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NOVEMBER 2012 Issue 7, Vol. 21 • P: (03) 9888 4834 • F: (03) 9888 4840 • E: firstname.lastname@example.org • www.timberbiz.com.au
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Politicians put on notice T
HE FORESTRY and timber industry wants change. After decades of being the whipping boy for the Greens and almost persona non grata with the nation’s decision-makers, the industry has had enough. There’s a groundswell of support across a broad spectrum claiming that now is the time for change. Enough is enough! The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), the national body representing the industry has laid its cards on the table and dealt the decision-makers an eight-card hand that can be a winner … if the game is played fairly! “Australia should capitalise on the strengths of its renewable forest-based industries,” says AFPA chief executive officer Dr David Pollard, and he adds that a visionary approach was needed to reposition the industry at the forefront of the new low carbon economy. “The forest, wood and paper products industries are well placed to help the Australian economy transition to a sustainable, lower emissions future. “With a growing population and higher demand for a range of building, paper and energy products, the sector can help satisfy this demand with a renewable resource. It can also provide significant economic development and regional jobs. The forest, wood and paper products industries presently have a gross value of turnover of $22 billion, supporting around 120,000 direct jobs nationally. “This is an environmentally friendly industry making products that are renewable, natural and carbon positive
with significant opportunities to provide jobs and economic benefits,” said Dr Pollard. “The potential benefits of getting these policies right are huge. “The Pulp and Paper Industry Strategy Group identified that full implementation of its recommendations could contribute as much as $38.7 billion to the national economy, with a further 3500 jobs by 2020,” he said. The industry also has the potential to contribute 3000 Gwh of renewable energy per year by 2020, or around 7% of Australia’s renewable energy target. Dr Pollard said the forest, wood and paper industries were based on a biological resource that was renewable and relied on the sun to produce timber and fibre. “The environmental benefits of these industries include the low fossil fuel energy inputs when compared with alternative materials such as steel, aluminium and concrete. Other benefits include the carbon stored over time in forests and harvested wood and paper products and the high propensity for recycling and re-use of these products,” he said. According to Senator Richard Colbeck, the Coalition is well placed to deliver on the needs of a vibrant, sustainable forest industry. “It is gratifying to know that the Coalition’s vision for forestry in Australia aligns so well with that of the industry. “We need a strong forestry industry in this nation. It offers strengths from the obvious employment benefits – about 120,000 jobs in
Practical policies needed to ensure forestry future total – to the untapped environmental potential. “We will offer security to the industry by supporting long-term Regional Forestry Agreements and opposing unnecessary lockups,” Senator Colbeck said. “We will further support research and development; we will reintroduce recognition of wood biomass within renewable energy schemes.” “Far from being a dying industry, forestry is an industry for the future,” he said. “What the industry does need is the clear and unwavering support of a Government guided by real policies and a real vision for the future.” AFPA’s eight-point plan is part of its policy roadmap for development of the industry over the next five years. The eight key points are: 1. Plan for a renewable future. Recognise the environmental and economic value to the Australian community of a vibrant forest products industry and plan for expanded contribution of the industry to a low carbon economy. 2. Carbon economy and renewable energy. Deliver a better regulatory environment and a new program of direct action for the commercialisation of carbon sequestration in forests and forest products through payments for carbon storage and greater use of biomass for renewable energy.
3. Building resource security. Stimulate capital investment for new softwood and hardwood plantations and support the Regional Forest Agreements to provide long term wood supply from sustainably managed forests. 4. Competitive energy networks. Deliver competitive and efficient (low cost) energy networks for wood and paper manufacturing users, including affordable gas and associated gas infrastructure. 5. Improving market access. Deliver fast and effective anti-dumping action, support certification, address illegally sourced imports of wood and paper products and recognise the environmental advantages of wood through building codes and energy rating schemes. 6. Public communications. Promote the benefits of sustainable forest management and recognise the renewability of products derived from wood through public communications activities. 7. Investment environment. Facilitate investment comparable to other countries, by reducing sovereign risk, transparent planning processes and incentives for investment. 8. Infrastructure and R&D. Develop better infrastructure promote skills and resume funding of R&D in sustainable forest industries.
One growing tree will absorb the carbon emitted by three old trees.
Plant more trees.
The bark, leaves and branches shed by a mature tree release more carbon to the atmosphere than the tree absorbs from it. To use trees to capture carbon from the atmosphere, Governments must provide the policies and legislation that encourage investment in planting trees and harvesting them before or when they reach maturity.
Join the battle for better Government policies For details of sensible policies for the Forest Products industry, go to http://ausfpa.com.au/site/key_policy_areas.php
Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 3
Gunns leaves trail of despair By Rosemary Ann Ogilvie
HREE WEEKS after releasing its disastrous FY2012 results, which showed a loss of almost $1bn and had financial pundits predicting the company’s imminent demise, the directors of Gunns Limited and its 35 entities, and the Responsible Entity of Gunns Plantations Limited, appointed PPB Advisory as voluntary administrators. Creditors immediately appointed KordaMentha as receivers and managers. The 137-year-old company reported underlying earnings before interest and tax of $26m. After finance costs of $71m, and a series of substantial write downs relating to the sustained slump in the woodchip export market and the inability to find an investorpartner for its proposed $2.3bn
“MIS (woodlot investors with young trees in the ground) are likely to lose everything, while more mature MIS projects may be taken on by another responsible entity, but will require investors to relinquish a greater proportion of harvest proceeds.” Trade payables at June 30 stood at $172m, which means a number of people across Tasmania, Victoria, and South Australia will be out of pocket.
Market losses and gains Gray questions accuracy of the argument that one of the reasons for Gunns’ failure was the sustained slump in woodchip sales due to the high Australian dollar and the loss of markets. “Despite the collapse of woodchip sales out of Tasmania,
This mill was sold for $10m to parties with strong environmental interests – while negotiations were under way with a private operator to sell it for $16m who, unlike the buyer, intended to continue operating the mill. You have to question why Gunns sold Triabunna for less than its value. pulp mill project, the net result was a loss of $904m. This comes on top of a $356m loss for FY2011. Compounding the dire situation was Gunns prediction that earnings this financial year were likely to be materially less. Assets at June 30 were $903m, liabilities $879m. The net asset position of $24m sits in stark contrast to the almost $1bn reported in 2008. The company has been selling assets in an effort to refinance and pay down its debt. However the banking syndicate, which is owed $340m (total interest-bearing debt is $560m), refused to allow Gunns to retain the proceeds of these sales. This meant the company was unable to continue trading, leaving 600 hundred workers – down from 3000 at the company’s peak – across the country wondering about their future, and shareholders with worthless scrip. Investors in Gunns managed investment schemes (MIS) are also likely to lose much, if not all their money. While Gunns had disposed of its MIS plantations, it manages the schemes, which involves maintaining them in return for collecting a share of the harvest proceeds. “The last result revealed the cost of managing those plantations was greater than its share of the harvest proceeds, and so in August Gunns announced a further $172m write down of scheme assets,” says Tony Gray, principal, TG Financial Pty Ltd and financial analyst for the Examiner newspaper.
other Australian States have been able to increase their exports in the same environment,” he points out. “In 2007, exports were 3.5m green metric tonnes. I don’t know the figure for the last 12 months, but Gunns predicted exports of 100,000t through Burnie. In other words, almost all of the Tasmanian export of woodchips ceased – certainly from the Gunns’ side of it, but every other State increased their exports of woodchips in the same time period.” How has this come about? Gray believes one possibility is that Gunns shifted more exports through its mainland operations. “As an example, they upgraded the Portland export facility (which sold in July for $62m), and so would have shipped a greater volume through that port. Maybe there was a higher profit margin for them to do this, maybe they were trying to delay taking any Tasmanian product so it would have greater value for the pulp mill.” Gray believes there are two possible reasons for the decline in Tasmanian woodchip sales. One relates to the environmental activism directed at Gunns’ customers urging them not to buy Tasmanian wood chips. “Despite the fact that there was a reasonable portion of native forest woodchips from the other States, it was a case of, ‘avoid woodchips from Tasmania – they’re tainted’.” The second is there may have been a higher cost for the Tasmanian woodchips. “I suspect
Gunns Shots The receivers’ task to find a buyer was not impossible, but: ‘’As the saying goes, it’s very hard to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.’’ – Gunns’ former chief executive Greg L’Estrange Gunns collapsed well before its final announcement. Government and opposition parties are struggling to come to grips with the giant’s fall. For too long, they have succumbed to the coalition of beneficiaries who lobby for Government-created market distortions to create super profits, first woodchipping then plantation MIS. – Judith Ajani, Economist, Fenner School at Australian National University.
it’s a combination of the two and that Gunns could make more money through exporting the mainland woodchips than the Tasmanian ones,” says Gray. Regarding the impact of Gunns voluntary receivership, Gray believes the whole forestry situation has already suffered its biggest impact. “Insufficient cash flow and a debt problem saw Gunns exit the Triabunna Mill woodchip export facility, which obviously had a real impact on the ability of forest operators to process and export residues,” he says. “This mill was sold for $10m to parties with strong environmental interests – while negotiations were underway with a private operator to sell it for $16m who, unlike the buyer, intended to continue operating the mill.” Gray continues: “You have to question why Gunns sold Triabunna for less than its value. Ex-premier Paul Lennon claimed the reason was a deal where the environmental groups would give Gunns their support for the pulp mill if they exited native forests. Gunns got out of native forest harvesting and sold the Triabunna mill, but without obtaining commitment from the environmental groups regarding their support for the pulp mill. And of course once Gunns took these actions, the green groups had no intention of giving their support because they didn’t have to. “Reading between the lines, the
Gunns would not have failed if its northern Tasmanian pulp mill had gone ahead. – Greg L’Estrange, Gunns’ former chief executive. Prime Minister Julia Gillard wants a new investor for former Tasmanian timber giant Gunns Ltd’s proposed $3 billion Bell Bay pulp mill project. Receivers in charge of the collapsed Gunns group have terminated the employment of chief executive Greg L’Estrange, but will retain other senior managers pending a review of staffing arrangements. Investors in the managed investment schemes run by collapsed timber group Gunns are mounting a challenge to the appointment of voluntary administrators PPB Advisory, in a bid to protect their interests in hundreds of millions of dollars of timber plantings. Gunns was on the verge of selling its sawmills to a Chinese investor when it was forced into administration. You’ve been too weak, too weak to stand up to the Greens. Your fingerprints are all over the collapse of Gunns and the hundreds of jobs that will go with it because once again the only jobs you’re worried about are your own. – Tasmanian Opposition Leader Will Hodgman. The wood’s still growing, the demand is still there, it’s just a matter of if somebody can pick up where Gunns have left off and keep moving as soon as possible. We can only wait so long. – Contractor Kevin McCulloch. Tasmanian premier Lara Giddings is hopeful the pulp mill might proceed, warning against “dancing on (Gunns’) grave”. Gunns actually put all its eggs in one basket and it jeopardised the jobs, the livelihoods, the wellbeing of all of its employees. The real culprits here, in terms of putting people’s jobs at risk, are actually the board and the management of Gunns who made some seriously bad decisions. – Australian Greens leader Christine Milne. Mark Korda (KordaMentha) says there will be a strategic review of the pulp mill project but there is no ‘white knight’ yet.
continued on page 4.
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4 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Gunns leaves trail of despair continued from page 3.
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green groups – and I’m not talking about the radical groups, I’m talking about the likes of the Wilderness Society, and of the Greens as a political party – couldn’t change their view once Gunns had unilaterally given away its bargaining chips. It would have been a different story had those groups said to their supporters ‘we have a once-in-alife-time opportunity to exit native forest logging in Tasmania, but the only way to do this is by supporting Gunns’ use of plantation timber to operate a pulp mill, so it’s a compromise and while we don’t like it, we agree’. Now there might be people who say Tony Gray is completely wrong, doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but that’s my impression of what occurred.” Gray adds that Gunns also closed down most of its export woodchip mills – and moved all woodchip production and exports to its mainland operations. “So all that’s left is the Bell Bay sawmill, which is operating in an environment with lower building approvals and a depressed building sector generally. At the moment there’s not much harvesting or export going on and an industry needs a certain critical mass.” Mark Korda of KordaMentha says any available funds will go first towards meeting the costs of administration; next towards meeting employee entitlements, and then to secured and unsecured creditors.
Historical background Gray says there’s a whole historical background to the company’s demise, notably a failure to raise equity when the share price was at its peak. “Gunns borrowed substantially to buy Auspine, and as a result of this acquisition, debt increased by $372m in January 2008 when the share price was still above $3. They could have raised money relatively effectively to pay for Auspine, particularly as they were very close to securing approvals for the pulp mill. In fact, had Malcolm Turnbull granted approval while he was environment minister before the federal election in 2007, Gunns would have probably raised the capital and been actively arranging a joint-venture partner before the global financial crisis struck.” As it turns out, that delay and the failure to raise that capital forced them into dilutionary capital ratings at $1.50 and 90 cents per share, which greatly extended the number
of shares on the register and only partly paid down the debt. “From that point on, Gunns sold assets to meet debt repayments – and the rest is history.” Gray makes the point that using debt to take on Auspine was exactly the strategy Gunns used in 2001 to buy North Forest Products, and in 2000 to purchase Boral Tasmania’s timber operations. “These were significant purchases for Gunns at the time, but the weakness in the Australian dollar, the strength of woodchip prices, and the efficient management of those operations meant they generated very strong cash flow and paid off that debt rapidly,” he says. “It attempted the same strategy with Auspine, but
Gunns withdrew from the official environmental assessment process, and then-premier Paul Lennon agreed to push through parliament environmental approvals. ‘’Gunns showed reckless disregard for established procedures,’’ comments Saul Eslake, chief economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Australia. ‘’The lesson to be drawn from this in the way Gunns set about getting the proposal up, hopefully no one will ever try again.’’ Certainly, the amount of money Gunns expended on research and development of the proposed pulp mill factored in its failure, Mark Korda said on the ABC’s Insider Business program (30 September).
The shame of it is that the environmental groups are destroying the very ecology they’re seeking to protect. when the woodchip market fell, they couldn’t achieve the cash flow to support the debt burden. So what propelled them to become a top100 company after the 2000/2001 purchases became their undoing in 2007.” Had Gunns’ directors been conservative in 2000, they’d never have borrowed to acquire Boral and North Forest Products and would have remained a small company, Gray says. “It’s easy to criticise the company, but who could have predicted the global financial meltdown would result in a high Australian dollar? You would have expected it to have a cushioning effect and provide advantages in terms of exports. Part of this is the unprecedented printing of money by the US and Europe, so it’s very easy for people to say they put all their eggs in one basket with a mill, but that’s hindsight speaking.”
The future of the pulp mill One factor many believe played a significant role in the corporation’s demise was the way it ploughed ahead with the pulp mill despite rising community opposition in regard to its Tamar Valley location. In 2007 when the State planning regulator found the project ‘’critically non-compliant’’,
“And then you have all the issues about have they managed it properly,” he added. “However, the opposition of the greens to the proposed mill was not to blame for the company’s collapse.” The big question is whether there is a chance that the pulp mill project may be revived. Korda has said the receivers will review the project during October with a view to recapitalising it, entering a joint venture or selling the permits to investors. The permit for the pulp mill is the subject of legal action by the Tasmanian Conservation Trust (TCT). While the appointment of an administrator effectively puts the Supreme Court challenge on hold, potential buyers would need to be made aware the permit may be found by the court to be invalid. Korda told Alan Kohler that it might become attractive as a freestanding asset without it being confused with all the other issues that Gunns have had over the last 10 or 15 years. “However, the first thing was to determine its economical viability, given where they are on the Tasmanian forestry estate and the supply of wood and what’s happened on international competition for new pulp mills and where the price of woodchip is.” Replying to Kohler’s question about initial impressions in this respect, he responded: “I think the
prognosis is very difficult at the moment. …if it was going to be built, maybe it should have been built by now, but let’s have a look over the next month and see how we go.” During a recent trip to Asia, Tasmanian premier Lara Giddings sought out investors for the mill. She says while there were no firm proposals, she raised it as an investment option, along with Tasmania’s dairy and mining industries. Eslake, who is Tasmanian born and educated, says a single megaproject, particularly one based on commodity processing, is never going to be the solution to Tasmania’s economic problems. Tasmania’s resource base is simply too small, he writes, and the costs of transport to principal markets too great for Tasmania to base its economy on selling large volumes of essentially undifferentiated commodities at the lowest possible price – unless everyone’s willing to work for third-world wages. He believes Tasmania’s future economic success is far more likely to be found in the production of highly differentiated goods and services, embodying a significant intellectual content, e.g. in their design or branding, for which customers can be persuaded to pay premium prices. “There are many successful examples of that strategy working in Tasmania, but they are all relatively small enterprises, not mega-projects,” he says.
Fire-fighting force One of the big things Tasmania faces losing with the exit of the forestry workers, contractors, and contracting equipment is its huge fire-fighting force. “For tens of thousands of years the Tasmanian environment has been fired every season,” says Gray. “However, in the last couple of decades we’ve locked half the State away and don’t permit fires. With an additional half-million hectares of working forest being added to existing national parks and reserves, a massive bushfire in Tasmania is inevitable: we won’t have the capacity to fight it, and there’ll be a huge public outcry.” Gray continues: “We know this because we’ve seen it happen in Victoria, and we’ve seen it happen in California. The US made the same mistake 20 years ago, locking up some of their forests and not managing them. Massive bush fires occurred, which made them realise they had to start managing them again. However, this has to be economic, because are you going to spend taxpayer money on looking after people’s health and education, or are you going to spend it on wilderness areas with no return? Those wilderness areas have to pay their way to an extent. “The shame of it is that the environmental groups are destroying the very ecology they’re seeking to protect. I like to bushwalk, and have been to most of the national parks and wilderness areas over time. I see them becoming increasingly overgrown, and they’re also becoming monocultures with the melaleuca overtaking some of the button grass plains.”
Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 5
QLD tackles forestry problems head-on I
T IS no exaggeration to say the Queensland forest and timber industry is doing it tough and facing a number of significant challenges. And without creating alarm, I believe it is generally agreed that the industry’s longterm viability will be under threat if those challenges are not met head-on,” said Queensland Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, John McVeigh. In an Australian Forests & Timber News exclusive, the Minister explained that the Newman Government went to the last election knowing that urgent work had to be done but, we also knew that there was no quick fix, and certainly no single solution. “That is why we made a commitment to the industry to collaboratively develop a Forest and Timber Industry Plan, to sustain, strengthen, and grow the industry. “The plan aims to improve the industry’s ability to remain a valuable economic, social and environmental contributor to Queensland’s economy. “The plan will set out a road map for the future development of Queensland’s forest and timber industry, addressing industry challenges and helping promote growth opportunities. “A joint industry-Government working group was established which set out a five-stage process to build the plan by December 2012. We are already in phase three – developing a draft plan,” the Minister said. “A key commitment in this process was that we would work and consult with industry. This will not be the Government’s plan alone - it will be an initiative owned as much by the industry as by the Government. “Timber Queensland has enthusiastically come on board and we now have a combined vision to sustain business growth and innovation in the Queensland forest and timber industry. An industry situation analysis was published in August and it has provided the base for interaction with industry players during the initial development of the plan. Until the plan is finalised, it is difficult to comment on, or predict, possible initiatives that will be included in the plan, or when they will be implemented.
“Options could include actions to support forest resource development, timber market growth, community support for the industry, or an improved business and investment environment. “However, I am confident of achieving positive results because of the willingness of all partners to cooperate and work hard to ensure the industry’s viability. “My department’s Forest Products group is predominantly a commercially-focused unit that manages native forest log timber production and quarry sales on State-owned land. “The unit is a significant supplier of native hardwood and cypress log timber to the timber processing sector, accounting for about 10 per cent of the total log timber utilised by the sector in Queensland. “In addition, the Forest Products group is responsible for the sale of State-owned quarry material, accounting for about 10% (but annually increasing) of the State’s demand for quarry material. “Forest Products maintains certification of its native forest management system to the Australian Forestry Standard. “This certification serves as a platform for sawmilling and other log timber customers to maintain their own ‘chain of custody’ certifications for marketing and selling their processed products into increasingly discerning markets seeking environmentally endorsed products. “The group is funded by revenue generated through the sale of timber and quarry products, and returns an annual operating surplus to the Government,” said the Minister. “The department’s Forestry Science Research and Development (R&D) group delivers tropical and sub-tropical forest and wood research with a proven impact in plantation forestry and wood product manufacturing. “The R&D effort receives $3 million a year in funding from the Queensland Government, supplemented by co-funding of specific projects by industry and a range of other sources. These include the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Forest and Wood Products Australia and the CRC for National Plant Biosecurity. “The R&D group aims to
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, John McVeigh.
create conditions for business and economic success and a sustainable environment. “The group’s scientific reach embraces research to improve forest trees, productivity, health, and protection, and to improve wood quality, products and processing technologies for efficient and sustainable industries. “It has broad skills coverage from tree breeding and improvement, to nutrition and forest health through to wood processing, testing and innovative product development. “The challenge for forest growers, wood processors, manufacturers and construction industries is to maximise profits through the best use of renewable, managed forest resources. “To meet this challenge, the department delivers R&D through its forest value, forest health and forest product innovation programs. “This is done by improving forest productivity, sustainability and wood quality for a changing climate. By developing support systems for managing and protecting forest quality and value and developing new wood products, protection and processing systems. “The current R&D projects focus mainly on hardwood tree improvement, plantation and forest health, properties and processing of plantation-grown hardwoods and processing for veneer and plywood products. “The Newman Government is dedicated to working in partnership with the forestry industry to ensure its prosperity long in to the future,” said the Minister.
Sky cam keeps tabs on trees RESEARCHERS WITH the Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) have embraced innovation by employing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to take photos of mallee trees. Researcher Richard Bennett (CSIRO) said the UAV was a cost-effective way to get above the trees and take images which provide data on growth rates. The research is part of the CRC’s new woody crop industries program, which focuses on the use of mallee trees to produce biomass for biofuel and bioenergy. Bennett said measuring the trees had previously been time consuming and labour intensive.
“We need to know how big the trees are and how fast they are growing so that we can measure the effects of treatments like extra water and nutrients. The UAV has given us a simple way of collecting these measurements. The one we are using is a quadcopter – it’s like a model helicopter except it has four overhead propellers, which make it very stable in the air. It’s stable enough to use as a platform to take high resolution photos with very high definition, so we can see individual leaves in the images. “Future development of the UAV should also allow us to perceive the height of the trees from the UAV images,” Bennet said.
6 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
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AUSTRALASIA 2012 17 October Forest And Wood Products Association (FWPA) annual general meeting, Gympie, Queensland 16-17 October Wood Innovations, Rotorua. www.woodinnovationsevents.com 18 October NZ FICA Regional Meeting – Northland 19-21 October Melbourne Working With Wood Show. Melbourne Showground 30-31 October ForestWorks Industry Development Conference, Canberra 31 October R&DWorks seminar Oberon NSW. www.fwpa.com.au/upcoming-events 1 - 2 November FICA Annual Conference – Rotorua (Challenges of Steep Country Logging & Silviculture) 1 November R&DWorks seminar Sydney NSW. www.fwpa.com.au/upcoming-events 12-16 November
IFTY YEARS in the forestry and timber industry has brought with it countless changes with no doubt more to come and one fairly unassuming Western Australian has seen just about all of them. Greg Smeathers recently clocked up his fifth decade not only in the industry but also with the one firm, South West Haulage. He was just 15 when he started his apprenticeship as a mechanic with SWH working on mainly Leyland trucks and Caterpillar D8 dozers and various logging gear like reaches and all that sort of thing. “South West Haulage has been in mature logging for 65 or 70 years or something like that and we’ve always done the same thing so it’s basically been trucks and machinery and that’s about it,” he says. “I was working on them until about 25 years ago when I became the manager and I’ve been the manager ever since. Bear in mind that in that time when I was a mechanic a lot of things I did in that time included truck driving, winch driving, dozer driving, skidder driving, loader driving you name it ... I’ve had a go at everything in that time!” When Greg first started “we were using the jinkers, we were using the Leyland Hippos and they were a cab-over type of truck with a home-
made jinker on the back. The jinkers were actually made out of old tank carriers. When I first started they were actually done but the axles had been shortened; they were 12 ft wide I think and they were shortened back to 8ft and they were made into a single point suspension type jinker. We had them for quite
Think back to the trucks of those days; the Leylands were 150hp! The last truck I bought here was 550hp. That’s what you call a dramatic difference.
a few years and then eventually upgraded,” he recalled. But Greg would be the first to admit there have been quantum leaps in the machinery that is now available for the industry. Today’s machinery? It’s nothing like it was then. It’s that much further advanced. Think back to the trucks of those days; the Leylands were 150hp! The last truck I bought here was 550hp. That’s what you call a dramatic difference “In the early days you didn’t have brakes on jinkers or anything; when you did they were hydraulic and they didn’t work most of the time.
8th IUFRO International Conference on Uneven-Aged Silviculture. New Zealand. For more information contact the Conference Secretariat: Glenn Stewart (Glenn.Stewart@lincoln.ac.nz). Conference website: http://lincoln.ac.nz/ iufro. 16 November VAFI Annual Dinner, Park Hyatt, Melbourne November NZ FICA Regional Meeting – Balclutha November NZ FICA Cable Logging Workshop – Balclutha 26-27 November Bioenergy Australia 2012. Australia’s premier bioenergy conference, Bioenergy Australia 2012, Sebel and Citigate Albert Park, Melbourne. Technical tour 28 November. www.bioenergyaustralia.org 27 November AFCA Board of Directors Meeting and AGM, Melbourne. 28-29 November ForestTECH 2012, Melbourne. www.foresttechevents.com 29 November R&DWorks seminar Hobart TAS. www.fwpa.com.au/upcoming-events 4-5 December ForestTECH 2012, Rotorua. www.foresttechevents.com
Didn’t have lights on the trailers. It was totally different. You wouldn’t even compare it.” After 50 years on the job what is Greg’s take on the industry at the moment … “the blue gum industry seems to be reasonably stable at present. We do native logging and blue gum. The native is reasonable
Greg Smeathers next to a Tigercat 1075B Forwarder.
at present but it has certainly been reduced to what it was. I think it’s going to keep going like it is for some time yet”. “We’ve moved now from mature logging to more thinnings type logging where we’re just going through taking out faulty trees or poor trees and leaving the better ones. Just like a normal thinnings operation you would do anywhere around Australia. “SWH supplies cut chip logs and sawlogs to Pemberton, Dean Mill, Greenbushes and several other small mils around. We supply all timbers
“We have an FPC (Government contract) as well as blue gum. We’re pretty busy at present. I’m Not saying we are flat out, we could do with a bit more,” he says. And what of the future for Greg? He’s got no intention of retiring yet ...“I’m too young to retire,” he says. “I’ve got a dozer driver who works for me six months of the year and he’s 75 now and still wants to work this year coming, so… “I don’t feel 65. The brain might still be working but sometimes the body isn’t matching that but overall I’m still going pretty well,” he says. “Driving trucks and machines; I’ve had a go at everything. It’s been good really. “Listen, I don’t want a big thing made of this. I’m an ordinary bloke doing my job. “I’m not really one for all the hoopla and all that short of …. I’m just happy to get on and do the job, to be honest,” he says and starts on yet another decade with South West Haulage. Incidentally, SWH has a good relationship with Tigercat dealer Forest Centre and in the past eight years has purchased nine Tigercat units, the first in 2004 and the last in July this year. These are made up of four Forwarders [1065s/1075s], one 630C Skidder and four Track Harvesters [H822s/H845] plus a DT2001 High Speed Shear Head.
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8 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
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INTERNATIONAL 2012 8-12 October 45th FORMEC Symposium: Forest Engineering: Concern, Knowledge & Accountability in Today’s Environment Dubrovnik, Croatia. http://formec.boku.ac.at 23 October 4th Nordic Wood Biorefinery Conference Helsinki, Finland 5-12 November Biannual IUFRO Forest Landscape Ecology Conference: Sustaining Humans and Forests in Changing Landscapes: Forests, Society and Global Change. Concepción, Chile
By Rosemary Ann Ogilvie
HE FOREST industry in Tasmania has changed dramatically over the past three years, contracting from a $1.4bn industry to one that now that produces just a few hundred million dollars, says Greg Howard, director of Timber Training Tasmania and an assessor for the ForestWorks licensing scheme featured in a previous issue. “To add to this, the current intergovernmental agreement (IGA) will further impact on the industry in Tasmania by restricting access to the resource they require.” Howard says one of the reasons South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland have less stringent licensing arrangements relates to terrain: where Tasmanian plantations are set in steep, broken country with high rainfall and slippery soils – a combination that places considerable demands on operators’ skills – plantations in this trio of States tend to occupy huge flat paddocks.
7-8 November Focus on Forest Engineering - White River, South Africa. www.forestrysolutions.net 8-10 November Pacific Logging Congress - Tucson, Arizona. www.pacificloggingcongress.com
2013 10-11 April “Residues-to-REVENUES 2013 Conference & Expo: Wood Energy and CleanTECH Industry Developments”. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand. http://woodresiduesevents.com/ 15-16 April “Residues-to-REVENUES 2013 Conference & Expo: Wood Energy and CleanTECH Industry Developments”. Bayview Eden Hotel, Melbourne. http://woodresiduesevents.com/ 23 July FTMA Australia National Conference 2013. Gold Coast venue. More to be released soon. 30 June – 3 July 2013 NZIF AGM and Conference, New Plymouth. 7-10 April 6th International Woodfibre Resources & Trade Conference. Woodchips & Biomass for Global & Regional Markets. Istanbul, Turkey 5-8 June 2013 - ElmiaWood - Jonkoping, Sweden. http://www.elmia.se/en/wood/
“And this is one of the problems with the IGA. If they think Tasmania can exit native forest and move into a plantationbased industry, they’re absolutely kidding themselves, because we’ll go broke. The Tasmanian terrain means harvesting and trucking costs are about 50% higher than on the mainland.” Imagine coming out of Mt Gambier to Portland or Geelong where the export facilities are, he continues. “Once you’re on the highway, unless you come to a stop sign or a red light you don’t even have to change gears. Compare this to coming off the Central Highlands of Tasmania, or even out of the north east of the State and going to Bell Bay: you’re either going uphill or downhill or round a corner the whole time.” He tells of a logging contractor in Mt Gambier who runs two machines: a wheeled harvester and a forwarder. “He’s producing
180,000 tonnes a year by double shifting one machine and single shifting the other, which is a fantastic effort. If you had the same two machines in Tasmania, you would struggle to get 70,000 tonnes because of our terrain.” The contractor has 6000 hours on the original set of tyres on the processor. “Now, if you had 6000 hours on a wheeled harvester in Tasmania, you’d be on your third or maybe fourth set of tyres, and at $5000 a tyre, that’s a considerable overhead.” The other well-documented problem with plantations is that the rapid growth of the trees causes
harvesting costs then become the same as ours.” The Greens don’t want to know, says Howard, and because the Labor Party is desperate to stay in power; they’ll do anything to keep the Greens happy. He continues: “The Labor Party has hoped the IGA will get them enough votes to get them over the line from people in the city who don’t actually know what happens within the industry. But it won’t happen because they haven’t realised forestry is very high-maintenance and highinput – a very costly industry in which to operate. Numerous
If they think Tasmania can exit native forest and move into a plantation-based industry, they’re absolutely kidding themselves, because we’ll go broke too many internal stresses, which makes them too brittle for milling. “They’re also the wrong species to produce the quality logs needed for sawmilling and for rotary peeling,” says Howard. “Over the past 34 years, Forestry Tasmania and other companies have tried to grow our native forest species in plantations but it doesn’t work. Certainly, you can grow pines in Tasmania but again, unless they grow on flat, level ground close to roads and mills, you can’t compete with the pines growing on the mainland.” But these aspects haven’t been considered, says Howard. “There’s no point moving into plantations if your wood is so expensive you can’t compete. The reason Tasmania has been able to compete in the native forest industry is that its native forest is of better quality than any of the other States. While Victoria and NSW have some quality native forest in their highland areas, the
businesses based in the cities – auto electricians, engineers, tyre companies, fuel companies and so on – all rely on forestry for a large part of their income, but this hasn’t been considered. The Government figured losing a couple of thousand forest jobs won’t matter, but the multiplier factor is three or four, so suddenly you put 8,000 people out of work.”
Inappropriate representation A huge source of annoyance to Howard is the fact that the industry is not appropriately represented in the peace talks. “When [thenPremier] David Bartlett set up the roundtable group, he invited the people he thought would get the agreement through. So while [Premier] Lara Giddings and [convenor] Simon Crean are saying the industry supports the
roundtable agreement, if you take a long, hard look at who sits at the table, this is not correct.” Howard explains: “The unions sit there representing the workers, yet only 22% of forestry workers are in the union, which means 78% of workers aren’t represented. And most of the members they do have were in a couple of large Gunns mills. McKay or Britton might have some, but when it comes to the harvesting sector, the transport sector and the forest-reestablishment sector, they virtually have no members whatsoever. “The Forest Contractors Associations represents less than 40% of all contractors. FIAT is supposedly the representative of the processing sector, yet not represented is Artec Pty Ltd, which has a sawmill and chip export facility at Bell Bay and processes three to four times as much native forest timber in a year as all the FIAT members put together.” Neither the public nor private landowners – Forestry Tasmania and Private Forests Tasmania respectively – are represented at the talks, yet the private landowners own 40 to 50% of the native forests in Tasmania, says Howard. “They were told the talks would have no effect on private forestry, but the environment movement is protesting against native forest full stop, so there’s no distinction whether the timber comes from private forest or State forest. Thus by default they are severely affected by the result of the talks. So, for Lara Giddings to insist the representatives that sit at the table represent the industry is an absolute lie.” Greg adds: “If the Government thinks the only way forward is the IGA, clearly it doesn’t understand the industry, and the industry will die a slow and painful death. We have a fantastic resource, and this resource needs to be available in the future for while we may now be experiencing a downturn in our markets, those markets are cyclical and when the good times do come, we won’t be able to supply them.”
Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 9
Contracting firm target of arson, $750,000 replacement cost for new machines vandalism attacks P
OLICE BELIEVE an arson attack at a forestry company’s New Norfolk offices on 4 September was linked to the vandalism of forestry machinery over a previous weekend. Police said that the office and dining area had been entered and multiple fires started, resulting in at least $50,000 damage to the New Norfolk depot of Les Walkden Enterprises. Prior to that, vandals caused three quarters of a million dollars (replacement cost) damage to forestry harvesting machinery in a Forestry Tasmania logging coupe in Butlers Gorge in the Central Highlands. One excavator was used to almost completely demolish a skidder and another excavator.
Long time forestry contractor Les Walkden is at a loss to work out why the attack took place on his machines but he’s vowed and declared he’ll be back! “We’ll regroup and we’ll be back as soon as we can. We won’t let the groups or individuals get on top of us,” he said. “It’s hard enough at the best of times, let alone now.” He’s had to stand down five of his crew. “That $750,000 is to replace the machines with new equipment; that’s what they’re worth in today’s money,” he said. When AFTN interviewed Les he had not received further advice from his insurers. In the meantime, though, offers of assistance have come in from other contractors and even though he was grateful for their help he
was taking an extremely cautious approach ... “I’d be a bit concerned about taking someone else’s machines up there when I didn’t own it, you know”. “It looks like they actually got a motorbike over or under the gate somehow. They’ve then used the Komatsu to attack the skidder and the Cat. They haven’t damaged the Komatsu too much; also attacked a pile of sawlogs. They were very amateurish but they were smart enough to do a bloody lot of damage. “It would only take one bloke in an excavator half an hour to bloody do what they did. “We had a spate of these attacks a few years back down in the southern forests; about 12 years ago they did the same thing.
We had the same thing when they trashed my cable logger but that was a bit different they burnt all that; they burnt the forest; they burnt everything. “I just hope they catch the person and he will tell us who paid him. I really don’t think that anybody in the timber industry would do that to machinery,” said Les. The loss (both of machinery and downtime) in dollar terms is huge, plus the loss of wages for the workers. Ed Vincent, from the Forest Contractors Association, says the attack was another blow to a struggling industry. “Vandalism by whomever is to be abhorred.’’ The State Opposition has condemned the damage, saying it’s proof the forest conflict is not over.
SBS television program ‘inaccurate and misleading’ SBS HAS apologised for “inaccuracy” (among other things) following the airing of a program focused on Ta Ann. It had been alleged that the Last Frontier (aired on 21 August) had excluded key responses to allegations provided by senior management in Tasmania and Sarawak. Both Hydro Tasmania and Ta Ann Tasmania requested the SBS Ombudsman to conduct a review of the program against its own Codes of practice. SBS Ombudsman Sally Begbie found that the report had been inaccurate and misleading and issued the following apology: “After a review of the program against the provisions of Code 2.2 (Accuracy, Impartiality and Balance) of the SBS Codes of Practice, and considering your complaint, the program was found to have breached the provisions of the code. “The report was found to be inaccurate in two of three areas identified in your complaint. “First, Mr Rolley did not say the words attributed to him about plantation and regrowth timber. “Secondly, as you know, there is a difference between a contract to log, that is go into an area and fell trees, and a contract for the supply logs from trees felled (logged) by others. In this case, Forestry Tasmania supplies Ta Ann Tasmania (a manufacturing company) with already felled timber, which Ta Ann Tasmania processes to produce a range of timber products. It is inaccurate, and in breach of Code 2.2, to say that Ta Ann Tasmania is a logging company. “I find that the report that 50 workers were retrenched was not inaccurate, being an accurate reflection of what was said by Mr Rolley. It is not inaccurate to say that Ta Ann Tasmania “retrenched 50 Tasmanian workers” when Ta Ann Tasmania’s executive director said that “we’ve had to sack 50 people”. “On balance the report breached Code 2.2 with respect to accuracy,
balance and impartiality. “Put shortly, the program did not include accurate and balancing material that was available and did not include a response from Ta Ann on key questions. It unduly favoured the views critical of Ta Ann (both Ta Ann Tasmania and Ta Ann Holdings Berhad, the Malaysian company) and Hydro Tasmania over both the facts and appropriate balancing views. In addition the relationship between Hydro Tasmania and the Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) was misreported and misrepresented. I consider that the totality of the report was inaccurate and misleading. “On 28 August 2012 The Executive Producer of Dateline, Peter Charley, informed you that a change would be made to the program and transcript in relation to the removal of the words “and regrowth”. However, SBS now considers that in light of this finding it will broadcast a correction and apology on Dateline on 4 September 2012. The wording of the correction is a management matter and not a duty of the SBS Ombudsman. “SBS apologies to Ta Ann Tasmania for this breach of the SBS Codes of Practice.” Ta Ann is now deciding whether to take the matter to the Australian Communications and Media Authority for external review. Now, a split has emerged in environment groups over a letter supporting timber company Ta Ann. The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and The Wilderness Society (TWS) wrote to customers asking them not to cancel contracts, according to The Australian. The Australian newspaper obtained a letter sent by ACF and TWS to customers of veneer maker Ta Ann urging them not to “make any decisions that could adversely affect Tasmanian suppliers”. It was sent to Ta Ann’s predominantly Japanese customers and directly
undermines campaigns by Markets for Change and the Huon Valley Environment Centre to have the same customers tear up their contracts. Malaysian-owned Ta Ann does not process old growth but accepts wood from forest coupes where some old growth, or forest regarded by green groups as of high conservation value, may be harvested. This has led conservation groups to attack Ta Ann’s two Tasmanian mills as the main
“driver” of the destruction of many of Tasmania’s oldest and most environmentally significant forests. “This is an act of treachery to the forests,” Markets for Change campaigner and former Tasmanian Greens leader Peg Putt told The Australian. “It’s unprecedented that TWS and ACF are prepared to support the forest industry and undermine not only our own campaign but that of Japanese campaigners,” Weber said. TWS national director Lyndon
Schneiders denied it was a betrayal of conservationists. “I don’t see how anyone could see this as a betrayal; it’s simply saying ‘give the (forest peace) talks a chance’,” said Schneiders, who signed the letter along with ACF chief executive Don Henry. “We are saying there is a prospect for peace and . . . peace can deliver the protection of high-conservationvalue forests and put industry on a sustainable basis and end the controversy over wood products in Tasmania.”
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10 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
ForestWorks and First Super fifth annual Industry Development Conference
Major industry conference being held at a crucial time
There are undoubtedly real challenges facing the forest, wood, paper and timber industry and, in fact, all manufacturing in Australia, but there are real opportunities, too.
HIS YEAR’S Industry Development Conference in Canberra is being held during one of the most challenging junctures in the industry’s history. The ForestWorks and First Super-sponsored conference for the forests, wood, paper and timber products industry, will be held in Canberra on 30-31 October and will bring together some of the major players not only of industry but also from the world of politics. ForestWorks chief executive officer Michael Hartman said the annual conference had built up a considerable reputation in a short span of time, but added that this year’s event was particularly special. He said the current state of manufacturing in Australia made the conference even more significant. “Times are certainly tough in our industry right now and that’s what makes this conference so vital,” he said. “We understand that it is not viable for businesses to continue on with a ‘business as usual’ approach. Now is a time when it is necessary to be innovative – and a huge part of innovation is stimulating and cultivating collaboration. “There are undoubtedly real challenges facing forest, wood, paper and timber industry, and in fact all manufacturing in Australia, but there are real opportunities, too.” Hartman noted the extensive lineup of speakers would be bound to generate debate, discussion and ideas. “We have thought-leaders from Australia and around the world addressing the major issues facing our industry: the impact of illegal logging, the debate about free trade versus fair trade, the need to stimulate residential housing construction and other approaches to increase the use of timber,” he said. “I am certain conference participants will leave Canberra with higher levels of inspiration and, more importantly, new information and ideas to help forge a positive path forward for their businesses and the industry.” The program for the conference is: Day 1: Tuesday 30 October Hyatt Hotel, Canberra • Noon Lunch in the Gallery
• 1.00pm Conference Opening Emily Rice - Network Ten National Reporter • 1.15pm Opening Address The Future of Manufacturing: Where to for Wood? Professor Goran Roos (by video). Göran Roos is Chairman of VTT International (the global outreach of Finland’s Technical Research Centre), Honorary Professor at Warwick Business School in the UK, Visiting Professor at the Centre for Business Performance at Cranfield University and Senior Advisor, Asia Pacific to Aalto Executive Education Academy. He is a member of the Prime Minister’s Manufacturing Taskforce and Chair of the South Australian Government’s Manufacturing Review. He is the author and co-author of over one hundred books, book chapters, papers and articles many of which have been recognised with awards and sits on several international corporate advisory boards. Göran was named one of the 13 most influential thinkers for the 21st Century. • 1.45pm Sustainable Investment: Why Investing in Forests is the Future Dr David Brand - Founder and Managing Director of New Forests Pty Ltd • 2.15pm Panel Discussion Competing in the Asian Century: Strategies for Success Tony Price - CEO of Australian Bluegum Plantations. Simon Dorries - CEO of Engineered Wood Products Association of Australia. Ron Scott - President of the Furniture Industry Association of Australia • 3.00pm Afternoon Tea • 3.30pm Investing in Australia: Why North America is Buying Our Forests Joseph F. Bachman - Director of Portfolio Management and Partner of Global Forest Partners (GFP) Chair: Graeme Russell - CEO of First Super • 4.15pm Panel Discussion Australian Stories: New ThinkingDeliveringAddedValue Jim Henneberry CEO of Australian Paper. Brett Himbury - CEO of Industry Funds Management (IFM).
Nathan Fabian, CEO of the Investor Group on Climate Change • 6.30pm Industry Liaison Dinner Great Hall, Parliament House. Join industry leaders and a wide range of Members of Parliament to discuss our industry’s issues and future in the Great Hall of Parliament House. Simon Crean MP, Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, the special guest speaker. Concludes at 11pm. Day 2: Wednesday 31 Oct Hyatt Hotel, Canberra • 8.00am Breakfast - Federation Ballroom • 8.05am Government and Opposition MPs’ address and Q&A Chair: Jane Calvert - ForestWorks’ Chairperson • 9.05am Industry Policy – Perspectives on an Innovative Future Dr David Pollard - CEO of Australian Forest Products Association. Michael O’Connor - National Secretary of the CFMEU • 9.45am Morning Tea • 10.15am Key Issue Focus Sessions. Session 1: Making it in Australia: Moving Beyond Survival. Ron Scott - President of FIAA. Julian Mathers - Australian Paper. Rohan Wright - CEO of the Australian Furniture Association. Chair: Bob Pearce, CEO of FIFWA Session 2: Increasing Demand for Australian Timber Products in the Australian Built Environment. Dr Harley Dale - HIA Chief Economist. Lisa Marty - CEO of VAFI. Jim Adams - CEO of TCA. Chair: Kersten Gentle CEO of FTMA. Session 3: Leveraging Australia’s High Standards for Competitive Advantage. Natalie Reynolds Australian CEO of FSC. Richard Stanton - Secretary of AFS. Richard Brooks - Director of Standards Australia and CEO of the Cabinet and Design Association. SimonDorries-CEOoftheEWPAA. Chair: Tim Woods Director of IndustryEdge. Session 4: Unlock the potential of your workforce
with the NEW National Workforce Development Fund. Panel of business managers that are using the new fund to upskill their employees. Chair: Michael Hartman, CEO of ForestWorks. Session 5: New and Emerging Products – Where is the Future Value? Graeme Bullock Chair of BioIndustry Partners. Dr Alastair Woodard - Director of Wood Products Victoria. Bob Gordon Managing Director of Forestry Tasmania. Chair: Dr Bob Smith - Company Director. • 12.30pm Plenary Session • 1.00pm Lunch • 1.30pm Women in Forests and Timber Network Meeting Mentoring for support and success
Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 11
Groundswell of support for timber communities By Kersten Gentle
RIENDS OF FORESTRY has continued to grow, support timber workers and their families while lifting the public and political profile of the timber industry in the Central Highlands region of Victoria over the past few months. The groundswell of support within the timber communities and the passion and drive of the FoF Committee has been outstanding with everyone including many from the database regularly writing letters to the editor, contacting local Members of Parliament and relevant Ministers to ensure the old furphy that the Greens are the voice of the community are addressed and once again that sense of being part of a supportive timber community is starting to shine through. Louise Adam is no stranger to the timber industry with her father working in the industry for much of his life and his mother Jan Adams, the founding member of the FPS Branch in the region, so it was tremendous when asked as part of a school project to have a stall and raise funds for a community group, she chose Friends of Forestry. Louise, with the help of some committee members, made cup cakes which she sold at school whilst providing informative brochures about FoF
and our industry and ended up raising approximately $110.00 for the group. This from a 14-yearold with the help of two friends is amazing and we thank her. A key issue for Friends of Forestry has been the Local Government Elections which will be held by postal vote in October. Like many councils throughout Australia the Greens have infiltrated the council and pushed through policies which have hindered forestry businesses and has distorted the public perception of our sustainable industry. The Shire of Yarra Ranges not only pushed the Ethical Paper Pledge against the use of Reflex paper (and failed at State Level) but have also issued a permit for the structure supporting illegal forest protests. Two forums were organised for the Shire’s of Murrindindi and Yarra Ranges with the Murrindindi event being held on 1 October. To ensure the councillors understood the ramifications of what happens to a local and state economy when they lose rural industries like the timber industry, FoF invited special guest speaker Cheryl Arnol from Glamorgan Spring Bay Council and Elphinstone Engineering in Tasmania to address the forum. Cheryl’s speech was amazing, just like her letter in the last edition of Australian Forest and Timber.
Many of the council candidates were amazed at the impacts being felt because of green ideology and with two contractors in the room having seven Elphinstone Trailers between them the message hit home with the candidates as to what the impacts could be on their local community and economy. There are seven Wards in the Shire of Murrindindi and four of those are uncontested, however, this did not stop John Walsh the current Mayor and candidate (elected unopposed) for Koriella Ward attending which was greatly appreciated. On top of this seven other candidates attended to answer questions on rate rises, mobile reception and communication, government spending and of course their support for the timber industry. It is great to report that the current mayor with six of the candidates all publicly stated their support for a sustainable timber industry continuing in the Central Highlands native forests, with one candidate stating she needed more information. All candidates including the current mayor also all agreed (if elected) to join FoF on a forest tour so they could better understand how well our forests are managed which was reassuring. The evening concluded with haulage contractor Marshall Walker moving a motion which stated: “We
Guest speaker Cheryl Arnol (from Tasmania) and John Walsh current Mayor and uncontested candidate for Koriella Ward.
call on all levels of Government to stand by the world class Central Highlands Regional Forest Agreement which recognises social, economical and environmental benefits of the forests and for all levels of Government to denounce the illegal forest protests which put the safety of timber workers at risk and breach workplace safety guidelines.” This was seconded by local resident Kevin Attwell and best of all was supported by everyone in attendance including all candidates. Friends of Forestry are determined to ‘degreen’ our
Shires ensuring we have progressive councillors who represent the whole of community – not minority groups and furthermore that all local councils support the right for timber workers to work in a safe environment without fear of injury or persecution from illegal forest protesters. Friends of Forestry thanks Cheryl for her support in attending our forums and we send our heartfelt support to all the Gunns employees who have lost their jobs and to the communities in Tasmania struggling.
Forestry Friends winning with facts AS THE leftist Green activists muddy the truth on most issues, and desperately utilise the internet to try and plead their dishonest case, the timber industry is speaking up! I must be getting old – I can remember when everyone got along! We were proud to be an Aussie. It was safe to walk the streets at night; Santa was a legitimate part of Christmas, kids walked to school. We shared a snag on the barbie, and a beer. Not a bowl of nuts, and an organic wine. Our bread was freshly baked, our milk was from a cow, we ate fatty foods, ice cream was made from ‘real cream’ and jam came in a tin. Vegemite was Australian owned, local councillors were highly respected, politicians kept their secrets in-house, and teachers were Mr, Mrs or Miss, Children were seen and not heard, behaved themselves, respected their elders, and played outside. Public toilets were Male and Female, the family went camping at Christmas time, the bank manager was genuinely caring,
we celebrated our history, and respected our PM. Our annual agricultural Show was about chooks, pigeons, budgies, farming, machinery, a woodchop, a boxing tent, a cake competition and heaps of fatty food. Pubs closed at six, a weekend was a week-end, a working day was 8 hours, local councils fixed roads with their own staff, and traffic management was unheard of. No-one was in a hurry. Trains ran on time, at school we played sport, cough mixture actually fixed a cough, a Protest was something that happened at the races, and a Strike happened at the brewery just before Christmas. Drugs were administered by Doctors and Nurses in hospitals. An internet was something ladies wore on their head to keep their hair in place, and a computer was an administration Clerk adding up in his head. A telephone sat on a small table in the hallway and rang maybe once a day. Tyres on cars had real tread, and actually lasted a while. Meat was sold in a butcher shop, Greens were only found in green-grocer shops and we ate them. Photographs were created in
Chemist shops. The Government supplied electricity, water and gas, and a Doctor had impeccable qualifications. A big night out was a family game of cards at Auntie Kath’s, and a sing-along around the Pianola. Loggers worked long days in the bush, to keep the timber mills going, who supplied the builders who build our homes and the craftsmen who make our furniture – and guess what, they still do that in the same way they have done it for more than a 100 years! Forests were easily accessible by CFA trucks, because Loggers made the tracks for them to get in and fight fires - and guess what, they still do! Magnificent Mt Riddell in Healesville, Victoria, (pictured) stands proud and is thickly forested after being harvested responsibly by timber workers for decades. And ‘she’ has other thickly forested Friends standing tall along the Great Divide, as far as the eye can see, coated in green and respectfully managed as our Forestry Friends do. Greens these days are leftist activists who manipulate opinions and tell dreadful lies to try and
instil fear in to the masses for their own confused agenda. They talk about an endangered possum, tiny little marsupials, and a myriad of animals struggling to survive, as if it is that way, because of forestry workers going about their daily work. Never do they mention the competition these creatures have. The murdering rampage the introduced species fox goes on every night of the week, the escaped or dumped family dog living on wildlife, the introduced rabbit eating everything in sight! Never do they mention their own forest rave parties, drug and alcohol fests, defecating in our local streams. These are their training weekends where they teach young adults how to sabotage machinery, spit in the faces of honest timber workers, how to trespass illegally on to a work site! Oh, and they forget to mention, they all arrive in clapped out old cars - so much for the carbon footprint. They are conning vulnerable young people who think they are going away for a fun weekend. Recently the world acclaimed Healesville Sanctuary was ridiculously criticised by the activist Greens for trying to
reduce its Wallaby population which was getting out of control, and eating all the available natural food, effectively starving other native animals. The same Sanctuary, world renowned for its conservation policies, recently released a beautiful and endangered Sooty Owl it had nursed back to health, in to the surrounding forest near where standard timber management practises are now taking place. The Sanctuary would not have done that if they thought the owl would be at risk. When I was growing up, everybody had a vegetable garden in their backyard. Some of us still do! We grew our vegies, we harvested them when they were ready, and we re-planted them ready for next time. A thriving vegie garden is about good management, just like the forests. Tourists love our bush, and the careful way we manage it. Just ask any Indonesian or Malaysian tourist, they’ve seen the damage irresponsible management can do. We love our bush, and the endless sea of green that stretches across our great State of Victoria continued on page 12.
12 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
A cache of critters: forest reserves preserve biodiversity in production forests By Matthew Lovering
INCE ITS development in the mid-1990s Australia’s National Forest Policy has aimed to get the balance right between forestry and biodiversity conservation. Its forest biodiversity conservation strategy relies on a network of CAR (comprehensive, adequate and representative) reserves and complementary ‘off-reserve’ management in the surrounding production forest. The idea is the retained forests in and outside reserves operate as ‘biodiversity banks’ that regenerate production forests after harvesting. But how effective have they been? Is forestry affecting the biodiversity in nearby forests? Recent research from the Forestry Tasmania and University of Tasmania, with support funding from Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA), shows that it is working well; the biodiversity of retained mature eucalypt forest is not affected by forestry in the surrounding landscape, while production forest can have biodiversity levels similar to mature forest within 50 years of harvest. A team of researchers led by Dr Tim Wardlaw from Forestry Tasmania studied the biodiversity of birds, beetles and vascular plants in a 900 km2 landscape of wet Eucalyptus forest in southern Tasmania, extending from the Huon River estuary to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. ‘We wanted to make sure that the way we manage to conserve forest biodiversity in production forest areas is working,’ says Tim The team compared the
biodiversity in 28 ‘50 metres by 50 metres’ sample plots in regeneration production forests with the biodiversity in 28 near-by mature eucalypt forest plots. These may be formal reserves, such as World Heritage Areas and National Parks, or informal reserves, such as wildlife habitat strips or threatened species reserves. In addition, there
researchers visited each of the 56 plots 16 times during the spring – early autumn period in 2009– 10 and 2010–11. Beetles were collected using a combination of triangular window intercept traps (TWITs) and pitfall traps. These traps were left to collect insects over a three month period; the TWITS collected over 90,000
often at the forefront of the public consciousness when it comes to biodiversity, they are difficult to use in studies like this—they are just too uncommon to contribute meaningfully to answering the question we were asking,” he said. The report found the retained forest (in reserves and areas protected outside reserves)
The study took three years to do, although we had spent a couple of years before that planning for it are areas of State forest outside reserves which are protected from harvesting such as along side riverbanks, on steep slopes or in areas that are not commercial to harvest. In each forest type the sample plots were located in one of four levels of landscape-disturbance intensity—termed a contextclass. Those context-classes spanned a range from largely natural landscapes adjacent to the World Heritage area through to intensively modified landscapes next to agricultural land. ‘The study took three years to do, although we had spent a couple of years before that planning for it,’ says Tim. ‘It was a truly international effort getting the research done. We had three forestry students from France working on the project as part of their degrees, and also had the benefit of two PhD students working on the project as part of their studies.’ In order to monitor the bird life
specimens during the first summer to autumn sampling period. To count the number and species of plants, researchers simply had to record every plant growing within the area of each sample plot; a task in itself. “A statistic we don’t want to repeat in a hurry was the several hundred days spent sorting the 90,000-odd insects we collected into more than 600 species! While wet eucalypt forests mightn’t have the diversity of plants, birds and mammals as some of the drier forests, they make up for it in spades with their huge diversity of small things like insects,” says Tim. “We chose not to include mammals, which are often the focus of biodiversity studies, because they are just not very abundant in these wet eucalypt forests. Likewise we didn’t specifically target rare or endangered species, although swift parrots and wedge tail eagles were both recorded in our surveys. While rare species are
is effective in maintaining biodiversity in production forests, and demonstrates the biodiversity of mature eucalypt forest is not affected by forestry in the surrounding landscape. Although the species richness and abundance of birds and plants were significantly lower in older silvicultural regeneration plots, differences decreased as intensity of disturbance in the surrounding landscape decreased. Depending on levels of disturbance, harvested forests can recover to have a biodiversity similar to mature forest within 50 years of harvest when surrounded by landscapes that are relatively undisturbed. The closer (within 400 metres) a regeneration forest plot is to a patch of mature forest the more abundant and species-rich the bird, insect and plant life becomes. “Broadly speaking we see similar assemblages of plants and beetles in harvested areas as in unharvested parts of the landscape. Birds showed a greater change
Forestry Friends winning with facts continued from page 11. is a tribute to the hard work and responsible management of our timber industry over the past 100 years. It is the most heavily regulated timber industry in the world. As a local member of my rural community, not a local who only visits to carry a protest banner on weekends, I’m proud of our local timber industry workers and their families. Keep up the good work! To the leftist, activist, Greens who build their arguments based on mis-truths, it’s no wonder you only represent 5-10% of the vote at any Federal or State election! Keep having your illegal rave parties and eco-terrorist training weekends, you need them to try and recruit supporters! Graham Taylor - A Friend of Forestry. www.friendsofforestry.org
Mt Riddell circa 1972
Mt Riddell today
in assemblage composition after harvesting. The most disturbancesensitive species we found were those species that preferentially inhabit wet eucalypt forests and rainforests. However, areas harvested 30–50 years previously that were in the least disturbed parts of the production forest landscape had comparable bird assemblages as the mature forest in those landscapes,’ says Tim. ‘Of course species that require hollows for nesting would find areas harvested 30–50 years ago unsuitable for nesting.” The Tasmanian study shows the existing guidelines for how much, and where, mature forest needs to be retained in tall, wet eucalypt forest landscapes do maintain mature forest biodiversity. The results are being presented to land managers in each state that has a Regional Forest Agreement in place with the commonwealth. These presentations are also being given to policy-makers in state and federal jurisdictions. “The key message is that we now have more scientific basis underpinning how much mature forest needs to be retained in the production forest landscape to assist the recolonisation of harvested areas by those mature forest species most sensitive to disturbance. The industry can have confidence in solid scientifically-based evidence supporting their claims that good management is sustaining biodiversity,” says Tim proudly. Contribution of CAR reserves to mature-forest biodiversity in production forest landscapes PNC142-0809
Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 13
Industry downturn claims loggers’ favourite N
O-ONE is immune from the contraction of the forestry industry. Former Australian Forest Contractors Association (AFCA) executive officer and viability consultant Col Shipard is the latest to feel those effects. As AFCA chairman Col McCulloch explained ... “the forestry industry keeps spiralling downward due to issues outside of our control. Many people involved in all facets of our industry will find themselves with some time on
their hands and a new career being sought. “One such person is Col Shipard, a long time servant of the harvest and haul sector and noted industry commentator. “Col’s involvement in the startup and then management and consultancy with the Australian Forest Contractors Association lasted for a touch over 10 years. “In that time he has been welcomed into the homes and businesses of many logging businesses all over Australia, and through this process has made
a vast difference for the better on most of those visits to our members,” said McCulloch. “While those visits were confidential, it was Col’s commentary with the industry papers as well as his many speaking engagements at industry forums that set him apart from the rest. “No question too tough, no answer not understood, and most of all no-one left wondering if the issue at hand was to the detriment of any harvest and haul business
September meeting success
throughout Australia. “Col’s time has come and gone with AFCA, and we are all the poorer for his departure. As chairman of the Board of AFCA, and on behalf of the Board and Members, I would wish Col every success in new ventures, and remind him he leaves behind a legacy of friendship and knowledge no other person would have achieved in this type of Industry. “All the very best, mate, from your friends and colleagues throughout Australia,” McCulloch said.
THE MELBOURNE Hoo Hoo Club September meeting at the Royal South Yarra Lawn Tennis Club featured wines from Gippsland winery Narkoojee near Glengarry. Winery director Ken John spoke about the wines and development of the vineyard by Harry Friend and family, which has been awarded five stars by James Halliday. Pictured at the meeting (from left) Kevin Ezard, Chris Rogers, Heath Caddy, Trish Waters, Leo Quinn (President), Michelle Russell, Martin Pretty, Rick Waters, Glen Johnstone.
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14 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
VicForests looks to future after challenging year V
icForests’ chief executive officer Robert Green has commended the Victorian timber industry for its resilience in the current economic climate and is looking forward to the future after a challenging 12 months. Green said the high value of the Australian dollar and global economic conditions meant the past year had been a difficult one financially for many industries including our sustainable timber industry. “Despite the difficulties we’ve faced, there have also been a number of notable achievements with none greater than successfully regenerating a record amount of previously harvested forest,” he said. “Economic conditions affected many of our customers and we also saw a considerable reduction in the volume of high quality timber delivered to a major sawlog customer. “The combination of these issues and legal expenses being the highest in VicForests’ history impacted heavily on our financial result.
“While we recorded an operating profit and posted positive Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT), our net result was minus $96,000. “Our legal expenses were significant and, despite being
the last year and will focus on improving the strength of our balance sheet during 2012-13. “A more secure customer base, along with improved certainty in relation to pricing and timber
A number of notable achievements with none greater than successfully regenerating a record amount of previously harvested forest. awarded costs when the Supreme Court dismissed proceedings brought by an environment group in March, we do not expect to recover much of the expense incurred. The decision has been appealed. “However, we have managed to stabilise our cash position over
Taxpayers foot the bill for anti-forestry activities VICTORIA’S MINISTER for Agriculture and Food Security, Peter Walsh, has slammed the actions of anti-forestry groups and says their actions have cost taxpayers hundreds and thousands of dollars. The Minister was highlighting VicForests’ performance during the past year and said the forestry enterprise continued to create jobs and strengthen the Victorian economy despite the antics of anti-forestry groups opposed to sustainable native forestry. “The native forest sector is the foundation of Victoria’s timber industry, which generates around $1.5 billion of activity for the State’s economy each year. “Native forestry activity supports 11,000 jobs in regional Victoria and contributes to vibrant, sustainable regional communities. “Statements by groups like the Wilderness Society are at odds with the fact that VicForests, the State’s statutory forestry enterprise, has achieved an $11.58 million net profit during its eight year life and returned dividends in excess of $5 million to the State during that time,” the Minister said. Walsh said VicForests would have returned a healthy profit in 2011-12 if not for legal costs incurred as a result of environmental organisations challenging the performance of State Government forestry policies and regulations. “VicForests and the Victorian Government, through the departments of Primary Industries and Sustainability and Environment as well as Victoria Police, have been forced to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars this year to manage protesters who have unlawfully disrupted legitimate and authorised harvesting activities,” said the Minister. Walsh added that it should not go unrecognised that VicForests had achieved some significant results during the past year, including handing back a record amount of regenerated forest to the Department of Sustainability and Environment.
sales, should assist our financial performance in the coming year. “The purchase of the Heyfield mill in late May by Australian Sustainable Hardwoods Pty Ltd from the troubled Gunns company is a significant, longterm investment and highlights the confidence that exists within
Victoria’s sustainable hardwood industry. “Government support, an enthusiastic new VicForests’ Board and further investment by the private sector indicates the future remains healthy for the industry, and the thousands of jobs it provides in rural and metropolitan areas,” he said. Green said more than 6500 hectares of forest had been successfully regrown following harvesting operations, helping to ensure the long term health of Victoria’s forest estate. “A record amount of regenerated forest was handed back to the Department of Sustainability and Environment for ongoing management during the year and this forest will again be used by the community for recreation and by native fauna as habitat. “In addition, we have maintained our certification to the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS), guaranteeing the sustainability credentials of our operations for our customers. “The efforts of our staff
Robert Green, CEO VicForests ... “further investment by the private sector indicates the future remains healthy for the industry”.
and contractors in relation to Occupational Health & Safety over the past year are to be applauded, with staff Lost Time Injuries (LTIs) reducing by 50% to their lowest ever level and contractor LTIs also down by 14% on the previous 12 months. “We look forward to playing an important role in Victoria’s economy and continuing to supply sustainably produced timber for highly sought after, quality products,” Green said.
Presentation of valuable wood specimen collection to University The University of Melbourne’s Creswick campus was recently presented with a valuable wood specimen collection, available through the campus library to students, researchers and the community. The HE Dadswell Memorial wood specimen collection is a generous gift from the International Wood Collectors Society (IWCS). Alumnus Ian McLaughlin from IWCS presented the collection to Associate Professor Gerd Bossinger, Head of the Department of Forest and Ecosystem Science at the University of Melbourne’s School of Land and Environment. Ian spearheaded the initiative with support from IWCS members, investing tremendous efforts over three years to develop over seven tonnes of wood into a presentable and accessible reference library of close to 400 specimens. The collection represents a sub-set of the original Dadswell collection still maintained at CSIRO, which contains over 45,000 samples representing 10,000 species, 2200 genera and 240 botanical families.
The collection is named after eminent wood scientist H.Eric Dadswell, whose research career led to his role as Division of Forest Products Chief at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (later named CSIRO) from 1960-1964. With a strength in wood anatomy, Dadswell authored many CSIRO publications and was a driving force in sourcing the wood from across Australia for research. Gordon Dadswell, son of H.Eric Dadswell and current University of Melbourne PhD student, was in attendance at the presentation. Since the 1960s the specimens have travelled far and wide from CSIRO to LaTrobe University, to Australian National University, and now to their final home at Creswick campus in the heart of forest education and research where they can be enjoyed in their painstakingly restored form. Whether used for study, research, wood structure examination or species identification, specimens will be a valuable resource to students, researchers, teachers, collectors, tradesmen, craftsmen, and hobbyists alike.
Log on Today! Visit www.timberbiz.com.au/dtn to sign up today.
Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 15
What do you want from your association? W
HY WOULD you join the Australian Forest Contractors Association? For some people it might be to get industry information; for others it might be to have other people in the same line of business to talk to. What would motivate you to want to join? In an effort to get a better understanding of the Australian industry’s needs, AFCA has asked Australian Forests & Timber News to conduct a survey on their behalf to find out what people want in an industry association and to get your views on whether they are delivering that for their members. While all members of AFCA receive Australian Forests & Timber News as a benefit of membership so will hopefully complete the survey after reading this. We are also interested in having former and prospective members complete the survey to get the widest possible view of what the industry wants or doesn’t want in the industry association. As a sweetener to take part, two of AFCA’s sponsors have donated draw prizes for those who complete the survey. Mind you, you’ll have to complete it by 31 October to go into the draw.
To take part, go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AFCA. It should take you no more than three minutes to complete but could make a big difference to how AFCA is structured and operates. Thank you rewards: Complete the survey by 31 October and you could pick up one of 13 prizes on offer. •K omatsu thermos with cups integrated into the design top and bottom. Very stylish and robust. – 2 prizes •K omatsu Backpack, laptop bag. It’s got more zips and pockets than a pair of cargo pants! – 2 prizes •K omatsu Jacket with zip out vest plus Komatsu cap. Look cool and stay at the right temperature. – 4 prizes •T wo Komatsu ceramic mugs. Man size mugs for a decent cuppa. – 2 prizes •A pair of Komatsu sunglasses. Very smart and comes with a protective soft pouch. – 1 prize •H itachi three-way jacket with zip out vest that reverses to become high vis. The perfect all-purpose jacket to stay safe and warm. – 2 prizes
16 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Above average fire potential in some areas L
ARGE AREAS of southern Australia, from the east coast to the west coast, face above average fire potential for the 2012-13 fire season, despite the extensive fires in some parts of the country over the last 12 months, according to the latest Bushfire CRC Outlook. However, the area most at risk does not extend as far north as was seen in 201112. The above average forecast is due to the abundant grass growth from the high amount of rain from two strong La Niña events seen in the past two years across the eastern seaboard and South Australia. Fuel moisture content within forests is still high, but this rainfall has continued to provide widespread vegetation growth in the grasslands, which remain a threat. In Western Australia, above average fire potential is expected across the South West, Mid-West, Desert and Nullarbor regions. Above average fire activity is predicted in the western part of the West Coast, North East Pastoral and North West Pastoral districts of South Australia due to abundant and continuous grass fuels. Current grass fuel levels throughout Queensland are considered abundant and continuous. As a consequence, fast running, high intensity grass fires can be expected over most of the State, with particular concerns for southern and western Queensland. In New South Wales, above normal fire potential has been assessed for grassland
areas west of the Great Dividing Range, the Tablelands, the Upper Hunter and the Far West. Above normal fire potential is predicted in the Monaro region and Murrumbidgee corridor of the ACT and south eastern New South Wales. Victoria is predicting an average fire season, although key grassland areas authorities are monitoring include the Mallee, Wimmera and the South West. Tasmania is expecting normal to below normal potential is expected for the fire season up until the New Year. Large fires may be possible in grasslands in the late summer. Large areas of Northern Australia will face above-normal fire potential for the 2012-13 fire season, despite the extensive fires in some parts of the region last season. Significant areas of land were not burnt last year so the fire potential in these areas remains above-normal, largely because of the widespread vegetation growth in many areas fuelled by the wet weather that accompanied the strong La Niña events of 2010 and 2011. In Western Australia, there are a number of areas that have above-average potential in the Kimberly, Pilbara and Northern Goldfields, with fuel loads remaining significant due to high rainfall. The Top End, Gulf Region and south west of the Northern Territory can expect above-normal bushfire potential thanks
to above-average rainfall and limited fire mitigation opportunities. Queensland faces above-average fire risk in the central west due to high grass fuel loads.
Map courtesy Bushfire CRC.
Fire protection solutions for the forestry industry WITH THE possibility of fire ever-present in forestry environments, first-class safety systems and procedures are essential. Considering the many combustible components in heavy vehicles that are in close proximity to ignition and heat sources, as well as the potential for timber to add to the fuel load, it’s clear that the risk of a fire can be high. Fire protection specialist Wormald offers a range of
Innovative technology vehicle fire suppression (VFS) systems that provide vital risk management for heavy vehicles. In the event of a fire, the principal aim of the systems is to provide early detection and warning to allow extra time for the driver to safely evacuate, while at the same time quickly suppressing the fire to help minimise damage to the vehicle. The Wormald Foam Water Spray Vehicle Fire Suppression System features high pressure, small droplet nozzles that target risk areas such as the turbo charger and starter motor in the engine compartment. The system utilises the fire suppressing and containment features of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). In
the event of a fire, a continuous stream of foam water spray is discharged for approximately 60 seconds to rapidly suppress flames and dramatically cool hot surfaces to help prevent reflash. At the same time, the generated foam acts to smother fuel and oilspill fires, helping to prevent reignition. The ANSUL™ A-101 Dry Chemical Vehicle Fire Suppression System discharges a multipurpose dry chemical agent known as Foray® into the risk area to suppress the fire. These systems can be designed to flood entire volumes with dry chemical agent or aim at specific highhazard areas. Both systems are installed with automatic detection and actuation systems as well as cabin and ground level manual actuators. These manual actuators allow the operator to activate the fire suppression system if required. Vehicle operators must also be fully trained on how to manually activate the vehicle fire suppression systems, and on how to use any fire protection equipment located in their vehicles such as portable fire extinguishers. The Pro-Cab emergency air system from Scott Safety provides personal respiratory and flame protection for multiple users in hazardous conditions, such as a vehicle burn-over. The Pro-Cab system incorporates
The Pro-Cab emergency air system from Scott Safety provides personal respiratory and flame protection for multiple users in hazardous conditions.
innovative technology which provides vehicle operators with breathable air during a burn-over. The emergency air system supplies one to seven users simultaneously with clean,
breathable air, providing a safeguard from toxic gases. The system gives individuals protection from smoke and flames via flame-retardant air hoods, coupled with flame resistant
supply hoses and pneumatics. It is activated by simply turning on the cylinder valve for a constant flow of clean, breathable air individually supplied to each wearer.
We’re right behind you in the field Combining remote locations, harsh operating environments and heavy vehicles and equipment, the forestry and timber industries face significant fire risks. With Wormald, you have an organisation that is always right behind you when you need us most. We’ve helped prevent and protect against fires for over 120 years. Wormald has the fire protection solutions for heavy vehicles that range from fire detection and suppression systems, to portable fire equipment, personal protection gear and staff training; our end-to-end tailored solutions help protect major forestry operations throughout Australia and the Pacific region. So, you can get on with the job, confident that your people, resources and machinery are supported by one of the world’s fire safety leaders. That’s peace of mind. Trust the forestry fire safety experts. Call 1300 556 015, email email@example.com or visit wormald.com.au/vehicles
Pictured: Cylinders and Extinguishers
18 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Fire research work boosted by Victorian Government T
HE VICTORIAN Government’s $6.45 million package to fund fire research projects by the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) will enhance the effectiveness of bushfire management agencies in Victoria. Ryan Smith, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, said the research, commissioned by the Department of Sustainability and Environment, would cover bushfire risk management, fire danger and severity rating, improving planned burning, and the use of fire to manage our flora and fauna. “Despite rain over the past two fire seasons, Victoria is one of the most fire prone places on earth. “Bushfire will always be a part of the Victorian landscape and the Coalition Government is committed to improving fire management practices to protect our communities and the environment. “The Bushfire CRC is internationally renowned and will engage research partners from Australia and New Zealand over the next three to four years to deliver this program. “This research will enhance our knowledge of bushfire and help us to prepare and protect Victorian communities from the threat of damaging bushfires,” the Minister said. The research partners of the Bushfire CRC include 15 universities, the Bureau of Meteorology, Geoscience Australia and the CSIRO. Existing and new partnerships will be used to deliver this important research package. The chief executive officer of the Bushfire CRC, Gary Morgan, said the new projects complemented its current national research program that is funded by the Australian Government and State and Territory partners.
“Over the last decade the Bushfire CRC has built up a capacity to properly research the key issues out of major fire events and their potential impacts into the future. This targeted contract research work, while clearly aimed at Victoria’s requirements, will be an additional benefit for our partners, the fire and emergency service agencies across Australia, who already benefit from the nationally coordinated program of fire research out of the CRC Program. “The Bushfire CRC will now work closely with research partners to find the right researchers to conduct this new research. We are in the fortunate position of having a network of expert researchers across Australia and New Zealand that can be drawn upon as new research needs arise.” The Bushfire CRC has previously conducted contract research for the Victorian Government in the evaluation of the both the DC-10 and Convair water bombing aircraft as well the extensive work undertaken by the research taskforce following Black Saturday. Other contract work has been conducted for the Australian Government on bushfire detection cameras and a new fire danger rating system, and community surveying for the Western Australian Government following fires in early 2011. The contracted projects under this new agreement cover the following broad areas: Bushfire climatology: explaining past bushfire weather and climate and how these may vary under climate change projections to build a better risk map for Victoria. Severe fire behaviour characterisation: Better describe the spread of bushfires and the effect of land use planning responses in reducing bushfire risk. 2009 Black Saturday and other
large fires - model the state of landscape dryness based on fuel moistures of live and dead fuel components in the dry, damp, and wet forests on Black Saturday. Landscape Moisture Modelling: develop models to predict the flammability of forest fuels in the Victorian landscape as a result of changes in fuel moisture content through the drying and wetting of fuels underexposure to the weather and sun. Fire severity rating: assess the current bushfire hazard mapping practices and explore the relationship between fire behaviour indices of fire damage potential and community loss. Fire Transitions across urban boundaries: identify from analysis of historical fire events the modes by which fires in particular fuel types transition into urban fires that then directly impact houses, structures and people. Probability of fire ignition and escalation: establish a conceptual framework and models to predict bushfire ignitions and escalation for strategic and tactical bushfire management planning. Smoke Impacts on community health and social perceptions: identify the human health responses to smoke exposure through determining population groups most likely to be vulnerable to impact, and establishing trigger levels for impact in terms of changes to ambient air quality. Also identifying the relationship between real and perceived levels of risk to human health through smoke exposure. Smoke transportation and emissions modelling: improve the capability to model and predict the spread and accumulation or dissipation of smoke for planned and unplanned fires through improved smoke trajectory and accumulation or dissipation modelling.
Despite rain over the past two fire seasons, Victoria is one of the most fire prone places on earth.
Managing scale and uncertainty in fire management planning: develop models to describe the links between fire science and ecological knowledge, and model the relationships between fire severity and fuel and habitat structures in Victorian foothill
forests. Growth stage and habitat analysis: model the relationships between flora, fauna, habitat attributes and vegetation growth stages in Victorian foothill forests, and use these models to refine the ecosystem resilience inputs into adaptive fire management.
Strong future for Queensland’s rural firies QUEENSLAND’S NEWMAN Government and the Rural Fire Brigades Association of Queensland (RFBAQ) have agreed on initiatives to ensure rural volunteer firefighters are empowered and equipped to protect their communities into the future. RFBAQ leadership and Minister Dempsey held talks yesterday and agreed that Government efficiencies for Rural Fire would be achieved by the use of saving measures and a revised staffing level. “Under an agreed new model, there will be no closure of any Rural Fire Service (RFS) area offices,” said the Minister for Police
and Community Safety Jack Dempsey. “Unfortunately as a part of this process, there will be a reduction in the number of full time equivalent positions, but this will be limited to executive and administration areas. “I stress though, that no adjustments to the rural operations structure will take place until after the fire season in March 2013.” The Minister also announced that the Member for Mirani Ted Malone would head a special Ministerial review into the RFS. “Ted Malone is well respected among the RFS and regional emergency services
community and will lead a team of representatives from both arms of the fire service to investigate the future of the RFS in terms of structure, function, leadership and funding,” he said. “They will investigate a new model that brings more autonomy, efficiency and less red tape that has been tying up hardworking rural firefighters who just want to get on with the job.” The review is scheduled for completion by February next year. RFBAQ president Mike Garrahy said the restructure meant volunteer firefighters and
the communities could be assured that the State Government will give 100% support to brigades. “This allows Rural Fire Brigades to have support and certainty going into the worst bushfire season in more than 40 years.” Garrahy said that an earlier proposal to close area offices in Roma, Barcaldine/ Emerald, Charters Towers/Cloncurry, Innisfail, Maryborough would not go ahead. These offices would remain appropriately staffed, and regional offices in Maryborough and Toowoomba would also remain open and staffed.
Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 19
Latest information keeps operators a-head of changes W
Haglof calliper from setting them up through to using them. “Then we moved outside where HVP had arranged processed stems. We had two PCs set up with Waratah’s TimberRite simulator and stem files on them. We then processed the stems through the PC simulator and downloaded the calibration data where the contractors and operators got to have a hands on go with the callipers. “This was the best part of the training because the contractors
and operators could see how easy the callipers are to use. It also gave them the opportunity to have a go and allowed them to ask questions whereas in a classroom situation these questions may not have been asked. “In total the training ran for three hours and the feedback from the courses was very positive. “A lot of contractors and operators couldn’t be leave how easy and fast the callipers were to use,” said Brendan.
Logging industry needs skilled workers
HE FOLLOWING article (albeit from British Columbia) could well be written from an Australian base, so it proves that we are not alone in our battle to maintain a strong, skilled workforce in the forestry industry. The logging industry in and around Prince George is very busy. “We are really seeing a ramping up of the industry,” says MaryAnne Arcand of the Central Interior Logging Association. She says the predictions are for the activity to increase over the next few years, the problem is finding the people to do the work.”We have a tremendous worker shortage, I could use 500 trucks today,” says Arcand, who claims that when spring break comes loggers will end up leaving wood on the ground because there aren’t enough equipment operators or drivers to make sure the logs get out of the bush. Arcand says the situation is in part, the result of skilled workers moving to find work elsewhere during the downturn. “Of course, mining is ramping up in the area, and those are all transferable skills, you still need loggers. They’re not logging for two by fours, they’re logging for right of way and pipeline and mine site clearing, so they’re still doing what they know how to do, its just not necessarily for the production of lumber.”
Arcand says there are concerns that when the U.S. lumber market returns to it pre-crash level, there just won’t be enough people available to do the work to produce enough product to meet the demand. There are also challenges in trying to compete with the pay scale offered by mining. That’s why the Central Interior Logging Association has developed “FIRST Logger” which is the Forest Industry Readiness Skills Training. Kate Iverson is the Director of Training and says the program is looking for young adults, who are willing and ready to start new careers in forest harvesting. The program trains people on equipment and trucks, gives participants the certifications needed to start a job. “We still have a labour pool that is interested in forestry. It’s been interesting to see the folks who are coming back to forestry from mining or oil and gas because they don’t want to be away from their families, they don’t want to spend all that time in remote camps, they want to work in their own backyard.” Iverson says there is a different model being examined to try and bring people back to forestry, for instance, having three or four women share the responsibilities for a truck, “They only have to spend 20 or 30 hours a week, and can still have time to spend with their family and children at home.”
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Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 21
Forest assessment training well received P
RIVATE FORESTRY Service Queensland has many strings to its bow, with another being specialist training. PFSQ had been successful in the second round of Caring for Our Country project funding
with the Reveg.net project which was designed in part to educate indigenous groups about sustainable forest management. After conducting a five-day Native Forest Management Workshop in North Queensland
The resource assessment team - Gary Clarke, Gavin Kay, Ed Masden, Sean Ryan, PJ, CJ & Dave Menzies.
China Camp resource plan.
Acacia mangium and Gary Clarke.
for the Burungu Aboriginal Corporation it was decided to develop an Australian Forestry Standard management plan. As part of the management planning process PFSQ helped train the Managers of the China Camp region of North Queensland in forest assessment to help define and quantify their forest resource. Key personnel involved in the project were Sean Ryan (PFSQ Executive Officer), Gary Clarke (PFSQ Operations Manager), and David Menzies (PFSQ Field Officer), Gavin Kay (Terrain NRM), and from the Burungu Aboriginal Corporation: CJ – Elder; Edward Masden - Land Manager; and PJ - Land Manager. “The goal of the training was to teach the men how to conduct a resource assessment and utilize the skills gained in the five-day native forest management workshop and implement in the field,” said Menzies. “The guys were very keen especially in regards to what was perceived as a viable wood product, what was considered a sustainable yield and some of the technology employed to assess the resource. PJ was extremely adept at using the Trimble Juno with Arcpad software to thematically map their forest resource and Ed was particularly keen on sustainable yield. CJ was motivated by the extreme brush cutting through heavy ‘waitawhile’ vine to clean up some of his bush tucker tracks,” he said. Menzies said that once the AFS forest management plan had been developed PFSQ would help the Burungu Aboriginal Corporation introduce it to the Wetland Management Authority (WETMAR) for approval. So, what’s next on the agenda for those involved with the project? … “We’ve got to analyze the data, map the forest units, prepare the AFS Plan, present it to WETMAR, and then implement the plan,” he said.
Trimble GPS and ESRI Arcpad training - Gavin Kay, PJ and Dave Menzies.
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22 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
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Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 23
WELL program helps boost confidence T
Fiona D’Alessandro and Rick Parker (Carter Holt Harvey) doing some one-on-one training as part of the WELL project.
know what? We have even seen an increase in productivity. I just cannot recommend this program highly enough,” said Gilmore. D’Alessandro outlined some of the teaching strategies used. “We prefer short sessions held on a
Riverina Institute wins NSW Training Award TAFE NSW Riverina Institute has been adjudged 2012 NSW Large Training Provider of the Year. Institute director Kerry Penton said the win reinforced that Riverina Institute was the very
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established our reputation as a leading vocational education and training organisation.” As the largest provider of vocational education and training in the Riverina-Murray region in southern NSW, Riverina Institute builds the skills, qualifications and employability of around 32,000 students each year. Forestry is one of many programs (from certificate through to advanced diploma level) the institute specialises in. The institute also specialises in Conservation and Land Management; Sustainable Agriculture; Permaculture; Rural Health & Community Services; Creative Arts, Design & Media; Sport & Recreation; Engineering & Mining; Aerospace; Public Safety, and Wine & Food.
regular basis. Everyone undergoes an initial assessment so that we know everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. That helps me to see where and how I need to customize the training. Each session emphasises interaction and we use
a variety of visual tools to carry the message.” The message seems to be spreading as FITC is currently in discussions to extend the WELL program for another private organisation in southern NSW.
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regular team meetings and that indicates to me an increased level of confidence,” he said. “One of the topics used to develop skills is site safety awareness and we proudly maintain a perfect safety record. And you
HE FOREST Industry Training Centre (FITC) is gaining an enviable reputation for its successful involvement in Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) programs. WELL is a Government-funded program that assists organisations to train workers, providing them with language, literacy and numeracy skills directly applicable to their everyday work. Workers are not only better able to perform their current functions and contribute effectively to workplace processes, but are also given skills to help them grow their careers. Highly qualified leading WELL practitioner, Fiona D’Alessandro has been integral to the success of WELL programs at Carter Holt Harvey’s Tumut and Oberon mills. Fiona’s commitment to focus on skills for local needs was recognized recently with a Riverina Institute Staff Excellence Award. Her enthusiasm for the program and the progress of her students is evident. “We mix the groups up from across different parts of the site, and they all love to see and hear how things are done in different areas. It stimulates conversation and questions, and we use this to reinforce some of the key principles of communication,” D’Alessandro said. The WELL Tumut project has exceeded expectations so much so that extra funding was sought for a further 40 places. Manager for CHH’s Gilmore Mill, John Lawson couldn’t be happier. “There was a massive advantage in running the course. My teams are communicating and contributing better than ever before. There is greater participation in our
24 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Virtual-ly trouble-free learning for newcomers L
ET’S FACE it, to become proficient at anything requires training – sometimes lots of it – but for the forestry industry the cost of training on site can be significant. With countless thousands of dollars tied up in machinery there is some trepidation about putting a novice in the seat. It’s not just that inexperience could lead to damage, but there’s also the downtime while the machine is not working at its productive best. That’s not to say the “chuck ‘em in at the deep end” hasn’t been successful in the past. Now, though, technology is providing a way to train forestry machine operators without having to travel to a logging site, without having to tie up valuable machinery time, and without the possibility of damage. Modern day simulators cover the whole gamut of driving some of the “big boys” in the forest, and it’s all done with plenty of reality, precision, timing, and best practice. A simulator is an excellent tool for training machine operators and service personnel, and can be used to teach trainees different working methods, how to use the measuring system, and how to adjust the setup for the base machine. “John Deere’s new E-Series Training simulators allow trainees to repeat a particular stage in a process several times and to practice different working methods. The information supplied by TimberLink helps in monitoring changes in the machine’s performance and the effects of various settings,” says Kane Dive, Marketing Communications
Officer for Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia. The simulator produces a real-time feedback report on all exercises. The report shows how long the operator took to complete the exercise, the volume of forwarded timber, key statistics on the efficiency of boom operation, and operator accuracy. The simulators are equipped with the same measuring and control system used in real forest machines. They provide a safe environment in which to learn important skills before moving on to a real logging site. “The John Deere simulator has exactly the same keypads and seat, TimberMatic H-09 control system, and FlexController control modules as the real John Deere forestry machines. The forestry machine’s operations are controlled with the TimberMatic H-09 control system, and parameters can be adjusted specifically to suit each operator and machine. “At the beginning of an exercise, the operator chooses the forest machine, harvester, or forwarder they wish to use. “After this, the operator proceeds in the same way as they would with a real machine: Operator logs into the stand with personal machine operator ID and then proceeds with harvesting. The simulator can also produce a machine-specific real time feedback report on all exercises. The report shows the time taken, the volume of timber produced, and the key statistics on operator accuracy,” he said.
The TimberLink program display gives a quick overview of the machine’s performance. It is possible to use numerous machines simultaneously at each stand by connecting several simulators to the same exercise. This enables simultaneous work by a complete production chain at one stand. All the users in a given exercise
can see all the machines in use. Trainees can follow all the simulators in a classroom via a separate trainer’s display. “Tracked machine simulators are used to simulate the operations and working methods of the TimberRite measuring system and Waratah harvester heads. Simulators are equipped with the same components as real machines, including the TimberRite measuring system, control modules, and SureGrip joysticks. An exercise on a tracked machine simulator can be scored in the same way as a corresponding exercise on an E-Series Simulator. “Training terrains and stands are easy to create with the John Deere Terrain Editor program. “Various types of trees (different species, straight, curved, or decaying trees), rocks, terrain types, driving tracks, etc. can also be added later on. “Every E-Series Simulator includes one pre-programmed training terrain. The simulator exercises are compatible with all John Deere E-Series Simulators. The John Deere Terrain Editor is a separate program which can be installed on any PC,” he said.
Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 25
Biodiversity and silviculture workshops prove their worth W
HAT DO glossy black cockatoos and silviculture principles have in common? Ask any of the 100 or more Forests NSW contractors and staff who recently attended the ‘Biodiversity and Silviculture’ workshops on the upper north coast and they’ll answer ‘Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals’ (IFOA). IFOA’s are Forests NSW’s mandate to harvest in the State’s managed native forests. Riverina Institute’s Forest Industry Training Centre has recently commenced the rollout of a State-wide training and accreditation program for more than 400 Forests NSW contractors and staff across NSW. Key topics addressed in the two-day workshops have been the application of biodiversity protection prescriptions, and the use of a variety of silvicultural strategies to manage the forests sustainably. The training program is using two relatively new national Units of Competency for the accreditation process. Feedback from the workshops delivered recently in Grafton was positive, with those attending agreeing their awareness and understanding of prescriptions and principles had greatly improved. “I now understand how the exclusion zones aim to protect threatened species and their habitats,” one of the young machinery operators who attended said. “I used to just avoid the marked trees because I was told to and never really thought too much about why. The workshop has opened my eyes.” Riverina Institute’s Forest Industry Training Centre Business Development Manager, David Priem, has liaised closely with Forests NSW to customise
the delivery of training and make it digestible for those attending. “It’s been a complex process, given that there are several regions across the State, each with their own IFOA and terms of licence under the Forestry and National Park Estate Act, the Threatened Species Conservation Act, Protection of the Environment (Operations) Act and the Fisheries Management Act,” David said. “Each IFOA is a legal document and they aren’t exactly bedtime reading.” One further challenge David said was the issue of workplace literacy skills. “We knew from previous experience with Private Native Forestry Training that some of those attending the training would be more at home in the bush than the classroom. “I’m proud of our development team who have managed to pitch the workshop at exactly the right level. “From the start, our key aim was to develop interesting and engaging training material that demonstrates how they can maintain compliance during forestry operations. “Everyone now fully realizes that there is no job if they break the rules.” Each workshop includes visual presentations by Forests NSW ecologists and silviculturalists, who were ready and able to answer questions and provide explanations for location-specific issues. “It’s been a good exercise in communication,” one of Forests NSW senior officers who attended said. “We want the contractors to question and discuss the harvest operation plan and keep us informed, so that we can help them get the timber out without harming the environment.” Leading the training delivery team are Karl Mullan and Dr Hans Porada, who together inject
A harvesting contractor learning how to use a dendrometer to determine the basal area of a forest.
knowledge, enthusiasm and professional rigour to the training and assessment process. Hans is ex Forests NSW and knows the eucalypt silviculture strategies like the back of his hand. Hans is currently a student himself, studying Certificate IV Training Assessment and Education through TAFE NSW Riverina Institute Albury Campus. “I’m very much enjoying the presenting at the workshops,” Hans said. “Plus, I‘m finding plenty of practical opportunities to fine tune my skills in training and assessment. “Pitching the message just right is a real skill, and it definitely helps to have well developed resources from Riverina Institute’s Forest Industry Training Centre to help sell the message.” David Priem said the Centre’s trainers take into consideration learning and language issues on
an individual basis and make reasonable adjustment where required. “However, our client Forests NSW, needs to know these contractors and operators are getting it right every time and following instructions to the
letter and interpreting regulations correctly,” he said. “The workshops have been designed to give all those attending every opportunity to display their understanding.” Photos: Ripple Multimedia. Photographer: Boris Daniljchenko.
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26 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Two decades of helping people in the timber workforce By David McElvenny ATTA Secretary
WENTY YEARS ago a group of forest harvesting trainers got together to discuss ways of improving work practices and standardising training strategies. This was several years before the introduction of competency units or Training Packages, and well before the formation of Industry Skills Councils. Although the members of this group had come from all over Australia and worked in a wide range of environments, they realised they had a lot in common. Each trainer was looking for a consistent set of benchmarks that they could work to, and an ‘industry standard’ for assessment performance. In 1992 they formed an association called the Australian Timber Trainers Association (ATTA), with an opening membership of about 30 people. Since that time, ATTA has grown both in membership numbers and coverage, and it now represents all sectors of the forest and forest products industry. Members come from all states and territories and work in private registered training organisations, TAFE colleges, partnerships and industry consultancies. ATTA has been holding annual workshops since it began, choosing venues around the country that have strong ties to the timber industry.
The purpose of the workshops is to bring together industry trainers and assessors so they can share their experiences, validate their assessment processes, and hear presentations from a range of industry experts and government agencies. It is also an opportunity to see local industry sights in various field excursions, and gain a better understanding of the issues in that region. Now that ATTA has taken on the role of ‘national training provider network’, the association is entering a new period of growth. Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are able to discuss issues at a management level and be represented as a collective voice to Government bodies and Industry Skills Councils on matters of concern. Each year ATTA invites ForestWorks, the Industry Skills Council for the forest and forest products industry, to attend and participate in discussions. ForestWorks has been able to use this advice to inform its decisions on Training Package updates and continuous improvement programs. In 2011, ForestWorks established a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) network to gain information from RTO managers and seek their input on the development and review of competencies and qualifications. ATTA members form the backbone of this consultative group. On a State basis, ATTA members participate alongside non-members
Lakes Entrance (Vic) 2011. Tim Isaacs (ATTA President) is interviewed by WIN TV for its news broadcast that night.
Darwin (NT) workshop, 2008. A sub-group of attendees head off to the Tiwi islands for a tour of the African mahogany plantation and Tiwi artists’ gallery.
ATTA members contributing to a consultation session on Training Package updates and a review of competency units. Annual workshops typically have two days devoted to presentations, group discussions and other venue-based sessions.
Hobart workshop (Tasmania) 2010. David Foster, world champion axeman, receives a bouquet of flowers from Kathy Ware after giving a talk to ATTA members on his experiences in the industry and observations on life.
Albany (WA) 2012. Brett Cooper (left), from WorkSafe Western Australia, is thanked by Bill Towie after delivering a presentation on state and territory harmonisation in the work health and laws.
Albury (NSW) workshop, 2007. Visit to the Lucas Mill factory at Wooragee, Victoria, to see the latest developments in Lucas portable sawmills.
Mt Gambier (SA) workshop, 2009. Field excursion to a radiata pine plantation forest to look at harvesting machinery, silviculture techniques and forest management.
at meetings of the Victorian Training Provider Network. Following the success of this group, the NSW Industry Training Advisory Body announced that it would form a similar network, and the first meeting was held in September 2012. The consultative body to the Queensland Government is Timber Queensland. It is also in the process of setting up a training provider network, and ATTA members are again at the forefront of the group. Similarly the Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council in Western Australia engages in significant consultation with ATTA members. Most recently, ATTA has established an online forum called ATTANET to enable industry trainers to share their experiences and discuss issues of importance. Although this is still in its infancy, it is hoped that ATTANET will become a valuable support network for the large number of trainers who often need to work independently as they deliver training in scattered locations across large rural areas. The ATTA website is also continuing to offer new services to members and non-members. The latest addition to the website is free access to a range of validated assessment instruments. These can be downloaded from: www.atta.org. au.
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28 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Service with a smile when Hugh Finnish-es his training! H
“My first machine - and I still have it - is an 1840 Timberjack Forwarder. My first job in Canberra was doing sub-contract work for Nino Rosin where I was driving his Harvester and the Forwarder as well.” After that he moved to Bomballa for a while then bought a job from Paul Rosin in Tumut ... “one of his T1 jobs cutting pulp to roadside for Norske Skog in Albury”. “We ended up with a Timbco Harvester with one of Paul’s (Paul Rosin) heads on it and we still have the same Forwarder and then we upgraded to another 445 Timbco. We worked there for six or seven years until our contract finished and then did a bit of freelance stuff down in Victoria for an export company and by that stage we had sold one Timbco and bought two others. We had an 820 Clambunk we bought and rebuilt and we had another 445 and by that stage we had two 1840s.”
Some years ago he had a chance meeting with Markku and remained in touch with the Finlander. Later, Markku, who had been appointed the Australian agent for Logset, told Hugh of how Logset was going to introduce its new 10F Forwarder onto the Australian market and how the company was planning something different in its approach. “We were pretty interested and had a sneak peak at the machine just before it went down to AUSTimber (in Mount Gambier in March). That was our first contact with the machine. “Once ‘Steppie” (Harold Brant) had finished with it down in the south-east of SA we demoed it on a site up in Tumut (Monaro Logging site) doing some mature clearfall and then we ended up following the machine again down to Bomballa again to a Monaro Logging site. “I do a bit of contract operating
for Dave and Ian Nuttall (Monaro Logging) had the machine down and there and ran some of the blokes through the machine at the same time. I was familiar with it and it saved Markuu travelling all the way across the countryside,” he said. “I’ve done a little bit of maintenance work on it (the 10F)
and we did the first service and a few pressure adjustments and things like that.” And that got him to thinking about increasing his skillset. He plans to head to Finland later this year for factory training He’s going with long-time continued on page 29.
UGH GORDON, a logging contractor in his own right, is like many other operators ... work is nowhere near as plentiful as when he first started. However, he is taking a slightly different tack and will be honing his skills as a service technician. The service side of things is almost a “given” seeing that his dad was a service mechanic and a logger in South Australia and Hugh was in the bush all those years with him and from a very young age. “I’ve driven a lot of machines and back in the early days I learned to drive a six stick machine (Volvos and things like that) and I guess that sought of paved the way for the latest move,” he says. Hugh started his own business in 2001 which went by the name of LICO which very simply means Logging Industry Contract Operator. He worked “pretty much across NSW and a little bit in Victoria”
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Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 29
Training for the Industry of the Future: ForestWorks By Rosemary Ann Ogilvie
ESPECTED AS one of the most proactive industry skills councils, ForestWorks is constantly engaging with industry stakeholders as part of its continuous-improvement cycle: a three-year plan working with industry to identify emerging skills and new job roles. “A governance structure operates around approving projects and deciding on what the priorities are for industry,” explains Antoinette Hewitt, National Program Manager, Skills Standards and Resources. “Each of the state and territory committees recommends the priority projects, and this determines our work plan for the next 12 to 18 months. Our Skills and Employment Council endorses this process. So this ensures we’re talking to the right people about the right things: they flag any gaps and any emerging skills, and this enables us to stay on top of our game.” While each region has its unique composition of the industry, many of the major issues that relate to emerging skills tend to be a pattern throughout the country. “However, we do respond to regional issues, due to the distribution of the industry across Australia,” says Antoinette. Once the emerging needs are identified, the qualifications currently on offer are reviewed and the training adapted to fulfil them. “We try to ensure the training is configured as industry would like it to be configured so we can meet that need as it emerges rather than have to chase it later,” says David Rutherford, Training Package
Projects and Provider Network Manager. “This is one of the reasons why we have such close and intimate links to industry.” ForestWorks offers two endorsed training packages: the Forest and Forest Products Training Package, which contains 25 qualifications from Certificate I to Advanced
processes for sustainability in workplaces; obtaining the best value from timber residues; and building relationships with the community. “All are skills the industry identified it needs in the future,” says Antoinette. “We’re currently going through another review with respect to
The challenge is to ensure industry workers have the skills and have an understanding of the properties of emerging products Diploma; and the Pulp and Paper Manufacturing Industry Training Package, which offers seven qualifications from Certificate II to Diploma. “The process is about keeping these packages fresh and current,” says David. He adds that while it’s driven by industry, they maintain close links to the registered training organisations. “We’re very interested in how they implement it and how we work with them and make it smooth at that end too.”
Skills for sustainability ForestWorks’ last major review related to skills for sustainability, which led to the introduction of emerging areas such as chain-ofcustody certification; managing and implementing chain of custody; developing policies and
energy efficiency, and the funding for this is aligned to the cleanenergy regulations,” Antoinette continues. “We’re looking at things like carbon-farming initiatives and what’s required when landowners plant trees, or when they need to have a stand of trees audited to determine how much carbon it holds to then determine how much carbon they can sell into the emerging carbon markets.” David comments on the rising prominence of certain manufactured timber products. “Laminated products, for example, are very popular in all the northern European countries, in America and Canada, and also in New Zealand, as they have the ability to withstand earthquakes. Laminated beams are an obvious alternative to concrete and steel beams, and are actually stronger, lighter and more carbon friendly. It’s also an efficient way of using materials
that might not otherwise have been used.” “So the challenge for us is to ensure industry workers have the skills, and have an understanding of the properties of these emerging products, particularly in merchandising, because of their growing popularity,” says Antoinette.
Managing pathways of education A project ForestWorks undertook a couple of years ago under this funding facilitated the development of specific qualifications for the frame-and-truss sector. “In the past there were no qualifications specifically tailored to the job roles in this sector,” says Antoinette. “Units would be chosen from other sectors, but these weren’t particularly tailored to their need – and they do have a specific need. “Now frame-and-truss has its own specially tailored qualifications, which are supporting their job roles well. These qualifications have created a career pathway, and this has enabled the sector to promote itself to school-leavers and others to entice them into the industry, and to show there are opportunities for advancement, and a supported pathway for learning and development.” Career pathways exist both in the design stream of frame and truss, and in the production stream from the shop floor up to the manager, whether a senior designer or a production manager. “This is something the sector has embraced,” says Antoinette.
David comments that one national initiative is to establish pathways of education. “And not just within the VET sector, but also from VET to other sectors such as higher education. For example, the Advanced Diploma in Forest Industry Sustainability is leading to quite a lot of discussion about credit arrangements into higher education.” ForestWorks has a pathway map that details all of its 25 qualifications in it Forests and Forest Products Training Package, and how one qualification can lead to another, and another. “Each stands alone and has a value in its own right, and improves employment prospects and the productivity of the industry. However, it’s also part of an integrated system – and part of the national imperative is to make sure pathways exist,” says David. Antoinette comments that the federal government is really working to entice employers to invest more heavily in training. “The latest package of funding – the National Workforce Development Fund – is providing significant support for training and workforce development in areas of current and future skills need through a co-contribution for training costs. The industry has taken this up in a big way.” “The policies are working together,” says David. “There’s just one system of developing training content and we can interface well with the separate federal program to make training more accessible. It’s not just working in isolation, it’s drawing the connections.”
Service with a smile when Hugh Finnish-es his training! continued from page 28. friend Matt Weir who, he says, is a bit more switched on when it comes to the electronics. “I said to Markuu that if we want to provide that sort of service we want someone who’s 100% certain on the computer side of things instead of trying to dilute the knowledge. You can’t have one bloke trying to do the whole lot; it will be better -- one guy for electronics and one for anything else. “Matt’s pretty well clued up on that side of things and has plenty of electronics experience. “The work that I’ve done on this thing (10F) ... I can’t say a bad thing. You’ll think I’m an employee of Logset,” he quipped. “It’s as good as probably anything else or better than anything else I’ve seen on the market and to
work on, there’s so much room. Even the most volatile mechanic should enjoy working on these machines. “At Monaro Logging one of the first things I showed people is that not only is it well built but when it comes down to working on them it’s just a dream. “Everything is well positioned and where things are a little bit harder to get to there’s a cover plate nearby so that you can get at it. It’s just really well made. It’s a well finished machine and for the money you pay these days that’s what you should expect,” he said. The AUSTimber-released 10F has now got 250 odd hours up “and I’ve put 70 to 80 hours of those on it”. “The ride’s better than anything I’ve sat in; it’s the most comfortable Forwarder I’ve ever driven. The visibility is great.
The noise in the cab is really low. It’s just a complete package really. “The stuff that they put on it as standard you pay extra on other machines. I guess it’s like the slogan says “simply better” and I would have to agree. “I am looking forward to being a customer of Logset but we’re just not in a position at the moment. We’re out of contract work with the export market where it is and we’re back to not having any employees. I’m on my own doing contract operating, just ticking by until it picks back up again. My machines are parked in the yard in Tumut,” he says. But, for the foreseeable future, Hugh is readying himself for another chapter in his forestry work and he’s looking forward to his factory training in Finland.
30 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Industry myths, training By Peter Chaffin
VERY NOW and then through the office and during various training sessions at Training For Trees (TFT) a few common questions are raised regarding some of the techniques and practices that get passed on within the industry that are often misconstrued and as myths tend to prevail. I thought I would share some of them with you and attempt to explain a few of the more commonly discussed points with a few facts. “Its ok to use climbing irons and spike trees when I have to branch walk for speed and safety; the spike holes are only small and the tree won’t feel it!” The practice of using climbing irons on trees that are not dead or being removed causes severe long term damage and the practice is not aligned with any current industry standards or recommendations. Australian Standard AS4373 Pruning of Amenity Trees makes specific reference under section 5.1 to the fact that any equipment particularly climbing irons or spikes used when climbing or pruning that will cause wounding of the bark and conductive tissues must not be used on trees that are to be retained. “I make all my final pruning cuts on a 45 degree angle so that rain water runs off to stop the wood rotting out” It is a well documented and proven fact that final pruning cuts have to be made at the appropriate position and angle dictated by the area of the branch collar allowing for the compartmentilisation process to begin and not for water runoff purposes. “I always file my rakers down so the saw cuts better” On all brands of chainsaw chain rakers - or to use the technical term depth gauges - regulate the depth of cut and amount of wood each tooth takes out. They are also considered to be one of the main safety features of the chain. If they are not set correctly when sharpening the chain by using one
of the various measuring tools/ file guides available the chain will not conform to the manufacturer’s recommendations. The practice of filing down the depth gauges to a position that is lower than that recommended by the chain manufacturer is generally irresponsible and constitutes to the modification of a major safety feature. Unlawful chain modification has been proven to have been a major contributor in many chainsaw incidents and causes an increased risk of kickback push back and pull in accidents with the chainsaw. It also increases wear and tear to parts of the chain, overloads
higher than the top of the sloping cut of the scarf retaining a strip of holding or hinge wood that is used to control the fall of the tree This practice is well documented in the latest tree fallers manual published by CSIRO and also covered in all felling courses carried out by TFT. “I have my chainsaw ticket for level 2 tree felling so I am certificated to fell any size tree that comes along” The definition and content of various competency standards and training guidelines are compiled by the relevant industry advisory boards and based upon extensive industry consultation processes.
I always make the back cut at an angle when felling trees so the tree won’t come back at me. the power unit and leads to greater operator fatigue. You should always use a file guide with the correct file size and follow the angles as recommended by the manufacturer. Correctly sharpened chains will maintain as new performance throughout their useable limits Filing without using a guide almost always produces slightly different angles between left and right handed cutters which can cause vibration and prevent the saw from cutting straight. “I always make the back cut at an angle when felling trees so the tree won’t come back at me” Some of the early logging crews considered that this was the case but it has long been proven through extensive discussion, workshops, theory and standard setting within the industry that the main back cut used as the final cut to release the tree is made at the back of the tree at a height of approx 10% of the tree diameter above the flat cut of the scarf or felling notch but under no circumstances to be made
Currently the majority of tree felling units are based on forest practices or amenity tree work practices or a combination of the two industries, Therefore in the current AHC Cert III arboriculture qualification units of competency are included to cover both forestry felling techniques and the sectional felling of trees in urban areas. The tree felling tickets as they are generally referred to level 1, 2 or 3 are defined in the latest standards in detail but generally Level one chainsaw is maintenance of the saw and cross cutting of trees already on the ground. Level two chainsaw is felling small trees sometimes referred to as simple felling using basic cuts to fell a tree with a specified height and/or diameter restriction. Level three chainsaw consists of two competency units; intermediate and advanced tree felling sometimes referred to as complex or difficult tree felling. These advanced levels require the
operator to demonstrate a range of techniques with the advanced level currently the highest competency unit level covering the felling of multi-stemmed hollow and dead trees with no height or diameter restrictions. Hopefully some of the myths have been dispersed by now but just to say there are some wonderful individuals that make up the forestry and arboricultural industries the world over and they all have one thing in common and that is all about trees. At the end of the day local knowledge regarding the characteristics of a particular tree or timber can be a key factor to using various skills and techniques along with regular training and updating of skills and knowledge which, as you all know, knowledge is power! It’s really important to maintain your qualifications on a regular basis as new techniques and standards are getting developed and updated on a regular basis. Qualifications need to be maintained as current and the best way to maintain currency is to undertake refresher training and updating in the unit of competency. Refreshers are generally carried out in a shorter timeframe than a full training course consisting of an assessment and update
of current skill levels which generally picks up and corrects any bad habits that may have crept in over time The modern world of forestry and arboriculture is a far cry from the days that we just felt lucky to be doing a job using big, noisy equipment and lifting heavy things! Making the effort and spending the time to study and achieve the relevant qualifications will lead you on a lifelong journey in one of the most diverse industries I know and build you a skill base that you can use anywhere in the world. Training assessment and refresher courses are available for operators in all areas of the forestry & arboricultural industry including: • Chainsaw maintenance • Tree felling (basic to advanced) • Pole saw operations • Brushwood chipper • Stump grinder • P runing • Climbing Top handled chainsaw use for operators working from a rope and harness or from the bucket of an EWP. All training and assessment is aligned with an AQF nationally recognised statement of attainment being awarded to successful participants. Everyone engaged in carrying out work around trees must be trained and qualified in their designated task and strive to continue gaining experience and qualifications. The best way to provide evidence of adequate training and competency in the workplace is to carry out nationally recognised training and assessment and to attain the relevant Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Qualification or units of competency relevant to tasks being undertaken. For full trade level qualifications and apprenticeships’ considerable Government funding incentives apply to eligible applicants Peter Chaffin is director of Training For Trees Pty Ltd
Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 31
Helping forestry workers one job at a time By Rosemary Ann Ogilvie
WO SPECIAL photographs decorate a wall of Eva Down’s ForestWorks office in Launceston: one is of the Frenchpine sawmill in Scottsdale, where she started work 16 years ago as a millhand; the other is of the first machine and table she worked. “I always think of myself as a millhand working in the sawmill,” she says. “And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that: it defines who you are.” Indeed, it runs true to the philosophy underpinning the ForestWorks 12-year-old national Worker’s Assistance Program (WAP): worker’s assistance coordinators for each contract are recruited from the specific site or region it covers. “We feel they have that empathy: they understand what the people are going through, they understand what a community is going through, and they understand how they can help,” says Eva – and this applies equally in her role as skills and employment coordinator.
Industry and location specific When people contact ForestWorks after they’ve been made, or are about to become, redundant; or because they want to get out of the industry as they see no future in it, arrangements are made for them to meet with a worker’s assistance coordinator. This first-hand connection to communities and workplaces means workers are
more comfortable speaking with the coordinators. “And that’s where our program differs from the Australian Government’s standard job service agency (JSA) model,” Eva says. “We’re more f lexible. “We’re industry specific, so we understand the jobs people do, and the skills they acquire doing those jobs. And most importantly, we know how to interpret those skills so they can translate to other industries and other workplaces.” The WAP is structured around industry job losses or a restructure in a specific area or site. In recent times, assistance has been provided for mill closures at Scottsdale, and at Burnie and Wesley Vale. The latter project was expanded in September 2011 to incorporate the Tasmanian forestry restructure. “And recently it was announced that we have another two-year contract to continue providing support state-wide to those affected by this restructure,” says Eva. The model’s strength lies in the fact that it’s a one-on-one service to each participant. “Every person has particular strengths and weaknesses. So while someone may be confident about going into a new workplace, they may need guidance on putting together a resume, or tips on how to approach an interview,” says Eva. She comments that the greater demographic of the people they assist have always worked. They entered the industry very easily and maintained employment over a long time – and generally this was through word of mouth. The quality of their work was
usually enough to secure each subsequent job, which means they never had to sell themselves in the job market, never had to go through an interview process, never been required to create a resume that will stand out from 150 others a potential employer receives, and survive the culling process to become one of the five that makes the shortlist. All this is untrodden territory. “So it’s about interpreting their skills,” says Eva. “They’ll say, ‘oh, but I only worked in the forest, or in the sawmill’. Our response usually runs along the lines of ‘no, what you actually did was operate a million-dollar piece of equipment; you observed all the OHS and environmental requirements; you provided preventative maintenance to your equipment; and you understand quality control. You have all these valuable skills that people in other industries want’.” But more than that, she adds, it’s their dedication to their work, and their ability to get up and go to work, that are also extremely valuable. Because coordinators are drawn from the workplace, they usually lack some skills. “We assess them and assist them to acquire the necessary skills, so it’s about personal development for them as well,” says Eva. The key requirements for coordinators are to be outgoing; easy to chat with; and selfmotivated They also need the ability to work with other organisations such as JSAs, or Rural Alive and Well (RAW), a counselling service that’s received funding as part of the IGA to expand its services. “We refer people we believe are
starting to struggle to ensure their health and wellbeing are looked after, and RAW regularly refers people to us,” says Eva.
Engaging with employers A major component of the WAP is actively engaging with employers to identify
job opportunities. “Estimates indicate some 80 per cent of jobs are never advertised; but instead are filled through word of mouth. So we go into workplaces and identify the skills an employee may need to work there,” says Eva. Often when they ask smallbusiness owners if they’re continued on page 32.
32 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Advanced Diploma of Forest Industry Sustainability is one of many courses on offer O
NGOING TRAINING in any field tips the balance in favour of the student and in today’s economic climate better qualifications can be the difference between work and no work. The forestry industry is one such industry where training opportunities are plentiful and one such training organisation, MTO (McLeod Training Organisation), which is based in Cairns and also in PNG, is a recognised Australian and international consultancy company with an array of strong international alliances and partner consultants. Its consultancies include: • Transport, Construction, Mining, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management, Rural, Forestry, Environmental and Carbon Sink Management • Planning and Training Indigenous Communities, Custom Law and Dispute Resolution, Work Ready Programs • Monitoring and Evaluation, Security, Risk Management, Business Management, Health and Medical Response • Training Needs Analysis, Vocational Training System Development, Implementation and Management MTO is an Educational Institution (31087) in Australia delivering recognised Statements of Attainments and Qualifications from Certificate I to Advanced Diploma over a range of industries. These include:
• Certificate I to Advanced Diploma Forestry • FPI30711 Certificate III in Sawdoctoring • FPI50111 Diploma of Forest and Forest Products • FPI60111 Advanced Diploma of Forest Industry Sustainability • A HC31410 Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management • A HC51110 Diploma of Conservation and Land Management • A HC60410 Advanced Diploma of Conservation and Land Management • A HC60110 Advanced Diploma of Agriculture • TLI31210 Certificate III in Driving Operations • TLI31610 Certificate III in Warehousing Operations • R II30809 Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations But, there’s yet another string to the MTO bow with its offer of an Advanced Diploma of Forest Industry Sustainability ... it’s the only RTO in Australia with this qualification on scope (FPI60111 Advanced Diploma of Forest Industry Sustainability) and five of its students are the first in Australia (and the world) to receive this qualification. MTO principal Ian McLeod and his team are justifiably proud of their work and, as Ian says, they are always on the lookout to increase their knowledge base and consequently cater to more and more students. “With sustainability rapidly becoming a key consideration for all organisations, the need for highly skilled sustainability experts is of increasing importance,” said Ian, who explained that the Advanced Diploma of Forest Industry Sustainability was a flexible, enterprise-based qualification. “It offers a comprehensive and strategic working knowledge of all aspects of sustainability in the forest and timber products industry, and it allows workers
to update their skills to meet their organisation’s sustainability requirements. The Advanced Diploma has been developed in response to industry needs and is specifically designed to develop the next generation of managers and leaders. The qualification covers all aspects of sustainability from compliance, chain of custody and carbon accounting requirements to managing organisational change and establishing sustainable strategic directions. Participants may complete the entire Advanced Diploma or they may choose to study individual units or skill sets that meet specific enterprise requirements. To attain the Advanced Diploma, participants must complete three core units and 11 elective units and include: Core area of study: • Managing sustainability in the workplace and work priorities • Elective areas of study: • Maximising the value from wood • Managing forestry chain of custody requirements • Forest management systems and processes • Plantations and sustainable land use • Carbon storage • Leadership, innovation and change management • Community engagement • Administration and business management • Flexible delivery options: • Blended delivery of this Full Qualification with face-toface blocks, distance study and assignments • Distance study • Skill sets of units of your choice to suit your job role or career path • R PL by distance or face to face Outcome on completion of this qualification: • Formal Qualification of Advanced Diploma of Forest Industry Sustainability • Statements of Attainments for units completed
•R ecognition in industry of this high level Qualification in Australia and Internationally •S kills and knowledge gained from this Advanced Diploma may be recognised by universities, particularly when combined with workplace experience This is the MTO Management team: • I an McLeod Management Director Group • I an McLeod CEO McLeod Training Organisation Pty Ltd RTO31087 • I an McLeod CEO HS Business School RTO32493
• Ian McLeod CEO MTO Training PNG LTD RTO NTC.191 • Wendy McLeod Director and Finance Manager •K risty McLeod Administration and Contracts Manager •W arren Purdom Director and Trainer • I an McEachern Compliance Manager •A ngela Jones Finance Clerk •D r. Michael Kimber Specialist Consultant Business and Education Tutor and Program Developer •R ichard Turner TBS Consulting, RTO Consulting Specialist
Helping forestry workers one job at a time continued from page 31. thinking about recruiting, the response is ‘yes’. However, the process can be difficult because they lack HR resources, and time. “So we find out what they’re looking for, and offer to provide five resumes. This has been very well received because when these businesses advertise, they’re bombarded with so many resumes they struggle to get through to the interview process. We eliminate this step by providing a highly qualified shortlist of candidates and the employer takes it
from there.” So it’s about chipping away one job at a time – and there are some wonderful success stories. One man in his mid-40s who had worked in a sawmill for 25 years was really interested in moving into retail work, or working in an office. “By sitting with him and having a conversation, we discovered he’d developed really good computer skills through his personal interests,” says Eva. “So the coordinator worked with him, identified the changes he needed to make, and referred him for training, He applied unsuccessfully for
several administrative positions, but we kept working with him. Now he’s in a fulltime job as an administrative assistant – and has never been happier.” Eva says they encourage people to take whatever job is available, even if it’s not ideal. “We try to move them into another, more suitable position – and the vacated job may be perfect for the next person who takes it.” It doesn’t end there: even when the person is happy with what they’re doing, they keep in touch just to see how everything’s going.
Through the IGA agreement, training funding has been given to the JSAs, but ForestWorks connects with the JSAs to ensure people undertake necessary training without delays. “People from the harvest and haulage sector especially have taken the opportunity to use this training money so their skills and abilities are recognised in the construction industry,” says Eva. “Certainly, there are only so many civil projects in Tasmania at the moment, but we try to actively engage with all projects.”
And for those who really want to continue in the industry, it’s not all bad news: job opportunities exist in other states, and a significant number of contractors who make contact are prepared to relocate to achieve this. Still, this option is not for everyone: many have no desire to leave Tasmania. “I try to be very positive and think in five years’ time, the Tasmanian forestry industry will be at a sustainable level, with good job opportunities, and the ability to attract good people to the industry,” says Eva.
Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 33
Quality is the key in cutting edge technology O
NE OF the best attributes in business is being positive and this comes from knowing that what you are offering is of the highest order; that you are among the cream of the crop when it comes to your particular niche. That’s the way Michael Kennedy sees things. Michael held a senior role at GB since 2007 before late last year purchasing the Australian and New Zealand rights to GB, and his new company GB Forestry Australia (of which he is owner and managing director), also purchased the bar manufacturing plant and equipment and has relocated to a new state-ofthe-art factory in Derrimut, Victoria, where they continue the tradition of Australian manufactured harvester bars. GB is the only Australian manufacturer of chainsaw and harvester guide bars and sprockets and over the past 50 years GB has played a significant role in
the development of the forestry equipment industry, both in Australia and overseas. This wealth of knowledge is combined with continual product testing to ensure that GB designed and manufactured product performs in the most demanding conditions. GB tests all products it manufactures in the field, from the humble plastic wedge to 3m long chainsaw mill guide bars. GB has continually advanced the design of chainsaw guide bars and sprockets. Improvements in materials, heat treatment and manufacturing processes have produced longer lasting bars and sprockets, and higher strength industrial harvester bars at a competitive price. “We now have the most extensive range of chainsaw and harvester bars of any manufacturer and we believe it is our role to continue to manufacture product to a very high standard, and provide the best possible service with
Michael in front of the new company headquarters.
Kevin & Gary in the warehouse.
the broadest range,” says Kennedy. “With the closure of the old Sunshine site, GB Forestry had the opportunity to hand pick the staff to move across to the new company,” he said. Russell Smart and Jason Seisun, the two key manufacturing staff, have a combined 30 years’ experience with GB. “In the new site we have modernised many of the manufacturing processes utilizing laser cutting technology, CNC machines and computer controlled
Russell & Jason in factory with the manufacturing plant in the background.
processors,” says Seisun. “This ensures GB manufactures a product that excels, quite literally, at the cutting edge of timber harvesting,” said Smart. Warehouse and quality Control Manager, Kevin Borg, was a loyal employee with GB for 12 years before moving across to the new company. “It’s fantastic to work in this modern and clean warehouse and makes it easier to monitor the quality assurance program we have put in place,” he says.
Gary Green heads the customer service team with his 20 years industry experience. “It’s great that we have overcome the problems of the previous company,” says Gary. “Our loyal customers are now being rewarded with a near perfect fill rate on harvester bar orders. “I really enjoy talking with the customers and it’s great to be able to offer customers a quick turnaround from design to delivery if they require specialty bars,” Green said.
34 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
BIOFUELS & CHIPPING
New high capacity briquette press machine W
EIMA PREMIERED a new high capacity TH2800M Briquette Press machine at the recent IFAT exhibition, the world’s leading trade show for environmental technologies, in Munich. WEIMA is a leading manufacturer of volume reduction equipments from Ilsfeld, Germany, for shredders and briquette presses. They have the experience and know how from building more than 20,000 customized machines in over 25 years. The machines have been sold for many applications
such as plastics, wood, metal and all sorts of recycling applications all over the world. The TH2800M is the largest Briquette Press machine ever built by WEIMA and has a throughput capacity in the range of 20004000kg/h. The first machines of this size were built for a wood chipper who needed to compact and briquette the wood chips for easier transport. Wood chip is the basic material for paper industries and often needs to be transported long distances to the paper mills. Due to the high volume needed, bigger Briquette Press WEIMA briquettes.
WEIMA at the IFAT exhibition, the world’s leading trade show for environmental technologies, in Munich.
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Longer life flail chains We know having to replace flail chains costs a lot in both parts and lost production. Our unique chain design with its square link (patent pending) configuration has a longer life and delivers the sorts of results being appreciated in major chipping operations in Australia and North America. Proven in Australia and Canada, try it for yourself in your own operation.
becomes more interesting and this has challenged WEIMA to design and construct a new larger and high capacity machine. Next, other applications evolved, such as aluminium briquetting. Aluminium needs to be compacted not only for easier handling and cost savings in transport, but also to squeeze out the cooling medium and to handle the dust. The recycling industries and RDF (refuse-derived fuel) plants in Europe are further requiring larger briquettes made of industrial waste for the cement kilns. Further applications range from wood dust, MDF dust, wood chips, paper, textile and mixed industrial waste. It is noteworthy to mention that the machine can also produce
briquettes from light metal, biomass, PCI foam, plastics, etc. The TH2800M produces briquettes 280x140x140mm in size with high compacting rate between 550 – 1650 kg/m3. It is suitable for a three shifts operation, produces equal size square briquettes for easy transport, staple and packing. The machine comes with touch panel and can store several recipes. It is possible to have logos on the briquettes. The next larger machine in the high capacity series - the model TH 3500M- will be released soon and will have a capacity of 4000-6000 kg/h producing briquettes up to 340x340x160mm. DKSH Australia Pty Ltd is the local representative of WEIMA in Australia.
For full details on this product, go to our website or call Michael.
functionchains.com.au Jonathan Tan, sales engineer - environmental technology solutions, DKSH Australia Pty. Ltd.
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Engineering, design and the carbon floor price… what else should we look to Europe for? The government has shown the good sense to use the European carbon market price for the Australian emissions trading scheme starting in 2015. Europe’s forest coverage is increasing as it works towards a balance between storing carbon and substituting non-renewable products and fuels. Wood is the largest renewable energy source in Europe and sits alongside solar and wind as being socially acceptable. Now is the time for government to rely on science and the European experience to upgrade Australia’s energy production to include woody bio-mass from native Australian species.
Join the battle for better Government policies For details of sensible policies for the Forest Products industry, go to http://ausfpa.com.au/site/key_policy_areas.php Mortágua biomass power plant - image provided by EDP - Energias de Portugal
Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 37
BIOFUELS & CHIPPING
Clusters and centres of excellence drive bio-technology Australian bioenergy expert Andrew Lang attended the the ‘Bioenergy from Forest’ conference in Jyväskylä, Finland, and lodged this report for Australian Forests & Timber News.
HE CONFERENCE included pre-and postconference tours between Helsinki Airport and Jyväskylä (the conference venue), a day at the extensive FinnMETKO machinery expo at Jämsä, and two days of conference presentations on a wide range of topics related to bioenergy. Bioenergy plants and other sites visited included: • The new 137 MW-e biomassfuelled CHP plant outside Jyväskylä (max. production in condensing mode about 200 MWe). • The new Kymijärvi 2 - world’slargest waste-fuelled gasification plant at Lahti, running at 121 Bar and 540 C to make 50 MW-e and 90 MW-th from 250,000 tonne/ yr of sorted dry MSW (solid recovered fuel). • Finland’s largest pellet plant (16 tonnes/hr capacity and making up to 100,000 t/a), and sawmill (producing 500,000m3 sawn lumber a year from 1.2 M m3 of smaller diameter spruce logs) at
Vilpula. • A new 5 MW-e biomass fuelled CHP plant - Lämpovoima Oy at Keuruu. • A ‘Giant’ mobile chipper in operation at a forest landing. • A Fixteri thinnings bundler in action clearing low quality dense saplings for conversion to biomass fuel. • The ‘Supercontainer’ system made from plastic composites giving high strength and significant weightsaving, plus faster emptying/unloading. At the FinnMETKO machinery expo some notable machines and exhibits included: • Hybrid diesel/electric forwarder, harvester and remote-controlled carrier. • New models of Sampo 1046 energy-wood harvester and 028 forwarder. • New models of Naarva shearcutting processing accumulator heads. • Hundreds of smaller and larger equipment and machinery items to make forestry production and biomass handling safer/easier/ more efficient. Bioenergy conference presentations at the conference that were of particular interest included those on: • H igh targets for biomass to energy for Finland by 2020 and 2050, and R&D in place to achieve these. • Bio-oil production from woody biomass, including a Fortum 30 MW bio-oil plant ordered from Metso and the Fortum 4 MW DH plant at Masala fired with bio-oil. • I NEOS Bio system for converting any carbon-rich feedstock into synthesis gas
Sampo 1046 energy-wood harvester.
for conversion by Clostridium bacteria into ethanol. First large scale plant now completed and being commissioned at Florida to produce 30 million litres/ yr from yard waste, urban and horticultural prunings and agri wastes. Wood-based biogas plant proposed for Joutseno (integrated with Joutseno pulp mill) to produce 1.6 TWh SNG for firing in Helsinki NG-fired CCGT. Joensuu Bio-oil proposed plant for startup in 2013 with capacity of up to 200,000 t/yr. L arge scale use of circulating fluidized bed (CFB) technology – as used in Jyväskylä, Kaukaus, Sodertaljie (www. fwc.com). Largest CFB is 400 MW-e fired by coal but due to high furnace temperature can utilize a good range of fuels more or less interchangeably. M ini CHP technology by Ekogen Oy, using high temp heat exchanger to drive hotair turbine connected to an alternator, producing 100 kW-e and 200 kW-th. M W power use of pellets in retrofitted coal boilers to fire crushed pellets though a WTS blower – for boilers of 5-30 mW-th (Tampere 30 MW-th, Lapinlahti 7 MW-th). Zilkha black pellets technology from Texas – claim of total substitution for black coal, and less energy loss in processing than for torrefied pellets. T he development of 13 biomass
clusters across Finland, which are combined with centres of excellence to drive development of biomass technologies and improve economics of use of biomass for energy. •U PM-Kymene plan for making 100,000 t/yr of advanced
biodiesel from tall oil (fatty acid by-product of pulp making from northern conifers) at capital cost of 150,000 Euros – proposed to start plant construction at Lappeenranta in 2014. Could triple capacity by 2002.
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38 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Little marks that can save you money S
AITO, THROUGH its HandiTags range of marking products which include kiln tags, log tickets, treatment tags, pack labels, aerosol spray paints and tally cards, has a solution for every step from the forest to the customer. “Supporting this range of identification products is the equipment to print the tickets on demand and barcode or RFID scan read at any and every step of the way,” according to Sandra Chandler, client relationship manager for Saito. “The sites that have taken to automating data capture are delivering higher accuracy, lower
overheads, improved productivity, quicker stock-takes, less stock loss and improved margins and higher labour productivity. Our internal assessments, based on a typical small operation, indicate savings of greater than $10,000 every year and it is much more in bigger sites. “You could say it’s the little mark that can save thousands,” she said “We get to understand the logistics problems businesses face and the things that bug them and prevent them from doing a better job,” she said, “and our review is free. We even recommend alternates if our range is not the best option. “The correct identification
marking product can, in the majority of situations, be turned into an efficiency driver with the addition of automatic data capture barcodes that cost virtually nothing. “If equipment is required then the cost can be applied as an operating cost (Opex) on a monthly basis paid for out of the savings generated,” she said. The Handitags range of marking products has now been supplemented with the Spraywell brand of Ink marker Aerosols manufactured in New Zealand. The Spraywell range is a market leader in the NZ forestry sector due to its reliability and high yield per can.
What place does timber tracking have through the supply chain? ON AUGUST 20, the House of Representatives passed the Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill 2011. When passed in the Senate this would bring Australia into line with the United States (the first country in the world to ban importing, trading or selling illegally harvested wood), followed by the European Union. The new law would require timber suppliers (being importers and domestic wood-processing mill operators) to verify the “legal origins of timber products and disclosing species, country of harvest and any certification at the first point of entry of timber products onto the Australian market”. As the Regulation Impact Statement (Reference 9816) quite logically points out, illegal imports create unfair competition for Australian producers and suppliers who source their products from legally and sustainably managed
forests. The illegal timber often trades at lower prices — and this undercutting impacts on business decisions, industry investment, business profitability and jobs. Indonesia, along with other Asia Pacific countries, suffers from deforestation and degradation of its tropical forests. On top of the effects felt domestically, this threatens Australia achieving its goal of promoting sustainable forest management and sustainable livelihoods for forest-dependent communities of countries in this region. African and South American countries are other well-known examples, along with Russia (where up to half its timber production is thought to be illegally harvested). While the World Bank estimates the illegal logging trade is worth up to $15b, a 2010 report by the Centre of International Economics (entitled “A report to inform and regulation
impact statement on a proposed new policy on illegal logging”) puts the global economic cost of illegal logging at around $46b annually, and the world-wide social and environmental costs at some $60b a year. Poyry Management Consulting (Australia) Pty Ltd, in its final report to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in 2010 (“Legal Forest Products Assurance: a risk assessment framework for assessing the legality of timber and wood products imported into Australia”), puts Australian wood imports (excluding furniture) at $4.4b annually — or 0.034% of global production. It estimates the proportion of illegally logged timber in that at nine per cent — or $400 million. Australia’s share of the social and environmental costs of illegal logging is estimated at $23m per year.
The World Bank estimates global illegal logging is worth $10-$15 billion annually. In August, Australia enacted a law to clamp down on the sale of illegally logged wood. What place does timber tracking have here? Mark Dingley* explains. While this is small in the global context, as stated above, it does have a negative impact on domestic businesses. As the Commonwealth of Australia Explanatory Memorandum for the new legislation points out, the problem of illegally imported timber is exacerbated through a lack of measures in consuming countries to restrict (or prohibit) importing this illegally logged timber and products made from that wood. Hence the newly passed legislation in Australia.
How to track timber? At the other end, Indonesia, and other timber-producing countries, are also (slowly) developing timberlegality verification schemes to reduce illegal logging and be able to show their trading partners the timber they’re being sold is legal.
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So how can this be done? In a practical sense, how can Australian importers and mills track timber from the time it’s felled? Or before? Radio frequency identification (RFID) labels are one method of tagging timber, others are barcodes, tracer paints, chemical fingerprinting and the traditional chalk or paint.
German tests There are several instances of RFID being used in timber supply chains, and the benefits are many, including: the increased automation reduces the likelihood of human error entire truck loads can be scanned at once biodegradable tags can be processed without causing problems integrating the labeller on the harvester reduces the number of actions within the supply chain RFID increases the mill’s ability to automatically sort upon arrival (such as into processing lines) RFID tags can store far more data, and data can be added through the chain (depending upon the tag type) In collaboration with timber-harvesting equipment manufacturer Ponsse, the Technical University of Munich developed a prototype RFID-enabled harvesting head. In a 500-tag test in a Munich forest no tags were damaged when timber was felled and logs stacked; however, five per cent were lost between the forest and the mill. Total costs of tagging were around $6 per cubic metre of harvested wood. Generally the thought is that RFID is better suited to higher-value timber products.
Barcoding forests Then there’s barcoding. British company Helveta has put more than a million plastic barcode labels onto trees across South East Asia, Africa and South America. It’s very intensive, with every continued on page 39.
Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 39
GLENREAgH TIMBER FESTIVAL
Back to the days of early timber getters T
HE IDEA for Glenreagh Timber Festival began as a conversation over a beer in the Golden Dog Hotel between the Licensee, and some of the locals. Now eight years later it is still drawing large crowds to a day packed with demonstrations of what life was like in the early days of a timber village. The main aim of the festival is to preserve the timber heritage and the skills developed by the timber industry years ago. Glenreagh has a rich history in timber dating back to the first settlement in the Orara Valley in 1858. The first settlers were farmers, then timber getters and then miners when gold was discovered. However, as the gold dwindled and the country was opening up with railway and road construction the need for timber saw the district’s rich timber resources vital for progress.
In an age before mechanisation men developed their own special skills and were soon creating buildings from pit sawn timber. Railway sleepers from the broad axe to the more modern swing saw and bench era were all still being cut in the latter part of the last century. The festival organising committee is made up of representatives from eight local community groups who benefit financially from the event. Some members are purely Timber Festival members. Members change from year to year and these changes bring new and often creative ideas so the festival has something new nearly every year. Sponsorship for the event is keen and includes a wide cross section of the community organisations, local and regional business both corporate and private including our Local Government Area, Clarence Valley Council.
It is a day that starts before sun comes up for the volunteers busy greeting and placing market stalls, exhibits, attractions and entertainment. Besides a full program of woodchopping, the cross cut saw event is keenly contested. There are demonstrations of fence post splitting (with a chainsaw), sleeper cutting, the blacksmiths make a cant hook, cowbell and other items, all of which are auctioned off on the day. This year Clarence Valley Vintage Car club, Coffs Harbour Vintage Cycles, Geoff King Motors and Coffs Harbour Hardwoods were all part of our display. Attractions provided for the young consisted of Whip Cracking, Mechanical Bull Riding, which created competition amongst the young teenage boys, Pony rides, Reptile world and a Jumping castle with other show type rides.
“The Backyard Balladeer”, Errol Gray and Coffs Harbour Drumline entertained the crowd while they enjoyed their morning tea or lunch under the marquee provided. Each year we try to improve this event and in 2013 the aim
is to decorate the main street – a life size timber bullock pair with an original bullock yoke is currently being made for display at the village boundary. – Report from the Festival Organising Committee
What place does timber tracking have through the supply chain? continued from page 38. tree in a plantation over a certain size given its own barcode, but also proving worthwhile, as the company continues to receive investor funding. Although barcoding in this way doesn’t stop people from selling illegal timber, it does make it more difficult for illegally harvested wood to be sold or exported, as timber processed without tags is considered illegal.
And for Australia? So what’s practical for Australia, now that we have our new antiillegal-logging legislation? John Szabo, industry manager for the hardware sector with GS1 Australia, says work with both retailers and suppliers is driving best-practice supply-chain principles through the sector. Adopting the GS1 standards of numbering, barcoding, eMessaging and Electronic Data Synchronisation is bringing improved business efficiency and effectiveness right through the chain. Szabo says trade item identification has particularly improved in the past two-and-a-half years, driven by the Hardware GS1 Action Group, which comprises key retailers and suppliers across Australia and New Zealand. “We have begun talking about CoC, or chain of custody, in the agribusiness sector; however encoding CoC in a barcode hasn’t reached timber discussions yet. “Some big hardware operators use logistics labelling, just as in the grocery industry, so when a barcode is scanned it says what the product’s GTIN is, and then also the batch code, use-by, manufacture date and those sorts of things. Some big suppliers also barcode packs; for example that pack X is 500m of merbau decking.
“The only way we can track origin at the moment is via the associated paperwork that comes with the product, so by linking with FSC [Forest Stewardship Council], for example, paperwork to prove legal harvest. “Timber is pretty specific. There is an opportunity to codify this information and put it in a barcode through the appropriate application identifier — but we haven’t discussed what that will be. “Currently, some timber suppliers are struggling to put a barcode on their standard timbers as there are a number of challenges to overcome. I think there will be reliance on a bit of manual input unless we can build a clear business case that stacks up for all parties. “But there is certainly an opportunity to do something in that area.”
Master barcoders Szabo says new hardware chain Masters is barcoding individual pieces of timber, with the code applied on the end of the cut timber length. The company has so far achieved 98% barcode compliance on all its timber and panel products. Masters has stated its long-term goal is to ensure that all timber and timber products that it sells and uses come from well-managed, sustainable forests.
Opportunities exist As a specialist in coding, labelling and product traceability, Matthews agrees. On top of the economic impacts, illegal timber harvesting is an emotive issue. Working with manufacturers across many industries, the key with compliance is always to ensure
that there’s a value add for the manufacturer. We see this as no different.
where we need to go with timber, but we need to look at a number of aspects.”
The missing link
Still some work to be done
GS1’s John Szabo says: “In an ideal situation, the information throughout the entire supply chain for a piece of timber could be linked to a central database that could be accessed at each point of handling. “Say each piece of timber had its own unique reference number. When looking that up on the database, people could see that this final bit of timber has actually been through 15 processes, where it’s been and where the original source was. “Whilst we don’t have the infrastructure in place right now, the standards and technology are all there to make this happen given the right business case. Several years ago we began working with Matthews on the concept of a link in supply chains. Such a link is the key piece that’s missing with a lot of traceability solutions — and that’s not just say timber and CoC, but anything that must be ethically sourced so it can be verified. Matthews’ iDSnet certainly creates that link. The key is to make information available across the whole supply chain and not just part of it.” (iDSnet is a fully integrated product-traceability solution that centralises product identification management within the company.) Another option is using RFID chips, as pharmaceutical companies do to prevent counterfeits closely copying their packaging. “In the USA, some pharma companies have piloted RFID tags that, when scanned, shows a unique ID revealing that the pharmaceutical is from the genuine supplier, known as the ‘pedigree’. Maybe that’s
*Mark Dingley heads up the IDS Group within Australian coding and labelling leader Matthews Australasia.
So, going back to the original question: what place does timber tracking have through the supply chain? Australia’s new law is based in sound ethics, but the infrastructure is not there yet in Australia. There are different aspects to how traceability can be tackled, using systems such as iDSnet for tracking, but the missing part electronically is linking the harvest site with this, and thus capturing the legal origins of timber products, species, country of harvest and so on. At this point, that gap will have to be filled by paperwork through organisations such as FSC or Australian Forestry Standard.
Matthews timber marking sample.
The “Legal Forest Products Assurance” final report from March 2010 found that Australia “could focus its further efforts in capacity building on initiatives that will strengthen auditing requirements and governance associated with schemes for legality verification and CoC”. In a nutshell, full supply chain traceability cannot be done completely electronically — yet. It’s a case of where legislation has out-paced technology. But we’re working on it.
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40 – November 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Tasco development ‘sawing’ to new heights T
HE MUCH anticipated Tasco sawmill development in Bombala is progressing to schedule, with the massive $74 million project having impressed those watching it unfold. Project Namu involves the expansion of the existing softwood mill at Bombala, with Tasco’s parent company, Dongwha making considerable investment in the local region through the endeavour. For the Bombala district community, the beginning of construction in late 2011 marked the end of years of waiting for a major mill development, and Project Namu represents great confidence in the future of the softwood industry in the region. The development basically involves the construction of a new green mill, planer, timber plant and associated infrastructure in order to meet a dramatic increase in production. And the project has been progressing rapidly, with site tours revealing the large scale of
Neil Rankin’s art installation in the reception area of the newly opened administration office.
the upgrade, which encompasses everything from installing new stateof-the-art equipment to completing road works both within and outside the site. To give some idea of the size of the development, the work front spreads across 5.6 hectares, and so far 12,000 truckloads of earthworks have been dug, with work continuing. Approximately 80% of the concrete for the project has been poured, which amounts to 3,600m2, or about 600 concrete truck deliveries. The figure will be over 750 truckloads by the time the development is complete. Project manager Craig Lamont says that despite heavy rain earlier in the year that temporarily slowed progress, construction remained on track. “The construction activities at the mill result in around 80 people on site at any one time,” Craig said, “and that number will increase in coming weeks with installation crews arriving to install vendor machines. “Erection of the dry mill building has been completed. Installation of the machine line inside the building is well advanced, and remains on track for completion within the next couple of weeks. “At the treatment plant, the tanks area and foundations have been completed. Erection of the roof and concrete floor slabs are also about to get under way. “The kilns are due for completion, and over 50% of the green mill’s building steel has been assembled and the roof and walls clad. “The mechanical installation of the log infeed area is also well advanced, and the first of 35 timber sorting bins has been installed in the materials handling area. “By the time the development is completed, five new buildings will be constructed on the site, covering a footprint of 12,500m2, and these buildings will be clad in enough material to cover four rugby fields. “And overall there will be approximately 130 industrial containers of vendor equipment delivered to the site.” But as Craig explains, progress on Project Namu is continuing rapidly,
and those who wish to stay up to date with the day to day changes are urged to follow the regular construction updates on Facebook and Twitter. Here you may learn that the first of the new buildings to be entirely completed as part of the development has just been formally opened, with the new administration office now being fully operational. Tasco’s managing director Bart Crawley officially opened the modern and functional new office building at the entrance to the site on 14 September with Tasco hosting a small celebration between mill staff and invited members of the public. All were most impressed with the building, which even features an eye-catching wood installation in the reception area which depicts the Tasco logo in timber. This artistic installation is, of course, made of pine and features actual garden edging from the mill, with the man behind the piece, Neil Rankin, explaining that his inspiration came from a photo of a stack of logs in the mill yard. And true to the large scale of Project Namu, more than 1000 nails were used in the construction. This artistic installation may seem a finer detail within such a significant development, but all facets of the project have combined to keep the local community and others following its progress enthralled. For example, those driving past the site had noticed that trees were being planted around the banks of the construction area, but all were surprised to learn that in fact 3,300 plants now call the mill their home. This wide variety of native plants, including eucalypts, wattles and tea trees assist in meeting the environmental requirements of the project. And as we learn more about the project – from a minor crane accident investigated by WorkCover, to members of staff being sent to Finland for training, through to a massive second stage of development coming up – interest in Project Namu is almost insatiable in the local region, as well as much further afield.
Aerial photo of the construction site taken in August by Barry Wrenford.
One of the large sheds being constructed at the site to house equipment such as the state-of-the-art HewSaw system.
An example of the saplings surrounding the construction site, with 3,300 native plants now calling the mill home.
Chance to see state-of-the-art gear in operation WHILE BOMBALA shivered through winter, a contingent of Dongwha Timbers staff headed to Finland, the land of the long summer day, for an intensive training course. The Dongwha Timbers team, all of whom will be involved in operating the Bombala mill, learnt how to run the new Log Yard, Sawline and Materials Handling equipment. The group visited the Veisto (HewSaw) head office at Mäntyharju, and the Kit-Sell factory in Kitee, Finland. Peter Haintz, Dongwha Timbers’ Operations Manager, attended the five day training session. “The new equipment was manufactured in Finland and we had the opportunity to visit several Finnish mills using the same or very similar equipment,” Peter said.
“This equipment is state-of-the-art and will place the Bombala Mill high amongst the world’s best sawmilling operations.” Peter and his colleagues enjoyed the training experience, and even more so in light of the location. “It is summer time in Finland, so escaping the Bombala winter was excellent. We enjoyed long, warm and sunny 20 degree Celsius days,” he said. “The Finnish sun rises at 4:30am and sets at about 11pm. Once the day’s training was finished we still had plenty of daylight for some sightseeing.” Peter said that further training would occur in Bombala, once the installation of the equipment was complete and the team prepared for the mill start-up.
Leo, Tero, Leon, Tuomas, Chris, Brad, Peter, Joel, Glen and Michael at the HewSaw site.
Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 41
Million dollar parts inventory O
NETRAK HAS made a significant investment in parts coverage for Tigercat machines. In fact, it now has a million dollars worth of parts. “We have finally got our full inventory order sitting on the shelves ready to support our Tigercat customer base,” says David Hazell, managing director for Onetrak Pty Ltd. “This objective took a little longer than we had first expected, however, I am pleased to report to the market there is currently $1.0M of genuine Tigercat parts. This is a significant investment in the current market. Onetrak and Tigercat’s pursuit of excellence in customer service meant that there was really never any other option – we take this role very seriously and
Kon Samaras busy on the phone.
we want to be recognised as the nation’s specialist forest products supplier. “As the product range increases and the industry regains momentum Onetrak will continue to invest heavily in spare parts inventory to enable the highest possible level of product support,” said Hazell. “With the primary parts warehouse situated in Melbourne we are able to provide next-daydelivery to our SA, Victoria and Tasmanian customers when the part is on our shelf. “Melbourne is a fantastic logistical hub for our industry with many freight forwarding companies at our fingertips and its geographical location. It sits smack bang in the middle of our wider customer base. “Other than the main warehouse in Melbourne, Onetrak has a fully operational dealership in Brighton in Tasmania with full parts and service capability, and a service agent in Mt Gambier with consigned parts available for local requirements. “The parts coverage has been specifically tailored to match the machine population in our territory and with the assistance of the factory we have focussed on retaining a recommended spare parts listing to cater for not only the models working in the field but the demand they should create for
(from left) Parts manager Darrel Blakeman, senior parts interpreters Mark Wilmot and Kon Samaras.
parts based on their service life to date,” said Onetrak parts manager Darrel Blakeman. “For this reason we have the usual holding of fast turn parts such as service kits, belts, latches etc., but we have focussed on a large amount of insurance stock like hydraulic pumps or axles to maximise our customers up-time in the field should they encounter any unexpected service issues.” Blakeman said it was refreshing to hear feedback from customers such as Merv Pearce from Richards Harvesting and Haulage in Gippsland who volunteered his thoughts when dealing with Onetrak ... ‘Whenever we need Tigercat parts,
the service from Onetrak is great and they actually go that extra mile to help us out’. “It’s stories like these that make the job worthwhile and a great yardstick for measuring our performance in the market place. “Between both our branches we have five dedicated people working in the parts departments and with the excellent web-based parts interpreting tools available from Tigercat we have quickly got on board with this product and feel very confident that we can service our Tigercat customers’ demands,” said Hazell. Mark picking goods off the shelf.
Forestry, harvesting and transport companies meeting at ForestTECH 2012 IN LAST MONTH’S issue of Australian Forests & Timber News we highlighted some of the key issues that will be covered in the eagerly awaited ForestTECH 2012 series. “The focus for this year’s very popular annual technology update is innovations, strategies and technologies being used by forest products companies to improve their planning, logistics and operations within the wood supply chain” says Brent Apthorp, Director of the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA). “It’s being designed by local companies in conjunction with FIEA and is aimed at Australasian forestry managers, harvest and logistics planners, transport operators and harvesting contractors. To ensure maximum networking across the various parts of the wood supply chain, the Australian Forest Contractors Association will be linking into the event by running their own Board Meeting, AGM and member function at the same Melbourne venue the day before, Tuesday 27 November. In New Zealand, the country’s national grouping representing forestry contractors, the Forest Industry Contractors Association has also timed their annual two-day gathering, the Big Day Out, to run alongside ForestTECH 2012. To provide an international perspective on some exciting new developments in squeezing efficiencies out of the wood supply chain, Gert Andersson, Forestry Logistics Program Manager from Skoforsk in Sweden will be discussing new tools (increasing standardisation, improving communication and development of a new logistics system) that have been developed in Europe to increase value through the
wood supply chain. In addition, a series of case studies will be presented. In the first Gert will discuss how eight forest companies operating in the same region have successfully implemented collaborative transport planning to significantly reduce their costs. Other case studies include how logistics planning was changed overnight when a major storm hit southern Sweden with approximately 70 million cubic meters of forest wind felled. There was a direct shortage in both harvest and transportation capacities and key questions that had to be immediately covered were which terminals to use, where to harvest, where to store and which transportation modes (truck, train or ships) to use. Another study will look at differences required in Europe to balance chipping and transportation capacities over time when planning for biomass harvesting from forest sites. The optimization model developed for Swedish forest Energy Company provides decision support for questions regarding the choice of technology for chipping, where to perform the chipping operations, and the allocation of different assortments to heating plants. Luc LeBel, Director, FORAC, Canada will be covering some of the innovative tools that recently have been developed to improve integration and planning through the wood supply chain for the Canadian forestry industry. Forestry case studies from Brazil, Europe, Australia and Canada where optimisation modelling is successfully being used to optimise sales and operations planning will be presented by Anthony Kruning from Remsoft, Canada. In last month’s issue we also outlined some very exciting developments that are
occurring in Europe at the moment. The European Space Agency (ESA) is supporting a pioneering 3D forestry data initiative being led by Irish forestry technology startup TreeMetrics. At AusTimber earlier in the year we heard from TreeMetrics’ CEO, Enda Keane on how they are using air-borne LiDAR along with terrestrial LiDAR data to provide accurate assessments of standing wood volumes. This inventory system is being rolled out in Europe and has already been trialled in Australia. Enda will be presenting as part of this years’ ForestTECH 2012 event and will be outlining their very latest trials where they’ve taken collected stand inventory data and tested the provision of real-time information to harvesting machines with cut instructions. In recent trials on over 20 machines, the details have been relayed back to foresters through ESA’s Inmarsat IsatM2M satellite and communications system. Harvesting workflow is expected to be managed in near-real time, creating a fully integrated management system. It now means forest managers will be able to further refine their cutting strategies quickly if needed, and change the instructions for the harvesters. As well as a thorough look at new harvesting, transport and wood flow planning being developed and used by international forestry companies, a large part of this year’s practical ForestTECH 2012 program is looking at local innovations. Smart data and mobile communications to improve decision making for example has led to an array of new developments in the last 12 months. The use of handheld devices including smartphones and tablets
is exploding. They’ve already become a crucial part of life for forest managers, for harvesting crews, on the road for drivers and in the office for fleet managers. The mobile revolution is undeniable. Leading local companies will be showcasing the very latest innovations around managing vehicle fleet, improving dispatch and scheduling and communications technologies that are being rolled out for forest products companies. In wood harvesting, it appears that much of the innovation is coming from those working in the forest. Prototypes for harvesting on steep country - a new steep slope harvester, a grapple carriage with high quality cameras and an on-board monitor using aerial LiDAR data to assist harvesting operators on steep terrain are just part of the developments being discussed at this year’s ForestTECH 2012 series. Full details of the program can be found on the event website, www.foresttechevents. com ForestTECH 2012 runs in Melbourne on 28-29 November and again in Rotorua on 4-5 December 2012.
42 â€“ November 2012 , Australian Forests & Timber News
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Make: Caterpillar, Model: 521 Year: 2006, Hours: 9335 Attachment: 624 Waratah Timberite computer system
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www.lucasmill.com Australian Portable Sawmill
Make: Tigercat, Model: L830 Year: 2004, Hours: 15,426 Attachment: 624 Waratah Logrite computer system
Make: Timbco, Model: T475EX Year: 2003, Hours: 15,944 Attachment: 624 Waratah Logrite computer system
Call for FREE DVD pack Today!
Ph: 03 5728 7283
Location: Oberon, NSW Matthew Mangan: 0429 650 593
Australian Forests & Timber News, November 2012 – 43
AVAILABLE NOW Softwood Bandsaw Processing Mill For high recovery sawmilling
Valen Kone VK26 Debarker In and out feed conveyors.
Band Re-saws: Robinson 48" and 54", Wadkin RR 1000, Holytek HB800. From $8,000.00+GST Dust Extraction: 50hp motor, 800 diameter inlet, complete with filter unit & ducting. $30,000.00+GST Moulders: 4, 5 & 6 head up to 300 wide, Weinig, Wadkin, SCM, Ledamac. From $15,000.00+GST Edgers/Multirip: Gibson, SCM, Sicar. From $11,000.00+GST Portable Bush Mill: Diesel powered with carriage and breast bench. $15,000.00+GST Contact: Jim Wills Ph: 02 9907 3699 Mobile: 0418 646 440 Email: email@example.com www.sawmillservices.com
Volvo L90 Loader
Comes complete with quick release, large chip bucket and log grapple forks.
Robinson 54” wheels heavy duty bandsaw
2002 CATERPILLAR 924G Wheel loader 11500 hrs $55,000+GST
Forano Twin 60” Bandsaw Log Breakdown line
TIMBER TREATMENT CYLINDER Ex CCA plant 1.8mt diameter 10mt long $20,000+GST
50hp motor, Hydraulic feed. $12,500+GST $9,800+GST
Top dogging. Log handling. Remote operator. Log diameter 60cm – 12cm, 6m - 2.4m. Hydraulic sizing 30cm – 7.5cm. $188,000+GST
optimising docker complete with in feed and unscramble, and 4 station kick off outfeed. $38,000+GST
Moreen Johnston 50” Horizontal Band Wing line
With roundabout and wing transfer deck.$44,000.00+GST
Windsor board twin edger
With laser guides, pneumatic sizing and conveyor waste transfer.
Biesse twin head
point to point automatic machine centre.
KOCKUMS FORWARDER 85-35T No grab Good engine, hydraulics, transmission and tyres $15,000+GST LARGE STAINLESS STEEL TANK 3.05mt diameter 4.8mt high Some damage
Forest Products Commission RFT09-2012 Pine Harvesting and Haulage Services
The Forest Products Commission invites suitably equipped and experienced companies to tender for a range of pine harvesting and/or haulage services from the Commission’s plantations located throughout the South West of Western Australia. The estimated quantity of products to be harvested and hauled will be between 750,000 and 850,000 cubic metres per annum. Briefing Details/Site Visit: Mandatory Briefing: There is one, 2 day mandatory tender briefing with associated site inspections to be held from 10.00am Wednesday 24 October 2012 at the following venue: John Moloney Clubrooms, 34 Highclere Boulevard, MARANGAROO WA 6064. For planning purposes, interested parties must register their intention to attend the briefing by contacting Kathy Evans on (08) 9363 4644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by 3.00pm Monday 22 October 2012. Documents available from www.tenders.wa.gov.au. Closing Date: Monday 26 November 2012 at 3.00pm WST
New model BigX50 coming soon!
Different sizes of mills with optional feeding table. Tractor, Diesel Power Pack or Electric Power Pack driven models.
BRUNNER HIGH VAC KILN 45m3 capacity Hot water boiler All trolleys, computer system, manuals, etc Great hardwood drying kiln $300,000+GST RANDALL’S PRENTICE 150 LOG GRAB ON EX-ARMY INTERNATIONAL 6X6 TRUCK Mounted on back with own diesel motor and hyd pack $18,000+GST SMITHS TWIN EDGER 2 x 75hp motors Will cut 700mm diameter x 6100mm log $30,000+GST LARGE STEEL TANK 3.6mt diameter 9.2mt high
38FT CHIVER LOG JINKER TRAILER 1984 X1
WOODCHIP SCREENS 8FT X 8FT X2
38FT TTE LOG JINKER TRAILER YEAR UNKNOWN X1
6INCH VICKERS RUWOLT RECHIPPER X1
For all enquiries please call Damien on 0417 570 616
Austral Timber Group Contact Ken Baker 0438 643 992 email@example.com
For Information, please, call 0419-536 804 or email your postal address to firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit www.timberbiz.com.au/dtn to sign up today.
Long Established Brisbane Timber Merchant. • Excellent central location. • Wholesale & retail sales of Australian and Imported cabinet timbers to Australia wide market. • Approx $2m + turnover P/A + growing. • 1500m2 warehouse + hardstand which is available for purchase or lease. • Suit owner operator & 2-3 staff. • Established in QLD for 23 years.
Contact - Craig Douglas - MGI STH QLD 07 3002 4800 for more details.
FOR SALE Spare parts for Grey Benches. Good stocks of genuine parts. Catalogue available. Contact Ron Grey Mob: 0414 657 393 Fax: 02 4988 6748
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY Do you have experience in the timber harvesting industry? No sales experience necessary but the ability to communicate with logging contractors essential. Position could suit a retired harvester operator or younger person keen for a change of pace. Working for an Australian manufacturer of parts for timber harvesting machines you will liaise directly with and become the key contact to the company’s harvester contractor customers. Factory and office is based in Melbourne’s West with the position requiring travel around Australia. •Salarypackageincludesacompany4x4. •Onlypersonswithindustryexperienceneedapply. •Mustbeabletosupplyindustryreferences. Apply by email to: email@example.com or fax (03) 8353 2602 GB Forestry Australia Pty Ltd 26 East Derrimut Crescent, Derrimut, Vic 3030
66,000* people who work with wood know it’s good for the environment.
The latest figures from MAFF show there has been a reduction of about 14% in the number of people working in forests and manufacturing wood products in Australia. These are the people who plant and harvest trees and turn them into products that avoid the use of fossil fuel and the release of carbon to the atmosphere. Australia’s carbon emissions continue to rise. You do the maths.
Join the battle for better Government policies For details of sensible policies for the Forest Products industry, go to http://ausfpa.com.au/site/key_policy_areas.php * DAFF - Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry at a glance 2012