheon, Brisbane. Hosted by Brisbane Hoo-Hoo Club 218. More details to follow.

MAY 2014 9: Frame Australia 2014 conference and exhibition. In conjunction with the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia. Venue: Park Hyatt Melbourne. The conference theme is pre-fabricated timber and wood products in residential and commercial construction, including trends to using timber panels for buildings up to 5 and 10 storeys high. International speakers will provide global updates on equipment technologies and construction trends for timber frame and truss and wood panel systems in building. The exhibition display comprises 23 exhibitors from Europe, North America and Australia. For more information visit

APRIL 3-6: Hoo Hoo International JIV Convention. The JIV president and board extend a warm invitation to all Hoo-Hoo members to attend the 44th JIV Convention in Coffs Harbour in April. For registration

AUGUST 6-9: AWISA 2014 exhibition. Brisbane Convention and exhibition Centre. Displays of panel processing, solid wood and timber machinery, tooling,

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. Contact conference organisers Paardekooper and Associates on +64 4 562 8259 or email Visit


manufacturing software, plus ancillary products such as dust extraction and materials handling equipment. Opportunity forn the cabinet, kitchen, furniture, joinery, timber, fit-out and panel industries to inspect new equipment. Inquiries about booking space: email or call Geoff Holland. Tel: (02) 9918 3661. Fax: (02) 9918 7764. Mob: 0412 361 580. Email: 7-8: DANA conference, Melbourne. The Australian forestry and forest products sector: its situation in 2014 and trends going forward. Bayview Eden Hotel, Melbourne. Web: danamelbourne2014. Conference consultant: Pam Richards 61 3 5781 0069. Email: 11-12: DANA conference, Rotorua, NZ. The New Zealand forestry and forest products sector: its situation in 2014 and trends going forward. Novotel Rotorua Hotel, Rotorua. Web: danamelbourne2014. Conference consultant: Pam Richards 61 3 5781 0069. Email:

Noted engineer to speak at TMA breakfast THE Timber Merchants Association (Vic) has booked one of the few engineers that investigated the collapse of the Twin Towers as speaker at a special breakfast in Melbourne on March 28. The breakfast starts at 7.30 am

at Bruce County, 445 Blackburn Road, Mount Waverley. Dr Jonathan Barnett is a highly regarded, respected and published engineer who was a member of the team involved in the 9/11 investigations of the Twin Towers collapse in New York.

Dr Barnett will explain how changes in construction methods, the importance of fire safety and lessons from the Twin Towers collapse open a wide range of opportunities for timber. Contact Ingrida on (03) 9875 5000.

THE AUSTRALIAN FOREST PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION The lead voice in Canberra on policy affecting forest, wood and paper products industries. AFPA strives to deliver benefits for the complete industry value chain including those involved in: • Forest growing • Harvest and haulage • Sawmilling and other wood processing • Pulp and paper processing • Forest product exporting

Join us today and share the benefits Call (02) 6285 3833

issue 309 | Page 5


First post-tensioned timber building part of city re-build Quake-proof superstructure open in Christchurch

THE first multi-storey postearthquake timber building using low-damage post-tensioned timber technology has opened in Christchurch. The wooden superstructure building in Victoria Street, owned by Tony Merritt, is the first quakeresilient open-plan timber office building in the city’s rebuild. The building’s post-tensioned design and technology is the brainchild of the University of Canterbury (UC) civil engineering professors Andy Buchanan and Stefano Pampanin with support from senior lecturer Dr Alessandro Palermo.

The cutting edge of safe buildings Their research began before the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and it resulted in pre-fabricated and glue-laminated box beams and solid columns, used in the design of this building by architect Jasper van der Lingen of Sheppard and Rout and structural engineer Jade Kirk of Kirk Roberts. The timber is threaded with high-tensile steel tendons

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Cutting edge .. associate professor at Canterbury University’s College of Engineering Stefano Pampanin (right) with Peter Stevens of Spanwood Building Systems inspect a highly earthquake-resistant building in Christchurch.

and shock-absorbing steel componentry that enables the building to essentially spring back into alignment after a major quake. Another large post-quake building, for Trimble Navigation, officially opens in Christchurch on April 4. The Trimble building uses the same post-tensioned timber technology as the Merritt building. It is only two storeys but it covers a much larger area. The Trimble building is a hi-tech building with all the latest Trimble technology for monitoring

Andy Buchanan .. new engineered wood technology has played a significant part in the rebuild of Christchurch.

building performance. Another similar technology structure is being built in Kaikoura, a town on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, for the Kaikoura District Council which will contain a museum, library and council offices. It is a three-storey building, built entirely of wood above the concrete foundations. It uses post-tensioned rocking timber walls for low-damage earthquake resistance. A six-storey office building in the town using an optimum combination of materials has replaced a 1930s building demolished after the earthquakes. The three UC engineers at the cutting edge of safe building in the post-quake era have been recognised for their efforts in playing a significant part in the rebuild of Christchurch. Last year, they were awarded UC’s Innovation Medal for using their academic knowledge to benefit the wider community. The trio was chosen following the innovative contribution to the new system of earthquakeresistant buildings using postCont P 7


University of Canterbury a leader in the development of timber buildings This retail and office project will be the first in the world to use an innovative post-tensioned timber frame system developed in Canterbury, which involves large cables that flex and shake in an earthquake before returning to their original form.

From P 6

tensioned structural timber. College of Engineering ProVice-Chancellor Professor Jan Evans-Freeman says the trio spent many years’ work, along with creative and innovative thinking, to produce state-of-the art safe building technology. “Their contribution includes research, development, promotion and technical support. Their pioneering of UC research has lifted engineered timber buildings into serious contention for the Christchurch rebuild after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes,” Prof. Evans-Freeman said.

Proposal looks at a 30-storey timber building “The work of the three engineers has resulted in the use of timber as a structural material and new buildings of up to 10 storeys are being built in Europe, North America and Australia, with proposals for a 30-storey timber building on the drawing board in Canada.” The engineering research resulting in structural support for Christchurch and New Zealand shows that the University of Canterbury is a leader in the development of timber buildings.

World forests may store extra carbon THE world’s forests could hold 20% more carbon than previously thought, according to a study. If correct, an extra 125 billion tonnes of carbon could lead to an increase in the number of forest-based carbon credits set to be offered in carbon markets around the world. Forests are considered sinks of carbon as they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Engineering has always been the university’s trump card but UC recently jumped to 19th in the world in civil and structural engineering, according to the latest QS world university rankings by subject. Civil engineering at UC is ranked third in the southern hemisphere.

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issue 309 | Page 7


Strengthening recovery in housing reflected in latest ABS finance data Budget must build business and consumer confidence

LATEST housing finance data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics supports the picture of a strengthening housing recovery painted by other ABS indicators. Housing Finance data for January 2014 released last week records a 5.8% increase, seasonally adjusted, in the construction of dwellings. “The recovery is largely underpinned by low interest rates and it is important that the Reserve Bank maintain current rate settings if it is not to be killed off,” Master Builders CEO Wilhelm Harnisch said. “It is equally important that the May Budget sets out a clear strategy to underpin business and consumer confidence to

Wilhelm Harnisch .. recovery underpinned by low interest rates.

maintain the momentum of the housing recovery,” he said. The ABS figures indicate that

Diwa Hopkins .. overall January result a promising signal.

lending for new homes was strong in January, an auspicious signal for conditions in the residential construction sector in the new year, according to the Housing Industry Association.

Number of loans for new homes at highest levels

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“The number of loans issued to owner occupiers for new homes is at its highest level in four years,” notes HIA economist Diwa Hopkins “Lending for new investment property declined in January.

However, this follows five months of strong results in this category of housing finance.” In January 2014, the number of owner occupier loans for the construction of new dwellings increased by 5.8%, while the number of owner occupier loans for the purchase of new dwellings eased by 1%. Ms Hopkins said the overall January result was a promising signal that recently improved conditions in the residential construction sector would continue into 2014. “There are also some important signs emerging from the stateby-sate breakdown of new home lending,” Ms Hopkins said. “Most notably, the strong growth experienced in 2013 in New South Wales and Western Australia appears to be moderating. “We shouldn’t be discouraged by this development and it is actually in line with our forecasts. “We’re expecting the recovery in residential construction to spread to and gather momentum in other key states including Queensland and South Australia while the pace of improvement eases in New South Wales and Western Australia.”

New poll favours pulp mill CLAIMS Tasmania’s proposed pulp mill lacks a “social licence” have been debunked by new polling showing 36.6% oppose a pulp mill being built near Bell Bay. A new poll conducted for The Examiner newspaper found that support for the Longreach pulp mill was higher than opposition in four out of five Tasmanian electorates. The pulp mill was most unpopular in the south, with

52.6% of Denison voters against it; state-wide, however, 43.4% supported the Bell Bay pulp mill. However, more people appear to favour an alternative site, with support for a pulp mill anywhere in the state rising to 51.4%. The pulp mill was put back on the political agenda earlier this year when parliament was recalled to rush through legislative changes to remove any legal threats to the project.


‘Marshalling’ former staff: just like family

Up and running .. Timber Marshalling Services has installed new sawmilling machinery at its central Queensland operation. From P 3

Ludwig has welcomed the old sawmill site springing back into action. “This is sensational outcome for our region,” he said. “The saving for our building industry will be a third of the cost for structural timber.” Timber Marshalling Services has already hired some former employees it was forced to let go of in Tasmania during cutbacks. “We’ve got all of our guys back and most of them have been with us 20 or 25 years,” Mr O’Connor said. “They started with dad and

now they’re with me, so it’s nice – they’re like family.” Mr O’Connor says other Tasmanian-based timber companies may see the appeal in expanding elsewhere. “The way Tasmania is going it wouldn’t surprise me,” he said. “It’s a very difficult place to do business right now.” The company still runs operations in Tasmania, contracted by a major timber company. Prime Minister Tony Abbott is looking to de-list some protected forests in Tasmania. “I think he’s going to have a hard time but I do wish him well,” Mr O’Connor said.

NSW forests to generate power THE NSW Forest Products Association has welcomed an announcement by the state government that changes to the Protection of the Environment Operations Regulation will now permit biomaterials from regulated timber harvesting and processing to be used in the generation of electricity. “This common-sense move brings NSW regulations closer to the other states and helps bring Australia up to speed with the rest of the developed world,” FPA general manager Maree McCaskill said.

“Using biomass is good for the environment as it displaces fossil fuels with a renewable carbon-neutral resource and over the longer term the use of biomass is considered carbon neutral,” she said. “While I am sure this change is being portrayed by some in the environmental movement as opening the door to increased harvesting and clearing of our forests, nothing is further from the truth. This change ensures there is no increase in the intensity of clearing or logging.”

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issue 309 | Page 9


Panel and engineered wood systems gaining support for cost-effectiveness Efficient building technology on show at FRAME 2014 THE opening session of the Frame Australia conference in May will feature topics on engineered wood products from the latest manufacturing technologies to examples of timber and wood construction systems being implemented both locally and globally. In Australia and New Zealand, a growing interest in timber panel and engineered wood systems in construction is gathering support as a more cost-effective and efficient building method instead of using the traditional materials of steel and concrete. The Frame Australia 2014 Conference and Exhibition, now in its 16th year, is being held at the Park Hyatt Melbourne on Monday May 19, in conjunction with the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia. EWPAA general manager Simon Dorries said the Frame Australia program was primarily on pre-fabrication and engineered wood products in building construction, so topics coverage would be of relevance to all EWPAA members and the broader engineered wood sector.

of the world’s largest producers of engineered wood products with 24 mills and more than $US2 billion in annual sales. Mr Pugel’s topic coverage will include evolution and future technologies for OSL and LSL strand based products, whole log processing technology, manufacturing flexibility and lower cost alternatives to traditional products, weather and fire resistant treatments, environmental impact issues, and more.

Growth market .. there is increasing interest in prefabricated timber panels and engineered wood for multi-residential dwellings and commercial buildings.

Conference director Kevin Ezard said: “We are fortunate to have an incredible line-up of speakers from Europe, the UK, the US, Canada and New Zealand as well as local experts covering the conference topics.” Mr Ezard said the event coincided with increasing interest in prefabricated timber panels and engineered wood for multi-residential dwellings

and commercial buildings, to reduce the time required on-site and lower development costs. “To commence the conference we have a keynote address titled ‘Timber and wood fibre engineered products in global and local construction markets’ by Dr Tony Pugel, senior scientists at LousianaPacific Engineered Wood Products, USA.” LP Building Products is one

Topic coverage relevant to all EWP sectors Andrew Brown, principal civil and structural engineer at Opus International Consultants follows in this session presenting on the emergence of engineered wood products in New Zealand commercial buildings. EWP’s are gaining approval as a viable material for the construction of commercial buildings in New Zealand with a number of timber buildings, Cont P 11

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Page 10 | issue 309

Engineered Timber Products


Reduced on-site construction time wins foothold in commercial building sectors From P 10

particularly in Christchurch, as part of the earthquake rebuild. These buildings incorporate the latest research in resilient timber seismic systems, and utilise developed knowledge on how to achieve costeffective, prefabricated designs that significantly reduce construction time on site, to gain a foothold in the commercial building sector. Kevin Ezard explained: “At the conclusion of speaker presentations is a discussion forum with all speakers and additional panel members responding to questions from delegates. “In this session, we have Simon Dorries of EWPAA, and Peter Law, technical manager of Wesbeam contributing to the

Simon Dorries

Andrew Brown

conversation.” Other sessions will include International and local expert speakers to provide overviews on pre-fabricated construction trends, along with how these concepts can be applied locally to reduce building costs and generate more affordable housing.

Dr Tony Pugel

Presentations included in the one-day event will be on manufacturing equipment for pre-fabricated timber and panel systems, and the successful design and construction of panelised timber buildings in Australia. “Frame Australia is unique in creating a national gathering

Kevin Ezard

of delegates from both the timber and engineered wood, and the building design and construction sectors,” Mr Ezard said. For more information visit the website www.frameaustralia. com and save with early bird delegate on-line registration before April 17.

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issue 309 | Page 11


‘Hopefully, the recent policy changes from the Prime Minister signal an end to environmental policy that places humankind and natural environment in conflict’

Free-market the solution for forests and forest protection By AARON LANE

THE Prime Minister Tony Abbott [at the industry dinner in Canberra] was right to describe foresters as the ‘’ultimate conservationists’’. He said he would seek to delist 74,000 ha of Tasmanian forest marked for World Heritage protection. Those working in the timber industry know that the long-term sustainability of forestry resources is in their best interest. Without these resources, their businesses and jobs would not be viable. The people who use these natural resources are in a better position to care for them than distant bureaucrats and government departments. This move will take control of the forest land from the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which will this year meet in Qatar [Arab emirate in western Asia], and hand it back to the local Tasmanian industry that has cared for the land and created its conservation value in the first place. The Greens and other extreme environmental groups were quick to express their outrage at the Prime Minister’s comments. These groups have long taken the dogmatic approach that conservation is a synonym for prohibition – the only acceptable way to conserve the natural world is lock it up and prohibit its use. Any move towards development is quickly criticised as an ‘‘assault on the environment’’. This rigid approach to conservation polarises the policy debate. Environmentalists often paint forest management as a choice between unrestrained plunder versus the preservation of the

Forest wars .. environmentalists often paint forest management as a choice between unrestrained plunder versus the preservation of the pristine.

pristine. The truth, of course, is in the middle; no two pieces of forest land are the same, and the land will lend itself to a variety of uses – most of which are not necessarily mutually exclusive. It will always be a question of balance.

Always a question of balance Aaron Lane

The political problem is how that balance can be achieved. Environmentalists operate under the assumption that the best way to protect any natural resource is to lobby government to pass regulations. They distrust the ability of humans and nature to co-exist, and the ideal becomes impeding human interaction with the environment. But this dogmatism runs counter to the experience of those working in primary industry. In this regard, Abbott

recognised the respect that the timber industry has for the environment in making ‘’the most of the good things that God has given us’’. Laws that lock up forestry should be particularly unwelcome in Tasmania. The timber industry is a significant contributor to a lacklustre economy. It provides tens of thousands of jobs in a state with the country’s highest unemployment rate. Delisting the forests will be a good start.

In fact, Abbott could go further. Tasmania’s economic malaise is crying out for a free-market approach to environmentalism. About 50% of the state is forest; only 31% is owned by the private sector. The easiest way of taking the politics out of forestry is to get the government out – privatise Tasmania’s forests and let individuals determine the best use of the land. Would this be committing forests to destruction? Absolutely not. It is one of the fundamental principles of property rights that individuals who own property take care of it. Environmental disasters occur when no property rights have been allocated – this is what is described as the tragedy of the commons. This is also the reason why the communist states of the 20th century were as much environmental catastrophes as they were human ones. Not content with locking up Australian forests, environmentalist groups successfully lobbied the former Labor government to lock up Australians’ access to timber right around the world. In 2012, the Illegal Logging Prohibition Act was passed. The Act criminalises the importation of illegally logged timber and any product containing illegally logged timber, including paper. While the law sounds noble, it is impossible to comply with. Penalties apply even in cases where an importer has no knowledge of illegality further up the supply chain. The onus is on importers to prove their innocence. This is at odds with Cont P 13

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We want to allow forestry, but why should it be subsidised? From P 12

a free-market approach that respects the rule of law. The law’s real effect is to limit the production of timber, particularly in developing countries that are using timber as an economic resource to pull their citizens out of poverty. If the Coalition is serious about respecting loggers as conservationists, this sort of regulation should also be addressed.

A range of external challenges If we are to move towards a free-market solution for forestry and forest protection, it is important that corporate welfare does not distort it. To be sure, the industry has had

‘Ultimate conservationists’ .. presentation to Tony Abbott at the forest industry dinner in Canberra by ForestWorks chair Julie George and chairman of the Australian Forest Products Association Greg McCormack.

to face a range of external challenges such as a high exchange rate and increased

global competition. But so has every industry.

The Tasmanian timber industry has had $180 million in grants in the past three years. Continued funds will only undermine an efficient balance between logging and other uses. We want to allow forestry – but why subsidise it? Hopefully, the recent policy changes from the Prime Minister signal an end to environmental policy that places humankind and the natural environment in conflict. Only a free market for forests will deliver a lasting peace deal. • Aaron Lane is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs. His research is focused on economic policy and industrial relations. Prior to joining the IPA, Mr Lane was a lawyer at a national law firm. He has lectured in law and economics at Deakin University and the Melbourne Institute of Business and Technology.

Brown uses some dodgy figures in attack on forest industry: Colbeck BOB Brown shows no empathy for displaced Tasmanian families and forest workers in a recent opinion piece attacking the industry, Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, says. “Brown quotes dubious statistics from his mates at The Australia Institute, well known for their anti-forestry stance, by claiming 1% of Tasmanian jobs are linked to forestry,” Senator Colbcck said. “The Australia Institute’s previous employment estimates leave out many jobs usually considered part of the forest industry including special species timbers, wood and paper product manufacturing. “Bob Brown also blatantly

ignores people in regional towns where jobs in supermarkets, pubs and local schools may be linked to the timber industry.”

Committed to revitalising the forest industry Senator Colbeck said a strong forestry industry contributed to regional development. He said the Coalition was committed to revitalising the forest industry. He said the opinion piece also showed a complete disregard for Australia’s sustainable forest practices. “Forestry is a renewable industry that operates on longterm cycles. Foresters are the

Bob Brown .. dubious statistics.

best conservationists because they manage the forests to ensure they are sustainable and can be used by future

generations,” Senator Colbeck said. “Bob Brown claims the forest industry will decimate Tasmania, yet at the same time he wants to classify previously harvested forests as wilderness world heritage. It is a complete contradiction.” Senator Colbeck said removing 74,000 hectares from the recently expanded Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, or 4.7% of the total area, would ensure the sustainability of future forest harvesting. “The Greens real agenda is to close the native forest industry in Australia. The Coalition will not stand by and let this happen,” Senator Colbeck said.

issue 309 | Page 13


Stories come out of the woodwork: a PM, pretty girls, a winking kangaroo By JIM BOWDEN

OUR story on former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and the ‘PM’s Chair’ in last week’s issue brought some more interesting stories out of the woodwork. Firstly, Charles Achilles, who was manger of the Hyne cypress and hardwood mill at Chinchilla on Queensland’s Darling Downs, was in Brisbane for an industry meeting about that time – in September 1982 during the Commonwealth Games. Sporting a ‘Thank You Mother Nature for Timber’ cap, the trusty sawmiller rested on the ‘PM’s Chair’ at the Port Office Hotel during a lunch break from the meeting (see photo). “It would have been better if it was made from cypress,” Charles said at the time. Just by chance, a group of lovelies were parading swimming costumes in an adjoining room. They were being ogled by a lunch-time crowd of workers, businessmen and government officers from nearby Parliament House.

Childen popped out of Matilda’s tummy at Games Three of ‘Shazza’s’ girls showed a keen interest in the ‘PM’s Chair’, so we invited them to take part in a timber fence promotion that was about to run in Australian Timberman. The picture, with one girl wearing the Mother Nature cap, illustrates the occasion. Meanwhile, that year Brett Neilson of The Truss Company at Eight Miles Plains in Brisbane would become everfamous as one of the ‘joeys’ who jumped out of the tummy of the iconic Matilda mascot, a gigantic 13-metre high

Page 14 | issue 309

Cypress ‘chair-man’ .. Charles Achilles settles into the ‘PM’s Chair’ at the Port Office Hotel in Brisbane.

Don’t fence me in .. former sawmiller Charles Achilles makes sure these swim suit models are comfortable in this promotion photo for hardwood fences.

A wink is as good as a nod from this kangaroo .. Matilda makes her was around the oval at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Brisbane in 1982.

mechanical ‘winking’ kangaroo that travelled around the QE II Stadium during the official opening of the Commonwealth Games by the Duke of Edinburgh. Malcolm Fraser was also at the opening of the Games, which ran in Brisbane from September 30 to October 9, 1982. Beth Neilson recalls that her son Brett, then 8, was among scores of children – members of YMCA trampoline clubs around Queensland – who popped out of Matilda’s pouch. “The children were required to be energetic, organised and have happy faces,” Beth said. “Brett certainly provided all of that.” The Brisbane Games are still hailed as one of the very best. Forty-six nations participated along with a record 1583 athletes and 571 officials. The Games and the 1988 World Expo put Brisbane smack bang in the middle of the map internationally. After 32 years, Matilda is still standing tall at a service station at Tugun on the Gold Coast.


Sawdust fuel fires nation’s first certified carbon-neutral bricks

Energy efficiency improvements in manufacturing process AUSTRALIA’S first certified carbon-neutral bricks have been launched in Tasmania. Manufactured at Austral Bricks at its Longford facility, they are the first certified carbon-neutral bricks produced under the federal government’s National Carbon Offset Standard. They include the range of bricks and pavers available from Austral Bricks (Tasmania) and Daniel Robertson. The carbon-neutral certification of the range of pavers and bricks manufactured at the operation near Launceston is largely achieved by the use of a unique fuel for kiln firing, writes David Wheeldon in Archiecture and Design.

Use of a unique fuel in kiln firing That fuel is sawdust, a biomass material and a byproduct of the local Tasmanian forest industry. The company’s national energy and sustainability manager Steven Mouzakis

Forest power .. wood biomass fuelling manufacture of bricks.

said the use of low emissions biomass as opposed to fossil fuels was largely responsible for the plant’s low carbon dioxide emissions. “Emissions from the biomass are just 215 tonnes a year, about the same as 12 average Australian households,” Mouzakis said. “In contrast, a conventional natural gas kiln of the same capacity could emit about 8000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.” The federal government’s voluntary Carbon Neutral

Steven Mouzakis .. emissions from the biomass are just 215 tonnes a year.

Program requires the measurement, auditing and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the offset of any remaining emissions. The certification measures all emissions contributors such as raw material extraction, onsite transport, product deliveries across Australia and internationally, water usage, packaging, waste and business operations, not just kiln emissions. “The successful carbon neutral certification has been partly achieved through a rigorous on-going program of energy efficiency improvements to manufacturing and associated operations,” Mouzakis said. All remaining greenhouse gas emissions are offset by purchasing carbon credits that assist in local Tasmanian projects such as tree planting under the Forests Alive program. “We are totally committed to conserving our natural resources and becoming a low carbon emitter, while not compromising on the high quality of our products,” Mouzakis said.

For more information visit and save with early bird on-line registration before April 17. issue 309 | Page 15


Mary will be first woman elected top cat of Hoo-Hoo .. ‘to be sure’ Bringing luck of Irish to a venerable organisation


IRISH eyes will be smiling on Mary O’Meara Moynihan when the timber building materials supplier celebrates St Patrick’s Day today (March 17) in Burnsville, a city in the US state of Minnesota. Descended from a long line of O’Mearas going back to ancient times in the county of Tipperary, Mary will be the first woman elected Snark of the Universe or world president of Hoo-Hoo International in the 122-year history of the industry service organisation. A member of Twin Cities Hoo-Hoo Club No. 12, she will be officially installed at the HHI annual convention in Santa Rosa, California, in September. “I’m thrilled and very honoured,” Mary said over the phone from her home in Burnsville, originally a rural Irish farming community, 24 km south of Minneapolis.

‘I’m thrilled and very honoured’ – Mary Moynihan “And I can’t wait for an opportunity to visit you Aussies,” she said. As first vice-president of HHI, Mary, who carries the HooHoo number 96820, will follow current Snark Carol Owens of Atlanta/Dick Wilson Hoo-Hoo Club Number 1 in Georgia. The ‘fraternal’ order of HooHoo was founded in 1892 in Gurdon, Arkansas, USA. Based on a high code of ethics, it has grown as a world-wide organisation serving the timber industry and raising monies for charities. The Hoo-Hoo black cat emblem shows the organisation’s disdain for superstition, basing much of its

Page 16 | issue 309

Incoming Hoo-Hoo International chief Mary O’Meara Moynihan stands beside the Hoo-Hoo flag with son Sean. - Pictures by Pieter Verlinden

ritual on the cat’s nine lives. Mary Moynihan, who has four children of her own, is one of four children of James O’Meara who founded the J. B. O’Meara Company in 1946 as a lumber brokership. The family-owned business today, a building materials supplies, is run by Mary as credit manager and siblings Jim as president, Cathy in purchasing, and Tom in operations. In the early 1970s, James O’Meara was about to sell the business. “At that time, Jim and Cathy were in Florida, I was in college and Tom was in the restaurant business,” explained Mary. “Jim said at that point, ‘Wait, hold it! I’d like to come back and work for you.’” When Jim returned to the company in 1973, he started the distribution portion of the business. Mary returned to the company in 1974, Tom in 1975 and Cathy in 1977. The O’Meara siblings have worked together for more than 20 years, and they admit that at times business has gotten in the way of family and family in the way of business.

Bringing the luck of the Irish to Hoo-Hoo .. new world Snark Mary Moynihan.

“But we’ve gotten this far and haven’t killed each other yet,” Mary said. “We do get along. We have our differences, but we know when to pick our battles,” she said. “Our mom told us years ago, ‘If you don’t get along, you won’t have anything left’.’” Mary said the US housing industry was well into a recovery mode and the timber trade was moving along quite well. Finding qualified labour was still the biggest problem. The company prides itself on its relationships with long-term

employees. “Very few people that have been here for a while and understand our family leave. We have turn-over, but once they are here and see our family culture, then they tend to stick around,” Mary said. The company, which has 80 employees, believes to keep good employees you must pay them well. “We’ve had a profit sharing plan since the early 1980s,” Mary said. “Generally at the year end, we give bonuses.” But like all companies, J.B. O’Meara has its challenges with employees. Mary says the challenge is to keep them motivated and happy. The company distributes – throughout Minnesota and neighbouring states – doors, stair parts, mouldings, columns and house ‘wraps’ that incorporate a unique material science that helps keep air and water out, while letting water vapour escape. As a result, it can contribute to improved building durability by helping to protect homes “We are growing our moulding business, which we just got into a few years ago, and we have a nice market share on them,” Mary said. “The DuPont Tyvek house wrap was introduced in 1981, and now it’s the predominant house wrap in this market.” A lot of the timber products supplied by J.B. O’Meara are manufactured from American aspen (Populus tremuloides) which accounts for 95% of the fibre consumed by Minnesota’s OSB producers. The state leads the nation in the production of aspen lumber, which also utilises jack pine, red pine, red oak and several other species. Cont P 17


China’s ‘go-global’ forest policy accelerates overseas investment Timber enterprises pour $1.3bn into 20 countries

THE pattern of overseas investment and cooperation by Chinese timber enterprises is evolving rapidly. Chinese forestry enterprises have invested around $US1.3 billion in some 20 countries mainly for timber harvesting, primary processing as well as a growing interest in wood product manufacturing, according to ITTO. In addition to a diversification of target investment, there has been an evolution in the type of enterprises involved which now includes private as well as state enterprises. In the past, most overseas ventures involved direct investment but this is now changing and more deals to purchase or lease woodland are being made and more of these business arrangements involve share acquisitions, joint ventures, capital injections and other forms of strategic alliances. As Chinese overseas investment expands it must mature and the government has been assisting through providing guidance and in building collaboration between government, banks and the

To enhance the ‘go-global’ initiative, the government intends to foster greater international competitiveness and strengthen management in Chinese enterprises to encourage the creation of respected multinational companies with an international reputation and influence.

Strengthening of industry self-regulation

Growing interest in wood .. the Chinese government intends to foster greater international competitiveness and strengthen management in forest enterprises.

enterprises. However, the government admits challenges still exist. Firstly, government regulations need to be more focused and timber association support to

overseas investors needs to be strengthened. Secondly, the inexperience of Chinese enterprises to assess and deal with risks in the international market need to be addressed.

One key area of concern of government is the strengthening of industry selfregulation. In the process of fighting against illegal logging and associated trade, enterprises are key players and the government and industry associations need to strengthen their guidance and emphasise integrity and social responsibility. It is recognised that there needs to be more effort put into raising an awareness of global issues and a sense of responsibility in enterprises. China’s wooden furniture industry is expected to grow 52% by 2018.

Hoo-Hoo order has a colourful origin From P 16

Each individual aspen tree can live for between 40 and 150 years, above ground, but the roots system of the colony is long-lived. In some cases, this is for thousands of years, sending up new trunks as the older trunks die off above ground. For this reason, it is considered to be an indicator of ancient woodlands. One such colony in Utah, given

the nickname of ‘Pando’, is estimated to be 80,000 years old, making it possibly the oldest living colony of aspens. Returning to Hoo-Hoo, I chatted with Mary about the history of the order. Hoo-Hoo has a colourful origin. According to historians, in the beginning there were six men stranded by a delayed train in the ‘dry’ town of Gurdon, Arkansas. The group comprised one newspaper editor, two

magazine writers, a railroader, a trade association officer (the Southern Pine Association), and one genuine bona fide lumberman. His name was Rudolph A. Strauss and he was bald except for an unruly tuft of hair (nine strands, according to historians), that grew from the top of his head. The organisation was newborn at precisely 3.09 pm on January 21, 1892. It was named Hoo-Hoo in honour

of Stauss’ hair tuft, dubbed a hoo-hoo earlier by one of the journalists. Because of the number of hair strands, and the time of day, and the nine lives of cats (hence kittens), the number nine is important to all HooHoos. I took the Hoo-Hoo motto and wished Mary O’Meara Moynihan Health, Happiness and Long Life.

issue 309 | Page 17

297x210mm Vertical 254x93mm Horizontal 125x190mm Vertical 125x93mm Horizontal 73x190mm Horizontal 73x190mm Vertical 140x44.5mm 110 Vertical 34x44.5mm

297x210mm Vertical 254x93mm Horizontal 125x190mm Vertical 125x93mm Horizontal 51x93mm

Page 18 | issue 309

Timber & Forestry E News Issue309  

Weekly news for the timber and forestry industries.

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