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issue 98 | 19.10.09 | Page 1 This Issue • New learning centre marks new era in forest education • Pulpwood Plantations widens bid for Great Southern

WOOD FIRST

BC campaign is government’s front line response to carbon and climate change By JIM BOWDEN

BRITISH Columbia’s government-backed ‘wood first’ campaign, aimed at increasing the use of timber in non-residential construction, captured the imagination of Australian delegates attending the first workshop of the International Wood Promotion Network in Vancouver.

The network embraces four national wood promotion campaigns: Wood for Good in the UK, Wood Works in Canada, NZ Wood in New Zealand and Wood. Naturally Better in Australia. The event, from September 30 to October 3, focused on wood promotion updates from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia

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and North America, strategies for growing the market for wood and wood promotion issues specific to climate change and carbon messaging. It also included visits to timberbased buildings that will feature in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Australian delegates included Cont Page 2

 ussie moves to China A to win global timber markets • Zoo with a view showcases Boral hardwood timbers • NZ forest leader wins ‘excellence award’ • CFMEU comes down hard on non-compliant products • EWPAA green ticket gives ‘piece of mind’ for wood consumers • Forest code wins environmental award in New Zealand

issue 98 | 19.10.09 | Page 1


industry news

Funds support wood-frame construction building codes and product accreditation From Page 1

Ric Sinclair, managing director, Forest and Wood Products Australia – in familiar territory; he was a writer and editor in Canada – and Andrew Dunn, chief executive, Timber Development Association. “There was certainly a loud call at the workshop for similar considerations by the Australian and New Zealand government,” Mr Dunn said. “British Columbia now has a ‘wood first’ policy for all government constructions and a presentation by BC Minister for Forests Pat Bell about wood’s role in carbon abatement and climate change enthralled the audience.” The Wood First drive is believed to be the first purposely funded by a government. Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the federal government is providing $40 million over the next two years to help forestry companies market innovative products internationally. One of the initiatives is the North American Wood First Program (Wood First). The message from Pat Bell, a former trucker and logger, that governments should consider wood structures as the first

Pat Bell, BC Forestry Minister .. wood first against climate change.

Andrew Dunn .. good wood message for Australasia.

line of defence against climate change was applauded by delegates from the UK, Europe, New Zealand and eastern Canada. Established in 2007, Wood First supports activities aimed at increasing the use of wood in non-residential construction (schools, health care facilities, retail establishments) throughout Canada and targeted areas of the US such as California, Wood First funds projects designed to educate architects, engineers, specifiers and builders on the advantages of and opportunities for using wood in non-residential applications. Wood First shares

the cost of approved projects with industry and other partners, typically covering up to 50% a project’s eligible costs. The Canada Wood Export Program (Canada Wood) is also helping to raise the profile of wood products offshore and increase wood exports to new markets. It is actively pursuing markets in Australia, Japan, China, South Korea, Mexico and Europe. In 2008–2009, Canada Wood received $7.69 million in funding from the Government of Canada to support more than 100 projects, including initiatives designed to expand offshore markets for high-quality wood products.

FOREST INDUSTRIES NATIONAL CONFERENCE & LIAISON DINNER Canberra -24-25 November 2009

The funding also supports wood-frame construction training, development of building codes and standards, product testing, market acceptance and accreditation of Canadian wood products. This investment is expected to generate close to $15.4 million in offshore market development activities. Canada Wood is part of the $127.5 million Forest Industry Long-Term Competitiveness initiative to promote the Canadian forest industry which provides close to 294,000 direct jobs that support the income base of more than 300 communities. In 2006, the sector contributed $36 billion to Canada’s GDP and constituted 10% of overall exports. The Council of Forest Industries (COFI), representing BC’s forest companies, is an active participant in Canada Wood. Since the program’s inception, COFI has received about $5 million in funding and has focused its efforts primarily in China and Japan. In 2008– 2009, COFI received close to $700,000 in support and will benefit from an additional $4.8 million for Canada Wood offshore offices.

Forest Futures

INNOVATION | JOBS | INVESTMENT 2009 Forest Industries Conference

Conference registration form and draft program is available from www.forestworks.com.au Page 2 | issue 98 | 19.10.09

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Victoria dangerously under prepared for approaching summer fire season

Fire control centres upgrade won’t be completed in time VICTORIA, and its forests, are dangerously under-prepared for the summer bushfire season The upgrading of more than 20 fire incident control centres won’t be completed in time, warns the state Opposition’s bushfire response spokesman and Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Development Peter Ryan. Country Fire Authority chief officer Russell Rees says it is impossible to have all bushfire preparations ready before the start of the fire season on October 28 but assures grades at centres in high risk areas will be finished in time. “There is a continuing need for the Victorian Government to recognise the need for greater levels of bushfire threat prevention through sustainable fuel reduction,” the chief executive of the Victorian Association of Forest Industries Philip Dalidakis said. “Victoria’s greatest bushfire threat is the continued build up of fuel loads, but sustainable harvesting can become an integral part of an overall solution,” he said Mr Dalidakis said it was clear much more needed to be done to prevent another Black Saturday tragedy. “While Government has promised to increase fuel reduction burning, the current Department of Sustainability and Environment targets remain the same as those put in place in 2008, 2007, and 2006 and before,” Mr Dalidakis said. “This means that the overall target of 2009 will fall significantly short of the state’s initial bushfire inquiry recommendations [Environment and Natural Resources Committee report], which stressed the need to increase the amount of 2008 prescribed

Peter Ryan .. parts of Victoria unable to contend with the threat of fires.

burning three-fold to 385,000 ha a year. “The timber industry more than any other, stands to lose the most from bushfire events – loss of lives, loss of businesses, loss of protected species of flora and fauna and, ultimately, through the destruction of more and more forest resource, the loss of a $6 billion industry.” Victorian Premier John Brumby last week visited a new control centre at Gisborne in the Macedon Ranges, an area that was devastated by the Ash Wednesday blazes in 1983. He said the Government was spending $28.9 million to upgrade 43 level-three incident control centres, as recommended by the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, only 16 of which will be complete by end of October. A further 21 will be finished by the end of the year but six won’t be ready until the end of June 2010. Peter Ryan said the delay would leave parts of the state exposed to danger. “The real worry in this is that there will be parts of Victoria that are dangerously under prepared to be able to contend with the threat this season.” The royal commission said in

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Russell Rees .. impossible to have all preparations ready.

Philip Dalidakis .. forest industry stands to lose most from fires.

its interim report released in August that level-three incident control centres must be properly staffed and equipped in case of fire on high risk days. Mr Ryan has called on the

Government to reveal how many level-three incident controllers would be on deck this bushfire season.

issue 98 | 19.10.09 | Page 3


forest INDUSTRY NEWS

New learning centre marks new era in forest education

THE new National Forest Learning Centre at Forestry Tasmania’s Hobart office would give the Forest Education Foundation a high profile CBD location from which to deliver its quality learning experiences, FEF chairman Gordon Duff said. The centre at 79 Melville Street, Hobart, was officially opened on October 13 by the Federal Minister for Forestry Tony Burke. Professor Duff said the centre would allow the Forest Education Foundation to expand its scope beyond schools, to involve the wider community. “Our vision is that schools and the public will use this centre to learn more about sustainable forest management,” Prof. Duff

a significant milestone for the Forest Education Foundation, which was established 20 years ago. In that time, it has established an enviable reputation for delivering credible and factual classroom and field-based activities based on forest ecology, science and technology.

At the centre of forestry learning .. Forestry Minister Tony Burke, Professor Gordon Duff, Forest Education Foundation chairman, and Darcy Vickers, FEF manager, with students from St Mary’s College, Hobart.

said. The centre combines innovative technologies with interactive activities on a number of themes. Prof. Duff said the centre’s programs could either be offered as stand-alone activities, or as

precursors to more intensive field-based programs. “The flexibility of the centre will allow its programs to adapt and change as we gain increased scientific knowledge about Tasmania’s forests,” he said. “The centre’s opening marked

‘The flexibility of the centre will allow its programs to adapt and change as we gain increased scientific knowledge about Tasmania’s forests’ – Prof. Gordon Duff “Programs provide students with the knowledge to enable them to make their own decisions about forestry issues.”

    •  •  •  •  •  •  

 •  •  •  •  •  •  •  • 

 

Page 4 | issue 98 | 19.10.09

     

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events

WHAT’S ON?

OCTOBER 09

18-25: XIII World Forestry Congress. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Forestry Department, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracella, 00100 Rome, Italy. www.fao.org/forestry/site/18508/en 20: Forest and Wood Products Australia Ideas Fair – ‘R&D Technologies and Innovations’. Melbourne Recital Centre, cnr Southbank Boulevard and Sturt Strreet, Southbank, Melbourne (1:30-3:30 pm). FWPA AGM (3:30-5:30 pm). Australian Timber Design Regional Awards (5:30 pm). Contact: Amarjot Kaur, FWPA marketing coordinator. Tel: (03) 03 9927 3211. Email: amarjot.kaur@fwpa.com.au 20: Australian Timber Design Awards regional. Melbourne Recital Centre. Contact Timber Development Association (NSW). Tel: Laurel Clarke on (02) 9279 2366. Email: info@timberawards.com Web: www.timberawards.com.au 20: ATFA Advanced Coatings Technology Workshop. 9am-4pm. Melbourne Home Ideas Centre, 1686 Princes Highway, Oakleigh East. Worshop leader Phil Holgate. Course will be ideally suited to sanders and finishers, training instructors, flooring inspectors, manufacturer technical and sales personnel, key contractors, wholesalers, suppliers and industry technical committee personnel. Fees $330 pp (inc gst). Non-members $440 pp (inc gst). Contact: Australian Timber Flooring Association. Tel: (07) 5492 8696. Email: admin@atfa.com.au 31: 2009 Queensland timber industry gala function. World class

entertainment and an A-list invite list. Contact TABMA Queensland (07) 3847 4637 Email: karen@tabma.com.au

NOVEMBER 09 6: Soils and Tree Nutrition Farm Forestry Research Seminar, DPI Attwood. Tel: (03) 5833 5957. Email: rhodey.bowman@dpi.vic. gov.au 6: Victorian Association of Forrest Industries annual dinner Crown Casino, Melbourne. Tel: (03) 9611 9000. 10-12: ForestTECH 2009. Tools and technologies to improve forest planning and operations, Rotorua, NZ. www.foresttechevents.com 12-13: Australasian Timber Drying Group (ATDG) 50th meeting, Lismore NSW. First day technical presentations. Second day site visits, including Boral’s engineered flooring plant at Murwillumbah and QDPI’s research facility in Brisbane. Contact: Lance Vinnell, PO Box 85, St Kilda, Vic. Tel: +61 419 895 358 (Australia) and +64 21 73 99 66 (NZ). Email: lancemv@bigpond.com 15-17: Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia annual conference and dinner. Gold Coast International Hotel, Surfers Paradise. Contact: Vicki Roberts, EWPAA, PO Box 2108, Fortitude Valley BC Qld 4006. Tel: +61 7 3250 3700. Email: vicki.roberts@paa.asn.au web: www.ewp.asn.au

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16: Australian Timber Design Awards. National winners announced at EWPAA conference, Gold Coast International Hotel, Surfers Paradise. Contact Laurel Clarke. Tel: (02) 9279 2366. 16-18: ForestTECH 2009, tools and technologies to improve forest planning and operations, Albury, NSW. www.foresttechevents.com 18-20: Managing Native Trees: Towards a National Strategy. Tane’s Tree Trust’s 10- year conference, University of Waikato, Hamilton,NZ. Workshops on the utilisation of totara and beech regeneration, the economical establishment of planted indigenous forest, eco-sourcing and the indigenous research program. Tel: +61 9 239 2049. Email ibtrees@wc.net.nz for a brochure. 21: Northeast Australian Forest Growers branch field day and meeting, Victorian Tree Farmer of the Year, Rutherglen. Tel: 0409 964 283. philippa.noble@dpi.vic.gov.au

DECEMBER 09 8-10: Bioenergy Australia 2009. Radisson Resort Gold Coast. Technical tour on December 8. Contact: Steve Schuck, Bioenergy Australia manager on (02) 9416 9246. Email: sschuck@bigpond.net.au

OCTOBER 2010 10-13: Australian Forest Growers national conference, Mount Gambier, SA. Chief executive Warwick Ragg. Contact national office: (02) 6162 9000.

SUSTAINABLE. RESPONSIBLE. The National Association of Forest Industries (NAFI) is striving for an ecologically sustainable Australian society achieved through dynamic, internationally competitive forest industries. NAFI’s mission is to represent the interests of members by promoting the environmental sustainability and the prosperity of Australian forest industries. National Association of Forest Industries Ltd (Est. 1987) PO Box 239, Deakin ACT 2600 Tel: (02) 6285 3833. Fax: (02) 6285 3855 Web: www.nafi.com.au

issue 98 | 19.10.09 | Page 5


INDUSTRY NEWS

Pulpwood extends project rescue bid for Great Southern PRIVATE investor Pulpwood Plantations is extending its bid for Great Southern’s timber schemes to include all but one of the flagship plantations. Great Southern went into administration in May this year owing investors up to $4 billion. An unlisted company, Pulpwood Plantations Pty Ltd, headed by chemicals magnate Gordon Martin, was established to invest in six plantation projects formerly managed by Great Southern Managers Australia Ltd. Mr Martin has extended his bid for Great Southern’s forestry assets, pitching a rescue bid for the later managed investment schemes on top of a $20 million offer for the 1998 to 2003 projects nearest completion. Mr Martin, who has teamed up with former Great Southern director Phillip Butlin to make his bid for the assets via Pulpwood Plantations, has been battling opposition from Great Southern receiver McGrathNicol. A letter has been sent to affected investors flagging the new proposal, which is expected to be detailed in the next two to three weeks. The letter has been sent days before the details of two rival bids – lodged by Gunns, and by Azure Capital and Bunning familylinked Black Tree Proprietary – are expected to be made public by the receiver. The board of Pulpwood Plantations comprises a high

Gordon Martin .. heads high level team of business and forestry professionals.

level team of business and forestry professionals led by Gordon Martin, chairman and majority shareholder of Coogee Chemicals, a former director of Burswood Ltd and United Group Ltd. and former West Australian state president of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is Chancellor of Curtin University. In the unlikely event that Great Southern will continue to provide on-ground management of the projects, Pulpwood Plantations has negotiated for specialist and experienced plantation manager Pulpwood International to provide all required forestry services on a contract basis for the life of the projects. As investor and manager, Pulpwood Plantations will oversee on-ground forestry services to be provided by Pulpwood International.

Advertising inquiries ph: +61 7 3256 1779 Page 6 | issue 98 | 19.10.09

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timber application

Sustainable hardwood boardwalks enhance viewing experience for zoo visitors.

Zoo with a view a showcase for hardwood range MONARTO Zoo in South Australia, devoted for more than 25 years to the sustainability of endangered animals, now affords visitors a spectacular view of the 1000 ha open range sanctuary thanks to sustainable timber structures. Located 63 km from Adelaide on the Princes Highway, the zoo is an international standard conservation and zoological biopark that supports education and public recreation. As part of an upgrade to enhance the visitor experience, and using Boral Timber hardwood products, Monarto Zoo has built boardwalks and platforms to view giraffe, cheetah, lion, black rhino, African hunting dog and chimpanzee and a multifunctional room and bus stop and shelter. A ‘zuloop’ tour bus allows visitors to get on and off at various points to enjoy an exhilarating, safari-like experience.

The result is simply breathtaking, with the natural elements of wood blended with striking structural design to deliver a dramatic aesthetic. The extensive project utilised an array of timber products, all of which are certified to the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS). Solid mixed hardwood was used for the underfloor of the walkways and platforms with spotted gum decking laid as the surface. Spotted gum cladding, cypress posts, Pinegard Blue treated pine and exterior grade plywood were also incorporated. “We’ve had a fantastic response from visitors who get amazing views of the animals from the new walkways,” says Monarto Zoo’s projects manager Geoff Brooks. “The contemporary design combined with the hardwood products selected achieved exactly what we were after and

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Dramatic use of Australian hardwoods at Monarto Zoo.

we couldn’t be happier with the new look and feel. It is a style we intend to keep for our future projects.” Boral Timber’s South Australian state manager Stuart Hanson added: “This was an exciting project and it provides the perfect showcase for our wide range of wood products.” Hardwoods used for the project were sourced from sustainably managed and legal sources. Boral Timber has achieved AFS chain-of-custody certification for all its products. AFS is the only forest certification

that meets Australian Standard AS 4708-2007 and is the largest forest management certifier in Australia, linked to PEFC, the world’s largest forest management certifier.

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issue 98 | 19.10.09 | Page 7


industry news

ACCC gives ‘all clear’ on industry’s wood naturally advertising message FOREST and Wood Products Australia has welcomed the finding by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission finding on Wood. Naturally, Better advertising [see example at bottom of page]. The ACCC found that no action needed to be taken in terms of the messages being advertised in the FWPA’s ‘Wood Naturally Better’ print advertising campaign [the WNB Campaign]. “I’m pleased with the finding and I’m pleased with the strong role that the ACCC takes in relation to green washing claims,” FWPA managing director Ric Sinclair said after the October 9 ruling. The ACCC acknowledged that environmental claims made by

Ric Sinclair .. strong science focus.

businesses can be a powerful marketing tool and as such, need to be clear, accurate and not misleading, with businesses needing to substantiate their claims at all times. The complaint related

specifically to the statement: “Forestry is one of the most green-house-friendly sectors of the Australian economy. In fact, it was the only industry sector to be carbon positive in 2005. So increased use of wood in construction will assist Australia in off-setting its overall greenhouse gas emissions”. Mr Sinclair added that all statements made within FWPA’s advertising were closely scrutinised to ensure they complied with the ACCC’s guidelines on green marketing (or green-washing). Mr Sinclair added: “FWPA has a strong science focus and there is plenty of supporting evidence for the important role that wood products can play in a carbon constrained economy.

“We endorse the notion that anyone stating things in advertising campaigns should be able to fully back them up. “We will continue to look at ways we can make our messages clear, transparent and firmly supported by a broad body of science.”

IT’S NOT JUST A

HOUSE CONSTRUCTION. IT’S A HELPING HAND IN

CLIMATE CHANGE.

The wood used in this frame stores approx 2 tonnes carbon.

BECAUSE IT’S

MADE FROM WOOD.

Using wood

of the life of the wood even when we use it for

to be carbon positive in 2005. So increased use

and Australia has a well-established framework

is naturally better for our environment because it

building products or furniture. It is released into

of wood in construction will assist Australia

to support the conservation and sustainable

helps with climate change in two very important ways.

the atmosphere again only when the wood decays

in offsetting its overall greenhouse

management of our forests.

or is burnt.

gas emissions.

First, growing trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store the carbon so

Second, forestry is one of the most

So when we choose carbon positive wood

What’s more, wood is a truly

for house frames, flooring, or furniture we’re also

efficiently that about half the dry weight of a tree is

greenhouse-friendly sectors of the Australian

renewable resource because millions

lending a helping hand in climate change. To find

carbon. This carbon remains ‘locked up’ for the whole

economy. In fact, it was the only industry sector

of new trees are planted each year

out more visit us at www.naturallybetter.com.au

Page 8 | issue 98 | 19.10.09

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INDUSTRY NEWS

NZ Minister of Forests David Carter (left) presents the award of excellence to Peter Berg.

NZ forest leader wins prestigious excellence award THE president of the NZ Forest Owners Association Peter Berg has been honoured by the Commonwealth Forestry Association. Mr Berg was presented with the 2009 South East Asia and Pacific Regional Award of Excellence by the Minister of Forests David Carter at the recent Forest-Wood Conference in Nelson. Reading the award citation, the Minister said Mr Berg was an exceptional example of outstanding leadership. “He has been a champion of forestry as a member, chairman and director of many New Zealand forest industry associations. His efforts have extended to administration, coordination, planning and strategy development, with a focus on community, environmental, educational and economic interests.” Taken by surprise by the award, which was greeted warmly by conference delegates, Mr Berg said there was no greater honour than to be acknowledged by one’s peers. The citation says Mr Berg, as a professional forester, has specialised in harvesting and marketing, the development of

quality systems and plantation forestry certification. He has also been involved in forestry work in Samoa under the NZ bilateral aid program. “He has wide experience in the international marketing and trading of forest products … in China, Japan, India, the United States and several Southeast Asian countries.” As well as his business interests, Mr Berg has a strong personal interest in forest conservation and in the role of indigenous species in plantation forestry. He has also co-authored and published two books on NZ forest history. He is an officer of the NZ Order of Merit. The Commonwealth Forestry Association was formed in 1921 and exists to promote the conservation and sustainable management of the world’s forests and the contribution they make to people’s livelihoods. Its SE Asia/Pacific region award recognises people who have made an internationally significant contribution to forestry.

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Timber & Forestry e-news is the most authoritative and quickest deliverer of news and special features to the forest and forest products industries in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region. Weekly distribution is over 6,000 copies, delivered every Monday. Advertising rates are the most competitive of any industry magazine in the region. Timber&Forestry e-news hits your target market – every week, every Monday! HEAD OFFICE Custom Publishing Group Unit 2- 3986 Pacific Highway Loganholme 4129 Qld, Australia Tel: +61 7 3392 9810 PUBLISHER Dennis Macready admin@industryenews.com.au CONSULTING EDITOR Jim Bowden Tel: +61 7 3256 1779 Mob: 0401 312 087 cancon@bigpond.net.au ADVERTISING Tel: +61 7 3256 1779 cancon@bigpond.net.au PRODUCTION MANAGER Leigh Macready Tel: +61 7 3392 9810 production@industryenews.com.au

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issue 98 | 19.10.09 | Page 9


industry news

Life-threatening guesswork on building sites ‘not on’: CFMEU BUILDING safety officers with Australia’s biggest trade union have warned builders and engineers that the use of noncertified timber components on construction sites will not be tolerated and they could be responsible for any costs associated with the removal of condemned material. A builder on Sydney’s north shore last week was instructed to “pull it all down” after an inspection by Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union deemed the loading standards of formwork to be life-threatening. “This is one of several cases at Sydney building sites where timber components have not been certified to Australian plywood industry standards and are without visible stamping for grade and source of product,” CFMEU product safety officer Rick Resch said. “There is no way our members will be put at risk by guess work,” he said. “We have put builders – and engineers – on notice that they will be considered unqualified if they specify timber that fails to meet Australian standards. “And we have no qualms about identifying anyone who works with high-risk sub-standard material.”

Protecting workers .. unions come down hard on non-compliant products.

The 120,000-member strong CFMEU has come down hard on the use of non-compliant plywood products, much of it traced to Asian imports. At least eight building projects have been put on notice in recent months after uncertified plywood was used contrary to regulations for safety. In one serious case, plywood used for formwork on a multi-storey office complex in Parramatta that had failed all Australian standards for structural integrity and bonding had been approved for use by the builder and two engineers. The material was removed from the site under instructions from the NSW WorkCover Authority and replaced with certified Australian-manufactured

product. Mr Resch said a full-time fiveperson CFMEU task force was informing building contractors and their engineers that they must produce evidence that timber products are fit for purpose and are clearly stamped to meet appropriate structural standards. CFMEU safety officers are referring to the LVL scaffold plank identification manual produced by the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia. “The manuals are now a common reference tool for CFMEU safety officers in all states and are used regularly during on-site inspections,” Mr Resch said.

Victoria’s top builders lift market share VICTORIA’S largest builders have increased their market share over the past financial year, thanks largely to federal and state grants for first home buyers. The residential construction sector was quite weak last year with new dwellings in the state remaining flat in 2008-09 at 41,818 starts. But an HIA report has found the market share of the largest 20 builders has increased from 28% on 2007-08 to 32% in 200809. The top 20 builders built 13,282 dwellings in 200809, compared with 11,727 dwellings in 2007-08. HIA’s Victorian executive director Gil King said the increase in market share among the top builders was good news, but it was disappointing that actual new home starts had remained flat. Mr King said HIA was concerned that State Government levies on new housing and a host of extra regulations on industry could thwart recent efforts to speed up residential construction, and instead see the re-emergence of housing shortages.

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Page 10 | issue 98 | 19.10.09

Contact Alan Jones Email: alan.jones@premier.austbrokers.com (Licence No. 238123)

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marketing

EWPAA green ticket gives wood consumers product assurance A PRODUCT awareness campaign across Australasia and the South Pacific that delivers a ‘peace of mind’ safety message to consumers of plywood and panel products has gained new momentum with support from allied industries. Cornerstone of the campaign is an adhesive label – a ‘green ticket’ – that assures consumers the manufactured products they are buying have been independently tested and certified for low formaldehyde emissions and are sourced from sustainable and renewable forests. The Housing Industry Association and the multibillion-dollar furniture industry have backed the campaign, initiated by the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia. More than 100,000 of the labels are being attached to products manufactured by the Furniture Industries Association of Australia. The campaign has spread to New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji where EWPAA members are distributing the labels to furniture and wood panel manufacturers and enclosing them in packs in their own product distribution chain. “Connecting with consumers of wood is no longer purely about product distribution, it’s

Have you tried and failed in

Manufactured in New Zealand from sustainable New Zealand resources Independently tested and certified as low formaldehyde emission by the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia www.ewp.asn.au

about branding and consumer awareness – and building a product’s credibility,” EWPAA general manger Simon Dorries said. “In this new era of experimental marketing, consumers want to touch a product first hand and be assured with a guarantee that it is safe for them and their families.” A major aim of the EWPAA green ticket campaign is to counteract increasing imports from Asia of plywood, flat-pack shelving and furniture components that are consistently failing standards for formaldehyde emissions. “These imported products are deceptive and dangerous,” Mr Dorries said. “What’s more a lot of this stuff is unbranded without any stamp to indicate where it came from.” Chief executive of the Furniture Industry Association of Australia Martin Lewis said the industry would gain new strength by partnering EWPAA

China?

Don’t join the crowd .. take your business to an Australian business in the business We will take your green or KD boards and turn them into sanded finish, fully pre-finished or engineered flooring with recoveries you can only dream about. We have our own fully Australian owned and operated flooring factory in China.

on consumer awareness. “The campaign will help the furniture industry promote security, quality, design, style, environmental and sustainability and health benefits of its Australian products,” he said. FIAA members are also displaying an EWPAA Certificate of Assurance in their showrooms that assures buyers that their products are manufactured in Australasia and independently tested and certified as low emission class Eo. E1 is the grade accepted internationally as ‘low formaldehyde’. Higher grades such as E2 are considered high formaldehyde and not suitable for use indoors or in poorly ventilated areas. Australasian plywood standards require labelling of

Simon Dorries (centre) discusses the EWPAA green label campaign with Andy McNaught, FWPA advisory group member, and Peter Juniper, A3P’s solid wood manager.

formaldehyde emissions. Every plywood sheet complying with these standards must be labelled with the formaldehyde emission class. ”While Australian industry has been diligent to reduce formaldehyde levels, the same is not so of competing countries,” Simon Dorries said. “China in particular does not appear to have any effective regulations which require formaldehyde reduction to ensure products are safe and without risk to health.”

Building agricultural ties with China Call for applications Applications are sought from groups in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors seeking to develop trading relationships or exchange scientific information with China. Six delegations will travel to China between 1 July 2010 and 31 December 2011 under the Australia-China Agricultural Cooperation Agreement, a longstanding bilateral agreement signed in 1984. Each delegation will comprise four Australians and will visit China for up to two weeks. Most expenses including flights and accommodation will be covered. For further information and application forms contact the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry at:

Our rates and our recoveries will help you put you back on track.

Website: www.daff.gov.au/acaca Email: acaca@daff.gov.au Phone: 02 6272 3748

Ring Terry to find out more: +86-159-5727-8210 (mobile)

Applications close 5.00 pm AEST, 30 October 2009.

Our production capacity is 10,000m2 per month and this is scaleable.

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issue 98 | 19.10.09 | Page 11


MARKETING

Move to China ‘a good move’ to capitalise on global timber trade

Aussie company’s brave, bold offshore venture THE timber industry has always had an international element. Researchers, foresters, traders and those involved closely in the technologies associated with the business have always been part of a global community, but for most of us working day to day with wood this has been irrelevant – until recently. We now feel the impact of globalisation like a sledgehammer, no matter what we do. A trip to Bunnings or any big retailer is enough to demonstrate one important aspect of how this manifests itself in our lives. The shelves are dominated by imported product – tropical decking from Indonesia, furniture from Malaysia and plywood (and whatever else you can think of) from China. But increased competition is only one side of the coin; the other side is that in a globalised market our products are also finding new customers overseas. This is an opportunity, but also a challenge because

certainly not much of a future for us in staying home.” The last three years have been a roller coaster ride for Terry Newman and Ecquality Timber. “We have our own horror stories, of course, and these have taken us to the outer limits of sanity,” he told T&F enews. “But we are also excited and stimulated by the boundless opportunities that we see before us.” ‘If we can’t do something under our own roof, we can do it in a nearby factory with the necessary capacity’

Terry Newman checks Australian timbers fully finished as decking for the Japanese market.

it means that we have to be prepared to take some very new and daring steps into the unknown. For one small business, this has involved moving to China. JIM BOWDEN spoke with TERRY NEWMAN who has based his Ecquality Timber

Zhejiang Province .. new base for Ecquality Timber Products in China.

Page 12 | issue 98 | 19.10.09

Products in China. Located at Huzhou City in Zhejiang Province, Ecquality is a small family business that has been exporting Australian flooring and decking to Japan for the last 13 years. “With the Australian dollar like a yo-yo much of the time, and costs that are rising beyond what is feasible in our business, we decided a few years ago to start looking around,” said principal Terry Newman. “We went to Vietnam, Malaysia and China. Initially, we did some contract production of flooring in Malaysia, but we found that the advantages were not enough to justify staying there. “We settled on China for a number of reasons – the proximity to our main market, Japan, and the strength and diversity of the timber processing industry here in China. We had heard all the horror stories about investing in China, but we believed that it was worth the risk. There was

The company is located in the throbbing heart of the Yangste Delta, which is dominated by Shanghai and the adjacent provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang. This is the richest part of China and perhaps can be described as the modern equivalent of Ballarat at the height of the gold rushes, but on a scale that sees hundreds of Ballarats, Bendigos and Kalgoorlies cheek by jowl. To that image you need to add the Wild West and the halcyon days of old Shanghai in the 1930s. Now throw in mobile phones, skyscrapers, extensive freeways and millions of motor vehicles and you are beginning to get the picture. “In setting up a business here this economic frenzy was alluring, but for us a key attraction was that 60% of the domestic and a large part of the export timber business was located here and specifically in the area where we decided to locate our factory,” Mr Newman said. “If we can’t do something under our own roof, we can do it in a nearby factory with Cont Page 13

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forest resource

Forest code wins environmental award Praise for resource management documentation AN environmental code that includes compulsory rules and best practice guidelines that members of the NZ Forest Owners Association must observe in their day-to-day forestry operations has won a prestigious national award. The Resource Management Law Association presented its 2009 award for the most outstanding resource management documentation to the Forest Owners environmental chair Peter Weir at its annual conference in Wellington earlier this month. The Environmental Code, which was published in 2007, has been adopted by most major forest owners and their contractors and endorsed by the NZ Farm Forestry Association. A recent survey showed that more than 90% of contractors involved in silviculture, harvesting, roading and earthworks, and agrichemical and fertiliser application, have adopted the code. The association now plans to develop a system of auditing compliance with the code, which is expected to form the basis of a planned National Environmental Standard under the RMA. “Nearly 20 years ago New Zealand’s plantation forest industry decided that it needed

to take ownership of its environmental performance. While well managed plantations offer major environmental benefits, forest operations take place in all weathers, on difficult terrain, in remote areas, often with heavy machinery and in potentially environmentally sensitive areas.” Mr Weir said. “It was clear to us that we had to develop systems that were practical, effective and had the buy-in of our members. Some regional councils were imposing urban subdivision earthworks guidelines on us, but these are often inappropriate for a forest setting and out of step with international forest engineering best practice. “If we didn’t set our own rules then we were looking at having even more regulations imposed on us by some councils.

Peter Weir with the award for the forestry industry’s ‘outstanding’ Environmental Code of Practice.

“We knew that we were on the right track when Fish and Game praised the development of our code, with its compulsory and enforceable rules, and then encouraged other primary industries to

Climate change impact on plantations FOREST and Wood Products Australia has released a report on the impact of climate change on production plantations in various regions across Australia. The report identifies direct effects of climate change on plantation production, explores limited predictions of future growth and drought risk, details species and

region combinations predicted to experience increases or decreases in production and risk/uncertainty, and briefly investigates adaptation options at estate design and operational management scale for at-risk regions. Contact Marion Niederkofler. Emailmarion.niederkofler@a3p. asn.au

take similar ownership of their environmental performance. “Finding better ways to do things is far more productive and rewarding than fighting the legitimate concerns of the public.” The 2007 code is the most recent step in the forest industry’s journey to audited self-regulation and management. Based on an earlier code published in 1990 and three years of member consultation, it defines best environmental practices (BEPs) for forest operations. “Some leading regional councils have signalled that they will remove the need for forest owners to get consents for forest operations where they can demonstrate audited compliance with the Code. Hopefully, this will apply nationally with the adoption of a proposed NES for plantation forestry,” Mr Weir said. Mr Weir thanks the code’s many authors, making special acknowledgement of the important roles played by Chayne Zinsli and Kit Richards. He also thanked Brett Gilmore and Pan Pac Forests for allowing the company’s environmental management system to be used as a template for the code.

‘You must have control over the wood and at every stage’ From Page 12

the necessary capacity. We have been asked why we don’t just sub-contract everything, but we tried that. The key is control. You must have control over the wood and over every stage of production and quality control.” Mr Newman says he can only do this by having a base in China. He imports the wood,

exports the final product and does almost everything in between. Ecquality Timber has reliable sub-contractors who handle some of the more specialised operations such as laminating and finishing engineered flooring. The company still imports all its wood from Australia, but is also spreading its wings and before long will bring in FSC-certified

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oak from Germany to add to the inventory. “The nightmares about going under during the global financial crisis are now behind us,” says Mr Newman. “We have made friends and allies here and are starting to build a life. We have yet to be tourists in China and we even missed the Olympics, but there will be lots of time for this later on – maybe.

“Our 15-year-old daughter loves the international school and has made a new bunch of friends to add to her long list of MSN buddies from school back in Australia. “It seems that for her generation the world was never very big in the first place. These days it seems, for better or for worse, we all have to think like them. The world is never going to get any bigger.”

issue 98 | 19.10.09 | Page 13


Chain of Custody for sale I N F O R M AT I O N S E M I N A R

POSITIONS VACANT

Brisbane • Thursday, August 20, 2009 433 On Logan Conference Centre Peterson ASM Sawmill 433 Logan Road, Stone’s Corner

LIMITED TO 60 SEATS For a full description of this mill including case studies for important Australian and softwood milling please This and hardwood timely seminar, organised by TABMA Queensland, will help reduce some of the confusion relating to chain of custody. It visit www.petersonsawmills.com will ensure the Queensland timber industry has the information required The is situated Geelong, Vic, speakers currentlywill andpresent is housed in a modfor mill compliance withinlegislation,Key information ified extended ft. shipping container to make it weather proof andand there will be a 40 question and answer forum. and completely lockable for secure constant use. It has done just Speakers include:

over 50 MacKenzie, hours andmanager, has fivetimber brand new blades andTimber a range of spares • Colin application and use, Queensland (including rails to General allow for 11m logs to be cut). • Simon Dorries, Manager, Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia A • Kayt number safety features also been added, Watts, of chiefextra executive, Australian Forestryhave Standard Ltd (AFS) including complete assessment kit(FSC) and safe op• Michael aSpencer, chiefcompetency executive, Forest Stewardship tool Council erating manual generated.

Hardware Store – Assistant Manager

Busy hardware store in Sydney’s inner-west requires a resourceful, self-reliant assistant manager. Must be customer focused, with excellent knowledge of product. Key requirements are organisation, the ability to prioritise and flexibility. Experience in dispatch would be highly regarded. Developing effective trade sales systems, as well as maintaining inventory and pricing accuracy, would be a bonus. A team player, you will be open and straightforward with staff. You will occasionally be required to work overtime in your 5 1/2 day week. Generous salary package will be negotiated with the right person. In the first instance, please send your resume to: info@tabma.com.au or for a confidential discussion telephone Justin Dwyer on (02) 9277 3172.

Sales Representative – Timber & Hardware

The is tea. ready use and can be sold asam. a going concern an and saw morning Note:toArrival 7:30am. Breakfast 7:45 Presentations beginwith at 8 am. operator ready to start RSVP by Friday, August 14, to:and timber orders in place.

A prominent south western timber and hardware store requires an experienced, persuasive sales representative for Sydney’s east. A thorough knowledge of timber in building applications, as well as an established client base, will be highly regarded. You will be expected to hit the ground running. You must be able to operate autonomously, planning visits systematically, yet with flexibility. The ability to follow up leads and deliver on specific requests is essential. A proven track record of sales in the industry is also required. Generous bonus structure will be negotiated for the right person.

arrange an inspection on +61 0448 393 885.

In the first instance, please send your resume to: info@tabma.com.au or for a confidential discussion telephone Justin Dwyer on (02) 9277 3172.

Registration fee: $65 pp (TABMA member) $80 pp (non-member) • Includes hot breakfast

Tabma Queensland, PO Box 532, $50,000 AUD +GST 500 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley 4006 Tel: (07) 3254 3166. Fax: (07) 3254 4599. Please call Phillip Blampied for photos, further details or to Mob: 0438 295 136

www.tabma.com.au

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Issue 98  

A weekly online magazine to the timber and forestry industry

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