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December 2019


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Victoria in crisis Pages 3-10

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Victoria in crisis

• Australian Forest Products Association CEO Ross Hampton addresses the protest rally on the steps of Victoria’s Parliament House.

Upper house probe planned into Victorian forest closure Bruce Mitchell Mandy Parry-Jones

supporters outside Parliament House where Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien HE Victorian native reaffirmed that if elected forestry industry is at the next state election in backing a proposed 2022 he will reverse the cloLegislative Council inquiry sure decision. Mr O’Brien told the rally into the Andrews Government decision to shut down the inquiry into the closing the native forestry industry down of the forestry industry in Victoria would begin by 2030. The announcement was in early 2020. Only a member of Victomade at a rally by around 300 native forestry workers and ria’s upper house can initiate


an inquiry of this kind and so it will fall upon David Davis, the leader of the opposition in the upper house, to start the ball rolling. Once the inquiry is underway it will be held before a Select Committee which is not only tasked with reviewing the matter brought before it but it is to be a specialised committee able to understand the industry. The committee to hear the


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inquiry is to receive detailed instruction or terms of reference. However, the committee is appointed by the ruling party of the day, in this case Victorian Labor but in theory it is to be a ‘balanced’ group of people from all sides of politics but only made up of members of the Upper House. Once the inquiry is underway, anyone with an interest in the matter is able to submit information, the committee selects those it wants to interview in more depth and then puts together a report which is tabled in parliament, putting everything on the record. The Leader of the Nationals Peter Walsh said an Upper House inquiry would ensure “we get the facts about the sustainability of the timber harvest, how many jobs will be lost as a result of Labor’s ban and what it will mean when Victoria is forced to import inferior timber to meet demand’’. CEO of the Australian Forest Products Association Ross Hampton welcomed the Opposition announcements. “The decision by the Andrews government to shut down native forestry is bad for the environment, bad for climate change action, bad for regional Victorian jobs and bad for the prosperity of regional and outer metropolitan Victorian communities where the timber is processed into much sought

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

after floors, furniture and other products,’’ he said. “Native forestry is completely sustainable and could have gone on providing the timbers for Melbourne’s homes and offices indefinitely. Instead Victorians will have to add to the already ridiculously large import figures which sees Australia import timber products worth more than $250million each month. The decision is not supported by the best global science or practice.” CEO of the Victorian Association of Forest Industries Tim Johnston told the rally the decision to close a whole industry without justification should be reversed. “Victoria’s native hardwood industry uses four trees out of every ten thousand, and every tree used is regenerated and regrown. It is the ultimate renewable,’’ he said. General Manager of the Australian Forest Contractors Association Stacey Gardiner said the native forest industry contractors and their employees were pleased to hear the promise from the Opposition. “This decision must be reversed and will remain a key issue up until the next state election,’’ she said. “Victoria has a sustainable and well-managed native forest industry and we want it to continue well into the future. Not only does it provide thousands of jobs but is also the backbone for so many regional and rural communities.’’ 3

Victoria in crisis

Secret decision a massive breach of trust December 2019 Issue 8 Vol. 28 Established 1991 News  3-14 Green Triangle Awards   18-19 Tiwi Islands  20-21 Mill profile  36 What’s on  34 Front Cover: Stacey Gardiner, AFCA general manager, with forest contractor Chris Stafford (centre) and Joey Timms from Arbuthnot Sawmills in the thick of the Melbourne rally on the steps of Parliament House.

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THE Andrews Government’s secret decision to close the native forest industry is not only a breach of trust but is based on a number of distortions regarding climate change. The Environment Minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, argued that the phasing out of native forest harvesting will cut the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere. However a continuous supply of wood products, which all store carbon, will create a much higher rate of CO2 sequestration. Trees cut down are replaced by new trees, which then all absorb more CO2 as they grow, thus continuing the cycle. Trees sequester the most CO2 in their first decades of growth. With no Victorian hardwood timber, more greenhouse-intense building products such as concrete and steel will be used. Supplies will come from the Asia-Pacific where there are far worse environmental problems.

That the government has announced that some of the $120 million of its assistance package for the State’s hardwood timber industry will be used to cover the cost of buying bulldozers and excavators to fight bushfires is breathtaking. The loss of jobs and investment, not just within the timber industry but in every country town which relies on income from the forests, will be staggering. The Government does not clarify what it means by transitioning to plantations. Mr Andrews announced the policy at a softwood pine plantation in Alberton, a long way from Gippsland’s native hardwood forest industry. Yet the 10-year time frame indicates the plantations would be short-term hardwood rotations for paper production at Australian Paper. This leaves Gippsland’s hard-

wood sawmills in limbo as eucalypt plantations require at least 40 years’ growth to achieve any quality. The Government’s action involves a terrible breach of trust. The decision was taken behind closed doors by a Government that emphasises engaging with the community. Gippsland industry, non-Labor MPs and local government were not consulted. The Government had been stressing it would complete the next round of RFAs with the Commonwealth by March next year, while VicForests was working towards FSC certification that combined resource sustainability and fauna protection. While this took place, the Government was negotiating behind the backs of all the parties. The government selective justification for it’s decision has not been validated and the industry has been betrayed. The effects on local communities will not cause a ripple; they will cause a tsunami.

Andrews Government’s exit package ‘unravelling’ T HE Victorian State Government has admitted that some of the $120 million of its assistance package for the State’s hardwood timber industry will be used to cover the cost of buying bulldozers and excavators to fight bushfires once the harvest and haul contactors have been robbed of their jobs. Leader of the Nationals in Victoria Peter Walsh asked Premier Andrews in Parliament: “Is the Government also going to buy the some 70 dozers and excavators owned by these contractors to replace the vital firefighting capacity lost as a result of the Premier’s decision to take the axe to Victoria’s sustainable native timber industry?’’ In his answer Premier Andrews said: “On the issue of equipment, there is provision within the $120 million package of support to deal with this very issue…” Australian Forest Products Association CEO Ross Hampton said the Government’s commitment to purchase this equipment will run into tens of millions of dollars, significantly depleting the already inadequate support for businesses and workers. “The Government’s illconceived plan to close a vibrant, sustainable and vital part of the regional Victorian economy is unravelling

AFPA CEO Ross Hampton with the Member for Eastern • Victoria Melina Bath. by the day,’’ he said. “It was revealed already that the excuse of ‘stopping old growth harvesting’ was misleading at best as VicForests announced the cessation of this tiny part of the industry timber supply months ago,” Mr Hampton said. “Questions are also being

asked about just where the land for the supposed 50,000 hectares of plantations will come from and now the Premier has revealed that the package allocated for workers and businesses also has to fund bushfire fighting machinery. “This is the reason the Upper House inquiry which is

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

being sought by the Coalition is so important. All of us call on the Upper House members to support this inquiry to uncover the facts,” AFPA CEO Mr Hampton said. Victorian Association of Forest Industries CEO Tim Johnston said that the failure of the Premier to understand the consequences of his own policy to shut down the industry and the lack of subsequent detail only exacerbates the concern and frustration felt in impacted communities. “The Victorian hardwood timber industry is sustainable and viable, and the only threat to its long-term existence is the Government’s decision to end the sustainable harvesting in State forests,” Mr Johnston said. “Victorian native timber is local, recyclable, and stores carbon – it is the ultimate renewable, and the Andrews Government plans to throw that away.” General manager of the Australia Forest Contractors Association Stacey Gardiner said these revelations only increased the uncertainty and concern for contractors who have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their machinery. “Victoria’s native hardwood industry uses 4 trees out of every 10,000 and every tree used is regenerated and regrown by law,” Ms Gardiner said.

Victoria in crisis

Timber industry traded for foreign imports


LOGGING ban in Victoria’s state forests will forfeit local jobs in support of foreign imports, the state’s peak local government association which consists of 21 councils with an interest in the state’s forest industry has warned. Timber Towns Victoria chair and Glenelg Shire Councillor Karen Stephens said the State Government’s lock down of forest would jeopardise 2000 timber jobs and close timber mills across the state, bringing small towns to a standstill, crippling countless households. “The State Government is trading jobs in support of substandard foreign imports with this ill-devised plan which is destroying a sustainable industry,” Cr Stephens said “This decision will bring the supply of native timber to a complete halt, bringing disruption to the domestic construction industry which relies on this superior stock for flooring, furniture and other building materials. “The sector and broader community are being forced to rely on foreign imports to supply native timber, at a

• A forest worker makes his point at the Melbourne rally. lesser quality and no doubt at a peak price. These are countries which don’t have the same strict world best practice harvesting controls which we have become globally recognised for.

“This misguided decision has been made when less than 0.05 per cent of Victoria’s native forest is currently harvested, equating to 3500 hectares; the lowest and most sustainable it has been of the

cent protected, unavailable or unsuitable for timber harvesting. The industry is heavily regulated with Vic Forest conducting an annual analysis of the impact of harvesting to ensure ongoing sustainable practices. Cr Stephens said it was critical that the State Government “rethink its decision”. “This is a sustainable industry which dates back more than a century. It is the lifeblood of regional Victoria, supporting countless jobs, businesses and rural families,” she said. “Data tells us that one Melbourne job loss is the equivalent of 32 local jobs in a rural community. The ramifications of this decision are going to be crippling for these small communities. “The State Government can’t just plant more trees and think it will absorb the job losses – it takes 40 years for a radiata pine to mature past 20 years. “It is a sad day for the timber for harvest. It is critical supindustry and a sad day for ru- port is provided in job transition, and other localised ral Victoria.” State wide there is about job creating investment, to 7.8 million hectares of native provide certainty for effected forest, with more than 90 per families.”

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Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019


Victoria in crisis Union bags Government decision

Minister for Energy Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio (centre) celebrates with supporters in Strathbogie after • the logging ban announcement.

Andrews pandering to city-based Green voters Bruce Mitchell


ICTORIA’S State Government is pandering to Green minorities in downtown Melbourne, rather than going out and listening to the people whose livelihoods depend on this industry, according to Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Senator Jonathon Duniam, “As a Tasmanian, I know only too well what happens when the Greens get near the levers of power, and I think that is the case in Victoria,’’ Senator Duniam said. “The Andrews government, worried about what’s going to happen in their inner-city seats, is pandering to Green minorities in downtown Melbourne, rather than going out and listening to the people whose livelihoods depend on this industry,’’ he said “They’re selling them out to make sure that when the next election rolls around, they will get those preferences from those Green voters in those inner-city seats.


“What a terrible methodology to employ when it comes to governing a state. “We need to stand by these communities, not abandon them.’’ Senator Duniam said that a large number of jobs were lost in Tasmania when the Greens “got into bed” with Labor. “They virtually shut down our forestry industry overnight,’’ he said. “A majority of the jobs— most of them in native forest harvesting—were gone. It was bad for our economy. We started going backwards because Labor in Tasmania were appeasing the Greens in Tasmania.’’ He said his one message for the Andrews government and for other Labor governments around the country was that they should not be tempted to do a deal with the Greens to shut down a particular part of any primary industry or extractive industry. “They might tell you that they’re happy to stop at native forest harvesting: ‘If you end

native forest harvesting, we’ll get off your case forever.’ “I can guarantee to you now that the Greens won’t stop there. We know for a fact that they will not stop until the last chainsaw falls silent,’’ the Senator said. “It’s native forest harvesting and the native forest industries—the haulage contractors, the tree fellers, the millers—that are the target today, but tomorrow it will be plantations. It will happen.’’ He said what State Government in Victoria had done in Victoria was devastating. “Our regional communities are so dependent on a number of industries, forestry being one of them, and Daniel Andrews and his cabinet have decided that native-forest harvesting—something that we do better than most other countries in the world—is an industry that they, as a state, do not want to be a part of anymore. “It’s a very bad decision for regional communities.’’ Senator Duniam said that nearly 5000 jobs directly out

of the native-forest harvesting sector were in Victoria. There would be $300 million in economic activity ripped out of regional communities in Victoria every year because of a decision by a government to abandon a particular part of the forestry industry. “And communities like this now have to start thinking about their future,’’ he said. “The sawmills geared up to harvest, mill and produce products out of native forest timber now need to think about what they’re going to do, given the Labor government has sold them out. It’s a decision that’s more about politics than it is about policy. “We condemn the decision by the Andrews government to shut down native forest harvesting in Victoria. It’s something that we hope they see sense in and look to reverse rather than pushing ahead pig-headedly and not listening to what the community has to say.’’

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

THE powerful construction and forestry union has joined in the condemnation of the launched a stinging attack on the Victorian State Government over the decision to end logging in Victoria’s native forests. The CFMMEU says the government has made a “heartless stupid decision”. “The package is grossly inadequate and should be an absolute embarrassment to any government that claims to be one that looks after the interest of workers,” said Michael O’Connor, the national secretary of the CFMMEU. “By making a deliberate decision to end the industry, the government has destroyed these peoples’ jobs, and they’re responsible for these people losing their jobs. They need to take responsibility.” Mr O’Connor has said the decision to end logging in native forests broke agreements between the union and the Victorian ALP. He said the logging decision had broken faith not only with blue-collar workers but with regional communities. “It is a stupid, heartless decision that is out of character for a government that had built a reputation of supporting blue-collar jobs and regional communities,’’ he said.

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Victoria in crisis

Government ‘failing to realise’ the flow on effect T HE local ramifications of the State Government’s decision to finish native forest harvesting by 2030 in stateowned forests are serious and far-reaching according to local timber industry leaders. Fenning Timbers in Bairnsdale, which uses 100 per cent ash species to produce furniture, joinery and structural grade timber, is directly affected. The company’s principal Leonard Fanning, and resource manager Brian Donchi, want people to understand the far-reaching effects of the decision. “It’s unending what the domino effect of this decision will be,” Mr Fenning warned. “The government does not realise how big a flow on effect there will be across the state.” Mr Donchi said the whole Victorian timber industry used just six per cent of state forest. “We cannot allow Daniel Andrews to destroy our timber industry,” Mr Donchi said. “It provides real jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity to all sectors of many businesses in Victoria. “People think it’s going to help the bush, it won’t. “There are thousands of hectares in the national parks and millions of trees already dead from fires - it will all

Fenning Timbers’ Leonard Fanning and resource manager • Brian Donchi in Bairnsdale.  Photo: East Gippsland Newspapers be destroyed. Locking it up won’t save it – it will do the reverse.” Mr Donchi said it was estimated 40,000 to 50,000 people were indirectly employed by the industry statewide. “It’s not just us employing 50 people, it’s all the businesses we use and the people they employ, as well as the plumbers, the electricians, all the supply businesses. There are a huge number of people in Bairnsdale indirectly employed by the timber industry.” In the wake of the decision,

The VAFI statement also says trees in forests and plantations typically sequester carbon at a maximum rate between 10 and 30 years of age with the rate slowing until maturity at 80 to 100 years. Mr Donchi warns another issue will be when the next big bushfire burns in the High Country. “It needs thinning out and it needs to be managed better. When the timber workers are gone, no one else has the machinery, the knowledge or the skill to help in a bushfire.” He said the area that burnt in the terrible 1939 fires, from Kinglake near Melbourne to almost Orbost, grew back to become the largest hardwood timber producing area in Australia. “Everything needs to be managed,” Mr Donchi said. “Locking it up will mean the roads will become blocked, the culverts will become blocked, the fuel loads will build up. “This decision has been made to please environmentalists, but the bush will be a mess and with drier, hotter weather conditions it will need more management. “We can’t get it through to the government - just leave our industry alone. We want our jobs and towns to survive.”

the Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI) released a statement stating the industry was highly regulated and environmentally responsible, and in the forest estate of eight million hectares just 3000 hectares, or put more simply, four of every 10,000 trees, were harvested annually. “And when they’re harvested they grow back,” Mr Donchi said. “It’s almost like a plantation because it’s been logged - it Story courtesy of Bairnsdale can be sustainable in perpeAdvertiser tuity.”

Councils blindsided by decision Bruce Mitchell WELLINGTON Council was, like so many others, blindsided by the announcement and disappointed it wasn’t involved in any prior consultation. Wellington Shire Council Mayor Alan Hall said Council had already met with Australian Sustainable Hardwoods in Heyfield and would continue to work with them and other local mills during the transition. “Council is actively seeking to understand what the Premier’s decision will mean for our communities reliant on the timber industry,” Cr Hall said. The council will be writing to the Premier expressing its concerns and seeking further and better information 8

concerning the decision, but doesn’t realistically expect an answer. “The town of Heyfield has shown us in recent years that it is strong and resilient, but as a Council we need to learn all the implications of this decision,’’ Cr Hall said. “Council is requesting more detail around the timing of the implementation of the new policy, their plan for new plantations and what support both financially and otherwise the Victorian Government will offer workers, businesses and communities that rely on the timber industry. “This announcement has taken us by surprise so we are now actively trying to catch-up, as are many others directly impacted.” Once adequately briefed,

Council will continue active discussions with those in the local timber industry and their communities, to support them in going forward. “We want to support the communities, with an emphasis on identifying meaningful employment prospects that will genuinely strengthen our collective position,” he said. Orbost Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretary, Garry Squires, says it is simply “not logical”. He said there had been “ rumblings that governments could do this over the years, but it was not taken very seriously”. He thinks the government should want to keep a sustainable industry like forestry going. The township of Orbost is about 2000 people with about 115 jobs currently

related directly to the industry. “That’s about 25 per cent of all full time jobs in the town, so very significant,” Mr Squires said. “The Orbost township is surrounded by forest. Ove r 90 percent of the area is forest area. There’s a s mall farming community, but there are no other job opportunities so people who are retrained will need to leave the district to put those new skills into place in another town,” he said. “I’m very pessimistic at present. I’ d like to see what other options government might have on their plate. “This was a classic government policy statement with very few details.’’ Additional reporting courtesy of the Snowy River Mail.

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

Premier admits there will be pain VICTORIA’S Premier Daniel Andrews has conceded there will be pain in the decision to halt native timber harvesting in his state by 2020. “There is no argument against this, that’s just a fact,’’ he said. “But I think that pain is better managed by an honest Government that stands beside every worker and every business and every community, rather than pretend it’s all fine and we’ve got more than enough timber and the world still wants all of our products,’’ Mr Andrews said. Speaking at a Victorian Country Press Association conference in Melbourne, Mr Andrews said Victoria had got through the closure of the automobile industry and would get through the hardwood timber closure as well. “I’ve got the Greens at one end saying this is way too slow and I’ve got people who are proud members of the timber industry saying it’s way too fast. “I think that gives you some indication that a 10year transition is a balanced outcome,’’ Mr Andrews said. “I’m not for a moment trying to diminish the impact there will be on communities. They will be supported and that’s why there will be $120m worth of support in lots of different ways; and frankly if $120m isn’t enough then there will be more support in the communities beyond that.’’ Mr Andrews said he would not challenge the quality of the product but consumer trends. “We’ve just see Australian Paper, biggest employer in this industry … moving to make cardboard; you don’t make cardboard boxes out of native hardwood; you make it out of plantation softwood; they are really clear about that,’’ he said. He said Officeworks had refused to put Australian Paper’s Reflex paper product, on its shelves because it was coming from native forests. “So making products that retailers won’t stock because customers won’t buy, that’s the definition of not making a sustainable industry,’’ Mr Andrews said.

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Victoria in crisis ALL THE FOREST FACTS

Job loss claim a fiction

•• The native forest

THE Victorian Government’s claim that ‘nobody has to lose their jobs until 2024’ following the decision to halt native timber harvesting in the state has been shown up as wrong at best by the Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath. Speaking in State Parliament Ms Bath said the effects of the State Government’s plan to close the native timber industry were already being felt. She said Steve Garrett and his partner Scott Ferguson operate Hardwood Forest Products, a 30-yearold forestry equipment business that services the native timber industry. “How is it fair that overnight and without warning you stole away the livelihoods of Mr Garrett, his business partner and their six employees that they cannot afford to keep?” The Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes responded that she “certainly want face-to-face consultations with all impacted people as part of the decision’’. Ms Bath said later that Ms Symes was informed that Mr Garrett and Mr Ferguson were indeed in the House at that time, however she said later no meeting ever took place. Ms Bath later said that the Kilsyth-based Hardwood Forest Products Australia, which customises specialist equipment for Victoria’s native timber industry, was being affected by Labor’s planned native timber industry closure “right now’’. “Three major contracts have been cancelled since the announcement placing their employees jobs under direct and immediate pressure,’’ Ms Bath said. “Understandably they are bewildered, devastated and angry. This is just one of the many businesses affected.’’ Ms Bath said Labor’s decision has been followed by “twisted rhetoric and questionable propaganda’’ in attempt to justify their completely unjustifiable decision. She said Ms Symes had stated on radio ‘nobody has to lose their jobs until 2024’. “As I said in parliament, this is at best naïve and at worst misleading,’’ Ms Bath said.

area in V ctoria is 7.9 million hectares.

•• The Victorian timber industry operates in 6% of this area.

•• The timber harvesting cycle of this 6% of area is based on an eighty-year rotation.

•• The area harvested

annually by VicForests is 0.04%.

•• The industry employs around 20,000 directly in Victoria in both regional and metropolitan businesses.

•• Also employs another 40-50,000 through flow-on economic activity.

•• This includes nearly

10,000 who make timber furniture, cabinetry and in joinery manufacture.

•• Around 320 timber

industry businesses operate in Victoria.

•• The Victorian timber

industry generates $7.3 billion in sales and services annually.

•• Around $300 million

in household income depends on the native forest sector in Victoria.

•• Australia wide, the

industry is aiming to triple its economic value by 2050.

•• Timber exports in

Victoria are worth around $830 million each year.

•• Australia currently

imports $4 billion of wood products from overseas.

•• Regional centres such

as Bairnsdale gain more than $20 million in economic activity from the surrounding timber industry.


The letter so good Graham Walker took it to the bank Bruce Mitchell


ORRYONG saw mill operator and pallet Graham Walker received a letter in October from Victoria’s Minister for Regional Development, Agriculture and Resources Jaclyn Symes good enough to take to the bank. In fact, he did. The letter recommended he continue to work with VicForests to “fully utilise the available timber resources” to supply his mill. It was the Victorian Government’s view, the letter said, “that the careful management of Victoria’s State forest can support the sustainable supply of resources as well as protection of biodiversity”. “I used that letter to go to the bank to borrow money,’’ Mr Walker said. But late last week the State Government announced that native timber logging in Victoria will be phased out by 2030. The current level of native timber available for logging to be reduced from 2024-25. “I received it on October 10. It’s just hypocritical isn’t it,’’ Mr Walker said. “We hadn’t had a commitment and that letter gave us a commitment. “The bank rang on November 7 to say that everything looked okay but I had to tell them the news. “They haven’t cancelled the approval yet.”

Mr Walker said he had meetings with engineers last week to work on the designs for the $3m new plant. He planned to go ahead with his plans because otherwise, should the current government, or a future government, change its mind “we are behind the eight-ball’’. Mr Walker said the decision was “absolutely devastating’’. “The effects will be long term. “We manufacture Chep pallets,’’ he said. “There are only two manufacturers and we are one of them. “We’ve been making them for 50 years. “My father is 96 and he has been in sawmills since he was sixteen. “We’ve been in the same area for eighty years. “It’s insane for them so say that we are unsustainable. “We can’t build a pallet out of softwood.” Mr Walker said Chep tried softwoods in the 1980s but abandoned the idea because the number of broken pallets being returned was far too great. “Softwood hasn’t got the strength,’’ he said. Mr Walker is also concerned for the future of his town. “We are only a small town with a population of around 1000 people. “We employ 22 full time. “Were do they go to find work.

“I’m 56 years old and I’ve had my life but those guys haven’t. “They are still paying off houses and cars and putting kids through school.’’ According to Longwarry Sawmilling Company Bruce Craig the end of native forest logging in Victoria by 2030 would make the future of his own business very uncertain. Mr Craig says the announcement of the end of native forest logging in Victoria by 2030 would make the future of his own business very uncertain. “Best possible case, we’ll be here to 2030 but it might not even be that long,” he said. Not that making the switch to plantation timber is a bad idea, Mr Craig said but it’s a job that would take 40 years, not the 11-year timeline the state government has declared. “We’ll be out of business,” Mr Craig said. That’s not particularly good news for his 14 employees. “That’s all they’ve done, they won’t be able to re-skill themselves,” Mr Craig said. “Not everyone can work in IT or aged care or tourism or whatever, some people just have got have a job, and they won’t have one. “There’ll be a bit of a pine softwood plantation industry, there might be a bit of pulp for export but I don’t think there’ll be a native hardwood industry,” he said.

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019







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New Zealand wood exports T

HE New Zealand Forest Owners Association says the phased reduction of tariffs for wood and paper exports to China will assist in a long term realigning of New Zealand exports into more further processed timber products. Association CEO David Rhodes said NZ Trade Minister David Parker had done a great job of removing much of the remaining obstacles for the processed timber export trade into China. “It shows the long-term value of industry working with

government as well, with a good foundation laid down by a major industry delegation to China in September last year with Forestry Minister Shane Jones,” Mr Rhodes said. “Our industry is hugely reliant on China. Our processed timber exports there are worth $509 million a year, but that value could be a whole lot more, if it were not for those residual tariffs discouraging exporters,’’ he said. While the tariff removal on current exports was relative-

ly small, it was the potential to China and adding another for growth without the tariffs 12 categories to the 48 already under reduction under which was significant. “Two of our next two ma- the original 2008 FTA Agreejor export markets, Australia ment. “We’d like to see tariffs and Japan, are dominated by further processed exports. taken off the final one perPaper and paperboard for cent of the export trade, but Australia and wood panels I’m sure the momentum is in that direction and it is only a for Japan,” Mr Rhodes said. It would be some time be- matter of time before all the fore China became a similar tariffs are gone,’’ Mr Rhodes market for New Zealand but said. “More processing in New the Chinese government had given a clear signal to New Zealand will create more jobs Zealand that it has no issue and give processors more with processors in New Zea- confidence they have market land expanding their exports access with fewer tariffs.”

New Logset sales company LOGSET will establish a sales company called Logset Ab Sverige Filial in Southern Sweden this month. The office is nearby Halmstad opened on December 2. Logset has sold machines to Sweden through dealers ever since the company was founded in 1992. From now on the sales company will handle the sales in Southern Sweden and Denmark. The sales company will also assist dealer Sigsjö Maskin Ab with sales in Northern Sweden. Tigercat support in Chile TIGERCAT has appointed Juan Velasquez to the position of factory support representative for Chile. Based in Concepción Chile, Juan will focus on providing after sales product support for customers in south and central Chile. Ponsse hits 15,000 THE 15,000th Ponsse machine was completed at their factory in Vieremä and delivered to Lespromindustria in Russia. The machine delivery also represented a step towards Ponsse’s 50th anniversary to be celebrated next year. Fifty years of logging will be celebrated by a global roadshow together with Ponsse’s customers and other forest industry professionals. 12

• A Digital Elevation Model produced from imagery and the chip pile in Bunbury.

Exporter goes high-tech for counting chips A MAJOR Western Australian wood chip exporter now prefers drones to calculate stockpile volumes rather than conventional survey methods. Using drones allows volumetric surveys to be completed in a fraction of the time of conventional survey methods leading to lower costs, higher productivity and improved safety Bunbury Fibre Exports Pty Ltd has engaged Terra Drone Australia to conduct a volumetric survey of its Blue gum wood chip export stockpile located at the Port of Bunbury. Bunbury Fibre Exports is an Australian company that provides harvesting, transport, processing, exporting and plantation management services to the plantation timber industry in the South West of Western Australia. The company maintains and manages a state-of-the-

art wood processing and export facility at the Port of Bunbury. All of the company’s timber is processed at the facility in preparation for export to the company’s international markets. As part of its planning and financial compliance requirements, Bunbury Fibre Exports is required to undertake a volumetric survey of its stockpile at the Port of Bunbury on an annual basis. An accurate stockpile assessment is also required to support its ongoing inventory management processes. In the past, like most stockpile assessments, the stockpile volumes have been calculated from traditional real time kinetic surveys, requiring surveyors to climb over stockpiles taking a number of spot measurements with conventional GPS equipment. However, this method can be slow, costly and inaccurate due to the limited

number of sampling points and the inference of heights between sometimes sparse points. Further, climbing over stockpiles can be physically demanding and hazardous for survey crews and injuries such as sprains and strains have been common. “Stockpile survey by Terra Drone is fast, safe, accurate and provides others benefits like a 3D model of the stockpile with such detail that you can clearly see the dozer tracks,’’ Bunbury Fibre Exports Operations Manager Brett Humble said. “It is the future.” Terra Drone Australia now undertakes the annual stockpile survey using a multirotor drone. The drone fitted with a multiband GNSS and a calibrated camera is used to take hundreds of downward looking images across the stockpile. A dense point cloud is computed from the image data

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

using Agisoft Photoscan photogrammetry software. The point cloud is then cleansed of above ground features (conveyors) and noise using geometric filters, before having a highresolution surface digital elevation model produced. From here a volume accurate to less than 0.5 per cent can be produced. “This is a real-world example where drones have made a significant improvement to business processes. The vast majority of businesses that stockpile materials such as aggregates or minerals, or in this case wood chips, are now computing volumes from drone surveys,’’ Terra Drone Australia Operations Manager Will Wishart said. It’s estimated that volumetric surveys by drones is up to 60-80 per cent faster than by conventional survey methods.

In the news BRIEFS New edition A NEW edition ABARES’ Australia’s Forests at a Glance booklet is now available. It covers how native forests—including old growth forests—are conserved and managed. It also covers plantation forests and the industries that provide the wood products. Australia’s Forests at a Glance 2019 shows the total 2 million hectares of plantation decreased slightly due to reduced area under hardwood plantation. KI staying clean KANGAROO Island Plantation Timbers has welcomed a State Government commitment to keep Kangaroo Island free of the Giant Pine Scale pest which is well-established in Victoria and likely to make its way through the Green Triangle. KIPT Managing Director Keith Lamb said the commitment by Government was a boost for the biosecurity status of Kangaroo Island. Giant Pine Scale (Marchalina hellenica) is a scale insect that sucks the sap of pine trees. If established, the insect poses a threat to Australia’s softwood plantation industry by causing branch dieback, gradual desiccation and potential tree death. New Rotorua Forestry Hub THE NZ Government has committed to a strong regional presence for Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand), with the construction of a new Forestry Hub in Rotorua. The Forestry Hub, which will be shared with the Department of Conservation, will ultimately house some 50 Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) staff, with 25 of those from Te Uru Rākau. The Forestry Hub will be built from a combination of engineered timber columns, posts, portals and trusses, and the external envelope will feature a selection of timber elements that will mimic the surrounding natural environment. The building is expected to be completed by late 2020. Forestry helps prisoners into jobs ELEVEN men from a pilot forestry training program for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release.

Australia’s forestry sector strong in export markets A N Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences report has highlighted continued growth in Australia’s forestry sector thanks to strong export performance. Australian forest and wood products statistics, March and June quarters 2019 reported the fifth consecutive year of growth for the forestry sector, with higher export demand offsetting weaker domestic demand. “We are seeing continued

strong overall demand for wood products, with the estimated volume of logs harvested in 2018−19 remaining high at 32.7 million cubic metres,” ABARES acting Executive Director, Peter Gooday, said. “The estimated value of logs harvested increased to around $2.7 billion, driven mainly by higher export demand.’’ Exports of Australia’s wood products were higher than ever in 2018–19, increasing for the sixth consecutive year to reach a record $3.9 bil-

lion. This increase had come on the back of record high exports of woodchips, paper and paperboard, and roundwood. “Overseas demand for woodchips, sourced mainly from Australia’s commercial hardwood plantations, remains strong with woodchips exports growing by 19 per cent to reach $1.6 billion in 2018–19. Exports of Australia’s paper and paperboard products increased to over $1 billion,’’ Mr Gooday said. “China is Australia’s larg-

est trading partner for wood products and the Chinese market accounted for 70 per cent of total wood product export growth in 2018−19. “In fact, nearly half of Australia’s wood product exports went to China, a market now worth $1.9 billion.’’ Mr Gooday said that Australia’s consumption of overseas wood products in 2018−19 also increased, to $5.9 billion, driven by growth in imports of paper and paperboard products, and miscellaneous forest products.

• Some of the damage in the Hurford plantations in NSW which are usually Blackbutt and or spotted gum.

New South Wales timber ravaged by fires

BETWEEN 40 and 50 per cent of timber on the north coast of NSW has been lost to bushfires in November, and they are still burning. “It’s pretty horrific,’’ Maree McCaskill from Timber NSW said. “It will be burning for months. “Some of those fires started in September and all that’s happened is that with the catastrophic conditions a whole lot of them just blew up.’’ Ms McCaskill said ForestCorp had lost pine planta-

tions and native hardwood forest. “The general supply is in dire straits at the moment,’’ she said. “And the north coast is the major supplier of black butt and spotted gum so it’s looking really, really dire. “Somewhere between 1.6 and 1.7 million hectares have been burnt.’’ She said that nearly all of the fires had started in National Parks. “National parks have a lock it up and leave princi-

pal so fuel loads were really high so once you have those catastrophic conditions they don’t stand a chance,’’ she said. In Queensland, about 180,000 has been burnt, while in Victoria, where the bushfire season usually starts later, 100 km/h winds fanned more than 60 blazes. A spokesman for Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries said there had been minimal if any impact on native timber areas from the fires.

The spokesman said that some plantation timber had also been burnt but did not know how much. HQPlantations reported the fires had affected plantations at Jimna, Pechey and Esk. “We are still monitoring or mopping up after severe fires in these locations and the safety of the general public continues to be our priority,” said HQPlantations Chief Operating Officer, Islay Robertson. Details of any losses in Victoria were unavailable.

Truckies’ monster tax hike watered down TRUCKING companies still face increased heavy vehicle road charges with the threatened 11.8 percent hike over three years watered down to 5 per cent over two years. A council of transport and infrastructure ministers has flagged a 2.5 per cent rise in the charges paid by truck companies on diesel and registration in 2020-21 and another 2.5 per cent in 2021-22. The trucking industry welcomed the backdown from an earlier proposal but said it wanted to see a justification for

the rise and to see any extra revenue flow to infrastructure, rather than general government coffers. It warned tight margins in the industry meant any rise would have to be passed on to its customers. “Whatever happens we have to pass it on at some stage … the ability of the industry to cover it is limited and it will flow through (to consumers) eventually,” Victorian Transport Association chief executive Peter Anderson said. Australian Trucking Association chairman Geoff Crouch welcomed the

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

ministers’ recognition that the original increase proposed was “far too high”, but said concerns remained. “No increase can be justified, given the existing overcharging and the financial pressures faced by companies,” Mr Crouch said. “We will work with the National Transport Commission next week to understand their original modelling and the implications of the decision.” Mr Anderson said the industry planned to meet the federal government to discuss the details. 13

VAFI awards

Lifetime achievement award for Corryong mill ‘institution’ Mandy Parry-Jones

largest employer in the region and employs 22 staff, families and the townAX Walker from ship relies on the jobs it Walker’s Sawmill provides and the money it in Corryong has brings into the region. been honoured with by the “Max left school at 14 and Victorian Association of Forstarted work with his father estry Industries with a Lifemeet with Max a little under in the bush prior to World time Achievement Award. While Max was unable to 12 months ago,” said VAFI War 2. “He saw generations of attend on the VAFI dinner CEO Tim Johnston. “In his heart and mind the development in the forestto receive the award, memry industry,” Mr Johnston bers of the Walker family at- mill was and still is his life. “Walker’s sawmill in Corry- said. tended with his son Graeme Mr Johnston said he was Walker accepting the award ong has been an institution glad that Max was not at the in that region for 50 years.” on behalf of his father. The Corryong mill is the event to see the impact of “I had the pleasure to


the Victorian government decision on native forestry as the industry was such a huge part of his life. Max had started working as a 12 year-old in the industry and finished working in the industry when he was in his 90s. Mr Johnston said that although Max started working for his father as a 14 year-old he did not get paid until he was 22. He started in forestry working with a team of horses and saw many changes along the

way and expected his mill would continue to bring prosperity to the region. Other awards presented on the night were: VAFI Economy Award sponsored by Timber Training Creswick and presented to Australian Paper VAFI Community Awards sponsored by ForestWorks and presented to SFM Environmental Solutions VAFI Sustainability Award sponsored by Indufor and presented to Walker’s Sawmill Corryong.

Tim Johnston (VAFI), Rob Rule (Timber Training Creswick - sponsor of Economy • Award) and Peter Williams (Australian Paper - winner of the Economy Award).

Tim Johnston (VAFI) with Yvett Nash (ForestWorks - sponsor of Community • Award) with the award won by SFM Environmental Solutions.

• Australian Forest Products CEO Ross Hampton addressing the dinner.

Graeme Walker from Walker’s Sawmill in Corryong who accepted the Lifetime • Achievement Award on behalf of his father Max.


Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

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• Bror Moldrup with Nina Moldrup from IWT - Moldrup Asia Pacific at the Woodtech conference in Melbourne.

Euro warning on junk timber imports Bruce Mitchell


USTRALIA and New Zealand risked the impact of being flooded with “junk” timber from China unless they took steps to safeguard the integrity of the local product. And the best way to do that would be through rigid certification, marketing to architects and specifiers, and marketing. With Western Europe flooded with inferior Eastern European timber with the creation of the European single market, the Nordic timber industry had to safeguard their reputation, so that’s exactly what they did. Nina Moldrup, area manager, Latin America & Spain, IWT-Moldrup Asia Pacific, told the Woodtech19 conference in Melbourne there were lessons for Australia from the Nordic experience. Ms Moldrup said that the birth of the European Common Market in 1958 with

only six member countries was aimed at creating a free movement of goods to create healthy competition and increase the wealth of all the countries. Then in 1993 the European Union decided to eliminate all trade barriers and create a truly single market between them. “Part of the policy was to have common harmonized standards because existing national standards were effectively preventing competition.’’ Prior to publication of the common standards in 1996 there was a lot of discussion about making the requirements for a certain level of timber treatment and quality mandatory across Europe. “And it almost went this way and it would have been the right decision,’’ she said. But in the end it was only

decided to make the requirements “informative’’ and not mandatory. The effect on the timber industry was dramatic, and for a number of reasons. For a start there were obvious problems encountered with a uniform standard. Climate varied across Europe - from a wet, humid warm climates to dry cold climates. “The degree of wood protection required is quite different in a wet, warm climate compared with a dry cold climate,’’ Ms Moldrup said. “And Europe has many different climates.’’ Wood species also differed, from permeable pine (e.g.Nordic region, France) to refractory spruce (e.g. Germany and United Kingdom), and only permeable species were going to be permitted. This resulted in no mandatory minimum requirement for penetration of chemical, only a recommendation, marking and marketing-only information which did not

reflect any uniform level of quality. So, a compromise had to be found; it was left up to the customer to decide which wood was best suited to their needs. “Whether a normal customer or the average building company has the necessary insights to do so is quite questionable. But with no mandatory minimum level of chemical penetration proscribed, and no knowledge on the part of the buyer, treated wood soon developed into a product where the lowest common denominator decided the quality. “The product quality raced in competition with the price to the lowest possible level. Junk.’’ The Nordic wood treatment companies decided to counter this development with consistent high quality control and marketing. Countermeasures by treating plant operators has been high quality through inde-

pendent third party control and marketing of a quality label through their association to have gained high degree of confidence by consumers, professional users, government and the wood industry. The system including label is open to any company, anywhere, that adheres to the requirements. Creating a common playing field in competition. The message was simple; quality versus junk and a guarantee system in Sweden aimed towards consumers backed up by not a single company but the association of all companies. The system they developed, features a labelling system which is open to any company, anywhere, that adheres to the requirements creating a common playing field in competition. Ms Moldrup said the treating plant operators through their association had been the drivers - not the preservative suppliers.

Future for drones above and beyond the forest Bruce Mitchell THERE seems little doubt that drones have a future in the timber industry, but it’s their application which might be surprising. According to Timbersmart’s Tristan Rudden, drones will have as must value in physical work as they will as information managers. Mr Rudden told this year’s WoodTech19 conference that the physical element included transporting seedlings into the field and even planting the seeds as well as canopy management and foliage sampling. 16

is foliage sampling,’’ Mr Rudden said. He said the university was aiming to have a drone capable of snipping off the tops of “They are transporting seed- trees. “This saves having someone lings from the source so the crew in the field doesn’t have having to climb to the top of to restock their supplies dur- the tree to take a sample for disease control and to check ing planting,’’ he said. “We can also now plant trees the health of the tree,’’ he said. But Mr Rudden said that is using with the drones.’’ What they are doing is map- was in information manageping out the environment with ment where the future lies for a 3D map, then plotting out a drones. “With developments in comcourse for the drones to go out puter processing technology and plant the seeds. “The University of Auckland and drones, we believe the fuhas been working on a project ture of drones in the timber in-

dustry will be in information management,’’ he said. Work was underway to develop drones with software that would count objects within images such as logs in a stack. The future of this technology was to “train’’ the software to recognize the cut timber and to count them and perform a stocktake. Then comes barcode scanning. “Essentially what we are trying to do here is remove the hand-held scanner from the operator,’’ Mr Rudden said. “This would immediately deliver health and safety benefits

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

by not having to have crews walk up and down between stacks of timber.’’ Productivity would also be improved because it would not be necessary to use forklifts to elevate a man to scan the hardto-reach labels. The next step - the use of autonomous drones in structured environments – was still a work in progress. He said a drone with a scanner could in the future be engaged to follow a certain set path in a warehouse or other structured environment and left to perform a stocktake overnight.



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Green Triangle Awards Two awards off to Tasmania

OneFortyOne’s Andrew White, Nigel Boyd, Melissa Smith, Paul Hartung, Glenn McCrae, Sam Von Duve, Andrew Hoath and • Steve Allen at the awards night. Photo: Kinship Productions

OneFortyOne scoops pool at Green Triangle awards Bruce Mitchell


OR OneFortyOne, the Green Triangle Timber Industry Awards were a slam dunk. The icing on the cake was the company’s Jubilee Sawmill being recognised for its commitment to the timber industry with the Supreme Timber Industry Award. “Our industry has sat in the background for a long time now and now it’s a chance to acknowledge all the players,’’ mill general manager Paul Hartung said. “For OneFortyOne it’s about acknowledging our workforce.’’ Not only did OneFortyOne achieve with excellence, the completion of a build of the new sorter stacker, together with a great team of local contractors but also the commitment of this company to invest in timber processing in this region has provided a significant boost in confidence about the longevity and future of this industry. The sorter stacker project 18

was completed while the sawmill remained operational and led to significant efficiencies on the site. The build project was one of the first capital investment projects that OneFortyOne committed to when it first took ownership of the sawmill. OneFortyOne also took out the Timber Sawmilling & Processing Excellence award. The overall results for OneFortyOne’s employees was outstanding with Andrew White taking out the Innovation Award, Sam VonDuve was awarded Trainee of the Year and Chris Atkinson took out the Forest Operations (Silviculture, Harvesting & Chipping) Award. “We’ve got some amazing people who work right throughout our business from the nursery to harvest

and haulage, from plantations right through to the sawmilling sites and even our sales and distribution and woodchip exports,’’ Mr Hartung said. “We have a lot of awesome people so it’s a chance to get their name up in lights and get them recognised for all the hard work that they do.’’ Sam Von Duve’s award as Trainee of the Year was a highlight. “It was acknowledging the work Sam has done but also it acknowledged the next generation coming forward,’’ Mr Hartung said.. “Sam is the future.’’ Dual winners Sue Shaw, HVP Plantations and Tammy Auld, Timberlands Pacific won the Outstanding Contribution to the Timber Industry (female) and a special award was celebrated with a Lifetime Service Award presented to David Quill. With 37 years in the industry and multiple leadership roles, David has been a leader in terms of introducing modern equipment to the industry, being an advocate

for regional forestry industry and those that feel they don’t have a voice. This is the second year the awards have been run and continue to meet their original goals which were to celebrate and reward those involved with the timber industry and cover all facets of it – from nursery to silviculture, harvesting to haulage, logistics, processing and everything in between. GTTIA chair Adrian Flowers said the committee was very happy with nominations. “This event celebrates and recognises the people that are part of our fantastic industry,’’ he said. “The night has been a reflection on the back of the overwhelming success of last year’s inaugural event of all the passionate people and organisations that have contributed to putting it together. “The ticket sales and nominations exceeded last year which is evidence that the future growth of our industry and this event is looking good.’’

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

TASMANIA’S leading environmentally responsible forestry company, Mechanised Logging picked up two awards at the 2019 Green Triangle Timber Industry Awards. The awards recognise excellence in environmentally responsible forestry. MechLog’s Chief Executive Officer, Jillian Aylett Brown, said that the company was both proud and surprised to win two of the main awards. “This is the second time we have entered the Green Triangle Timber Industry Awards,” she said. “We entered to participate and to show support for the industry. To win two of the main awards was a fantastic surprise. “We are immensely proud of our Green Triangle Manager, Ben Rosenthal, who won the ‘GTTIA 2019 Most Outstanding Contribution to the Timber Industry (Male) Award’, sponsored by Qube Ports. “Ben is an outstanding member of the MechLog team and deserves his award,” said Jillian. “It is fitting recognition of Ben’s contribution to the industry and commitment to his career. The whole MechLog team is proud of Ben’s achievement.” MechLog also received the prestigious 2019 Safety Excellence Award, sponsored by OneFortyOne. And Timberlink’s Jamie Irving collected the award for Excellence in Sawmilling, Processing and Logistics at the second Green Triangle Timber Industry Awards. Tarpeena Mill manager Roy Dias said Jamie Irving’s keen eye for process and fantastic grasp of technological change had made him key to the business’s modernization over the past 15 years. He had also been at the forefront of over $115m in capital upgrades at the mill. “It was not only technology that Jamie was passionate about,’’ Mr Dias said. “He has trained and mentored people in many positions during his time as National Optimisation Manager.’’

Green Triangle Awards

Sam’s work a family affair F

GTTIA Trainee of the Year • Sam Von Duve.

OR OneFortyOne’s Sam Von Duve deciding on a career in the timber industry has been validated with the Green Triangle Timber Industry Award as Trainee of the Year. The mechanical engineering apprentice at Mount Gambier’s Jubilee Sawmill was presented with the award at the GTTIA dinner in November. His hard work and positive attitude has brought a number of projects to life including, upgrades at the dry mill

and assisting international experts service state of the art machines. “It’s good to be recognised that I’m doing the right thing,’’ Sam said. His father, Mike, was also a well-respected member of the Jubilee Sawmill, leading the dry mill team and inspiring his colleagues every day with his calm and humble leadership, and helping his team grow their own careers. Growing up Sam was able to see first-hand the many benefits of working in the re-

gional timber industry. “Both of my parents instilled some really good values in me, and taught me to always look out for and learn from interesting people,’’ Sam said. “I saw my dad go to work every day and enjoy working with a diverse bunch of people. He had a great career, but more importantly, he and our family gained lifelong friends from his workmates.” Sam said that there used to be the idea that working in the mill meant low pay and

a boring job simply stacking timber. “I think that misconception is changing now. More and more young people know that the timber industry will provide them with really interesting and well-paid jobs after school, working for successful, secure companies in regional areas.” The future is still a blank page for Sam. “I’m not really sure. I love what I’m doing,’’ he said. But at 19, he has plenty of time to decide that direction.

Green Triangle Timber Industry Awards Chair Adrian Flowers with Primary Industries and Regional • Development Minister Tim Whetstone, OFO Executive GM Australia Cameron MacDonald and AFPA SA

David Quill is congratulated after receiving his • Lifetime Service Award.

Cr Karen Stephens from the Shire of Glenelg with • Georgie Kember and Bailey Kember from • Janine Marra from the Port of Portland. Mechanised Logging.

Caroline Schulz and Troy Newton from Komatsu • Forest.

Branch Manager Leon Rademeyer.

• Jamie and Cara Pearson from OneFortyOne.

• Satomi Unayama from Timberland Pacific with Vicki Charlton and Denise Dent from OneFortyOne. Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019


Island timber

Tiwi Island’s strategic decision Philip Hopkins


wenty-five years ago, the indigenous people of the Tiwi Islands made a strategic decision; they would use up to 10 per cent of their land to create a commercial economy. This would provide jobs and income for their people and stop them being dependent on welfare. Fast forward to 2019 and the results are clear. The two islands – Melville and Bathurst, with a population of 2453 and about 60 kilometres north of Darwin and 20km north of the mainland – have a woodchip export industry worth $US150 million gross at current prices. A total of 49,000 hectares of forest plantations service three major projects – Acacia woodchips, mahogany timber and sandalwood oil/ pharmaceuticals. The plantations contain 1.137 million bone dry metric tonnes of woodchip. To date, 16 shipments of Tiwi woodchips have been exported. The plantations, which are on land located next to roads and near the deep-wa-

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ter Melville Port, comprised 5 per cent of Melville Island and 4 per cent of the area of both islands. Melville Island, at 5788 square kilometres, is the second largest island off the Australian mainland. The overseer of this development is the indigenousowned Tiwi Plantations Corporation, which has forged partnerships with industry and government. The chairman of TPC, Kim Puruntatameri, gave an overview of the project to the DANA forestry conference in Brisbane in July. Mr Puruntatameri said 30,000 ha of mainly Acacia mangium plantations were owned by the Tiwi Aboriginal Land Trust and controlled by the TPC. In March 2015, TPC signed a sales and purchase agreement with the Japanese company Mitsui to ship woodchips and market quality Acacia mangium to overseas paper manufacturers, which now include customers in China. Mr Puruntatameri praised forestry as an employer and generator of wages. Current employment in the project was 120, with 30 – 25 per

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Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

Island timber cent - Tiwi people. In the calendar year 2016, forestry paid a total of $4 million in wages; a year later, wages were $6.8 million, including $2.5 million for indigenous people. Port Melville paid Tiwi families $1.50 per green metric tonne of woodchip exported and paid local landowners $10,000 per month. “The average payment to families per ship is $42,000 after tax. The TPC pays $23,000 per ship in repayment of Tiwi family loans,” he said. The forestry project is approved under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC), with the EPBC having given the go ahead to export Tiwi woodchips. Mr Puruntatameri said the port authority also had approval under the EPBC to operate the port as a marine supply base. The port operated in accordance of a plan approved by the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority. “The deep-water port at Port Melville has significant shipping advantages to North Asia, China and South-East Asia over southern Australian ports,” he said. “It has the potential to service a wide range of customers across northern Australia, including the oil and gas industry. As a marine supply base, the port

has potential to provide Tiwi with significant income and employment opportunities.” The port was built with private investment from Singapore company Ezion Holdings. Construction of the new wharf, with depots for fuel and woodchips, roads and accommodation, was completed in 2013. The islands, occupied by the Tiwi for many thousands of years, have a long history of forestry. The first recorded sightings of the island by Europeans were the Dutch in 1636 and 1705, with the first British settlement from 1824 to 1829. According to TPC general manager Roger Smith, three sawmills were esta blished on Melville between 1895 and 1916. Small sawmills continued to operate at various times on the islands over the past 100 years. The first forestry plantations started on Melville in December 1960, and further plantations were subsequently established by the NT government and private investors over the following decades, including Cypress and Caribbean pine and the first trail plantings of Acacia. Landmark dates were 1986 when the NT government quit its forestry work on the islands; 2001 - the Australian Plantation Group and Tiwi Land Council received approval for 26,000ha of hardwood plantations; 2009, Great Southern Group,

which had bought APG, went into receivership, and the receivers abandoned the Tiwi leases. The Tiwi landowners, which consist of eight traditional groups, now own, control and manage the Tiwi Islands Forestry Project. Tiwi land ownership of Melville and Bathurst Islands came about as a result of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. Harvesting of the plantations began in June 2015, with the first exports in November of that year. Australia’s largest exporter and processor of forest products, Midway, came on the scene last year, forging an agreement with TPC in November. This paves the way for a big increase in harvesting, trucking and loading capacity and capability for woodchips and logs. Mr Puruntatameri said Midway, through its ownership of the export company Plantation Management Partners, had obtained a big increase in the price of Tiwi woodchips. The first plantation rotation would end in 2023. “Planning has started in preparation for a second rotation, potentially of eucalypt/eucalypt hybrid,” he said. “This could provide potential for export of higher value peeler logs.” Mr Puruntatameri said value-adding could include alternate forest products such as biomass and milling

timber. Other areas on the island could be suitable for irrigated horticulture. He acknowledged there were various challenges related to the forestry development, including the impact on families, opportunities for alternative crops and products, competitiveness with mainland producers, and alternatives for rain-fed crops other than forestry. “Research is needed into

future land use, improved production from plantations, higher value crops, and involvement of Tiwi in new skills and jobs and business management,” Mr Puruntatameri said. “The challenge of the Tiwi plantation project is to ensure that the plantation estate provides increasing jobs and income for Tiwi from current and subsequent rotations.”

NEW ZEALAND NTH 41 Lee Martin Road, Hamilton New Zealand, 3283 Jason Donaldson 0274 488 693

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019


Year in review

Challenges and opportunities for Queensland forest and timber Mick Stevens CEO Timber Queensland


HIS past year has presented some challenges as well as opportunities for the Queensland forest and timber industry. Foremost in our minds are the bushfires in Queensland and northern NSW, which repeats the significant fire sea-

son we encountered in Central Queensland in late 2018. The need for more effective fuel reduction remains a challenge and we will continue to push for better recognition of the role of the forestry industry in combating fires and bushfire prevention. We were also able to secure an important first step with the Palaszczuk Government’s timber action

A year for partnerships

plan for greater resource security in South-East Queensland. We look forward to working with the Government and stakeholders in 2020 on the new timber advisory panel, to look at long-term wood supply options from state land as well as the significant area of privately owned native forests. The opening of the tallest timber office building in the

southern hemisphere at 25 King Street in Brisbane was also a highlight, with growing momentum in the use of engineered wood products and innovative timber applications in the construction market. Overall, we anticipate more market interest in the renewable and biophilic benefits of timber, particularly in relation to large building and infrastructure

projects in Queensland, as well as local activity around the South-East Queensland and North Queensland forestry hubs about to kick-off in 2020. There have been impacts from a sluggish economy and easing housing activity from earlier record highs, although forecast increases in detached housing over the next few years will be a welcome boost for the sector.

Jessica Douglas OneFortyOne

A CONSISTENT theme we have seen running through 2019 is industry partnering with government to implement strategies for growth. The Commonwealth Government’s Regional Forest Hubs establish a critical platform to collectively work together to support industry growth and regional development. OneFortyOne is a member of the Green Triangle Forest Industries Hub (GTFIH) who launched the GTFIH tenyear action agenda which sets the scene for the future of forest industries in the region. The South Australian Government has similarly driven government and industry collaboration through continuing FIAC, looking to put out a forestry strategy by end of 2019, the strategy will identify how government can support and encourage growth in forest and timber industries. Key highlights for OneFortyOne include developing a carbon footprint analysis tool that will help us measure how much carbon we grow and trap through our forests and Jubilee sawmill products. We have also been proud to be part of an industry response to the fire crises by providing firefighting support interstate. Timber Queensland CEO Mick Stephens with Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk and • Bruce Saunders, MP for Maryborough.

Strength in wood products market growing FORESTRYSA THE ongoing general strength of the wood products market remained throughout 2019, notwithstanding the usual periodic dips. ForestrySA is encouraged by this outcome and believes it will continue into 2020. Despite overall market buoyancy, disparity between premium wood products and those at the lower end of the scale continues to be an issue. Forest products such as small diameter logs, residue


and other wood waste all present their own marketing challenges with liquidity fluctuating according to the availability of individual sales outlets. Increasing merchantability by creating new markets for these products has been identified as a critical issue for industry efficiency. Minimisation of waste is something we all need to focus on in the coming 12 months. Emerging bioenergy opportunities could provide an alternative, carbon-neutral market for these low-end

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

wood waste products, simultaneously improving profitability and counteracting the ever-increasing cost of electricity and gas for industrial consumers. It would also provide an impetus for expansion of South Australia’s plantation footprint, which has been identified as a necessity by both industry and government. We must consider such new market initiatives to capitalise on the ongoing market demand and improve utilisation of forest products across the board.

01–04 April 2020

The 2020 timber industry event! AUSTimber is where it all happens, from harvesting to manufacturing to services with 8000+ attendees. Our in-forest show demonstrates the latest developments in action and up close. Buy your tickets now to enjoy field trips, the welcome dinner or show days‌ and see Dr Karl. Yes! The Dr Karl is joining us as our guest dinner speaker and making a special appearance on site Friday morning.

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Mill upgrade

CEO Ian Tyson with Deputy Nationals Leader and Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie and local MP Mrs Bridget Archer, Federal Member for Bass at the • Stage 1 opening.

Bell Bay stage 1 upgrade officially opened


IMBERLINK’S Bell Bay Stage 1 upgrade has been officially opened. Timberlink welcomed Deputy Nationals Leader, and Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie and local MP Mrs Bridget Archer, Federal Member for Bass to its Bell Bay mill, to officially open the latest stage of a multimillion-dollar upgrade program to secure the future of the Bell Bay mill. Timberlink CEO Ian Tyson joined Deputy Nationals Leader, and Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie and local MP Mrs Bridget Archer, Federal Member for

Bass alongside employees, key customers and suppliers on a tour of the Timberlink Bell Bay facility, to view the latest upgrades and witness the process of turning renewable plantation logs into engineered structural timber. This latest round of investment in upgrading the Bell Bay mill has created 90 jobs in the construction phase and crucially 6 new permanent full-time jobs. “This is a strong endorsement for business in the region and for the forestry sector in Tasmania,” Senator McKenzie said. Mr Tyson said the up-

grades had seen the installation of new state-of-the-art Contra Flow Kilns (CFK), which wouldl cut down waiting times for drying timber while decreasing heat power usage by 30 per cednt. “A new Lucidyne Scanner that uses state-of-the art AI technology has been installed in the dry mill, learning with every photo that it takes,’’ Mr Tyson said. He said the scanner was “more accurate and will result in a better product for our customers and is the first of its type in Australia”. A new strapper and packer had also been installed, which according to Mr Ty-

son will “alleviate a bottleneck to improve efficiency and throughput’’. “(And) there have been upgrades to the roads network to separate heavy plant equipment from smaller vehicles,’’ Mr Tyson said. “This is a great outcome for improved safety, so our people go home safe, every day.” Mrs Archer was particularly pleased to see the focus on safety. “It is clear that employee safety is paramount at Timberlink. Also, the ongoing investment is great news for those in the community who rely on the mill to support

their families,’’ she said. “Timberlink has continuously invested in this mill to ensure it remains internationally competitive since taking ownership in 2013, while growing and securing employment within the Northern Tasmanian region,’’ she said. The completion of this current stage of capital works sees a total investment to date of $27 million dollars, and will further benefit from a $3.5 million dollar Federal Government grant that supports a new high tech scanning investment in the greenmill that will be undertaken in 2020.

CO N TACT D E A N O CO N N O R p. +6 4 21 8 42 413 e.

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Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

6/11/19 12:38 PM

New technology

Trimble connecting industry with world’s best technology T

RIMBLE’S Connected Forest solutions offers the world’s leading integrated software and solutions for collecting, communicating and analysing information across and throughout the forestry business. The Connected Forest solutions bring meaning to the deluge of information encountered in today’s environment and provides for greater connectivity across the organization and real time visibility. This allows the business to leverage information into competitive advantage and strategic value.  Part of Trimble’s latest offering is the Connected Forest Xchange (CFX) and Connected Forest Business (CFB) which have begun to impress as core solutions to provide the global forestry industry with an end-toend ecosystem for supply chain management, Komatsu Foresttrading at partner collaboration and financial settlement.

CFX and CFB are integral to Trimble’s Connected Forest initiative to provide solutions to manage the full raw materials lifecycle of planning, planting, growing, harvesting, transporting and processing. Trimble’s CFX supports collaboration among wood supply stakeholders by providing a cloud-based clearinghouse for log load data transactions, including scale tickets, load information and transportation monitoring in real-time. All stakeholders are able to make more informed decisions, improve their fibre visibility and increase their productivity. Trimble’s CFB is a contract and financial system to streamline harvesting and fiber-related transactions.  Together, CFX and CFB offer forestry companies a cloud-based Software-asa-Service (SaaS) platform to simplify and automate the data collection of log load transportation and

measurement for processing supply chain financial commitments. The new solutions enable forestry businesses to improve decision making at every step—from forest to

est, fibre and mill management. Trimble’s Connected Forest portfolio offers the most comprehensive supply chain solutions available to the forest industry today.

We value the ability to view our data in real-time, the ease of importing data remotely, and the visibility we and our partners have into our operations. Using CFX, we catch errors early and solve problems more quickly,

mill and from land acquisition to product delivery— by combining industryspecialized software and state-of-the-art hardware into solutions for land, for-

“We value the ability to view our data in real-time, the ease of importing data remotely, and the visibility we and our partners have into our operations. Using

CFX, we catch errors early and solve problems more quickly,” Atco Wood Products Ltd.’s woodlands manager Craig Stemmler said. Trimble’s logistics general manager David Joll said the goal was to integrate the company’s portfolio of services to provide its customers with state-of-the-art solutions to enable them to gain greater efficiencies and improve productivity in their operations. “Trimble’s Connected Forest solutions facilitate supply chain collaborative planning, information sharing as well as the integration of sawmill, contractor, log vendor, scale site and transport business data to provide an end-to-end ecosystem for forestry,” he said. For more information on Trimble’s CFX and CFB solutions, visit: forestry. tri tions/ CFXchange and forestry.

Full Spectrum

Komatsu Forest at

Exhibition 3-4 April 2020 Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

Come see us at Site 1 25

AUSTimber 2020

Dr Karl and the importance of trees Bruce Mitchell


ow important are trees? According science communicator and presenter Dr Karl Kruszelnicki they are deeply critical to our survival. Dr Karl is one of Australia’s 100 National Living Treasures with a media career spanning more than 30 years and will bring his enthusiasm for science and his colourful shirts to AUSTimber2020. He will be guest speaker at the Welcome Dinner on April 2 and will be making a special appearance onsite on the following morning, A master of all trades, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is a qualified scientist, doctor and engineer whose fun-loving personality led him to become a well-known author and science communicator. He is the Julius Sumner Miller Fellow at the University of Sydney. He has worked as a physicist, labourer, roadie for bands, car mechanic, film-

maker, biomedical engineer (when he designed and built a machine to pick up electrical signals from the human retina), TV weatherman, and medical doctor at The Children’s Hospital in Sydney. In addition to his degrees in physics and mathematics, biomedical engineering, and medicine and surgery, he has studied several non-degree years at various universities in astrophysics, computer science and philosophy. Dr Karl believes timber has not yet reached its full potential as a renewable building material. “A Japanese Company, Sumito Forestry, is planning to build a 350-metre-tall 70-storey wooden skyscraper to celebrate its 350th Anniversary, by 2041,’’ he said. “The critical factor is longterm planning – for our children, and their children, and

AUSTimber 2020 are now live. AUSTimber 2020 show tickets, Welcome Dinner tickets and AUSTimber merchandise are now live and ready to be purchased at austimber2020-the-largest-timber-show-in-australasiatickets-79476451205 The Welcome Dinner will be held on Thursday April 2 with special guest speaker Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. Tickets are limited and this is always a sell-out event. Tickets for the field trips will be available shortly. If you are yet to secure your AUSTimber site or are interested in becoming an AUSTimber supporter or partner it is not too late. Get in touch with the AUSTimber team at to discuss.

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so on for thousands of years.” An excellent example of long-term planning was how the Australian Indigenous people cultivated the Australian landscape for more than 40,000 years. “Unfortunately, most of their work was destroyed by the rabbit, sheep, and the ignorance of the Europeans who assumed that the landscape didn’t need to be cared for.’’ But, he said, trees remained vital for survival. “Some 2 billion years ago, photosynthesis took off in a big way, when some singlecelled critters worked out how to use the energy of the sun for their own metabolism,’’ he said “Since then, the oxygen level in the atmosphere has risen from 0 per cent to as high at 30 per cent some third-of-a-billion years ago, down to some 11 per cent when the dinosaurs first evolved some 220 million years ago, and is now sitting around 20 per cent. How important are trees? “They make about half of the oxygen we breathe today. The other half – roughly – comes from floating plants in the ocean,’’ Dr Karl said. “So they are deeply critical to our survival.’’

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki will be guest speaker at the AUSTimber • 2020 Welcome Dinner.

Southstar growing in strength since relaunch SOUTHSTAR Equipment has grown from strength to strength over the years since a relaunch of the company back in 2011. Head sales really started taking off especially in Western Canada and in April 2016 Southstar was acquired by the Quadco group from Montreal - Canada. Quadco, established in 1989 was already a long term forestry attachment supplier and well known for the Quadco disc saws and the pioneering of the various specialised cutting tooth products with more than 40 patents globally. In early 2018 Komatsu Forest acquired the Quadco group along with all affiliated companies. Since acquiring Southstar, Quadco have been expanding the business with a relaunch into New Zealand in 2016 with a sales and support team along with the opening of a comprehensive parts warehouse and assembly shop for the heads sold into the Southern hemisphere. Fabrication of the Southstar products occurs in both in New Zealand and Canada with the head assembly being carried out in Rotorua NZ and Kamloops in Canada The success of the Southstar products in the industry has been significant by anyone’s standards with more than 800 attachments sold and now operating in the field. Southstar Equipment now offers a full range

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

of harvester, processor and felling products starting from the QS450 for thinning’s up to the QS630 at 4.5 tonnes for the largest of clear fell applications and will have its equipment on display at next year’s AUSTimber2020. Felling heads both fixed and dangle heads complete the product range. The vast majority of the equipment has been sold in North America but more than 80 units are working within NZ and a handful in Australia which Southstar hopes to expand on in the coming years. All Southstar frames are engineered from quality JFE high tensile steel and significant engineering effort has been made to achieve a durable “built to last product’’ that is a serious competitor in harvesting applications globally but especially in this part of the world where attachments get tested to their fullest capacity. One of the unique features of the Southstar processor / harvester is the East – West valve configuration allowing for a super clean easy to maintain hose layout within the chassis. 360 degree rotation is standard on all products and a proven four driven roller interlocked log feeding concept for ultimate traction in rough wood has proven a winner. All mains saws are three-quarter inch auto tensioning with saw positioning and a laser find end.

Fire equipment

Fire science in action in New Zealand: Pigeon Valley fire T HE 2019 Pigeon Valley wildfire was New Zealand’s largest forest fire in more than 60 years, burned more than 2300 hectares and caused the evacuation of more than 3000 people from Wakefield. Pigeon Valley is near Nelson in the north of New Zealand’s South Island. A spark from a tractor working in a field was all that was needed to start an extreme fire just after lunch on a hot, dry and windy February day. The fire spread rapidly up steep land into planted forest that ranged from recent cutovers and re-planting to intermediate and mature stands. The fire spread very rapidly and showed ‘extreme fire’ behaviour, producing flames up to 30 metres high, and throwing embers 500 metres ahead of the spreading flame front. At these levels of intensity, the fire was unstoppable using any of the fire-fighting methods available, so the fire control strategy was a defensive one, evacuating people,

protecting properties, and attempting to limit the spread of the fire around its boundaries. Predicting fire behaviour Fire scientist Veronica Clifford from Scion embedded in the Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) incident management team coordinating the fire response. Scion is a Government-funded research institute that specialises in research supporting New Zealand’s forestry, wood products and biomaterial sectors. The Rural Fire Research group, established in 1992, focuses on developing the science and technology needed to protect life and property, and manage fire in the landscape ( Scion’s fire scientists regularly join the incident management teams during major wildfire events. Veronica used tools developed by Scion and collaborators to help support fire operations, including the fire growth prediction model Prometheus, and the BlueSky

smoke modelling framework originally developed by the US Forest Service. Using the Prometheus model, together with data on hot spots collected by drones, the potential for fire flare-ups and escapes could be predicted. This information was critical to decisions on evacuation and road closures, and the process for re-entry of evacuated properties. The Scion team also ran the BlueSky model frequently to produce smoke predictions that were used by fire, civil defence and public health agencies to inform the public of potential health concerns. Near real-time prediction Being part of the operational team during fires allows Scion’s fire research team to test their models under real conditions, as well as collecting more data to validate and improve their models. Back at their Christchurch base, the team reconstructs fires after the event to help them get a better understanding of what happened, and why.

• Some of the damage from the Pigeon Valley fire. The fire research team’s aim is near real-time prediction of fire spread and effects thorough the linking of fire detection, fire growth prediction and smoke models with high-resolution weather forecast data. The research team is confident that soon, when a new fire starts anywhere in the country, it will be automatically detected using thermal infrared satellites. Information on the new fire will then be linked to the latest weather data which, in turn, will feed into the Prometheus fire behaviour prediction

model to produce estimates of fire size that are then used by the BlueSky smoke model to predict emissions concentrations and smoke spread direction. Predictions of where the fire and smoke are likely to go and how fast they will spread, can be used to mobilise fire-fighting resources much more rapidly and effectively than in the past, and to warn the public of impending threats. Scion hopes to have a prototype ready to trial with FENZ by 2020. This work is also part of the Extreme Fire research programme.


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Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019


Log handling

Volvo lifting above its weight in the yard


IMBERLINK’S modern Bell Bay operation is the only large scale, forest integrated plantation softwood sawmilling company located in Tasmania where they produce their widest range of commodities. At Timberlink’s Bell Bay sawmilling operation, log yard supervisor Dean Smith believes that adopting new technologies and specifying components according to need rather than tradition, will lead to higher profits for the company, despite timber prices almost remaining static for the past decade, due in no small part to cheaply imported products.

“We found the CJD team to be very proactive in working with us to agree on the specification of the Volvo L220H and L180G and checking all the details were correct to ensure the machines would do ‘what it says on the tin’,’’ he said. “The overall package was very competitive too so this prompted us to choose Volvo again.” Specifying the L220H as the main loader increased productivity considerably because it is more than capable of lifting an entire bay of logs off a truck in one lift. “The power of the L220H gives us greater efficiencies through increased pro-

ductivity and fuel economy gains because the machine isn’t working beyond its capability,” operator Scotty Harris said. “We can unload and stack a B-Double in under eight minutes with either machine. “We’re very pleased with our turn-around time for unloading, on average, from the time a log truck arrives at the weighbridge, they can be unloaded and back on the weighbridge within 15-mintues,” Scotty said. “The L180G is used as a secondary machine in the log yard,” Dean said. “Being a little smaller gives it the agility to per-

form other tasks around the mill and the simplicity of the quick hitch attachments makes swapping from the log grapple to a bucket a quick operation and adds to the machine’s versatility.” The new L220H model is powered by a 13-litre Stage IV Final engine (373hp) and benefits from Volvo’s driveline components, including the Optishift system with torque converter lock-up and reverse-by-braking features – all designed to deliver better fuel economy. A 13-litre D13F-C engine (334hp) powers the L180G, just 39 horsepower less than the L220H. The wheel loaders also

have an ROPS/FOPS operator’s cabin with a fully adjustable suspension seat. The cab is fully air conditioned, and all critical machine functions are displayed on an LCD screen located within the operator’s field of vision. Scotty Harris believes that the cabin environment is one of the best he’s experienced. “It’s certainly one of the more spacious cabs in this class of loader yet all the controls are sensibly positioned within easy reach,’’ he said. “It’s also very quiet in the cabin and the smooth ride means I’m not exhausted at the end of the shift.’’

New crane option for Elephant King PONSSE has officially launched a new crane option for the world class 20t Elephant King forwarder. Building on the strength of the existing K100 crane that has served the Elephant King so well, the K121 is set to take the Elephant King into a league of its own with a massive 22 per cent more lifting power and 45 per cent more slew torque when compared to the K100. This increase in lifting power will enable installation of larger grapples up to 0.50m2 which will increase overall productivity of the Elephant King particularly when unloading at roadside or when loading trucks. The K121 crane can also be installed as a tilting base crane, enabling a maximum of 24 degrees rearward tilt, further enhancing its impressive capability in steep terrain. The king post and boom ends are manufactured from a complete single piece 28

casting providing superior strength and reliability. Lighting has been improved to include a total of 7 boom and stick mounted lights to direct light more effectively to where it’s needed, all with ample protection. Overall boom geometry is improved with even speed and power through the whole movement range. Extension glide pad surface area has been increased by 15% providing lower friction and overall lifetime. All hose routing is now fully enclosed within the main boom and stick which creates a clean look but more importantly, less external hoses prone to damage from external hazards such as limbs and load bolsters which will equate to less downtime and lower operating costs. Unlike most competitors, Ponsse manufacture their own cranes and loaders, giving the company the unique

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

flexibility to design and create loaders specifically for Ponsse machines. Productivity will be further enhanced with the introduction of Ponsse Active Crane. This is a system of sensors and modules integrated to the OPTI system which allows the operator to control the grapple movement instead of individual functions separately. Active Crane is easily controlled using two control levers, one that controls the height of the grapple from the ground and the other controlling the direction of movement. This results in the operator not needing to control all functions simultaneously with the machine control system deciding to lift, fold and extend based on the inputs from the operator. This ease of use is particularly helpful for new operators with the ability to switch Active Crane on or off with the push of a button.




1 4” - 1 8”

QS 500

1 4” - 24”

QS 600

22” - 26”

QS 630

24” - 32”

CO N TAC T DEAN OCONNOR p. +6 4 21 8 42 41 3 e.

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Chippers and debarkers Improved access to equipment


• The new 6400CT horizontal grinder and chipper.

New chipper and grinder from Continental Biomass Industries


ONTINENTAL Biomass Industries (CBI) has premiered the 6400CT Horizontal Grinder and Chipper at the 2019 Factory Forum in Newton, New Hampshire. The 6400CT processed steel contaminated railroad ties along with a mix of construction and demolition debris to headline the range of environmental equipment at the show. “The 6400CT’s cassettestyle rotor is a great example of CBI’s customer-driven product development,” said George Wilcox, Director of Sales and Marketing at CBI


& Ecotec – Americas. “This is an excellent machine for customers who demand productivity, reliability, and versatility without compromise.” The CBI Magnum Force 6400CT Horizontal Grinder is an extreme-duty machine engineered for resilience and high production when grinding contaminated demolition debris, railroad ties, whole trees, pallets, storm debris, shingles, logs, mulch, slash, and stumps. The revolutionary new “cassette style” clam shell design allows end-users to completely swap out rotors faster than any other grinder in its class. Operators can go

from grinding to chipping in half the time as before and accept jobs with various material demands. Four interchangeable rotors give this horizontal grinder the versatility needed to stay on top of changing markets. Customers and members of CBI’s Global Distribution Network were invited to attend the Factory Workshop Circuit prior to the Demo Day. Guests received personalized instruction on basic machine anatomy, tip and screen changes, controls, hydraulics, and rotor bearing changes. The Factory Forum con-

cluded with CBI’s Annual Golden Grizzlies Awards Dinner. Frontline Machinery was named CBI’s 2019 Dealer of the Year and Columbus Equipment Company was named the Terex Ecotec North American Dealer of the Year. “Frontline Machinery and Columbus Equipment are exactly who you want representing your products in a territory,” said Wilcox. “Their world-class customer support for sales, service, and parts continues to set them apart as two of North America’s leading industrial heavy equipment dealerships.”

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

ORESTRY and waste management professionals throughout Australia now have increased access to CBI’s full range of equipment through Mineral Processing Solutions. Mineral Processing Solutions started in 2010 as a part of the larger OPS Group of companies and has expanded over the years into the forestry and recycling sectors. CBI equipment fits an emerging demand to address environmental waste management in the region. The MPS Head Office is located in Perth and they operate out of three additional Australian locations in Adelaide, Sydney, and Darwin. Adding the CBI range allows MPS to provide specialized wood waste processing equipment to Australia’s local governments and established forest harvesting and processing markets. South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, and high population areas along Australia’s East Coast stand to benefit from increased support and access to CBI’s equipment. “Forward thinking Australians recognize the need for proper waste management as urgent,” said Wesley Du Preez, spokesperson at MPS. “We deal with a lot of local waste management businesses and councils that want to improve their waste processing capabilities, while using waste as an innovative recycled resource, rather than simply disposing of it in landfills. “Adding CBI improves our ability to serve businesses and governments that need a more effective way to deal with the environmental management side of things,’’ he said. “Looking forward, I strongly believe that we’ll be at the forefront of providing that capability for the forestry and recycling sectors across Australia.”

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Forwarders Looking Back 2018: THE Federal Government’s $20 million forestry plan to plant one billion trees is a big policy step, but is inadequate as it amounts to only two cents per tree. That was a key point made by the chairman of the Australian Forest Products Association, Greg McCormack, to the DANA forestry conference in Launceston. “This is a good start, but clearly there needs to be other support to meet the target,” Mr McCormack told the conference.

• The RDO 1910E Forwarder in action.

New tech on John Deere Forwarders leading the way A

S part of their commitment to the Australian forestry industry, RDO Equipment, the newly appointed John Deere construction and forestry dealer for all states except WA, is excited to introduce new tech features on their range of John Deere forestry Forwarders, that puts the operator top of mind. According to Mark Kuhn, RDO Equipment’s General Manager of Sales, the new features on the John Deere Forwarders make them even more competitive when it comes to improved uptime, productivity and lower operating costs. “Both the 1910E and 1510G Forwarders feature improvements to cabin ergonomics, 32

control systems, powertrain and boom and still offer either the levelling and rotating cabin or fixed cab version,” Mr Kuhn said. “The 1910E comes with impressive horsepower, boasting almost 250hp and a tractive effort of 220kN, and is a reliable choice for those encountering demanding working conditions or working with large timber. Operator comfort is also guaranteed through the revolutionary operator’s cab, which automatically levels and rotates ensuring faster load cycles, but if some operators prefer it, the durable fixed cabin still remains an option. “Combined with a smooth powerful boom and the updated operator cab, custom-

ers can expect improved reliability, productivity and lower operating costs,’’ he said. Also recently introduced to the Australian range is John Deere’s new Intelligent Boom Control (IBC), a milestone in forwarder technology. With IBC, the operator controls the boom tip directly instead of controlling independent boom joint movements. It also reduces the number of tuning parameters needed and increases the durability of the boom structures and hydraulic cylinders. “IBC makes it much easier to learn boom control, and enables speedy work, saving operators time on the job. The unloading feature of the IBC is particularly clever as

it reduces the amount the extension boom comes out. New operators seem to pick up the boom control even quicker with IBC as there is less requirement from them to move several functions at once to get the boom where they need it to go, the IBC simply does it for them,” Mr Kuhn said. “All of John Deere’s new tech features are backed by the service and support of the RDO Equipment team. Our service technicians are ready for any queries our customers have.” For more information on the John Deere forestry range, contact RDO Equipment on 1300 008 608 or head to

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

2015: THE final phase of a trial of cutting edge technology to better protect Victorians from the risk of powerline related bushfires has ended. Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio inspected world-first testing of Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiter (REFCL) technology at a test site in Kilmore and said the technology could help make Victorian communities safer from bushfires and increase the reliability of the state’s power supply. The REFCL technology works by reducing an electrical current within milliseconds of detecting that a powerline has come into contact with the ground or vegetation, suppressing a fault before it can start a fire. 2010: THE opening of HVP’s new container nursery at Gelliondale in December last year was fortuitous to meet the plant demands for the massive replanting program as a consequence of the recent bushfires in Victoria. The new facility represents an $11 million investment in the plantation industry and the Gippsland region of Victoria. The original nursery facility was established in 1989, producing bare rooted stock from its unique peat soils, but planning for the new state-ofthe art containerised facility started back in 2003. The new facility has increased capacity at Gelliondale from 4 million to 10 million plants per year and increased the proportion of container production compared with bare rooted stock from 25% to 75%.

Felling heads

John Deere’s new felling heads J

OHN Deere has added the FS50/FR50 Felling Heads to the felling head line-up. The FS50/FR50 Felling Heads build upon the successful qualities of previous models for increased productivity, range and visibility. The new felling heads are compatible with the 800Mand 900M-Series Tracked Feller Bunchers and feature in 30-degree and 310-degree wrist configurations respectively.

“We are committed to producing high-quality, reliable equipment. Based off of customer feedback, we are excited to add the FS50/ FR50 Felling Heads to our forestry equipment line-up for increased accumulating capacities, improved range of motion and excellent visibility,” said Jim O›Halloran, product marketing manager for John Deere Tracked Harvesters and Feller Bunchers. “These new models will

make even the hardest tasks easier and more efficient for our customers.” The FS50/FR50 features superior alignment of bunched timber to allow for optimal logging and harvesting. The new felling heads provide a taller horn that works together with the pocket and arms to collect larger, tighter bunches. The horn delivers excellent handling of tall trees, which improves skidder productivity during

tree removal. Both models also include arm cylinders mounted high for impressive wear protection of the saw housing, and can easily hold up to 15 six-inch trees. The FR50 configuration maximizes versatility when positioning bunches in both plantation and thinning conditions due to the increased rotation. “I always try to work more efficient, smarter, more precise. Nothing else on the market holds the timber that

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

this one holds,” said Thomas Johnson of Thomas Johnson Logging. “My production has [gone] up using this bunching head.” Additionally, the FS50/FR50 models provide excellent visibility to the cutting area and superior wear protection of saw housing. A full coverage option is available for both models, and for the FR50 model, sealed bushings in all clamp arm pivot joints are available.


Harvesting heads

Mechanised Logging’s Komatsu 931 • with C144 head in operation in the Green Triangle.

Komatsu sees new trends in harvester demand K

OMATSU Forest has experienced a big change in harvester demand for the smaller thinnings operations throughout the Australian pine plantations. Since the 90’s harvesting first, delayed first and 2nd thinnings has been predominately carried out by zero tail-swing track carriers e.g. Timbco later Komatsu XT’s carrying larger heavyduty harvesting heads. Over the last 3-4 years there has been a strong drift towards the Komatsu wheel harvesters e.g. Komatsu 931 & 951. The Komatsu 931 & 951 are the latest generation wheel harvesters with their roots traced back to the innovator of wheel harvesters the Valmet 901(4WD). The former are considerably larger machines with 6WD and weighing at 19,600kg and 22,600kg respectively with the 931 offering optional 8WD version. They come with larger cranes, new 3-pump hydraulic system for increased production and the levelling crane and cab platform unique in wheel harvesters. The new cab focuses on operator comfort with large cab volume, superb visibility, smart screen placement, key for remote control of locks, hatches, main circuit breaker and the cab heater from a distance. There are optimised storage solutions, air conditioning, lighting and floor heating (optional), as well as three alternative joystick systems, including EME. Optional extras include our unique Autolev Ad34

vanced cab suspension and a complete media hub (Media Zone) with both USB and AUX inputs. In addition Komatsu Forest has been very active with acquisition, such as Logmax and Southstar companies as well as the development of Komatsu larger heads. This has resulted in two styles of heads for the wheel harvesters the S Series (Logmax) e.g. S172 and the Komatsu C Series e.g. C144. A larger Komatsu C164 is being developed for the 951 with a prototype currently testing in Australia. All of the above developments as well as low fuel consumption and R&M cost has led to 20 x Komatsu wheel harvesters being delivered over the last two years with the 951 selling 2 : 1 against the 931. This in turn has seen the downturn in sales of the Komatsu XT zero tail-swing track machines. Launceston-based Mechanised Logging’s Anthony Brown purchased two Komatsu 931 units recently to match the two units already working in the Mount Gambier area. “The two new ones with C144 heads we’ve had three months,’’ he said. “They have been working well. They are good on fuel. “We need wheeled harvesters in the area because it is a T2 job. “They are the only way to do a T2 in that areas because of their speed over the ground and agility. “It’s pretty much a given in that area,’’ Anthony said.

He said Komatsu, which he had dealing with for around 26 years, had made positive improvements in the technical and service support out of Mount Gambier as well as Launceston. For Myrtleford harvester Mitch Drummond, the Komatsu 951 fitted with a Komatsu C144 head is exactly what he wanted. “It’s gone beyond expectations of what I thought it was capable of,’’ he said. The Komatsu unit is MC Harvesting’s first wheeled harvester, having always used track harvesters. “The speed was one aspect that appealed to me,’’ Mitch said. “It’s a lot smoother to operate than a track machine and fuel consumption is another aspect.” For now, he definitely plans to stay with wheeled harvesters and won’t go back to track units. And the backup from Komatsu has been good. “They’ve been with me every step of the way so far,’’ he said. Pine Harvesters’ Grant Phillips already operates two Komatsu 931 wheeled harvesters fitted with C144 heads in the Oberon/Bathurst area, these are both working in a thinnings application for FCNSW. “These are our first wheeled harvesters. From the early 90s we were using track machines,’’ he said. Grant said he had moved to wheeled harvesters for T1 and T2 jobs with State Forests

for their fuel economy, their efficiency, and the speed. “They are at their best in T1 and T2 operations,’’ he said. “Their worst day in thinnings is better than a track machine’s best day. “They have helped us maintain economies of scale with State Forests so FCNSW obtain the price they require want and we make some money out of it as well. “The heads and the machines have been exception-

al plus the backup and support from Komatsu has as usual been really good.’’ And that’s essential because Pine Harvesters had not used wheel harvesters machines before and training and backup from Komatsu had been excellent. “We have just won another tender with FCNSW and we will be purchasing another 931 for that thinnings contract as well,’’ Grant said.

Myrtleford harvester Mitch Drummond’s Komatsu 951 fitted • with a Komatsu C144 head.

• A Komatsu 951 unit tests the new C144 heads in Tumut.

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

Harvesting heads What’s On

16-17 DECEMBER: Forest Landscape Restoration and the Bonn Challenge in Eastern and South-East Europe – Belgrade, Serbia. For further information see:

Long history in harvester heads


ONSSE has a long history of making harvester heads. The first were manufactured in the 1980s and, ever since, each harvester head model has been designed with a focus on efficiency, durability and ease of maintenance. Each model is characterized by its simple and strong structure. Ponsse harvester heads are built to meet the demands of the roughest conditions and thanks to the wide range, the manufacturer can offer solutions for wheeled harvesters and track-based machines. The Ponsse harvester head range offers nine modern harvester head models, which are suitable for various uses from thinning to final felling and processing. Their high feed power and fast economical sawing result in extreme efficiency. As each harvester head can be adjusted according to tree and base machine properties, working is easy

PONSEE H8 HD specs Max cutting diameter 720mm Weight 1,650kg Top saw Yes Feed rollers 3 Feed force 36kN Feed speed 5 mt/sec Measuring Ponsse OPTI and the harvester head has a long service life. Moreover, Ponsse´s inhouse developed and manufactured Opti information system guarantees measurement accuracy in cutting. “All our harvester heads of different sizes are also suitable for both pine and hardwood debarking applications without any optional equipment,” says Janne Loponen, Product Manager for Ponsse Harvester Heads. “This eliminates additional costs, servicing and excessive weight. The frames of our harvester heads are machined after the welding assembly. This guarantees the

highest quality with excellent precision.” Durable hoses, well-designed hose routing and strong cast steel delimbing knives are important features of Ponsse harvester heads. In addition, the automatic Ponsse CT+ chain tensioner is a standard feature for all harvester head models except H10 where saw unit is Hultdins SC300. “For the H7 and H8 models a HD version is available for track-based harvester installations and can be set up to process pine or hardwood. The H8, H8HD and H10 models can be equipped with a topping saw and find end

sensor for even more efficient logging,’’ Loponen said. Loponen is very proud of the latest model in the Ponsse harvester head family, the H8 HD, which is a heavy duty harvester head for felling and processing of hardwood and softwood in tough conditions. “Strong grip, powerful feeding and fast sawing are packed in a robust and reliable package that can be fitted to tracked carriers,” Loponen said. The H8 HD has a wide feed roller geometry that supports even the largest stems with the feed rollers instead of delimbing knives. This allows a lower pressure to be applied by the knives, improving fuel economy and feeding speed as well as measuring accuracy. The H8 HD is available with a top saw for processing curvy trees with big branches. Processor delimbing knives are longer than standard knives for picking logs more easily from a pile, Loponen added.

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

30 MARCH – 4 APRIL: AusTimber 2020 – Traralgon, Vic, Australia. Largest timber industry show in Australasia with in-forest show demonstrates the latest developments in log harvesting, processing and hauling equipment in action and up close. Also field trips to industry sites, a wood chop competition and forwarder competition. For more information see: www.afca. asn. au/www-austimber-org-au 16-17 MARCH: Asia Pacific Woodchip and Biomass Trade – Radisson Blu Shanghai New World Hotel, China. Optional field trips: March 18-19 to Yangtze Basin region; March 19-22 (including travel) to Suifenhe on the RussiaChina border in Heilongjiang province. Visit www. or contact Julie Bell admin@ 19-20 MARCH: Sydney Build Expo 2020. 9:00 am 5:30 pm Halls 5-7, Level 4, International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), 14 Darling Dr, Sydney. For more information and to register a complimentary ticket: 3-5 APRIL: FORESTlive, Forestry trade fair – Offenburg, Germany. Leading fair covering forestry technology, wood energy and biomass for decision makers in the forestry and agriculture, construction and municipal economy, timber crafts and energy industry. For further information contact: +49 (0)781 922604 or 19-20 MAY: FastMarkets – RISIDANA 7th annual Forest Investment Conference – Convene Conference Centre, New York City. Register at www. investment-conference/ or contact conferences@risi. com 2 20-21 MAY: Forest Industry Safety & Technology Conference - Rotorua, NZ. To be included in What’s On please send events listings to b.mitchell@ryanmediapl. 35

Mill profile

• Photo: Walker Cypress Mill’s Cecil Plains staff.

Walker Cypress Sawmill naturally green Keith Smiley

ideal for growing cotton. They claim to have the largest ECIL Plains is a rich cotton gin south of the equaand fertile area west tor, off limits to tourists, howof Brisbane and ever. Walker Cypress Mills is Toowoomba but prone to dry located in the town’s centre, spells. Leading up to summer adjacent to the Dunmore, it has been a nightmare for Kumbarilla, Vickory, Westthe forests and timber indus- ern Creek and Braemar State try, as saw millers dodge the Forests. The Walker Cypress Mills source their timber fiery landscape. The black soil of Cecil is from sustainable managed


Leeson’s Logging & Cartage fully support the Native Logging Industry Australia wide. We see it as sustainable as plantation logging. We need to better educate the public of how good our industry is and show case what we do for local communities. RICKY LEESON, General Manager

PO BOX 84, Rosedale Victoria


forests and machine it to customer specification. “This way we have control over quality and continuity of supply,” says Jason McElligott, business manager at Walker Cypress Mills. Walker Bros Timber and Building Supplies own and manage the Cecil Plains operation from the Central Coast of New South Wales. They purchased Walker Cypress Mills 45 years ago to complement their hardwood range in Gosford; enabling the supply of unseasoned wood to a voracious market. The softwood is mainly used for flooring. In earlier days they would cut lengths to size and reverse the unseasoned wood before the builder nailed them to the supports. Unseasoned or green timber has a moisture content higher than the fibre saturation point. In unseasoned timber, all of the bound water is present, and at least some of the free water is still in the wood. Unseasoned timber can feel wet to touch, and if very green will ooze out water as a nail is driven in. To simplify the seasoned process, they later installed kiln dryers. Walkers produce weatherboards, decking, some unseasoned product as well as scantling or sawn timber.

“Ninety percent our sales are to wholesalers in Sydney and Queensland, and we cut to specification for builders in the Cecil Plains area,” said Jason. Walker Bros Timber & Building Supplies, began operating in 1933, and are still a family-owned and run enterprise, with three of its board members, female descendants. Dave and Alex Walker moved their families to the Coast north of Sydney, and never looked back. Their descendants display a pride in what the family has achieved, and keeping it all together is a bonus. The company entered an agreement with Queensland Forestry to log timber. “We are fortunate to have 19 years to run on this contract, which helps with capital purchasing, to continue to grow,” said Jason. We source from many blocks within a 100 kilometre radius of the Walker Cypress Mill. The Queensland department tells us where to log.” Australian white cypress or callitris glaucophylla, grows in the sandy soils of south east Queensland where the average rainfall is between 8 to 10 inches per year; thus the trees grow very slowly, one of the reasons for its

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

unique density and durable qualities. Cypress Pine is a naturally regenerating species, ensuring its future for many years to come. Although classed as softwood, it is much-soughtafter for its remarkable natural termite resistance and for its natural colour and texture. Jason McElligott has been with Walkers for 25 years, starting as an order man, with promotions to sales, finance management and as business manager today. He has his weekends free these days but remembers working longer hours, and rearing six children, a feat on its own. The 47 year old keeps fit playing soccer on the Central Coast, and maintains a good handicap in golf. One of his sons assists with the digital marketing for the Walker Bros and Cecil Plains operations. Jason says he has a ‘very diverse job’, where every week is different. “Never a dull moment.” He has an easy-going manner and gets along with everyone. He describes himself as focussed and driven. “I was always told to tell the truth, so I like to say it as it is.” He has a huge respect for the Walkers, and his clients - the feeling may just be mutual.


Sell your used equipment, advertise your tender, offer your real estate or find your next employee. For rates and deadlines call Gavin de Almeida on (08) 8369 9517 or email:

Ryan Media is the dominant media source for the forestry industry in Australia and New Zealand. We reach: • 8,000 readers with Australian Forests and Timber, the sole print magazine for the Australian forestry sector, • 7,700 weekly subscribers to Daily Timber News e-newsletter. • 6,385 monthly website views on This cross-media coverage generates the greatest effective reach to the Australian forestry and timber sector.




w w w. t i m b e r b i z . c o m . a u



BRAND-NEW CAT 326F L EXCAVATOR WITH WARATAH HARVESTER PACKAGE Right now we are offering this 2018-plated machine at a very special price. It comes with:

• Cat H/D reach boom and stick including hydraulic lines and stick sock • Full plumb and install hydraulics package to operate Waratah HTC616C debarker head • DJM guarding package including FOPS certified to AS2294-3, ISO8083 and ISO3449, 19 mm polycarbonate front window • Waratah HTH616C debarker head, including TimberRite H-16 value based optimisation cabin control system, Waratah full rotation cradle, and a harvester and felling head filtration kit. Also, includes Waratah warranty and on-site commissioning • Cat 326F L base machine includes 1-year total machine warranty; powertrain and hydraulic warranty up to 3 years with unlimited hours. For ‘special pricing’ and machine details please contact: Stu Bell, Equipment Sales – New, Used and Rental South East Victoria, Phone: 0418 513 516 or Mick Hardy, Equipment Sales – New, Used and Rental North West Tasmania, Phone: 0418 141 820

© 2019 Caterpillar. All Rights Reserved. CAT, CATERPILLAR, “Lets Do the Work.™”, their respective logos, “Caterpillar Yellow”, the “Power Edge” trade dress as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission.

CAT055_E 326FL Excavator 2019_220mm x 150mm.indd 1

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

21/11/2019 11:46:12 AM



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FOR SALE POSITION VACANT Operations Manager - Forestry FEDC is an established family owned business in Northern NSW and has recently been awarded a strong pipeline of native and plantation hardwood harvesting contracts. FEDC seeks a hands-on experienced Operations Manager for its native and plantation hardwood harvesting and chipping operations. Based in Casino in northern NSW this is full-time position offering a competitive salary and relocation assistance for the right candidate. For more information visit

Enquiries to Mick Benton, Phone: 0438 008 161 or Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

Kara Master Incl ins, outs transfers $50,000 Grey one man bench R/H,round about, hydraulic, Incl line bar, hopovers, transfers, extraction. $30,000 CPT GRS-320H Multirip $20,000 Peter Hillier 0421752088


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Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019


In the news

725D 735D 745D 755D

Zero Tail Swing Komatsu Forest has expanded the TimberPro track range in Australia and New Zealand to include the new 'D' Series zero tail-swing levelling and non-levelling models. They can be supplied with feller-buncher or harvester boom sets and feature many benefits for logging contractors: • New Larger Cab for operator comfort • Lohmann final drives for high tractive force • Market Leading levelling with 28 degrees forward / 24 degrees side • Cummins QSL 9 350hp Engine (Tier 3)

The Crawford history has led the way in forest track machines.

Komatsu Forest Pty Ltd. 11/4 Avenue of Americas Newington NSW 2127 Australia T: +61 2 9647 3600 E: 40

Australian Forests & Timber News December 2019

Profile for provincial press group

Australian Forests & Timber - December 2019  

Australian Forests & Timber News covers the timber industry from getting trees into the ground to the finished product going into constructi...

Australian Forests & Timber - December 2019  

Australian Forests & Timber News covers the timber industry from getting trees into the ground to the finished product going into constructi...