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SEPTEMBER 2012 Issue 6, Vol. 21 • P: (03) 9888 4834 • F: (03) 9888 4840 • E: email@example.com • www.timberbiz.com.au
Pulp fiction, pulp facts By Rosemary Ann Ogilvie
EVEN YEARS and $250m of planning and preliminary work have come to nothing with the announcement by Gunns Limited on August 6 that its proposed $2.3bn Bell Bay pulp mill could no longer be listed as ‘probable to succeed’. The news darkened the heavy clouds hanging over Tasmania’s forestry industry, as most players believe the mill would be the industry’s saviour. Since bankers granted Gunns an 11-month reprieve in January, the company has attempted to recapitalise, while concurrently seeking a joint-venture partner and a financier for the mill. Existing institutional investors proved unresponsive, while interest from New Zealand-based investment company Richard Chandler Corporation rapidly cooled after examining Gunns financials. Gunns’ latest report reveals unencumbered assets are no longer
of sufficient value to allow a joint venture to proceed. Its measure of nett tangible assets is now negative, sliding from $750m in the previous report, while debt sits at more than $500m.
Global projects Analyses by various industry experts appearing in the media this year have hinted that perhaps the mill’s demise may not be a bad thing. One major concern is the massive new global pulp mill projects – notably Eldorado and Suzano Maranhao in Brazil, Montes del Plata in Uruguay and Oji in China – that will pump four million tonnes of pulp into the world market, potentially creating a glut in the bleached hardwood kraft (BHK) pulp market within a year or so – the market Gunns would join. Eldorado’s 31 trains and 447 rail cars will transport 1.5m tonnes of pulp each year to the company’s
port on Brazil’s southeast coast. Labour costs are lower in China and South America. There are predictions of falling pulp prices. Could the Bell Bay mill be viable in such an environment? Robert Eastment, director, IndustryEdge - Tasmanian-based company that’s been providing market intelligence on the pulp and paper industry throughout Australasia for 25 years – firmly believes the project remains a viable one. “Global pulp prices always have been very volatile,” he points out, addressing the last concern first. “A decade or more ago, the change in pulp prices was fairly slow through the cycle – more like an ocean roller, a long way up and a long way down. These days, pulp prices are far more volatile, whereby they can move through a whole cycle in maybe just three or four months.” This shift can be attributed to China’s involvement in the market as a major pulp trader.
F lashback to the early days of Gunns bid to build a pulp mill at Bell Bay.
Campbell Group acquires SA Government’s forestry assets THE CAMPBELL Group, LLC (TCG) has entered into definitive agreements to acquire the forward rotations of the South Australian Government’s forestry plantation estate in the Green Triangle. TCG is acquiring the forward rotations on behalf of a consortium of institutional investors, including Australia’s Future Fund. John Gilleland, President and Chairman of TCG, said: “TCG has been seeking quality timberland assets in this part of the world for some time. We are very pleased to have entered into agreements to acquire these plantation assets, which we consider to be the preeminent softwood resource in Australia. “TCG and its clients are disciplined investors with long term investment horizons. We are very confident in the long term viability and continued success of the Green Triangle timber industry.”
TCG is fully committed to the Green Triangle forest products industry and will seek to build and maintain strong relationships with local customers, suppliers and other industry participants. TCG acknowledges and is committed to the Treasurer’s Publicly Stated Conditions, including providing future supply to domestic customers, maintaining target rotation length and complying with replanting obligations. Under TCG’s direction, this valuable forestry estate will continue to be managed on a sustainable and commercial basis. “We recognise and value the high quality management team and staff at ForestrySA, who will continue to manage the plantations and very much look forward to working with them,” added Gilleland. TCG is advised by Freehills and Gresham Advisory Partners.
“The Chinese purchase on a very different rationale,” Eastment explains. “In the western world – Europe, North America and Australia – the normal way of buying pulp is through long-term contracts and forward pricing. You’re committed for a number of years, therefore movement is fairly slow and gradual.” China, on the other hand, buys on the market: it doesn’t go in for very long-term contracts. “When prices are rising, China buys before prices go up further. So suddenly prices will move up very quickly. Conversely, when prices are beginning to come down, China steps out of the market as it waits for prices to drop further – and they do, because this major market player has stopped buying. So the cycles now are more volatile over much shorter periods, and people who are relatively new to or inexperienced in the pulp market find it difficult to predict a price.” The massive capital expenditure involved in creating a world-scale pulp mill makes pulp one of the most expensive forms of manufacturing, Eastment continues. “For this
reason, you need to look at it through cycles over 30 years or more: what they’re likely to be and where they’re going. Issues driving the pulp prices will certainly relate to supply and demand for market pulp.” (See sidebar on page4.) Market pulp, which is the Gunns model, is pulp that is made and on sold to paper manufacturers. With the other type, integrated pulp, the pulp is made and converted into paper in the same factory. In 2000, of the total global pulp production of 184 million tonnes, 25 per cent was market pulp. In continued on page 4.
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Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 3
Still no clarity over CHH future in SA T
HE ANNOUNCED sale of South Australia’s forests (to The Campbell Group backed by Australia’s Future Fund) has only seemingly muddied the waters over Carter Holt Harvey’s bid for lower log prices and its future in SA. SA Treasurer Jack Snelling said the forward sale was a separate issue to that between CHH and ForestrySA over log prices. Snelling said he was pleased with the price the Government settled on but was not willing to disclose the amount until financial closure had occurred. “It is significantly greater than what has been speculated about, it is a very good deal for South Australian taxpayers,” he said, and expected financial closure in the next few weeks. However, major timber industry body Timber Queensland has issued a word of warning to the southern state. Timber Queensland chief executive Rod McInnes said industry initially supported privatisation (which happened two years ago) but had since learnt a valuable lesson. “It’s not as good in the long term as what we thought it might be. We supported the privatisation as an industry because of the difficulties of dealing with Government departments. We thought that a commercial operator would be easier to do business with,” he had told ABC. “We’re dismayed that we will be seeing our resource, logs, going offshore,” and his advice for SA was to make sure the new owner gave local business the “first bite of the cherry” at the processing of logs. CHH had been involved in talks with the Government for some time and had stressed that it wanted finalisation before the sale; however, it had come up short.
CHH General Manager Timber, Ian Tyson, told the Government that failure to gain a re-adjustment of log prices would put its operations in SA in jeopardy. Tyson said the industry in Australia had undergone structural change, evolving from a cost plus, closed market to an open, free market. “As part of this evolution imported timber has gained substantial market share which has led to a significant decrease in the market price of timber. At the same time, forest owners have continued to increase the price we have to pay for logs.” He said the result of this change (increasing costs and reducing revenue) was that CHH Mt Gambier mills were losing millions of dollars while ForestrySA was making millions of dollars. “For over 12 months we have endeavoured to rectify the problem without success. “We have made two points clear to ForestrySA and the SA Government: 1. CHH cannot and will not continue to incur losses. 2. CHH will not be put in a position where our losses, which form part of ForestrySA’s profits, are capitalised and sold by the Government, leaving us to resolve the problem with a new forest owner,” Tyson said. He said that ForestrySA and CHH must have an equitable and sustainable long term contract in order to support the forestry and wood processing industry in the south-east. “Without this the losses will force the closure of the mills and the decimation of the industry they support. “At this point the destiny of the Mt Gambier facilities and the shape of the forestry and wood processing industry in the south-east is in the
$500,000 alliance for USC forestry research EIGHTEEN FORESTRY stakeholders across Australia have contributed to a $500,000 alliance with the University of the Sunshine Coast to investigate new methods of improving their industry’s economic and environmental sustainability. The year-long USC Australian Forest Operations Research Alliance, which started last month, recognises the importance of building on the momentum of research in forest operations. Alliance Director is USC Professor of Forestry Operations Mark Brown, who joined the University this year from the University of Melbourne. “This is a huge outcome,” Professor Brown said of the alliance, which includes major firms like Hancock Queensland Plantations. “The fact there is no leveraging of Government funds says a lot about how much the industry values our research. By partnering with industry in this way, USC is staking its claim as a leader in forestry research.” He expects to see benefits for the University, the Sunshine Coast and the forestry industry nationally. “We are aiming for strong economic outcomes, improved sustainability of the forestry industry and opportunities for development in new areas such as bio-energy supply chains,” he said. “Bio-energy is about producing energy from organic matter such as wood and farm residue, so the supply chains are about how to effectively collect, process, transport and deliver this material to energy producers.” The alliance is signed until 30 June 2013. Professor Brown previously worked with USC as a partner in the Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, a national research consortium based in Hobart. He has worked as a researcher and program manager in industry cooperative applied forest operations for more than 15 years in Canada and Australia.
hands of ForestrySA and its owners the SA Government,” he said. Straight after the forward sale had been announced AFTN sought clarity from CHH over what the future held and put the following questions to the company: Will talks continue? Has there been any additional offer from the Government (similar to Holden)? What of the future of CHH in SA? What of the future of CHH in Australia (similar problems being experienced in Queensland)? CHH chose not to respond, saying it “won’t be answering the specific questions outlined”. Maybe there’s something to come as Treasurer Snelling said an “announcement about important investments in the South East would happen soon”!
F orestrySA pine plantation.
Timber leaders planning to fight for their future HOUSING AFFORDABILITY and changing demographics were highlighted at a Forum of Queensland’s forest and timber industry leaders as they discussed key issues to address in the Forest and Timber Industry Plan 2012-2040. The plan was announced by Premier Campbell Newman as one of the major initiatives of his Government to be completed in the current six month period. Co-hosted by the Department of Agriculture Fisheries & Forestry (DAFF) and Industry peak body Timber Queensland, the Forum presented information and insights to assist in forecasting Industry’s future. Speakers included well known demographer, Bernard Salt; Doug Parsonson from International Forestry Consultants – Poyry; HIA’s Economics Group and Ric Sinclair from Forest & Wood Products Australia. Timber Queensland chief executive officer, and chair
of the Industry Plan Working Group and facilitator of the forum, Rod McInnes, said the event successfully delivered thought-provoking data that would assist in developing the Industry Plan. “Now we will massage all this information together with the Situation Analysis already prepared by the Industry Working Group,” said McInnes. “We were honored that Forestry Minister McVeigh endorsed the Situation Analysis and attended the forum briefly, encouraging the industry and Government people present to discuss and debate ideas to feed into a Draft Plan for further consideration,” he said. “In conjunction to the forum a survey of all Industry stakeholders is under way. “A Working Group comprising Timber Queensland and DAFF officials together with representatives from forest growers and major timber markets will be working hard to transform the Draft Plan into a final form to present to the Minister before Christmas.”
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4 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
International expansion: projects over A$50M
C Tests open door to future transport. Read more on page 18. Features Opinion.................................................. 10 Technology.......................................14-15 ForestTECH........................................... 17 Trucking................................................. 18 ATTA Workshop............................... 20-21 Forwarders...................................... 26-29 Biofuels & Chipping......................... 30-32 Sawmills.......................................... 33-37
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O2 GROUP has signed a joint venture agreement with Asia Energy Development Partners Pte Ltd (AEDP), a Singapore-based carbon and renewable energy specialist, to establish CO2 Asia Pte Ltd. This new company will specialise in the development and commercialisation of projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol. The joint venture company (60% owned by CO2 Group and 40% owned by AEDP) has secured a number of major contracts that will generate approximately 15 million Certified Emission Reduction Units (CERs) over a 21-year period. These CERs are currently valued at more than A$50 million. In addition, the company has a strong pipeline of future prospects. “This is a very important step in the continued growth of our company,” said Andrew Grant, chief executive officer of CO2 Group, who will also be the chairman of CO2 Asia. “The creation of this joint venture provides us with international diversification, strong revenue growth and access to new and emerging markets in Europe and South East Asia. Most importantly, it will help us support our current clients to meet their compliance needs in Australia and New Zealand.”
The joint venture will draw on AEDP’s expertise in working in carbon markets across South East Asia and brings strong in-country commercial and government relationships. CO2 Asia’s contracted and pipeline CDM projects are located in Vietnam and India and the carbon credits generated from these projects can be traded under the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme, the Australian Carbon Scheme and the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (as all projects are pre-December 2012). David Tow has been appointed managing director of CO2 Asia. Tow has more than 20 years’ experience in energy and infrastructure and an extensive track record of successful delivery of renewable energy projects. He previously led Perenia Pty Ltd and was an Asia-based Executive Director with Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation. “This expansion into Asia is part of CO2 Group’s strategy to leverage our strong carbon technical skills and commercial knowledge into emerging markets. This announcement builds on the Company’s successful expansion into New Zealand and will ensure that CO2 Group’s revenue base is broad, diversified and continues to grow,” Grant said.
BRIEFLY... Seedlings by the thousands for schools Forestry Tasmania donated and distributed almost 7,000 tree seedlings to schools and community groups in support of National Tree Day celebrations. Coordinated by Planet Ark, Schools Tree Day is designed to give around 200,000 students across Australia an opportunity to plant seedlings in their school grounds. Forestry Tasmania’s Nursery and Seed Centre has given away more than 50,000 seedlings to schools and community groups during its involvement over the past six years. The range of species grown this year included plants from a variety of environments so that suitable types were available for milder coastal areas through to the colder central regions of Tasmania.
The Forest Products Fairness Act The Forest Products Fairness Act of 2012 will offer producers stronger, expanded product markets, so that the industry can better compete in the global marketplace, according to U.S. Reps. Glenn Thompson and Kurt Schrader. This modification is a win-win for consumers and producers, along with the promotion of healthy, well-managed forests, and the protection of communities that rely on these jobs and industries to survive.
Pulp fiction, pulp facts continued from page 1. 2010, 32 per cent of the global pulp production of 185 million tonnes was market pulp. However, production actually peaked in 2006-7 at 197 million tonnes. “This was just before the GFC, which as we know led to greatly reduced economic activity and fewer people working. Consequently there was a lower demand for paper; fewer magazines; less marketing material; and less office paper,” says Eastment. “So production has actually fallen from 197 million tonnes back to 186 million tonnes, while the supply of market pulp compared to integrated pulp has risen.” He stresses that he is talking in extremely general terms about all types of pulp: sulphate (kraft),
sulphite (photographic and brochures), bi-sulphite (tissue), mechanical pulp (newsprint), solid kraft (bags and boxes).
Production costs Regarding the new world-scale pulp mills, Eastment says they produce cheaper pulp – primarily market – and are also replacing hundreds of smaller pulp mills that are very, very expensive and highly polluting. “Moreover, pulp mills in the USA are closing,” says Eastment. “While some pulp wood is cut from plantations and native forests, about 70 per cent of pulp wood supply is out of sawmills. With the collapse of the housing industry, housing construction
has essentially ceased, which has resulted in hundreds of sawmills going out of business. So there’s no sawmill residue to feed the mills.” Pulp production in the USA declined from 57 million tonnes in 2000, to 49 million tonnes in 2010. Addressing the issue of the labour cost differential, Eastment says that while Australia’s labour costs are higher, so is the productivity of our workforce. “One of our major disadvantages is that our cabotage – getting freight on and off ships – is possibly the most expensive in the western world, but fortunately we’re not going through Melbourne or Sydney ports,” says Eastment. “On the positive side, we have a shorter steaming route to major markets as we don’t have to cross the entire Pacific.” The average
steaming days for woodchip or pulp to Asia or China is about 15 days, from Chile it’s about 30 days, and from South Africa 25 days. And while Eldorado’s port and rail infrastructure may give it a competitive edge in South America, says Eastment, such infrastructure is not needed in Tasmania. “Gunns takes the pulp out of the driers, into a warehouse and onto a ship. We don’t need a railway coming out of the port onto the ship. “So certainly, there are definite advantages in the unit costs of labour and production in South America,” says Eastment. “However, it doesn’t mean we’re out of the ball park as we certainly have some advantages of our own.” We can only hope this is recognised and that the project is revived.
Pulp supply and demand One aspect of supply and demand that needs to be addressed is the rapid adoption of tablets and their impact on print media. ”Electronic publications are having a major impact, especially in mechanical pulp (newsprint),” says Eastment. “More people are reading their daily news on their tablets in bed with their cup of coffee. In Australia alone last year, the volume of newspaper printed fell by 10 per cent. We’re actually a little behind the rest of the world in the decline, because we’re a nation that reads a lot of newspapers. So this is the most significant impact of the changing technology.” However, Eastment stresses that mechanical pulp is very different from the kraft pulp Gunn’s will make. Mechanical pulp is basically produced by grinding the tree, whereas the manufacture of kraft pulp involves removing the lignan and separating the wood into cellulose fibres. This
pulp is used to make white office paper – and also goes into magazines. “There is certainly a decline both in the consumption in office papers, and in magazine readership,” says Eastment. “Traditionally, the major consumers of magazines are females aged 17 to 30. Today, the discretionary disposable expenditure of this demographic is more likely to be on mobile phones. These people tend to be texting rather than reading a magazine when they’re waiting at the hairdresser.” Gunns pulp could also be used for books, also a declining market in the western world. Balancing this is countries such as China, India and Vietnam whose very sizable and increasingly literate populations are seeking more access to books and magazines. This trend should continue for some time, although it will peak in different places at different times. “While there may be some increasing demand
from these regions, the downside is that there will be much greater pricing pressures than if the demands were rising in Europe or North America,” Eastment comments. “The decline in European economic conditions has resulted in a sharp reduction in consumption.” One of the major suppliers to European markets is China, and it’s feeling the impact of the loss of this key export market, and the North America market, as a consequence of the economic challenges they’re experiencing. “Declining economic conditions in Europe and North America will lead to reduced demand for packaging and paper in China, which in turn will impact the Chinese economy. “ The warnings are there, says Eastment. “We read in the financial press on a daily basis that things are cooling very rapidly in China, and in a few years time their demand for our resources may be nowhere near the current volume.”
Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 5
‘Imagine if all the effort that has gone in to closing down the forestry industry in Tasmania had instead gone in to strengthening the sector, in developing markets rather than undermining them, to research new products, rather than ignoring the value of such research, to recognise the value of biofuels, rather than condemning them’.
Private foresters have been ‘done over’ in so-called agreement A
CCORDING TO the State Government, an agreement has now been reached that will end ‘the forest wars’ in Tasmania. They are deluding themselves. That’s the opinion of Jan Davis, chief executive of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA). That part of the interim forests agreement that has been publicly released confirms the worst fears of Tasmanian private forest growers, said Davis. “In our view, this is more an agreement to agree that they might agree to something sometime in the future,” she said. “There is nothing in it but motherhood statements and repetitious self-interest, self-interest that excludes everyone else in the industry who is not represented round the table. “If that’s the best they can come up with after
two years, they should give up now,” Davis said. “Yet again private foresters have been done over in this so-called agreement. The private forest industry, mainly farmers responsible for 26% of the State’s total forest cover, didn’t get a look in, didn’t figure in the calculations as the infrastructure of a key component of their industry (fellers, trucks, sawmills) is decimated. “In fact, the only time private forest owners get a mention is when these negotiators pledge to impose Forest Stewardship Council certification on all native forests, including the private forest estate.” Davis said the negotiators had refused to reveal how much land the industry had been prepared to cede to the conservationists, its location, protection status or where the industry would source sufficient timber to maintain viability. It reinforced the view that
this was a farce, a sham and unrepresentative. “The conservation groups have offered no concessions and nor can they give guarantees that they will end the economic sabotage of this industry by their fellow-travellers,” she said. “The Huon Environment Centre has said it will not be bound by the agreement; the Tarkine National Coalition has announced it will lobby prospective investors against investing in a mining project in the NW Forest area, Miranda Gibson is still up her tree, and the Greens want another 585,000 ha in World Heritage or national parks. Where’s the durability in that?” According to Davis, Deputy Premier Bryan Green’s declaration that the ‘interim agreement marks the end of the forest wars’ shows just how out of touch the Government was with reality and with the views of the mainstream Tasmanian community.
“Both State and Federal Governments have made it clear they want an agreement, irrespective of the details so they insist that the parties continue at the table. “They have no Plan B. For them, failure would mean egg on all their faces. “Imagine if all the effort that has gone in to closing down the forestry industry in Tasmania had instead gone in to strengthening the sector, in developing markets rather than undermining them, to research new products, rather than ignoring the value of such research, to recognise the value of biofuels, rather than condemning them,” she said. “Politicians should draw a line under this flawed process and swallow their pride; they should stop thinking about how to placate a noisy minority and start focusing on how to get people back to work and keep jobs into the future.”
Troubling times for Triabunna: miracle if mill re-opens THE TRIABUNNA mill opened 40 years ago and became the central point for forestry in southern Tasmania. Gunns Limited closed the mill in April 2011 stating that it was no longer feasible as a result of reduced prices and demand for Tasmanian woodchips overseas. This meant that about 40 workers directly employed by the mill, and hundreds indirectly, were out of work. Three months later in June 2011 the mill was sold to Triabunna Investments, run by Jan Cameron and Graeme Wood. Triabunna Investments installed Alec Marr, former Wilderness Society leader, as general manager of the Triabunna mill in July 2011. The morale of the Triabunna people has been terrible since the closure of mill, says Bertrand Cadart, Mayor of Glamorgan Spring Bay Council. “Triabunna is a blue collar town dying,” says the Mayor. “We are losing people; they are going,” the Mayor says. “It’s all the associated people who are affected by the closing down of the mill. We had 300 or 400 trucks each day going through the area.” While Glamorgan Spring Bay Council did not have official numbers on people leaving the area, the Council’s Lona Turvey said that
anecdotally they knew of 25 family men between Swansea and Buckland on the east coast who had taken up fly-in fly-out jobs on the mainland as a result of the closure of the mill. Of this, at least two would not get home until Christmas this year. The Mayor, however, remains optimistic of Triabunna’s future and will concentrate on developing tourism, a marina and a large golf course. Cheryl Arnol, a long-time Glamorgan Spring Bay Councillor and President of Timber Communities Australia, East Coast Branch, is sceptical of tourism becoming Triabunna’s lifeblood, especially as tourism numbers are presently decreasing. “Everyone is saying that tourism is the panacea of the area,” she says.
to continue getting worse. “We have heard for more than 30 years that the forests are threatened. It is now time that the Government, the Greens and their supporters realised that we (the people) are now the threatened species.” Cheryl’s word of warning to the mining industry: “Stay vigilant as to what the Greens might be doing and fight like hell to keep your industry.” Graeme Elphinstone’s Triabunnabased engineering and trailer business has seen a substantial drop in business since the closure of the mill. It is all the more frustrating for Graeme as he believes the mill closure was unnecessary and that forestry in Tasmania is sustainable. Graeme knows of 40 former forestry workers now working in Townsville in Queensland and refers
Systems, Logging Trailers and Antarctic Equipment. He started his own business in Triabunna in 1976 with a saw centre and imported and fitted the first log truck on-board weighing system in Australia. Over the years his business has expanded to include, among other things, Antarctic equipment and a business in Melbourne. In the past 12 months the Triabunna business has gone from being a profitable one to losing money and to 11 Elphinstone employees being put off. The Melbourne arm of the business is currently keeping the Triabunna one afloat. Graeme’s logging trailer business has mostly dried up. He continues to diversify with new products to survive the downturn, but this takes a lot of time and money and not everybody
Our own business has suffered, but that’s not what’s really eating me up, it’s the future of Tasmania that’s really eating me up. “There is no way that the tourism industry in the Triabunna area could absorb all the displaced direct forest workers, even if they wanted to be baristas or tour guides, let alone those people supported indirectly through the industry.” She is concerned that people do not seem to understand the flow-on effect of the closure of the mill. “Without industry we do not have primary jobs and communities die in various ways,” she says. “Without employment opportunities our young people move away, our shops and stores close, infrastructure suffers, and communities stagnate. Our depression and suicide rates increase placing a greater burden on an already struggling health system.” Cheryl is concerned that that Glamorgan Spring Bay area has statistically the most number of people over the age of 55 and the most under 25 in Australia, and that this is going
to his colleague, John Whatley, who recently closed his log haulage business. Whatley employed 19 people in the area. “His annual fuel bill was in the vicinity of $1.6 million; tyres $25,000 per month; maintenance on trucks and trailers $20,000 per month,” Graeme says. “Add to this the loss of registration fees and this equates to a loss to the Tasmanian economy of more than $3,000,000 per annum.” “You start to wonder why you are here, but I stay because I want to live in Tasmania,” says Graeme. “Our own business has suffered, but that’s not what’s really eating me up, it’s the future of Tasmania that’s really eating me up,” he says. Graeme believes that the closure and sale of the Triabunna mill was absolutely criminal. He says that it will be a miracle if the mill re-opens. Graeme is the successful owner and operator of Elphinstone Weighing
has this opportunity. “You take the woodchip out of Triabunna and you lose a heap of people,” Graeme says. “Take my business: we need a school, a supermarket, a chemist, a good doctor’s surgery and good services; otherwise we can’t keep our employees here. All of a sudden that’s a challenge for us. How do we keep the town vibrant?” He’s hopeful of the development of the Triabunna marina and notes that he has been on the marina committee for the council for approximately 20 years. Graeme said he knows of at least 40 former forestry workers now in Townsville in Queensland carting logs. The mining industry needs to take heed of what is happening to the forest industry, Graeme believes. “If you look at the bigger picture, the mining industry needs training
Graeme Elphinstone organisations like TAFE and other services to keep them viable, you’ve got to have the numbers, the tourist industry also needs these services as well”, he says. “If we close the whole place down - if forestry and other industries go that way, then you don’t have the infrastructure to train the people and the services for people.... It will have a flow-on affect to everybody. “The full affects of the forestry industry demise haven’t been felt yet in Tasmania. Hobart, for example, is running on federal money, the handouts for the hospital, the railyard development. If people have money they don’t worry.” Graeme spoke of a man who lost his job after driving a log truck for more than 30 years, who asks if he can go and sit in a truck occasionally. Graeme described him as “one of the most professional operators, who always kept his truck immaculate and never had an accident”. “Now, that’s just demoralising,” Graeme says. “That’s all they have and all they know; forestry is a way of life for a lot of people. Forestry is a renewable and sustainable industry, it is only common sense to keep it going along with most of our other industries, they all contribute to make out state viable and a good place to live.” courtesy Tasmanian Mining.
6 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
timber events If you would like to promote a forthcoming event, please email details (including contact numbers, email, etc) to: email@example.com or phone 08 8369 9500
AUSTRALASIA 2012 September NZ FICA Regional Meeting – Nelson 28 September NZ FICA Practical Leadership Workshop – Nelson 4 October R&DWorks seminar – Albury NSW http://www.fwpa.com.au/upcomingevents 10-11 October Wood Innovations – Melbourne. www.woodinnovationsevents.com 14-17 October Australian Forest Growers conference
Sham forest deal shame A
USTRALIANS SHOULD be outraged that the incompetent Gillard Government is considering paying Tasmanian businesses to close as part of the sham forest peace deal, Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck said. “The Gillard Government continues to fail industries all over Australia,” the Senator said. “Fresh from the disaster that was its failed attempt to save jobs in the automotive industry, it is absurd to hear the Gillard Government is now considering using taxpayers’ money to close down viable Tasmanian forestry businesses. “These businesses do not need closing down. What they need is guaranteed resource supply and a woodchip mill option in the south of the State. “As industry players have
indicated, demand for quality timber products is strong. Instead of closing it down, the Gillard Government should be helping Tasmania’s forestry industry get on with business. “As we have said on a number of occasions, the Coalition will not recognise any forest closures which result from this sham process. “While the signatories involved in the protracted negotiations can be complimented for their tenacity, the reality is that this process will not result in peace in the forests. “In fact, Australian taxpayers and the wider forest industry must wake up to the fact that this process did not commence in order to find “peace in the forests” – it is a process borne out of a corporate plan developed by Gunns Ltd, the Greens and the CFMEU.
“When the Greens say that industry came to them to work out a solution they are, as usual, misleading. “Industry did not go to the Greens for a solution, but Gunns Ltd did in order to get a deal for the pulp mill. The rest of the industry was then sucked into this sham process. “I’m sure Greens followers will be horrified to know that their leaders are in fact working to implement a plan devised to bring the pulp mill to reality. “The notion of peace in the forests is a complete myth - as demonstrated by the demands of yet more conditions from former Greens leader Peg Putt last week – and the forestry “peace talks” are a sham,” Senator Colbeck said.
Senator Richard Colbeck.
No conspiracy theory, says CFMEU
(Diverse Subtropical Forestry) – Gympie. 17 October Forest And Wood Products Association
Tasmanian forestry peace talks
(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. http://www.fwpa.com.au/upcomingevents 1 - 2 November FICA Annual Conference – Rotorua (Challenges of Steep Country Logging & Silviculture) 1 November R&DWorks seminar – Sydney NSW. http://www.fwpa.com.au/upcomingevents 16 November VAFI Annual Dinner – Melbourne 22 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. http://www.bioenergyaustralia.org 29 November R&DWorks seminar – Hobart TAS. http://www.fwpa.com.au/upcomingevents
Michael O’Connor, National Secretary of the CFMEU and the National Secretary of the Forest and Furnishing Products Division, says there’s no conspiracy about the Tasmanian forest peace talks …. “it’s got to a further stage. It’s not final but people are definitely working hard to see if they can come to some form of agreement. It has progressed”. He maintains they are “pretty close to having a final agreement. It’s about making sure that you get the info right. It’s no good saying there’s X amount of wood in an area and there isn’t. We’ve all been down that road before. “My understanding is that there have been a whole heap of negotiations going on for 18 months or more which includes every part of the timber industry -- the national contractors association, the state contractors associations, the national industry associations, the state industry associations, the union, the TCA ... it doesn’t sound like some conspiracy theory to me. “I can tell you who wasn’t part of the negotiations, ever ... Gunns! They were never formally involved in negotiations. Sure they knew what was going on they were never in the room. He said Senator Richard Colbeck had used a very convenient throwaway line about big business, big unions and environmental groups. “The reality is that the actual genesis of it was an emergency meeting in Campbelltown before the last state election. It was brought about because of the crisis among contractors because of the decline in the woodchip market. From there when we worked out the state of the industry and what was going on in the industry that forced us to the negotiating table and the last time I looked the predictions about the woodchip market if anything back
then ended up being optimistic; It is worse now than everybody thought it was going to be. It is worse. It’s diabolical, and for people like Colbeck to ignore the economic realities makes them an economic illiterate ... and that’s on the record.” O’Connor quickly fired up when asked about a report that had described the latest agreement as ‘an agreement to have an agreement about an agreement’ ... “Great line at a cocktail party but when you are responsible for the lives of thousands of people it ain’t (expletive) funny”. He said that following the failure and bankruptcies of many contractors and businesses those people were going to be left on their own with no support. “What we’ve done to date through this process is unlock a substantial amount of Government assistance for those workers and their families. This wouldn’t have been on the table if we didn’t have this process. “I’m not sure if Colbeck has sat in a room and watched a grown man cry, but I have; I have seen a room of contractors and have seen them starting to sob and it ain’t nice, and their wives ring you up because the bank has threatened to grab their house. “Through this process there’s been tens of millions of dollars that’s been able to be paid out. “Personally, I don’t think it’s enough for what these people deserve; they’ve hung in there for the industry, for the sake of the industry. You know these people, they’re good people. They don’t deserve to be treated in a bad way. “Any assistance we have been able to get them has been terrific. “These are real people’s livelihoods here; these contractors are hanging on for grim life, putting their houses up and trying to pay their crews when they had no money.
They’re good people,” O’Connor said. “I don’t know what some of them would have done if they hadn’t been helped. These people know you can’t get money for nothing. These are real good working people with a great work ethic. They don’t like this at all. They just want a job. They just want to work. “It’s because of the market, not this agreement, they’ve been denied that opportunity,” he said. He said the Federal Government hadn’t wanted to be involved. “After 2004 when the industry working together (employers, contractors union TCA) gave Mark Latham a good spanking the last thing the ALP wanted to do was be involved in any forestry negotiations. We collectively dragged them in because we had people in failing businesses who were going to be ruined. “The contractors went to the Liberals before the 2007 election and asked for money because they were in dire straights but they got nothing,” O’Connor said. And what’s O’Connor’s take on the future of the industry for at least the next 12 months ... “Were in dire straits and for a number of reasons. “First, what people forget because of the issue of trees and forests, we are really a manufacturing industry; that’s what we are but we use a natural resource. As a consequence the appreciation of the dollar is killing us. “Our business models are based on 75 cents to the dollar which is now are at $1.05. It’s killing us. “Just have a look at the structural timber import which is now something like 30%. Not only are we losing market share but it’s depressing the price. Profitability in different sectors of the forest products industry has evaporated, a lot of it is because of the dollar and
Log on Today!
Michael O'Connor. the mining boom which is adding to the appreciation of the dollar. “All manufacturing is getting absolutely hammered. I don’t really know any people who are making a dollar out of this industry. “People have to make a return on their money. If they don’t they get out and eventually either banks stop lending people money or people move on. “When people tell me they’re having difficulties I know when they’re just running a line with me and I know when they’re serious and none of them are running a line. They’re in trouble. “We’ve also got a range of problems with resource and quality of resource, and I think there’s a disconnect with the growers and what’s happening in the market as well, which we’ve seen play out in SA with Carter Holt Harvey (CHH had sought a log price reduction from the SA Government [ForestrySA] and had said it would be forced to close its operations unless it could negotiate a realistic log price). “It’s tough out there. I’m not very optimistic about the next 12 months if the dollar remains where it is and if we don’t get some firm action on things like dumping.
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8 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Just weeks away from final agreement in Tasmania A DRAFT interim Agreement as been reached in the ongoing Tasmanian peace deal talks and it is thought that agreement on a final resolution is about four weeks away. “Key Points of the interim agreement include: • Recognition of native forest harvesting as a legitimate activity, • T he immediate necessity for access to export points for residue wood in the North West, North and South of the State, and the need for Governments to be involved in ensuring that these facilities are available, • A medium and long term strategy, supported by Governments, to deal with residue, • I ndustry restructure and support for contractors, employees and communities, • T he mandating employing of accredited
licensed contractors for harvesting, haulage, silverculture and roading activities, •A ll parties to facilitate certification, including FSC (a critical point in achieving a durable outcome), and, •A stakeholder Council to oversee the progress on an agreement with a dispute resolution procedure. The achievement of the parties reaching Agreement on a Final Resolution is expected to be 4-6 weeks away. The interim agreement has been variously described as a ‘sham’, ‘hype and wishful thinking’ and ‘pretty close to having a final agreement’. Regenerated coupe. Photo: Forestry Tasmania
“Regardless of its final outcome, this so-called ‘forest peace’ process has effectively resulted in the Australian and Tasmanian Governments out-sourcing forest policy to ideologically-driven career activists who know what they don’t like, but not much else; who are ideologically representative of only a minority of the population; and who have no compunction in deceitfully disseminating misinformation to get their way.”
Damage to Tasmania has been done By Mark Poynter writing in OnLine Opinion
ASMANIA’S SO-called ‘forest peace’ process is drawing to a close after almost two-years of secretive talks between conservation groups (ENGOs) and timber industry representatives costing taxpayers upwards of $2.2 million. As yet there is no final agreement despite the recent personal intervention of Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke. Quite simply, it is very difficult (if not impossible) to reconcile conservation demands to reserve a further 570,000 ha of Tasmanian forest against the native hardwood industry’s requirement to meet existing wood supply commitments. Regardless of the eventual outcome of this process, Tasmanian forestry has descended into a debacle given last week’s admission by Gunns that its approved plantations-based Tamar Valley pulp mill is now unlikely to be built. The prospect of transitioning to a plantations-based industry centred on the pulp mill essentially underpinned the ‘forest peace’ process whereby Tasmania’s native hardwood sector would be largely sacrificed in return for an ENGO-
sanctioned ‘social licence’ to build and operate the mill. However, the notion that native forest products have no future is far from unanimously supported within the native hardwood sector and indeed the wider Tasmanian community. Now that the pulp mill is highly unlikely to eventuate, those who devised this strategy – most
unemployment rate; while the exodus of workers to the mainland has grown to equal record levels. Social service organisations have also noted the high costs to human health and relationships. In addition, rural land values have fallen by an estimated $2 billion given the uncertainty about whether an industry capable of
including a high Australian dollar. However, the realisation that other Australian states which largely produce the same native and plantation hardwood products for the same markets have not been nearly so badly affected, points to Tasmania and Gunns having been specifically impacted by another factor.
The notion that native forest products have no future is far from unanimously supported within the native hardwood sector and indeed the wider Tasmanian community. notably Gunns – can be seen to have voluntarily jeopardised the future of the state’s native hardwood sector for an expanded plantations sector that is now unlikely to develop. Indeed, Gunns now seems to be battling for its very survival and, having closed or sold-off its export woodchipping infrastructure, has little current capability to earn income from its Tasmanian plantations. The damage to Tasmania has now largely been done with thousands of rural jobs already lost or downsized. The state now has the country’s highest
Eucalypt regrowth. Photo: Forestry Tasmania
utilising privately-owned native forests and plantations will exist into the future. Given the central role of Gunns in what has transpired it has become commonplace for Greens politicians, and ENGOs and their supporters to absolve themselves of any responsibility by portraying this debacle as being of the forest industry’s own making. There is certainly plenty of truth in an appraisal of it as being precipitated by the behavior of Gunns and exacerbated by a difficult business climate associated with the GFC,
Putting aside the complication of the pulp mill proposal, the major differentiation between the damage to Tasmania’s hardwood industry and its mainland state counterparts has been the systematic ‘brand mailing’ of Tasmania’s major timber companies and their forestry practices by ENGOs operating both in the international marketplace and domestically amongst retailers, banks, shareholders and the broader investment community. ‘Brand mailing’ is a term coined in the USA to describe concerted ENGO campaigns to
discredit companies in order to achieve specific environmental outcomes. The ‘brand mailing’ of Tasmanian forestry stretches back to 2007 and continued throughout the ‘peace process’ most notably with activists in international boardrooms, and a young woman perched atop a Tasmanian tree for the past 8-months connected to a worldwide audience via the internet. Actions such as these continue to grossly misrepresent Tasmanian forestry as being akin to Third World standard. However, Tasmania’s forests are not under any dire threat. Around two-thirds of their area on both public and private land is either already formally reserved or is otherwise not used for wood supply, including 80% of the ‘old growth’ forest. In addition, Tasmania’s forestry planning and practices are widely acknowledged to be amongst the world’s best, and there is an absence of the deforestation, illegal logging, and corruption which plagues many other countries which supply natural hardwood to the global market. Central to the ENGO’s ‘brand mailing’ campaigns has been their errant claim that Tasmanian native forestry is unsustainable Continued on page 9.
Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 9
Forestry group grows from frustration A
PPROXIMATELY 100 people came together on 18 July to form a Friends of Forestry group due to frustration at the misinformation being spread about Victoria’s sustainable forest industry. Residents of Kinglake, Toolangi, Yarra Junction, Millgrove, Lilydale and Healesville - to name a few - were in attendance at the private meeting which was organised to gauge interest in forming a local grassroots Friends of Forestry group. The meeting provided a great atmosphere, full of positive and factual information for those in attendance.
“Friends of Forestry is a group of like minded people, representing a broad spectrum of the community from timber workers, community people, business owners, tourism operators, 4WDer’s, deer hunters and other bush users,” said Friends of Forestry President Brett Robin. “Our mission is to provide factual information which will improve public awareness and education about the importance of our sustainable native timber industry and the importance of keeping our forests open for all users and
activities,” he said. “People claiming to be environmentalists are distorting the facts, photo shopping images, providing incorrect information about our forests and worst of all invading a designated workplace putting timber workers safety at risk. “No Australian deserves to work in an unsafe environment and the actions of the forest protesters are threatening the safety of timber workers who have a legal right to work and support their families,” said Robin.
“We urge communities to explore the truth about our sustainable timber industry, understand that we are not harvesting old growth forests and furthermore that we truly care about the future of our industry and environmental benefits of our forests. “If people want to protest, take their argument to the politicians. Stop holding up weekend tourists at their regular protests at Healesville’s Main Street traffic lights and stop breaching OHS practices and persecuting hard working honest people,” Robin said.
Damage to Tasmania has been done Continued from page 8. simply because it isn’t certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (the FSC). Concurrently they have trashed the reputation of the alternative Australian Forestry Standard (to which most of Tasmania’s hardwood industry is certified) by misrepresenting it as ‘industry standard’ when in fact it was developed under the auspices of Standards Australia specifically for Australian conditions. By comparison, the FSC-certification scheme was developed by the global environmental movement and is a generic international standard with no local focus. Nevertheless, these attacks have ultimately helped to create a market demand for FSC-certification that the Australian hardwood industry simply cannot meet because our ENGOs are themselves the gatekeepers of the FSC scheme in Australia and therefore control who can or can’t be certified. It is unclear whether customers, banks or shareholders lobbied by these ‘brand mailing’ campaigns actually believe ENGO’s claims or simply make a pragmatic decision to cut ties with targeted companies to disassociate themselves from a controversy. Either way it is apparent that in this case, these campaigns have effectively sabotaged key markets for Tasmanian hardwood products. Ultimately, this contributed to Gunns’ loss of its traditional Japanese woodchip customers and substantially reduced the company’s revenue by forcing it to sell into less lucrative markets. This, together with the Wilderness Society’s efforts to poison Gunns’ reputation amongst its bankers and largest shareholders, helped foster the climate that enabled self-styled ‘corporate eco-warrior’ Geoffrey Cousins to engineer a boardroom coup in May 2010. This claimed the scalps of two of Gunns’ Tasmanian-based directors, including Chairman, John Gay, a 37-year industry veteran who was the company’s public face. Cousins was largely inspired to act by deceitful ENGO campaigns which misrepresented Gunns’ proposed pulp mill as a grave threat to Tasmania’s ‘old growth’ forests and iconic endangered species, such as the Wedge-tailed Eagle. In reality, the pulp mill was planned as a facility that would initially draw its resource from a mix of native regrowth and plantations before fully transitioning to plantation wood within five-years.
Arguably, if John Gay had remained as Gunns’ Chairman, it is unlikely that the company would have acted knowingly in ways which would severely damage the rest of the native hardwood sector, but the revamped Gunns board and its new Managing Director, Greg L’Estrange – a noted ‘change agent’ with no special affinity for timber industries – clearly had no such compunction. Soon after his appointment, L’Estrange announced that Gunns would relinquish their forest harvesting rights and close their native hardwood division to concentrate on plantation-grown products. Concurrently he, in conjunction with a prominent
towards. However, on two separate occasions the Australian Greens have stymied attempts to include the use of biomasss from native forest harvesting and sawmill residues in Federal renewable energy legislation. Clearly, their ideological determination to ultimately end native forest wood production exceeds their commitment to the improved environmental outcomes that could be achieved through increased generation of renewable energy. Further to this, the two-year delay associated with the ‘forest peace’ process has created marketplace uncertainty and prevented the industry from exploring and developing relationship-
process has effectively resulted in the Australian and Tasmanian Governments out-sourcing forest policy to ideologically-driven career activists who know what they don’t like, but not much else; who are ideologically representative of only a minority of the population; and who have no compunction in deceitfully disseminating misinformation to get their way. The concern for other Australian primary industries should be that it could easily happen to them. Already in Tasmania the focus of the ENGOs is turning to commercial fishing, mining and aquaculture, while the use of pesticides in agriculture and
Gunns’ self-serving behaviour dragged the rest of sector unwillingly into a process which threatened their future. ENGO activist, effectively initiated the so-called ‘forest peace’ process ultimately aimed at facilitating the construction of the company’s proposed pulp mill. As by far the largest and most dominant player in Tasmania’s native hardwood industry, Gunns’ self-serving behaviour dragged the rest of sector unwillingly into a process which threatened their future. Before long, Gunns had closed their woodchip export facilities to the remaining native hardwood players. Then, in June 2011, in what appeared to be a deliberately provocative indignity, they sold their Triabunna woodchip mill and port facility to a pair of megawealthy ‘green’ entrepreneurs despite their purchase offer being 40% lower than a competing timber industry consortium. Unsurprisingly, under their ‘management’ the Triabunna woodchip facility has remained closed ever since. This has severely hampered the remaining timber industry in Tasmania’s southern forests by deliberately denying it access to its traditional market outlet for forest and sawmill residue. As these residues can no longer earn an income the economic viability of the industry has been badly damaged. This problem could have been addressed by developing a market for woody residues as a source of renewable biomass energy – a proposal that Forestry Tasmania was already working
based market opportunities. This situation has also restricted access to capital markets thereby preventing investments in new approaches, new technologies and new markets and products. In effect, this has meant that the industry has gone backwards whilst waiting for an outcome. The spin attached to the ‘forest peace’ process is that if it results in an agreement being reached, it will ‘secure the future for Tasmania’s forest industry’. At best this will be a significantly attenuated future based on a substantially reduced resource base. Also, given that this future can only be secured by the industry agreeing to relinquish most of its legally enshrined harvesting rights in return for an ENGO promise to stop sabotaging its markets, it smacks of extortion. To this can be added blackmail, given the Federal Government’s determination to force a resolution by making hundreds of millions of dollars in industry compensation and regional development grants contingent on the industry agreeing to effectively sign away much of its future to facilitate new national parks. The Federal Government’s involvement in what should be a state responsibility has been troubling, but seems to be linked to an agreement that Julia Gillard made with then Greens Leader Bob Brown in 2010 to garner the support she needed to become Prime Minister. Regardless of its final outcome, this so-called ‘forest peace’
plantation forestry continues to be a target. Recently, the Executive Director of the Tasmanian Minerals Council opined that at least one ENGO encouraged by the success of tactics used against the state’s forest industry, had signalled its intention to attack the banks, shareholders and markets of a mining company which had nominated several projects for assessment in Tasmania’s north west. Last week
a poorly informed article published on the widely-read political and current affairs website, the Asian Correspondent, about the supposed threats of mining in north western Tasmania’s Tarkine region, arguably signified the start of the process of misinformation. It is hard to combat such tactics. However, a good start would be for the Federal and State Governments to resist rather than reward Greens and ENGO attempts to manipulate resource use policies through campaigns of misinformation against already well-regulated Australian rural industries. This is probably unlikely at present given that the Australian and Tasmanian Governments are reliant on symbiotic relationships with Greens politicians. However, it is clear that unless ENGOs using misinformation and deceit are brought to account, Australia’s primary resource use industries will be required to overcome unwarranted and ever greater hurdles to survive, which is hardly in the national interest. The current state of Tasmania stands as a salutory lesson as to what this can look like. Mark Poynter is a professional forester with 30 years experience. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Foresters of Australia and acts for it in a voluntary capacity as a media spokesperson. His book Saving Australia’s Forests and its Implications was published in 2007.
Old growth forest. Photo: Forestry Tasmania
10 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
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INTERNATIONAL 2012 4 September 3rd International Plantation Industry Conference & Exhibition (IPICEX 2012) kota kinabalu, Malaysia 3-6 September Forest-Water Interactions with Respect to Air Pollution and Climate Change. Kahramanmaras, Turkey 9-14 September 6th Meeting of the IUFRO Working Party 7.02.09 Phytophthora in Forests and Natural Ecosystems. Córdoba, Spain 16-18 September Sixth European Conference on Wood Modification ECWM6. Ljubljana, Slovenia 20-22 September 2012 - Demo International - Saint-Raymond, Quebec. http://www.demointernational.com 25-26 September Timber Expo 2012, Ricoh Arena Coventry, Coventry, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org 4-6 October MTC Global Wood Mart, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia 8-11 October Managing forests for ecosystem services: can spruce forests show the way? Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom 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
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. 7-10 April 6th International Woodfibre Resources & Trade Conference. Woodchips & Biomass for Global & Regional Markets. Istanbul, Turkey 5-8 June ElmiaWood – Jonkoping, Sweden. http://www.elmia.se/en/wood/
Dire warning to Victorian Govt Cheryl Arnol is a Councillor on Glamorgan Spring Bay Council, a sports star in her own right and above all a strong supporter of the forestry and timber industry. She knows full well the trauma that has resulted from protracted talks in a bid to find a forestry agreement in Tasmania. However, concentrated anti-forestry activities in Victoria have prompted her to issue a warning to the Apple Isle’s closest State.
ear Upper House Members for Eastern Victoria, I understand that there have been intensified protests happening in the forests in Victoria in recent days. Please do not let the Greens and the environmental activists continue with these protests to the point where good hard working Victorians are no longer able to do the job they love. Work in the forest industry is often long and hard for very little return but those who are timber people would have it no other way. They are dedicated to their livelihoods and their communities. I work in the small rural community of Triabunna in Tasmania. Eighteen months ago we had a woodchip mill here. It had been the lifeblood of our town for more than 40 years until it was purchased by Jan Cameron and Graeme Wood, arguably two of Australia’s ardent environmentalists. They paid $10 million for it when there was an offer on the table for $16 million. Why were they allowed to do that? It is a question that we have not been able to get an answer to. They promptly shut it down. They say they will re-open it once the Tasmanian Intergovernmental Agreement is reached (an Interim Agreement was reached today 15 August) but at what cost? We have heard they will be putting conditions on an operator that will probably make it totally commercially unviable. Without it, though, our sawmill industry is choking under mountains of residue. We still believe there is a market for woodchips. That
is evidenced by the increase in shipping of woodchips from other States. When Gunns decided to exit the native forest industry in Tasmania to gain a social licence for their pulp mill it plunged many small business owners who were logging harvesting and haulage contractors into a life of uncertainty.
Governments decided that it had to be done. Surely that is admitting that many people will not cope with the downturn or closure of the industry. Our logging families don’t need handouts or bailouts; they want to work in their industry! You have to stand up to the environmentalists/activists. They must not be allowed to ruin
Don’t let the Greens and the environmental groups destroy an industry that injects many millions of dollars, directly and indirectly, into the Victorian economy every year. It also had an adverse effect on those businesses that were indirectly involved. The State and Federal Government decided to enter into the Tasmanian Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) which provided funding for logging contractors to exit the industry ‘with dignity’. My friend would tell you there is not a huge amount of dignity in having to deal with liquidators! I find it amazing that the IGA also provided $1,000,000 over two years to Rural Alive and Well which is a mental health support group. I have no problem with them being funded; what I have a problem with is that the
your forest industry like they have ours. When one of our contractors decided to take an exit package and close his log haulage business it took 19 jobs out of our community. His annual fuel bill was in the vicinity of $1.6 million; tyres were $25,000 per month; maintenance on trucks and trailers $20,000 per month. Add to this loss of registration fees and wages and this equates to a loss to the Tasmanian economy of more than $3,000,000 per annum. That is just ONE contractor. Our industry was worth $1.4 billion dollars per annum and our Government is prepared to trade
that in for $276 million over 15 years to supposedly achieve peace in our forests and lock up more of Tasmania! I work for arguably Australia’s best log trailer manufacturer. The downturn has not only taken tens of thousands of dollars out of our income but also that of our suppliers. For example, in September 2010 we paid one company $67,000; in September 2011 we paid that same company $20,000 which equates to approximately a 70% drop in their income for one month alone. The Greens and the environmentalists can argue that it is only a few jobs in the direct industry but what about the indirect industry. I am proud to be part of an industry that evolved from the forest industry. There are many others -local manufacturers, machine shops, sub-contractors, fuel suppliers, tyre suppliers, cafés and roadhouses, equipment suppliers, material suppliers. Don’t let the Greens and the environmentalist groups destroy an industry that injects many millions of dollars, directly and indirectly, into the Victorian economy every year. You have the power to stop them; let’s see if you have the courage to do it! There are a large number of families across your State who rely on the industry. Don’t let them down by burying your head in the sand and thinking that the activists won’t achieve what they have in Tasmania. They can, and they, will if you don’t act now!
Masked men invade logging coupe FIVE MASKED men stormed on to a logging coupe in Toolangi threatening timber workers safety, stopping work and putting their own lives in danger, according to Friends of Forestry. “Every Australian has a right to work in a safe working environment and go home to their families at night,” said Jacqui Commans, vice-president of community group Friends of Forestry. “Many Australians have fought hard for better working conditions on the worksite. This may include a building site, a shearing shed, a supermarket, a school, an office and it definitely should include our official workplaces on harvesting coupes in our State Forests,” Commans said “This is not an issue of whether you support or don’t support harvesting in native forests, this is a simple issue of workplace safety and we call on the Government to take swift and decisive action against the masked men who breached OHS Standards this morning (15 August),” said Commans. Three truck drivers, including Brendan Roberts, were on the harvesting coupe at
5.45am when the five men stormed the workplace shining torches in their faces and threatening them before being ushered from the site. “One driver was loading a truck and had a 500kg + log in the grab high up in the air when the fully masked men invaded our workplace,” said Roberts. “I have a right as an Australian to work in a safe work place and I am fed up with these continued breaches which not only threaten our safety but stop us from earning an honest quid,” Roberts said. “As far as I am concerned it is illegal to wear a mask in public and to be honest it was really frightening as it was dark, there were five masked men and we had no idea whether they had weapons or what they were going to do,” Roberts said. “I do not have to put up with this and therefore in accordance with OHS procedures I ushered them 50 metres from the loading operations which were being held up and then demanded they leave the work place as they did not have authority to be there and had no correct PPE
(Safety clothing) on,” said Roberts. “We immediately followed procedures contacting the authorities and provided statements to police who understood our right to protect our workplace. Unfortunately the cowardly masked men ran when the police arrived only leaving one to make false claims,” said Roberts “I work hard long hours to support my family. It’s an honest living and surely I have the right to go about this in a safe manner without the continued breaches of workplace safety, the uncertainty of what these protesters are going to do next and the stress it puts on my me and my family”. “Friends of Forestry calls on all the authorities including police, DSE, DPI and WorkSafe to take action and prosecute the offenders and ensure our work places are kept safe,” said Commans. The name Toolangi is an Aboriginal word meaning tall trees. It is believed the area was known as Mt Rose up until the 1890s. Toolangi was first inhabited in the 1860s by paling splitters and then timber cutters.
Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 11
Mapping out a future for forest and timber industry T
imber Queensland and the Queensland Government have set out to develop a Forest and Timber Industry Plan that will establish a road map for the future of Queensland’s forest and timber industry from 2012 2040. Development of the plan is one of the initiatives in the Queensland Government’s July to December 2012 Action Plan to grow a four
pillar economy. There are three key inputs shaping Industry Plan content - results of an industry survey, direct consultation with key industry organisations, industry specialists and individual businesses and a vision and planning forum involving invited industry leaders. These inputs will be crafted into a draft industry plan that will focus on detailing a vision for
Queensland forests being worked.
the industry in 2040, identifying the challenges to be faced by businesses - both now and in the future – and determining what actions are needed to address those challenges. This draft will form the basis for more extensive consultation with interested parties and the resultant Forest and Timber Industry Plan will be completed by the end of 2012. The plan will drive the growth and sustainability of the forest and timber industry by maximising the use of Queensland-grown wood fibre to produce innovative wood and timber products for a range of cost effective, energy efficient and low carbon footprint uses. Sustainable management and expansion of Queensland’s plantation estate, and sensible commercial utilisation of native forests, will be encouraged to supply the forecast long-term demand growth for wood and timber products in a range of markets. It will also establish a supportive environment to encourage investment in world’s best practice and competitive plantation estates and timber processing facilities that will provide sustainable employment opportunities for a well trained, career focused workforce across a range of regional communities. To realise the vision the plan will seek to: Sustain existing markets and drive new demand for timber and wood products by promoting application and use, and removing any unreasonable barriers to that use. Forecast Queensland demand for timber and wood products along the Plan path i.e. 2012 – 2040. Facilitate commercial access to,
Dual certification endorsement of best practices FORESTRY PLANTATIONS Queensland (FPQ) Pty Ltd has been certified to the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC) standard by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), one of the world’s leading FSC certifiers. The FSC certification recognises FPQ’s quality forest management processes and provides customers and stakeholders with independent third party verification that FPQ products are sourced from well managed plantations. FPQ’s management of its plantations meets the environmental, social and economic criteria and requirements for wood production as specified in the FSC’s principles and criteria. FPQ’s certification encompasses 211,332 hectares of plantation production land in Queensland as well as 130,917 hectares of custodial land comprising native forest buffer areas and infrastructure including, roads and forest offices.
FPQ chief executive officer Brian Farmer (pictured) said the FSC certification demonstrated that FPQ was focused on sustainable forest management of its plantations. FPQ is now one of few plantation owners to achieve certification to both the FSC standard and the Australian Forestry Standard AS 4708 – 2007. “FPQ is a value driven plantation forest grower and forest products distributor focussed on providing commercial returns for our investors whilst recognising the value of sound forest stewardship and safety management values,” he said. “The certification is not the result of recent changes or new practices but the recognition of evolution of process which over 80 years has produced some of the best plantations in Australia.” Farmer said FPQ was committed to maintaining its high management standards.
and availability of, sufficient wood fibre to meet forecast Queensland demand for timber products. Encourage investment in primary and secondary processing facilities in both metropolitan and regional areas to provide longterm employment and career opportunities. The Plan development process will involve five key stages: •S tage 1: Preparation of an industry situation analysis For strategic planning it is important to have a sound understanding of the current industry situation. That is, the structure and operations of the industry, its products, its markets, its influences and challenges - and the trends in all these areas. The industry situation analysis starts the plan development process, and provides the basis for interaction with industry players to identify the key industry challenges and to articulate a future vision and ‘road map’ for action. •S tage 2: Initial stakeholder consultation and input Comments on the situation analysis, identification of key industry challenges, and input and comment on the appropriate collective strategies and actions to address these challenges will be gathered from a broad crosssection of industry participants via:an industry survey open to input from all interested parties; individual stakeholder discussions, and industry sector forums. •S tage 3: Preparation of draft plan. A draft plan will be developed by the Working Group from the input collected from Stage 2. It will identify practical and pragmatic collective strategies and actions to respond to the key industry
challenges and impediments, taking account of the resources available within government and industry that can be marshaled to respond to these issues, as well as the policy direction and focus of the Queensland Government. •S tage 4: Industry Consultation on Draft Plan. The draft plan will be circulated to a broad industry audience to ensure that industry stakeholders believe that the plan addresses the right needs and priorities. This process should also build industry understanding of, support for and ownership of the plan. •S tage 5: Finalise Plan and Commence Implementation A final draft plan will be prepared by 30 November 2012 and provided to industry, Government and other stakeholders for final comment and endorsement. An action plan that will include responsibility for individual actions will then be established to drive the initial phase of the implementation process that will commence following industry and Government endorsement.
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“FPQ’s long-term plan sets the benchmark for all areas of business operation including commercial returns and forest stewardship. “Managing plantations is not just about growing and selling quality plantation timbers. It includes managing visitors to the plantations, respecting our heritage, working with a broad range of partners, communities and neighbours as well as protecting the environment,” Farmer said. FPQ’s certification was completed prior to its name change to HQPlantations.
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12 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Collaboration across industry T
HIS YEAR marks five years since the Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA) was established as an industry owned services company, funded by levies on growers, processors and importers. In February the company organized a ‘Future of FWPA Summit’ where participants agreed that there was overwhelming support for the continued role of the organisation. At the time, endorsement was given for continuing current levies however; participants were open to the possibility of an expansion of FWPA’s activities and subsequent increased funding subject to the review of a business case. In addition, participants thought there were greater opportunities for collaboration across the industry and that FWPA was a suitable vehicle to facilitate that collaboration. Participants also were keen to build upon the initial summit and ensure that momentum was not lost hence in July the FWPA hosted an industry forum in Melbourne to discuss the next steps to take. FWPA’s managing director Ric Sinclair gave an overview of FWPA’s strategy and program management and the outcomes achieved to date. “Over the last 12 months, we have been in a process of consultation with our levy payers
and other stakeholders,” said Sinclair. “The message we’ve got back is that people see value in more collaborative activity but there are concerns about the industry’s ability to pay an increased levy. “This is especially a concern for manufacturers as conditions are tough.” He confirmed that the company had been using cash reserves over the last four years to launch and sustain a range of initiatives. Cash reserves would reach the target level at 30 June 2012 and without additional revenue streams, the current level of expenditure could not continue. He emphasized that the company was in a position to secure
compared with those of other similar rural organizations. It was shown that FWPA levies are generally less than 0.2% of the end product selling price; in other rural industries these are higher from 0.49% to more than 1%, with some at 10%. Forum participants were divided in workshop groups to facilitate more indepth and targeted discussions. The Growers group which was headed by Linda Sewell reported back to the main forum that from its discussions the main points centred on support for a levy increase to maintain existing programs, access to the levy increases and that the different sectors in the FWPA should discuss
People see value in more collaborative activity but there are concerns about the industry’s ability to pay an increased levy. additional matched Government funds under the current arrangements if industry was prepared to invest in the company.
FWPA July Forum One of the key tasks of the FWPA July forum was to determine the appropriate level and timing of investment for industry collaborative activities and the appropriate split between programs. “Generally, there has been inprinciple support for most of the activities that were identified in the business case,” said Sinclair. A matter that came up in the February forum was the possibility of increasing levies; to this end levies imposed by the FWPA were
which needed most to benefit from additional spending. The Processsors group, which included the Engineered Wood Panel Association of Australia (EWPAA), was lead by Doug Head. Head said that his group’s focus had been on growing the current market and that processors tended to be more interested in internal research and development (R&D) during difficult economic times and so would prefer to hold off on levy expenditure until things picked-up. Indications were that the smaller companies in his group favoured an increase in levies while the larger companies opposed this increase. Nils Koren lead the Importers group who were largely interested
in growth for the whole market and were keen to continue investing to obtain such a result. A suggestion came forward that one way to continue was to rank the projects according to dollars required to fund them. It was also suggested by the Importers group that should nothing be done revenue would be taken from the FWPA and the result would be a diminishing of R&D in the industry.
Increasing levies Summit attendees were reminded that there were immediate benefits to be gained from increasing levies that may not exist in the future, as currently the federal government had guaranteed to match funds. Participants were reminded that this might not continue in the future. Mark Grey, a director of the FWPA, commented on his appraisal of the outcome of the summit saying that he thought there appeared to be a consensus to grow the market. He said that programs to do so needed time to be built and could not stop and start without losing momentum or market presence. He also commented that since R&D corporations are matched by government funds that the FWPA should not walk away from that money “particularly as our universities, the CRCs, CSIRO and the State forest and timber R&D are all declining”. In addition, Grey said that it was important to remove sector ‘hats’ and put on a collective industry ‘hat’, a point that had been expressed in other terms but consistently at the summit. Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) chair, Greg McCormack told the gathering that while he conceded that there was a need to increase levies to support the FWPA’s full business case he thought it was “a big pill to swallow in the current environment”. His
thoughts were to support a smaller scale promotion. McCormack proposed that forum accept in principal that the levies be increased to cover the current FWPA programs, this would amount to a very slight increase. For the future he suggested that various sector meetings determine their “comfort in terms of total levy and the levy split” to be allocated to the programs. The subsequent vote was not unanimous but there was a clear majority, which indicated the willingness of the forum to proceed along the lines presented by McCormack. This is the route that the FWPA will take however; any change in levies requires a vote. Since the forum the FWPA has continued to consult with participants to determine the next steps to take. “Over the last couple of weeks, Ron Adams, FWPA chairman has had one-on-one discussions with the major levy payers,” said Sinclair. “The next step is to have discussions with the ‘growing’ sector about the initiatives identified in the business case, such as genetics deployment and harvest and haulage research that may benefit from being centrally funded and co-ordinated by FWPA.” A detailed explanation of the business cases is available in the FWPA Annual Operations Plan 2012-2013 that can be downloaded from the FWPA website at www.fwpa.com.au
ForestrySA reviews Green Triangle fire season
HE LAST thing on people’s minds at the moment is the thought of battling forest fires in the summer. However, ForestrySA operational staff members have taken the change in season as an opportunity to review the lessons learned from last year’s fire season in order to get ready for the beginning of the new season in November.
There was only one day of extreme fire weather forecast in this region last season, on which a fire started on private land approximately 1 kilometre north of ForestrySA plantation at Glencoe. Extreme fire weather means the Fire Danger Index was expected to exceed 75. Unfortunately on this day the Index exceeded the forecast and hit catastrophic levels of just over 100. ForestrySA crews arrived within 10 minutes of the call and were able to assist CFS crews to control the fire before it could spread on to plantation land. Overall, ForestrySA fire crews attended 21 fires in the Green Triangle last season which was more than the year prior, but by no means indicative of a busy fire season. Of the fires attended,
only five were on ForestrySA land which burnt 4.6 hectares of plantation area. Although fire staff were pleased to have such a low number of fires on ForestrySA land, it was disappointing that four out of the five ignitions were caused by people carelessly or maliciously setting fires in the forest. ForestrySA Fire Manager Justin Cook said: “We have all seen the devastating effects of bushfire on communities, and it is unacceptable that a few individuals can put the public and our forests at risk through senseless vandalism. ForestrySA will continue to protect the forests and use every means at its disposal to do so, including the use of our hidden camera network to capture people doing the wrong thing throughout the year.”
ForestrySA Operations Supervisor Bruce Lacey delivers information on tactical command leadership during a recent fire season review and training session. Photograph courtesy ForestrySA.
Preparations for the coming fire season have started with senior fire staff undertaking tactical command and leadership training to enhance skills for operational leaders in the field. Refresher training for all staff members with a role in fire protection will be conducted, while current
winter servicing of ForestrySA’s specialist fire response vehicles is also taking place. Hypothetical scenario exercises such as this have featured in ForestrySA’s recent fire season review and training sessions. Photograph courtesy ForestrySA.
Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 13
You might not see the foresters for the trees T
HE REGION has scored a major boost this year with the biannual Australian Forest Growers conference to be held in South East Queensland. The conference runs over four days and will be held from 14 to 17 October in Gympie. Up to 350 foresters are expected to attend the event at the Gympie Civic Centre. It will feature two packed days of presentations, a day of field trips and great social functions and networking opportunities. The conference kicks off with an icebreaker at the well-known Gympie Woodworks Museum where the steam-powered sawmill will be in operation demonstrating the region’s historic links to forestry. Over two days and 20 sessions, more than 50 speakers will present
including from the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry. The three concurrent streams will feature Growing, Products and Markets and Integration. The middle day will feature six field trips heading in all directions from Gympie to examine local growing and processing in action. This is followed by the presentation of the national Treefarmer of the Year to be presented at the Conference Dinner. Keynote speakers this year are Peter de Marsh and Ric Sinclair. Peter, who is coming from his native Canada, is the President of the International Family Forestry Alliance – a group representing more than 25 million family forest owners worldwide. Ric is the managing director of Forest
and Wood Products Australia, the industry owned services company researching and promoting the sector. The conference is being organised by a committee whose members include local growers, academics, wood processors, departmental officers and industry groups based across the Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast regions. AFG is the peak body representing people concerned with the growing of trees for all purposes in Australia. Members include farm foresters, woodlot owners up to large commercial growers from all over Australia. Further information about the conference and AFG see www.afg. asn.au or for conference enquiries contact Terry Greaves on 02 6162 9000 or email@example.com
$305,000 redress for clearing endangered Victorian grassland THE AUSTRALIAN Government has secured a legally enforceable $305,000 pledge from plantation timber company Hancock Victorian Plantations Pty Ltd to repair damage done to a critically endangered grassland in south western Victoria and to better protect what remains. Between March and May last year, a contractor employed by Hancock Victorian Plantations cleared an area about the size of a soccer field (0.7ha) of a protected ecological community, known as Natural Temperate Grassland of the Victorian Volcanic Plain, near Mannibadar. The company was harvesting timber at its Bradvale Plantation and reported the incident to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. The company has agreed to spend $305,000 towards the recovery and rehabilitation of grasslands in the region by: • securing another area of grassland of the same or better quality to offset the impacts to the ecological community; • controlling weeds nearby;
• a ssessing and mapping the conservation values of over 2500ha of its plantation estate on the Victorian Volcanic Plains, and • t raining field staff in native grassland identification, reviewing work processes, and employing a planning coordinator to ensure better protection of biodiversity when harvesting timber. The Natural Temperate Grassland of the Victorian Volcanic Plain, once widespread from western Melbourne to the Hamilton region, is now one of the State’s most threatened and fragmented ecosystems. Less than five per cent remains. Most patches of grassland - characterised by kangaroo grasses, wallaby grasses, spear grasses, tussock grasses and native herbs are small at less than 10 hectares in size. These grasslands provide a home for many threatened species, including the Striped Legless Lizard, Spiny Rice-flower and Small Golden Moths Orchid. It is so important it has been listed as a matter of national environmental significance, warranting the same
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level of federal protection as a world heritage listed area. This enforceable undertaking reflects the department’s zero tolerance approach to damage to nationally listed ecological communities and its commitment to address contraventions of national environmental law quickly and effectively. It will ensure that appropriate remedial action happens on the ground as soon as possible.
IFA appoints new chief executive officer ALISON CARMICHAEL has been appointed chief executive officer of the Institute of Foresters of Australia. She has extensive experience as a senior executive and a consultant in the agricultural, natural resource management, sustainability and communications sectors, with particular expertise in business and industry development, and is an experienced board member with tertiary qualifications in agricultural science, and training and development, as well as the AICD Company Directors Course. Alison was previously chief executive officer of the Association of Building Sustainability Assessors. “Alison brings to the Institute significant experience in agricultural, natural resource management, sustainability and communications as both a consultant and a senior manager,” said president Rob de Fégely. “She has significant experience as a CEO of organisations with diverse membership and will bring a fresh new approach to IFA. “We have a well established organisation with a proud history and a strong culture of volunteerism that is facing some challenges, with tough economic conditions and opportunities for training in the forestry sector in Australia rapidly diminishing despite a strong long term outlook for the sector,” said Rob. “Alison can help us focus strategically on what needs to be done, building on our strengths, and make the changes we need to remain relevant into the long
Alison Carmichael, IFA chief executive officer.
Rob de Fégely, IFA president.
term,” he said. “This position provides an opportunity to bring together my expertise in NRM and senior management, and I am delighted to be re-making connections with people I have previously known and worked with,” said Alison. She is a keen bushwalker and is looking forward to meeting many IFA members and getting out of the office periodically and into the forests.
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14 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
LiDAR technology is faster and more accurate By Rosemary Ann Ogilvie
N 2008, the world’s tallest hardwood tree – the 101m Eucalyptus regnans dubbed the Centurion – was discovered by Forestry Tasmania (FT) not five kilometres from the Tarhune Airwalk in southern Tasmania. The discovery was actually made when a LiDAR (light detection and ranging) laser scanner flew over the area during an evaluation trial designed to identify its value in forestry operations. The trial outcomes revealed the remote sensing technology, initially developed for NASA during the 1970s, has the potential to provide a shopping list of benefits, including better-quality data; considerable cost savings; improved efficiency; reduced operational risks; and better protection of the environment. Consequently, FT made the decision to replace current photographic interpretation (PI) methods with LiDAR-based systems. The company called for tenders to phase in the use of LiDAR mapping systems across Tasmania’s State forests. Nearly one million hectares have been captured since the program started in 2009. “LiDAR is faster and more accurate than our current PI
system for mapping location and characteristics of forest stands,” says resources manager, David Mannes, who was involved in the project from day one and built the business case for adopting the technology. “It will enable the remapping of all FT estates in just three years, compared to the 20 it would take with PI.” Mannes explains that aerial photography essentially requires a person to interpret the images, where LiDAR is pretty much all automated. “So the amount of processing that goes into photography is exorbitant, and the required skills increasingly in short supply” LiDAR images provide a direct measurement of vertical forest structure. “We’ve been working to interrogate these LiDAR images so we can produce maps of other forest metrics,” Mannes continues. “We’ve found the LiDAR images can be used to estimate the vertical arrangement of the foliage making up the forest canopy, and also to estimate the number, height, and crown size of the individual trees. Tree height is one of the biggest determinants of timber volume, and a strong measure of the quality of the growing site, and so LiDAR’s accuracy and detail will vastly improve the quality of forest management.”
NZIF Foundation makes first awards THE NEWLY-established NZIF Foundation made its first awards at the New Zealand Institute of Forestry conference dinner in Christchurch. The foundation was established to encourage and support forestry-related education, training and research through the provision of grants, scholarships and prizes; promoting the acquisition, development and dissemination of forestry-related knowledge and information and other activities. Award recipients were: Chavasse travel award of $3,500 to Dr Stephanie Rotarangi to assist her to travel to Ireland to attend an International Union of Forest Research Organisations conference on biodiversity in Forest Ecosystems and Landscapes in Cork, Ireland. Dr Rotarangi has been invited to present a seminar at University College Cork and to enter a student competition for recent research. These will be based on her Otago University doctoral thesis on planted forests on ancestral land – the experiences and resilience of Maori Owners. Since completing her Ph.D., Dr Rotarangi, who has over 15 years’ experience in the forestry sector, has been appointed to the Māori Primary Sector Partnership team of the Ministry for Primary Industries, based in Dunedin. University undergraduate scholarship of $1,000 to Andree Callaghan, a third year Bachelor of Forestry Science student at the New Zealand School of Forestry at Canterbury University. Mary Sutherland scholarship of $1,000 to Larissa Anderson, a first year Diploma of Forest Management student at Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua. Dr Andrew McEwen, Chair of the Foundation, said how pleased the Trustees were at the number and calibre of applicants. “This augurs well for the future of forestry in New Zealand, a sector which contributes significantly to New Zealand’s economy, environment and society and which requires highly trained individuals in order to make that contribution.”
Realising maximum economic value This information can also be used to estimate the age, the disturbance history and the optimal time for harvest of each spatial element in the forest, so the maximum economic value of the forest as a whole may be realised while its ecological values are maintained and enhanced over time. As LiDAR has the capacity to simultaneously map not just the underlying ground surface through the laser’s ability to penetrate forest canopy, it’s now possible to see terrain that was previously obscured. “It provides accurate measurements of the shape and slope of the ground, both of which are critical to forest operations such
as building roads and planning timber-harvesting systems,” says Mannes. “This information will help us to more accurately locate the numerous small streams, sinkholes and ancient landslips present in the forest estate much earlier in the planning process. In turn, this improves our estimates of the sustainable timber yield of our forests and reduces the risk of damage to forest soils and streams.” He adds that it will also improve the ecological sustainability of roading and harvesting practices, as these areas need to be quarantined from these operations. And it will considerably reduce operational risks: no nasty surprises such as losing bulldozers into creeks no one knew existed. Another benefit is LiDAR’s
ability to map exactly where trees are, whereas PI classifies forests into broad stands, providing little information about the variations within them. This in turn enables better planning decisions and will also mean up to 40% fewer ground sample plots are required to measure timber stocks and estimate future yields. “So the harvester gets a much better idea of what to expect on a coupe,” says Mannes. “It can even give us a good look at the quality of our plantations – and the entire plantation. We’ll be able to identify, for example, if there’s a small section that is perhaps not doing as well as the rest of the coupe, and apply fertiliser only to that patch.” LiDAR technology suitable continued on page 15.
Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 15
TECHNOLOGY LiDAR technology is faster and more accurate
How it Works LiDAR uses optical sensors to measure information about distant targets and map altitudes with a high degree of precision. It creates highly detailed threedimensional images of forests (in this instance – there are many other uses), and also the terrain beneath them. When a CD is playing, a laser scans the disc as it spins on the player. Similarly with a LiDAR instrument, a laser scans the forest beneath the aircraft as it travels along its flight path. The LiDAR instrument fires rapid pulses of light at the landscape and a sensor on the instrument measures the time it takes for each pulse to bounce back. As light travels at a constant and known speed, the LiDAR can calculate the distance from the target with a high level of accuracy. Rapid repetition of this process builds a detailed picture of the target.
continued from page 14. for forestry applications has been available only since the late 1990s and was picked up by the Scandinavian forest industry almost immediately. “We started seriously around 2007, after playing with it and seeing it had potential, but it took a lot of new thinking to turn that potential into something that would actually save us money,” says Mannes. “We put a lot of effort into trying to figure out the best way to make it work. And the best way was to use it in every application possible as it would allow us to make savings across the board, whereas if it was used for just one application, the cost could not be justified.”
Early adopter FT is one of the earlier adopters in Australia, and the first to go operational in a native forest. “There have been research efforts in some of the mainland States,” says Mannes. “South Australia started using it in their plantations about the same time we did, but for a smaller number of applications. However, they’re certainly seeing the benefits.” NSW has made the leap in the last 12 months or so. Mannes comments that they’re finding new things all the time.
“There’s new information in the LiDAR signal we didn’t realise existed and with a bit of research we were able to extract that. So it’s still an evolving technology and I
believe we’re going to get a lot more from it than we thought.” He adds that the project has been the highlight of his career. Other organisations are now
tapping into the knowledge and skills developed by FT staff since they began working with the technology. The company recently provided LiDAR-based mapping
for geological and dam-building projects in Tasmania, and anticipate a strong demand through Forest Technical Services for LiDARderived mapping and inventories for external projects in the future. And of course LiDAR has already proven its power to assist FT in its responsibility for finding and protecting giant trees.
14 – August 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Australian Forests & Timber News, August 2012 – 15
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int To the po
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AROLD BRANT has been driving Forwarders for the past 37 years with a “home-made Mac” one of the early machines he operated. Since then he’s put quite a few through their paces and he readily admits that the machines of today are a far cry from those early offerings. “Really, you just can’t compare them,” he says. Harold says it doesn’t mater what the brand is the current day machines are quite simply streets ahead. He recently spent two weeks trialling the new Logset Titan 10F Forwarder (which made its debut
at AUSTimber 2012 near Mount Gambier) and says the Finnishmanufactured machine more than lived up to its credentials. “I was surprised at just how good the machine was,” he said. “The worse part was that at the end of the trial I had to give it back,” he quipped. Markku Turunen, of Karmet Enterprises (Australia’s Logset dealer), was in the cabin with Harold for the start of the testing. “As soon as I hopped in and started driving it down in the bush I knew it was something special,” said Harold. “I did one load and then another one and he (Markku)
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working in a sawmill when he first left school then went pine falling for about 11 years. “It was getting too hard and a lot of people were getting out of it then and the machines were starting to come in so I went on the Forwarders and never looked back.” His operational skills – apart from normal day-to-day work – have been on display at competitions around Australia and also in Sweden. He’s won three National Forwarder titles and competed in two in Sweden. “You’ve just got to take it easy and away you go. If the nerves don’t get to you you’re right,” he said of the demanding competition standards.
“I’ve always taken a lot of pride in my work,” he said. So, from a man well credentialed to cast a verdict on the Logset Titan 10F ... “It’s the best machine I’ve been in. I reckon they’ll sell a lot of them once they sell their first one.”
stopped me and asked what I thought of it and I said it was the best machine I had ever driven.” Harold said there was good vision from the cabin plus it was comfortable and quiet inside the cabin. “It had good reach with the boom ... much the same as all of them (other machines) around. “It rode very smoothly despite it being pretty rough where I trialled it. The ground was flat but very rough. “Tonnages were similar to the others trialled against it, and the engine had plenty of power; the same motor as some of the others have got, same motor as the Komatsu has got. “Logset has a feature in it where when you need it you can get 10% more power, but we didn’t need that where we were working because it was too flat. That’s more for steep terrain work. “The operating control set up was very good; just have to go into the computer and adjust them as you want them. Nice light levers; very good to operate. “It was a little bit different because you have to do it with your levers, switch your crane off and then work around it with your lever and boost your percentages up or down to where you want them and then kick it in and go to the next one.
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New forwarder crane hits the market CRANE MANUFACTURER Cranab has released the FC16, the largest model in its new generation of cranes for forwarders. The FC16 has been developed especially for the market’s largest and most powerful forwarders. The development of today’s forwarders has resulted in their becoming larger and more powerful, with an increased loading capacity. The largest machines have an increased load capacity from 18 tonnes to 20 tonnes. At its full range of 8.5 metres the crane can lift all of 1310 kg at the tip. Gross lifting torque is 165 kNm. Added to this is a powerful slewing engine with a slewing torque of an impressive 42.5 kNm. “We have followed market developments and users needs very closely, and have designed our new model entirely to meet the new demands of the industry. This new crane is, for example, optimised in proportion to the slewing effect and the lifting force. We have been very careful in this respect when developing the new FC16,” said marketing manager Micael Olsson. “We know that harmony between lifting force and slewing effect is crucial. These properties are vital in sloping terrain where it is especially important that the forwarder is fitted with a crane strong enough to both lift and slew while fully laden in the same motion cycle.” The FC16 has all of the excellent properties featured in the new generation, with the addition of the increased capacity for larger machines. The FC16 comes as standard as a single telescopic crane, but it will also be available as a double telescopic crane and a 10 metre version. The new giant FC16 was premièred at the KWF exhibition in Germany in June.
“Bit different to what we have normally been used to but once you started to get used to doing things like that it was OK,” said Harold. And what about any bad points ... “couldn’t find anything really wrong with it but the bars in the rack were a bit close together and a bit hard to see through but they (Logset) said they’d make another one for it. “Bit hard to climb up to clean the back window so he (Markku) said ‘right we’ll put a step on there’ (one each side). Anything you wanted done they said they would do. “I suppose they’ve got to to start and sell them. “Getting used to the controls didn’t take very long; they’re all very much the same these days with mini levers,” he said. Was the computer system hard to operate? “You don’t have to touch it really unless you want to do some things like reversing down into the bush at night. It’s a bit hard to see with cab lights going and if
you wanted to turn some off you had to go into the computer to do it and you could turn off one light at a time. Only took a few seconds to do, though. “It’s got wiper blades on the side windows which are good. “Lot of room in the cabin. “Good travelling speed in low gear. “They’re made fairly solid. “They’ve got a sliding rack and bolster, the first two bolsters and the rack are joined together and you just press a button in the cab to move it backwards if you want to load shorter wood and there’s the extension out the back of the chassis for doing long poles, all operated from within the cabin. “Just switch the crane off and press another button, operate the lever and back it goes,” said Harold. For a man who has been in the business pretty much all his life this Forwarder came up trumps. Harold started in the industry
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16 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Prestigious forestry award to Sadanandan Nambiar C
SIRO FORESTRY scientist Dr Sadanandan Nambiar is the latest recipient of the Institute of Foresters of Australia (IFA) highest award, the Norman W. Jolly Medal. The medal will be presented to Sadanandan at the institute’s Biennial Conference in Canberra 7-11 April, 2013. “He is an eminent forest scientist internationally recognised as a leader in research on sustainable productivity and management of forests,” said IFA National President Rob de Fégely. “His multi-disciplinary approach to science in support of sustainability has had a profound impact upon efficient, science-based plantation management in Australia and overseas.” Through his work Sadanandan promotes the sustainable management of Australian forests as a balancing act that needs long term goals, focus on productivity and due care for soil, water, landscape and social values.
“Internationally, Sadanandan has been a tireless advocate of research into the potential of man-made forests, agro-forests and woodlands as land use systems that can foster both economic prosperity and environmental benefits for society,” said de Fégely. “Sadanandan is widely recognised as a science leader and a generous mentor by colleagues in Australia and internationally. He is an active Honorary Fellow in CSIRO Ecosystems Sciences, Canberra, spending significant time supporting forestry in developing countries, especially South East Asia, championing sustainable forestry for rural development and poverty alleviation.” He is a prolific writer and his works are published in more than 100 publications, in addition to reports, books, proceedings, monographs and numerous keynote addresses. He has received several international awards including the Distinguished Scientist
Award in USA, Commonwealth Medal of Excellence, and World Congress Award as a preeminent Australian Forest Scientist. Dr Sadanandan Nambiar was born and educated in India, and studied at the University of Madras (India), the Agricultural University, Wageningen (Netherlands), and the University of Ghent (Belgium). He joined CSIRO in 1976 and held the following positions: • Officer-in -Charge of a research centre at Mt Gambier • Assistant Chief of CSIRO Divisions • Program Leader of a large, multidisciplinary national program focussing on science underpinning industrial plantations, farm and environmental forestry, carbon sequestration by forests and national policies related to forestry. • CSIRO Chief Research Scientist • Science Director of CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products • Former Director of Forest and Wood Products Australia
•S cience Advisor to three successive CRCs for Forestry. Awarded the following: •D istinguished Scientist Award in USA, •C ommonwealth Medal of Excellence, • I UFRO (2005, Brisbane) World Congress Award as a preeminent Australian Forest Scientist. Norman William Jolly (1882 1954) was awarded the first South Australian Rhodes Scholarship in 1904 to attend Balliol College at Oxford and gained a BA with a first in natural science and later a Diploma of Forestry. He was an A-grade cricketer, rowed in the Adelaide University eight and three times represented South Australia in Australian Rules football. Jolly joined the Indian Forest Service in Burma in 1907, then returned to Australia and taught at Geelong Church of England Grammar School.
As an instructor in forestry for the South Australian Department of Woods and Forests, Jolly founded the first course in higher forestry training in Australia. From 1911 to 1918, he was Director of Forestry in Queensland, and then Commissioner of Forests in NSW. In 1925 he became the first Professor in Forestry at Adelaide University. In 1926 he was the first Principal and Professor of the Australian Forestry School in Canberra ACT, housed in the same building where IFA has its headquarters today.
Conference to help set scene for industry future FORESTWORKS and First Super are hosting the 5th Annual Industry Development Conference to be held at the Hyatt Hotel and Parliament House in Canberra on 30-31 October. “This is an important opportunity for all current and aspiring leaders of the forest, wood, paper and timber industry to engage in strategic and political debate on critical issues affecting the whole industry in Australia,” said ForestWorks chief executive officer Michael Hartman. This year’s conference will consider the future opportunities and challenges for manufacturing timber, wood and paper products in Australia’s advanced and multispeed economy. The conference has been specifically scheduled to coincide with Parliamentary sitting week, providing a great chance for industry
players, union representatives, policy makers and MPs to gather, network and share ideas on positive future directions for our industry.
Conference and events schedule: Tuesday 30 October • 12:00 - 1:00pm: Commencement lunch • 1:00 - 5:00pm: Conference Opening, Keynote Sessions and Panel Discussions • Internationally acclaimed and world leading expert Professor Göran Roos presents exclusively by video on the Future of Australian Wood and the implications for the Australian industry. Hear immediate responses and detailed discussion and analysis for Australian and North American
manufacturing leaders and global institutional investors • 6:30 - 11:00pm: Industry Liaison Dinner (Great Hall, Parliament House) • Join us in meeting and exchanging views with Australia’s political and industry leadership, policy makers and decision makers at the Industry Liaison Dinner at Parliament House. Wednesday 31 October • 8:00 9:45am: Breakfast Presentations for Government and Opposition Spokespersons • The special breakfast session, hosted by the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), includes speeches, presentations and discussions with Federal Parliamentary Leaders, followed by industry leader responses. • 10:30 - 12:15pm: Key Issue Focus Sessions. A series of five
key issue sessions focussing on opportunities, challenges and innovations for stepping the Australian industry up the value chain. The focus sessions will cover: • Making it in Australia. Moving beyond survival • Increasing demand for Australian timber products • Leveraging Australia’s high standards for competitive advantage • Unlock the potential of your workforce with the NEW National Workforce Development Fund • New and emerging products. Where is the future value? • 12.15-1.00pm: Plenary wrap-up and conference summary • 1.00-1.30pm: Lunch • 1.30-3.45pm: Women in Forests and Timber Network meeting mentoring for support and success
ForestWorks chief executive officer Michael Hartman.
Forests have a major role to play in green economy THE WORLD’S forests have a major role to play in the transition to a greener economy, but Governments need to do more to ensure they are sustainably managed, according to a new report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “Forests and trees on farms are a direct source of food, energy, and cash income for more than a billion of the world’s poorest people,” said FAO’s Assistant Director-General for Forestry, Eduardo Rojas-Briales. “At the same time, forests trap carbon and mitigate climate change, maintain water and soil health, and prevent desertification. The sustainable management of forests offers multiple benefits – with the right programs and policies, the sector can lead the way towards more sustainable, greener economies,” he added. The report, The State of the World’s Forests 2012 (SOFO 2012), was officially presented at
an event organized by FAO and its partners at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), in Brazil. SOFO 2012 makes the case that better and more sustainable use of forestry resources can make a significant contribution to meeting many of the core challenges discussed at Rio+20. The report notes that investments in woodbased enterprises can generate jobs, create assets and help revitalize the lives of millions of people in rural areas. Some 350 million of the world’s poorest people, including 60 million indigenous people, depend on forests for their daily subsistence and long-term survival, it adds. Despite sometimes having a poor reputation due to concerns over deforestation, wood products – if sourced from well-run forestry operations – can store carbon and are easily recycled, the FAO report states. It highlights how forest-based industries around the world
are innovating competitive new products and processes to substitute non-renewable materials, and by doing so are opening pathways towards low-carbon bio-economies. The report also argues that sustainable forestry offers a renewable, alternative source of energy. “Burning wood may be the oldest method by which humans acquire energy, but it is anything but obsolete,” said Mr. Rojas-Briales, adding that wood energy is still the dominant source of energy for over one third of the world’s population, in particular for the poor. “And as the search for renewable energy sources intensifies, we must not overlook the considerable opportunities for forest biomassbased energy to emerge as a cleaner and greener alternative,” he added. According to SOFO 2012, deriving energy from wood can offer a climate-neutral and socially equitable solution, provided wood is
harvested from sustainably managed forests, burned using appropriate technologies, and undertaken in combination with reforestation and sustainable forest management programs. In addition, by both reducing deforestation and restoring lost forests on a large scale, significant amounts of carbon can be removed from the atmosphere, reducing the severity and impacts of climate change. SOFO 2012 also notes that putting forests at the heart of a new, green economy will require, first and foremost, policies and programs that give entrepreneurs incentives to pursue the sustainable utilization of forest resources. It says that this includes “the removal of perverse incentives that result in deforestation and degradation and conversion of forests to other uses, as well as those promoting the use of non-renewable raw materials like steel, concrete, plastics or fossil energies that compete with wood and bamboo.”
Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 17
Insights into improving efficiencies through the wood supply chain B
ETTER MANAGEMENT of wood flows within the wood supply chain has been a clear priority for the majority of forest products companies over the last couple of years. The pressure’s been on to squeeze as much out of each segment – and across the entire wood supply chain – from harvesting and transport operations through to market. With a big jump in both the quality and type of data available that’s now being made available, significant inroads have been made in the last 12 months into capturing some of these inefficiencies. In Sweden, smart data to improve decision making, much better collaboration and improved exchange of information between companies within the wood supply chain, utilising options for back loading and new tools for truck scheduling and fleet management are expected to cut transport costs for the country’s forestry industry by around 5-15%. Currently a three year major project, FLEXWOOD – Flexible Wood Supply Chain, is under way. It’s expected to finish this year. Fourteen companies, universities and research institutes from nine countries are developing a new logistics system that will increase the value throughout the wood supply chain. Another is the SDC project aimed at increasing standardisation and developing communication within value chains. “To hear more about what has been achieved in each of these projects and other initiatives and to look more closely at opportunities that exist for local forest products companies, Gert Andersson, Forestry Logistics Program Manager from Skoforsk in Sweden, will be travelling to both Australia and New Zealand. Gert and his
Forest Industry Engineering Association’s (FIEA) director Brent Apthorp.
team have been leading Sweden’s push to improve their logistics efficiencies and will be presenting at ForestTECH 2012. “This region’s Wood Transport & Logistics event will be run in both Australia and New Zealand at the end of this year,” said Forest Industry Engineering Association’s (FIEA) director Brent Apthorp. Elsewhere in Europe, the European Space Agency (ESA)
and has already been trialled in Australia as reported at this year’s AUSTimber conference in March. In conjunction with the ESA, the company has now taken it one step further. Taking the collected stand inventory data they’re looking to provide real-time information to harvesting machines with cut instructions. A device is being installed on board harvesting machines to transmit real-time
The use of intelligent data, real-time analytics and a simple-to-use web platform are at the core of TreeMetrics developments. is supporting a pioneering 3D forestry data initiative being led by Irish forestry technology startup TreeMetrics. The company’s been developing a real-time forest intelligence (RTFI) service, with the goal of bringing live 3D forestry data to mobile devices and machinery across the globe. The use of intelligent data, realtime analytics and a simple-touse web platform are at the core of TreeMetrics developments. Through TreeMetrics, the use of air-borne LiDAR with terrestrial LiDAR data is already providing accurate assessments of standing wood volumes. This inventory system is being rolled out in Europe
information about the trees being felled. 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,” said Apthorp The company behind this innovation, TreeMetrics, will also be presenting at ForestTECH 2012 in both countries.
In other countries such as Canada and Brazil, the wood supply chain is complex. Presentations will be given at ForestTECH 2012 from experts working in these countries outlining how some of the strategic, tactical and operational planning issues are being resolved and more importantly, how efficiencies have been achieved and some of the tools that have been developed for wood supply chain design and management. In New Zealand, the forestry sector has recognised that cheaper and more effective systems for harvesting on steep country are required. The best opportunities for increasing productivity, reducing costs and improving safety are through developing specialised machinery and better cable extraction systems. Future Forestry Research and forestry contractors have already developed early prototypes of 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. Other new initiatives to improve efficiencies within the wood supply chain include; transportation planning (centralised versus noncentralised dispatch systems in use in New Zealand, Australia and North America), new tools for improving fleet management and communications, answers to handling port congestion and management of wood and increasing the use of high productivity motor vehicles
Enda Keane, chief executive officer of Treemetrics.
within the industry. “The focus of FIEA’s very popular ForestTECH technology series is being changed this year from remote sensing for improving forest inventory and management planning. The 2012 series will instead be providing a long overdue insight into innovations, strategies and technologies that are being used by forest products companies to improve planning, logistics and operations within the wood supply chain,” said Apthorp. ForestTECH 2012 runs in Melbourne on 28-29 November and again in Rotorua on 4-5 December 2012. Further details on the program can be found on the event website, www.foresttechevents.com and updates on the event will be provided over the next few months.
18 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Tests open door to future transport T
RUCKS THAT impose hardly any load on the environment because their carbon emissions are virtually zero… could this be a future scenario? In actual fact, Volvo Trucks is already running successful field tests with vehicles powered by bioDME, a fuel that can be produced from biomass both cost and energy efficiently. For the transport industry, this could reduce dependence on oil and thereby reduce the environmental impact. Since last autumn, ten specially adapted Volvo trucks have been operating on Swedish roads. They do not stand out in the traffic they do not travel more slowly and they do not look any different - but they are revolutionary. The reason is that they are powered by bio-DME, a fuel that is produced from biomass - in other words, renewable, totally natural raw materials - which reduces carbon emissions by 95% compared with diesel. The field tests have now reached the halfway point and the results so far have both met and exceeded expectations. “We have, for example, demonstrated both that the technology works in practice, when
it comes to both the production of fuel and trucks in traffic, and that the infrastructure with filling stations in different parts of Sweden works effectively. The test results bode well for the future,” says Lars Mårtensson, environmental director at Volvo Trucks. The field tests, which are being
markets with huge potential,” he says. Bio-DME, dimethyl ether produced from biomass, is a liquid, so-called second-generation biofuel that can be made from wood or by-products and waste from agricultural production. “According to the calculations,
We have shown that the technology works. The ball is now in the decision-makers’ court. conducted in collaboration with companies including Preem and the Swedish company, Chemrec, which is responsible for fuel production, has aroused interested worldwide - an unexpected bonus, according to Mårtensson. “We have shown that it’s possible to take an idea from the laboratory to full-scale operation and we have also successfully spread this knowledge all over the world. There is now a clear-cut interest from countries including China, Russia and the USA and they are
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bio-DME could replace up to 50% of the diesel that is currently being consumed by commercial vehicles in Europe within the next 20 years. We have a chance to make a fantastic contribution to help the environment,” he adds. The bio-DME that is being used in the Volvo Trucks field tests is made from black liquor, a byproduct from the production of pulp. The black liquor is actually used in the flow of energy that powers the pulp mill. Chemrec’s process takes part of the black liquor, gasifies it and turns it into usable fuel which can currently, during the on-going field tests, be obtained at four filling stations in different parts of Sweden.
To date, the drivers who are operating the trucks in the field tests have reported that everything is as expected, which is a major success for the project - filling up with biofuel and driving should not be more complicated in any way or constitute a disadvantage in terms of performance. Yngve Holm is transporting pulpwood in northern Sweden in a DME-adapted Volvo FH 440. He is one of the test drivers and he has also reported a number of advantages, such as lower noise levels and, first and foremost, environmental aspects. “I can drive about 650 kilometres on one tank and the truck runs just as well as it does on any other fuel. It is actually much quieter, both internally and externally.” He has been participating in the field tests since last September and so far he has driven 40,000 kilometres. He has also been asked many questions about the new fuel. “Many people are curious and want to know how it works. I usually say that it works really well. The most important thing is that we are doing something for the environment and the future and that’s good for the soul, as I see it.” The bio-DME he is using is produced just a stone’s throw from the filling station he uses, at the Chemrec plant in Piteå in northern Sweden, next to the Smurfit-Kappa Kraftliner paper mill. This plant is the first of its kind in the world.
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The process takes place in a high structure with no walls, consisting entirely of stainless pipes, stairs and tanks that make up a complicated system. Chemrec has quite simply connected itself to the existing mill infrastructure and set up another production line at the mill. It is then able to demonstrate on a small scale a highly cost- and environmentallyeffective method for producing bio-DME. The capacity is approximately four tonnes of bioDME a day. “Bio-DME is produced in three stages. After collecting the black liquor from the pulp mill, we convert it into gas using pure oxygen and thereby produce syngas, a gas that can be synthesised. We wash the gas and then convert it to bio-DME. After that, the quality is checked and the fuel is transferred to a large tank near the mill for storage. The mill is then compensated with biomass known as forest slash, which is branches and the tops of trees that are left over when forests are cut down - a highly effective form of energy exchange,” explains Ingvar Landälv, technical director at Chemrec. Bio-DME production is still in its infancy, but the potential is enormous. “At the present time, we are only using one per cent of the black liquor produced at the mill. If we can use our technology to convert all the black liquor to bio-DME, it would be able to power around 2,500 trucks, so we envisage incredible potential,” says Landälv. “The black liquor capacity in Sweden alone corresponds to about 20 mills like this one.” “We are focusing on industrialising our product together with the pulp industry both in Sweden and abroad,” says Max Jönsson, managing director of Chemrec. A full-scale investment in bioDME, using Chemrec’s production technology, Volvo Trucks’ automotive engineering and a fully developed filling station network, requires substantial funding. “To realise their true potential and help to create the conditions for a climate-neutral transport system, the rules for the second generation of biofuels need to be set. We have shown that the technology works. The ball is now in the decisionmakers’ court. It is up to them to create the conditions for this kind of production,” said Jönsson.
Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 19
The choice was simple when it came to machine replacement H
IGH COUNTRY Logging works on the principle of ‘when you’re on a good thing stick to it’, and that was the thinking when the time came for updating part of its fleet. There was only one way to go. Tigercat from the Tumut-based Forest Centre. But, back to the beginning for High Country Logging. It started in 2006 with a Tigercat 1065 Forwarder and a Tigercat 822 Harvester producing pulp logs for Visy. HCL expanded to four machines in 2007 with the takeover of a portion of Ryam contract. In late 2010 HCL secured a Forests NSW contract to supply 200,000 tonnes of mature clearfall and purchased two Tigercat L830 Harvesters with Waratah 624 heads and two Tigercat 1075 Forwarders. This year, HCL started a machine turnover program with the purchase of two Tigercat 822 Harvesters with 622B Waratah heads and a Tigercat 1075 Forwarder to replace the ageing machines from the original Visy contract. One of the original harvesters
was traded in to Forest Centre and the other was retained for training new operators. It has just come out of workshop after having the Waratah refurbished. The Tigercat, however, only needed a few minor oil leaks repaired. “Not a bad run for 13000 hours,” says Jock Haris, HCL principal. Jock and Lee Wood (who operated the other harvester on the Visy job) have put almost 700,000 tonnes over the Visy weighbridge since startup with the only mechanical issues being the Cummins motors which we rebuilt along the way, and a pump that needed replacing on one of the harvesters. “The track gear is still original; we have had no boom cracking or any other failures in that period and both machines now have around 13000 hours up. “When the time came to update the machines I decided to go to the Tigercat levelling 822 for a number of reasons. “During our time with Visy we have performed a variety of operation types being mainly first thinning but also including second thinning, and both early and mature unthinned clearfall.
Lex McLean shaking hands with Jock Haris on the handover.
“In the bigger wood the nonlevellers struggled for slew power on slopes above about 15 degrees. Now, with the levelling machines we will be able to handle any operation type on any terrain. “I also went to the 622B Waratah for the same reason. It can handle a wider spread of operation types while still being fast in the first thinning,” Jock says. “It’s actually quite impressive the improvements that Tigercat have
made with the new 822s compared to the first ones. Even though the machines are identical to look at, the changes are significant. They are smoother and more powerful and much quieter and more refined in the cab. “I tried one of the opposition machines not long ago to assess the 622B head and had to shake my head at the base machine, which is unchanged for nearly two decades … still rough and poorly finished, noisy and over-rated. “The stability of the Tigercat machines is also impressive. With the levelling gear being so massively engineered (no need for safety cables under there) the centre of gravity is still down low even though the machine sits higher. And as the centre of gravity doesn’t move too far forward as you lean the machine uphill it still climbs over stumps without digging the front of the tracks in to the ground. “The engine in the 822 is now a 9 litre Cummins putting out 300 hp with bigger pumps than the original 822 but with the pump load sensing and electronic fuel injection the fuel consumption had actually reduced by a small amount. It also runs at 1850 rpm instead of
2200 rpm which contributes to the reduced noise levels,” he says. Jock also took the opportunity to replace the original 1065 Forwarder with the latest 1075B Forwarder. “This is the same as the two machines that we put onto the clearfall contract at the start of last year. While it is fair to say that we have had some problems on startup with this machine they were quickly rectified by Forest Centre and now the machine is performing flawlessly in the thinnings. “The volume of wood that can be moved by these forwarders would be hard to match. The 275 hp Mercedes Benz engine makes light work of the 24 tonne loads on any terrain and is also really easy on fuel -- 14 to 17 litres per hour is about the average depending on conditions, which translates to a remarkable litres per tonne figure. “The 1065 is now a backup machine as it was too good to sell, and it helps with long forwarding and peaks in demand. And the final word from Jock about his Tigercats ... “I’m looking forward to another six year cycle with these new machines and if it goes as smoothly as the last - and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t I will be very satisfied!”
20 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Australian Timber Trainers Association an By David McElvenny ATTA Secretary
HE AUSTRALIAN Timber Trainers’ Association (ATTA) held its annual workshop in Albany, Western Australia. Participants attended from around Australia, representing TAFE colleges, private training providers, industry associations and Government bodies. The main conference venue was the Motel Le Grande, Albany, where most of the participants also stayed. Great Southern Institute of Technology provided many of the facilities for the workshop activities and tours, as well as generous financial support. Logistics were coordinated by their forestry lecturer (and ATTA director) Andrew Nicholson. Participants were welcomed to the conference by Tim Isaacs, ATTA president. He was joined by Lidia Rozlapa, chief executive officer of Great Southern Institute of Technology, and Michael Hartman, chief executive officer of ForestWorks. Lidia said that the institute was delighted to be supporting the event and praised Andrew’s efforts in organising the many elements that made up the threeday program. Michael said that this annual event provided the Industry Skills Council with an important avenue for consulting with trainers and training providers, and informing them about the work being undertaken by the ISC.
Bob Pearce delivers the opening address at the 2012 ATTA Annual Workshop. Bob is Executive Director of the Forest Industries Federation of Western Australia (FIFWA) and a director of the National Association of Forest Industries (NAFI). He also served as a Labor Minister in the Western Australian Government in the 1980s-90s.
Walking through an enormous tingle tree in the ‘Valley of the giants’ near Nornalup. Many of these trees are 400 years old or more. Next to this track is the magnificent ‘Tree top walk’, a walkway suspended on poles up to 40 metres high, winding its way through the forest canopy.
Other major sponsors of the event were Stihl and Hitachi/ John Deere. They were represented by Rob Baker (Stihl technical manager) and Kristen Peters (Hitachi national forestry manager), both of whom gave presentations later in the conference. The opening address was given by Bob Pearce – chief executive of the Forest Industries Federation of Western Australia. He talked about the challenges being faced by the industry, including the serious decline in jobs and available resources in many parts of the country. However, he emphasised that the timber industry would play an increasingly important role in Australia’s future, given its unique ability to provide carbon sinks and renewable resources at the same time. Sessions over the three-day workshop included Training Package and VET updates from ForestWorks, a presentation on WHS harmonisation from WorkSafe, panel discussions on sustainability and the Forestry draft code of practice, and talks from various training providers on their experiences in particular markets. One of the highlights of the conference was the field trip to some of the local forest areas and businesses in the region. These
included the spectacular ‘Valley of the Giants’ and tree top walk at Nornalup, the highly innovative Woodworks furniture shop run by Dean Malcolm, and the Mt Romance sandalwood factory, the largest sandalwood processor in the southern hemisphere. Following the main conference, many participants stayed on for an optional fourth day. Some attended an RTO managers meeting, where issues such as AQSA compliance, NVR Standards and Training Package changes were discussed. Others toured a local blue gum plantation forest. Next year’s annual workshop will be held on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. The local organiser will be Tim Isaacs, ATTA president and general manager of the Forest Industry Training and Education Consortium, based in Brisbane. More details will be posted to the ATTA website once the workshop program begins to take shape. In the meantime, the ATTA executive committee encourages all industry trainers and RTO managers to join the new ATTANET (network of training providers) group, and contribute to the discussions on industry issues and the latest developments via the website forum. Details are available on the ATTA website at: www.atta.org.au.
Workshop participants contribute to a discussion on Training Packag Training Package (FPI11) was endorsed late last year, so there was ple introduction of new qualifications.
Michael Hartman gets a steak from Andrew Nicholson at the barbeque lunch stopover during the Day 2 field trip. Michael is the CEO of ForestWorks, the Industry Skills Council for the forest and forest products industry. He led a couple of discussions during the workshop on topics relating to the FPI11 Training Package and changes in the VET system.
Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 21
nnual workshop a huge success
ge issues on Day 1. The new Forest and Forest Products Industry enty to talk about in terms of changes to competencies and the Dean Malcolm (right) explains how his home-made CNC router works. Dean is the owner of Woodworks, a high-end wood art and furniture shop near Denmark. The workshop contains a wide array of computerised machines that Dean has built himself, often from bits and pieces pulled off other machines. These include some old automated film developing machines, once worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but now obsolete and going begging to anyone who’s prepared to take them away.
Rob Baker tries to ‘blend in’ with the crowd as he tells participants about the latest Stihl products and answers their questions. Rob is the National Technical Manager for Stihl, and each year provides an update on chainsaws and other 2-stroke products. Stihl has been sponsoring the annual workshop since ATTA was formed in 1992.
Kristan Peters (right) receives a presenter’s gift from Tim Isaacs (ATTA President). Kristan is the National Forestry Manager for Hitachi/John Deere and each year delivers a presentation on the latest developments in harvesting technology. Hitachi is a long-term sponsor of ATTA.
22 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
“Without their stories, mills, saws and logs are just iron, steel and wood; they carry no meaning, they are just things. But with their stories, they are our remembrance of the past and the creators of our present. We identify with them and are identified by them; they are our heritage that we may squander, or bequeath if we are so minded.” John Dargavel 2008
Southern Shoalhaven Timber Festival U
LLADULLA, A picturesque coastal town about 180km south of Sydney, has a strong connection to forestry. So much so that a festival is held to highlight the history of the timber industry and its value past and present. The first of the festivals was held last year and even though Mother Nature wasn’t in a party mood the festival-goers were. This year’s festival, to be held on 24 November, is shaping up to be a beauty. Long time resident, timber worker and self-acclaimed “bushie” Jim Butler is one of a strong band behind the success of the Southern Shoalhaven Timber Festival, and he said the event was to pay tribute to the industry and to those who pioneered it. “The timber industry started in the mid to late 1800s with sawmills and cedar logging. The south coast’s only transport at that time was steamers to take all the cargo to Sydney. Sawmills like Flatrock transported their timber by jinkers (that were hauled by bullocks or horse teams) to Bawley Point, about a 30 mile trip. “The Southern Shoalhaven played a big part in supplying timber, poles and pylons that helped build Sydney. The wharves had to be built first before the cargo could be transported by the steamers to Sydney,” he said.
Jim was born 1948, started work at 14 in sawmilling and logging. By the time he was 18 he could turn his hand to any job in the timber industry. But, as Jim says, “this isn’t about me, it’s about the festival”. Harking back to 2011, Jim explained that the event was put together in about five months ... “it had to be all voluntary otherwise it wouldn’t have been a full and honest tribute to the industry and its pioneers. The weather had other ideas; however the spirit of the timber workers prevailed and the inaugural event was an outstanding success”. Then started the planning for 2012 and, as Jim says, it was just another dream to give more to the past, present and hopefully the future. This was spurred on by the expressions and fulfilments in the old-timers’ faces on the day, he said. There’s a swag of awards planned for this year including: • Timber Worker of the Year • High School Student Woodworker of the Year • Best Primary School Display of Timber Industry • Builder of the Year • Bush Worker of the Year • Sawmill Worker of the Year • Junior Mill Worker of the Year • Builder’s Apprentice of the Year • Timber Veteran of the Year • Men’s Shed
Jim Clarke (Charles' father), taken at North End of Tabourie Flat at Wairo Beach.
Charlie Clarke at Tabourie Flat 1929.
Charlie Clarke with bullock team at lemon tree creek mill, South Tabourie Lake 1929.
Charlie Clarke at Tabourie Flat 1929.
• Wood Turner • Open Section in Timber This festival will feature: • DEMONSTRATIONS — cutting, shaving, splitting, fence posts, rails, drilling • DISPLAYS — fine art, functional pieces, sculpture, furniture • EXHIBITIONS — historic information of the timber industry, past and present • STALLS — for all interested producers of wood products • BUYERS — wanting that beautiful piece of wood work • R ECORD — create a record for the event “We are calling all interested wood workers from all over to participate in this special event. Stalls size is 3x3m $25 (no powered sites). Larger sites are available for slabs/bulky items. “We are working at having the
most wood items at the one place and time to enter book of records,” said Jim. “All wood working clubs and wood workers are welcome, even if it is just your hobby. We expect to attract buyers from all over as this will be the first time galleries and other timber outlets will get the opportunity to purchase hand crafted timber products from the South Coast and other parts of our country. No handcrafted wood working stall will be turned away,” he said. All proceeds from the festival will go to the Dunn & Lewis Youth Development Foundation, gold coin donation entry for the public. To help make sure the event is successful, the organizing committee is seeking sponsorship … “Whatever from wherever. For example, State Forestry, chainsaw,
timber and hardware businesses, organisations – yes, from $50 to a memorable holiday, any cash is always good,” says Jim. He paid tribute to Forestry NSW which has been very helpful with documents, photos, maps, judging and general information. With solid support the Southern Shoalhaven Timber Festival 2012 will be a feature event for the region … “and a fitting way to honor those who have served (and continue to serve) this industry”. If you can help out or would like to know more about the festival contact Jim Butler on 0438 181 697 Incidentally, the name Ulladulla is an Aboriginal word meaning “safe harbour”. The motto of Ulladulla, painted on the municipal sign at the entrance of town, is: “Ulladulla, where every day is a weekend!”
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24 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Safety first when it comes to remote workers V
ICFORESTS RECENTLY invested in the safety of its remote workforce by installing the latest in online GPS tracking technology in its fleet of 73 vehicles. The organisation chose Ezy2c’s GPS tracking system, which utilises both the mobile phone network and the communication satellite network to ensure coverage is provided in the most remote locations. According to VicForests’ Director of Operations, Brad Winthrop, the organisation’s decision to install the Ezy2c solution was motivated by the satisfaction of knowing that all their employees would be arriving home safely at the end of the day. “We have four core values that underpin everything we do, and one of the most important values is safety. We strive for zero harm,” he explains. “Our forestry staff work in remote locations overseeing and implementing all forestry related activities from planning, pre harvest assessments, road building, contractor harvest and haulage management and the regeneration of the harvested sight. They are out there in the forest often driving alone. “With our new online GPS system, we always know exactly where they are. If something goes wrong the system will send an immediate back-to-base via sms or email. “Not only does it allow us to pinpoint the exact location of the vehicle that’s sent the alert, but it also shows us where the nearest other vehicles are, so we can send someone to go and help out immediately.” VicForests has a manual system in place that relies on remote workers updating the notice board with their intended whereabouts before heading out into the field. “Sometimes people would forget to update the board, or they’d make an error,” Winthrop recalls. “But with GPS tracking, we know where every vehicle is at any given time. If there’s an issue we know we can actually find the person and this gives us all more peace of mind.” Ezy2c’s online GPS tracking solutions are fully customisable, but for VicForests there was no need to request extensive alterations or enhancements. “There was very little customisation, if any,” confirms Winthrop. “Basically, the way the system works is that you can ask Ezy2c for whatever reports you think you’ll need. Then, once you’ve had it running for a while, you can say we’d like to have this sort of information now and they’ll make sure they can generate those reports for you. It’s pretty straightforward to be honest.” As well as providing one of the most technologically-advanced communication systems on the market today, Ezy2c’s online tracking solutions provide a complete vehicle management system, including reports designed to reduce costs and improve productivity.
New Forests’ clients acquire stake in Green Triangle NEW FORESTS has introduced new investors to make an investment in the Green Triangle Forest Trust. GTFT was established in March 2012 via the acquisition of the plantation assets of Auspine Ltd by New Forests Australia New Zealand Forest Fund and a co-investor. The $80 million transaction will be used to reduce debt and redeem units owned by Gunns Ltd. Gunns will continue to retain a minority interest in the GTFT after this transaction is completed. The 46,000 hectare radiata pine estate is located in the Green Triangle – the border region of south-eastern South Australia and western Victoria. Under New Forests’ management, the estate will continue to supply the processing mill in Tarpeena for domestic structural timbers through long-term agreements, as well as support local businesses providing property management, harvest, and transport activities. “The GTFT pine plantations are a high-quality forestry estate and an important part of the Green Triangle region’s forest industry,” said David Brand, managing director for New Forests. “New Forests aims to create stable ownership and sustainable management of these forests; this approach aligns with the long-term perspective of our institutional investor clients.” New Forests manages approximately 375,000 hectares of plantation land and timber plantations across Australia, and the company has over $1.25 billion in assets under management in Australasia, tropical Asia Pacific, and the United States.
Jarrod Louge (Harvesting Forester).
(left) Tom Goldstraw (Harvesting Forester) and Peter Jenkins (Senior Harvesting Forester).
It’s a win/win situation, according to Winthrop. “As well as the safety aspect, there are a lot of productivity gains to be had. The reports help us with ensuring our vehicles are serviced on time as well as highlighting drivers who might be hard on vehicles.” However, Ezy2c’s National Sale Manager, Roger Ghent, believes that
most organisations’ desire to protect their workforce is driven less by the fear of incurring liability when something goes wrong, and more by the satisfaction of knowing that their employees have arrived home safely.” “It’s about knowing you are extending to your remote and lone workers the same duty of care
that you offer your workers in the workplace,” he says. Winthrop agrees. “At the end of the day, we want everyone to go home to their families. Ezy2c GPS tracking is a small investment, to be honest, to be able to know where everybody is and to be able to help them if something happens.”
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Visit our website www.scanforestry.com or call Log Max Australia on 02 6947 4505 or 0408 614 503 and ask for Johan.
26 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
In 2009 the Rottne Range of forwarders was given a total upgrade with the introduction of the F Series, all with very similar cab design and D5 Control systems. The principal throughout the range is to provide a great operator environment, the best visibility, the best serviceability. The largest model Rottne F18 comes with 3 speed hydrostatic system that does not require the operator to stop between gear changes; a great step forward in transmissions for forwarders. All the Rottne F series forwarders have available an optional Cab Comfort line suspension system which greatly improves the operator comfort.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
Rottne AB in Rottne township.
ÖRJE KARLSSON was not satisfied at all with his work in the forest. Both he and his father had to work hard to get the timber out. It was slow going and extremely tough. It was then that Börje started to think about mechanizing the work. The solution was a wire loader. The loader worked really well and made work in the forest easier and more efficient. The Börje loader was born and with that the foundations of what is today the Rottne Industri were laid. It was at the start of the 50s that the first wire loader was built. Börje had thought up the idea during his many hours in the forest transporting home timber. Frequently the timber had to be lifted out from brushwood and from under snow. It demanded much effort to get each log out onto the sledge or wagon. The wire loader was a sensation. The timber tongs were placed on the log and using a winch connected to the tractor the log was lifted into the air and placed on the back of the wagon. Using the wire loader the forestry work become less strenuous and above all significantly more efficient. Word of the young inventor’s wire loader spread quickly. Foresters from the entire district wanted to see the magical loader in work and when they saw it they were “sold”, and everyone wanted one! The small shed at home on the farm soon became too small as a workshop. In 1955 “Börjes Mekaniska Verkstad” was started and at the same time activities were moved to the abandoned Mölnlycke factory in Rottne. Here the company had plenty of space to expand, but it didn’t take too long before these premises were too small. The demand for the Börje loader, which was the name
Rottne F15. Great for thinning and final felling. Machine weight 19,000kg, 168Kw, Tractive drive force of 177kn. Load bunk area of 5.7 m2, Loader RK 125, 125kNm capacity.
Rottne F10B. The smallest in our range with a machine weight of 13,200kg, 116Kw, Tractive drive force of 139kn, Load Bunk Area of 4 m2 .
Rottne F135 and F13. A great thinning machine. Machine weight 18,500 to 19,000kg, 168Kw, Tractive drive force of 177kn, available in rear wagon bogie steering which greatly reduces the turning circle. Load bunk area of 5.3 m2. Loader RK 125, 125 kNm capacity.
Rottne F18. The largest in the range. A true clear fall machine to handle any wood size, with the extra wide load bunk system the F18 makes a fantastic forwarder in hauling out large loads of blue gum. The F18 comes with the largest crane lift capacity of any forwarder on the market today at 156kNm. Hydrostatic Transmission has exceptional power at 220kn through the 3 speed shift on the go. Load bunk area is 6.5 m2, machine weight is 23,200kg.
of the wire loader, increased strongly. They also started to build wagons for the forest. From being a local success story there were suddenly customers from all over the country. And it wasn’t long before the first overseas order came. Today, Rottne runs three production plants in Sweden, Rottne AB in Rottne township which is the core of activities involving product development,
component manufacturing and final assembly of forwarders and harvesters. Randalls Equipment Company has been the Rottne distributor in Australia since 1991 with many machines out in the field today and many more to come. Two new Rottne F18 Forwarders at the front of the Randalls complex.
ITâ€™S SO comfortable,
youâ€™ll never want to leave
The all new operator cab on the Rottne F18 Forwarder has everything an operator can ask for with an optional comfort line system which, at the touch of button, raises the cab 50mm to ensure suspension movement delivers the smoothest ride in the forest. On top of that, an ultramodern hydrostatic transmission with 3 speeds, allows you to shift on the go at full traction force, making for a quicker ride as well. An optional bunk extension system that hydraulically raises and expands the gate in line with the bunks provides three positions you can reconfigure the F18 to for hauling more logs per load than just about any other forwarder on the market. For full specifications and to find out more about this breakthrough machine, give us a call. Randalls Equipment Company Pty Ltd 8 Wallace Avenue, Point Cook, Victoria 3028 Ph: (03) 9369 8988 Fax: (03) 9369 8683 AH: 0418 356 306
28 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Doing the tough jobs in comfort T
HE LATEST addition to the Cat Forwarder line, the 20 metric ton Cat® 584HD, is designed to withstand the demanding requirements of transporting large payloads long distances over difficult terrain, while providing outstanding operator comfort, controllability and serviceability. The 8-wheel drive Forwarder features the 147kW Cat® C7 engine with ACERT™ Technology providing fuel efficiency through high torque in the 1400 to 1600 rpm range. Fuel efficiency is enhanced by the over-sized cooling fan, which has its own hydraulic pump that includes a speed control modulated by the Forwarder control system. The fan requires less horsepower and cools more quickly, allowing loggers to go deeper into the woods and haul bigger loads, faster. Not only is the variable-speed cooling fan beneficial for fuel efficiency, it
Machine Specifications Gross power
204 kW / 274 hp
20,000 kg / 44,092 lb
226 kN / 50,860 lb-f
Loader lifting torque (gross)
159 kN·m / 111,975 lbf-ft
Loader slewing torque (gross)
45 kN·m / 30,240 lbf-ft
also performs well in cold climate conditions by allowing system temperatures to quickly rise to the desired operating level. The hydraulic system also contributes to fuel efficiency by providing quick loader cycle times at low engine speed. A field-proven hydrostatic propel system provides maximum power on grade through a wide engine rpm and ground speed range, resulting in infinitely variable speeds at peak power and dynamic braking on steep terrain. The machine is solid and stable. The rugged front and rear frame structures,
New tool for forwarder operators SKOGFORSK HAS developed a model for optimising forest transport, presenting the machine operator with the shortest, most efficient routes and showing in detail how timber and logging residues should be loaded and transported. The model can be implemented in existing systems to help new forwarder operators plan their work, but experienced operators also benefit from this type of system, according to Skogforsk’s Karin Westlund, who is leading the study: “Fuel consumption is reduced and quality is improved by using a transport plan where timber volumes can be seen on the map on the operator’s screen,” she explains. “There is less risk, for example, of timber being forgotten in the forest.” The study shows that there is great potential for reducing forest transports. “We could be talking about quite a few percent,” says Petrus Jönsson, who has worked with the analyses in the project. “But we need to carry out more field studies in order to quantify the results – one problem is the lack of precision in the GPS coordinates.”
heavy duty cast articulation and large oscillation bearings are built for long service life in demanding forest applications. High stress areas have been reinforced for more durability. The optional blade with wear resistant front cutting edge is purpose-built for clearing trails and pushing forest debris out of the way. The crane is one of the strongest on the market. The comfortable, quiet cab features automatic temperature controls, loweffort ergonomic joystick controls and storage compartments. Side windows extend below seat level for ground visibility close to the cab. The cab is roomy enough for the operator to
easily swing around in the seat to run the loader. The 584HD was built with operator safety in mind. Research shows the majority of equipment-related injuries occur while entering and exiting cabs or from falling from machines. The hydraulic lift stairs and cab walkway platform of the 584 provide best in class access to help prevent these injuries. The operator does not have to climb onto the tires to access the cab and the steps are wide enough for work boots. The cab structure has been designed and ROPS (roll-over protective structures) certified for the entire weight of the machine, not just the front tractor section, resulting in a more robust cab. All major components and systems are accessible through the forwardtilting engine canopy and hydraulic tilt cab. The valve banks are located beneath the rear window where they’re easy to access. The boom grease lines can be serviced safely standing on the ground.
Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 29
Service trailer a unique aid for Forwarder operations L
OGSET HAS introduced a somewhat unique approach to spare parts supplies and servicing for its Forwarders in the field. Their principle is that if
something goes wrong with a machine then repairs should be made with the least amount of downtime; less downtime has a big bearing on the operating “bottom line”.
The Logset approach is to provide all customers who buy a Logset Forwarder a specially built and equipped service trailer. The trailer carries $25,000 worth of Logset spare parts on
service trailer system allows the trailer to be towed straight to site and the machine worked on immediately. Apart from the spares, each specially built trailer carries a 400 litre water tank, a Karcher pressure washer and a Pilot air compressor to make it a fully functioning mobile workshop.
consignment. The parts have been selected as those that would possibly be needed for a breakdown while working. The Forwarder owner is only charged for these parts as they are used. Rather than wait a couple of days for a part to be ordered, sent, received and fitted, the Logset
Logset brings a better logging experience to the forest machinery market. Logset 10F Titan 18 ton forwarder offers better efficiency, better durability, better usability and better productivity. Logset is simply better – for a logger who demands more.
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30 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
biofuels & chipping
Sustainable biomass production systems in Australia are critical to the development of biofuels
Alliance to help fast track biofuel business R
EPR ESE N TAT I V ES FROM agencies keen to develop new bioenergy and biofuel industries recently gathered in Casino, New South Wales, to discuss developing a Sustainable Biomass Supply Alliance and to see the successful mallee harvester in action. Peter Zurzolo, chief executive officer of Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre,
said he was overwhelmed by the support shown for the creation of such an organisation. “We had representatives from a number of organisations with a major interest in developing biofuel and bioenergy industries in Australia. Without exception they are ready to get things happening. “The aviation industry was strongly represented, indicating
strong support in this sector for the development of sustainable aviation fuel sources,” he said. David White, Virgin Australia’s Manager Sustainability, said his company had been working with others to develop the potential of biofuels for some time. “We recognise it is imperative to find alternatives to fossil fuels and biofuel is our best option to reduce carbon emissions from
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the aviation industry,” White said. Michael Edwards, General Manager Boeing Research & Technology – Australia, noted the strategic importance of developing sustainable fuel sources for the aviation industry. “The combined resources of the proposed alliance will facilitate the coherent development of sustainable fuel sources from feedstock in Australia in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner,” Edwards said. Zurzolo said that an important message from the meeting was that while it was possible to import technology to create biofuel, the biomass to produce it would need to be sourced locally. “This means that developing sustainable biomass production systems in Australia is critical to the development of biofuels. “It is important to ensure that biomass can be sourced at the lowest possible cost, with a secure longterm, sustainable supply,” Zurzolo said. He said the CRC’s work on mallee eucalypt biomass showed that biomass users are largely ambivalent about the type of biomass they use, providing it fits their processing requirements and is low cost, abundant and environmentally sustainable. “We know that mallee biomass fits these requirements, but so too do other feedstocks. “A Sustainable Biomass Supply Alliance would investigate the potential of a range of biomass sources and how to package this to get biomass plants established. It is critical that we determine the potential biomass supply options and quantify the costs, risks and sustainability of multiple supply options so we can attract investment in new biomass plants.
“Regional biomass plants could completely transform rural Australia and the energy sector. The environmental benefits are potentially enormous,” Zurzolo said. The meeting was organised at the CRC’s invitation and the day’s events included a demonstration of the recently completed mallee harvester. “The CRC supported the development of the mallee harvester because we know such a machine is integral to a successful biomass supply chain based on mallee trees. The successful harvester, which was built by Biosystems Engineering, is the culmination of 15 years dedicated effort from many individuals and organisations. It proves what can be done with vision and commitment,” Zurzolo said. “In our work on mallee eucalypt biomass we are constantly asked the same questions – people want to know if the fuel will work in their engines, what it will cost and whether it is sustainable. “We are confident that there are positive answers to these questions, but there is a challenge to get answers for a range of different feedstocks and to deliver on the promise of potentially large quantities of economically competitive, suitable and sustainable biomass. This proposed alliance will address these questions and improve industry knowledge of costs, sustainability and scale. “Achieving our objectives will require a substantial investment and we are seeking broad industry support to move ahead. We also intend to seek Government support through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency,” Zurzolo said.
Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 31
biofuels & chipping
Whangarei company increases chip volume with new drum debarker M
ARUSUMI’S CHIP mill at Whangarei in Northland. New Zealand, has replaced an existing drum debarker with a new drum system which was designed and manufactured by the Southern Cross Engineering (SCE) Group at its Christchurch workshop. The existing drum was 9 feet in diameter by 60 feet in length and comprised two sections. These two sections were constructed from 25mm plate with angle iron lifters and straight bark slots. Angle iron lifters are very hard on the debarking process, are very noisy and create large amounts of shock loading throughout the process. Maintenance is also a major issue with angle iron lifters so it was decided to replace this older-style drum system with new technology. The new drum system consists of a 9 foot by 60 foot drum shell, which was constructed in one section using 32mm plate and with hardened bark lifters 900mm long; between these lifters there were angled bark slots. The new drum was designed to run on the existing rubber tyre system and has subsequently provided a 2-3% reduction in white wood loss and an annual chip volume increase of 12,000 tonnes per year. The hardened bar lifters resulted in
a much smoother debarking action and allowed the logs to be lifted, so that bark removal was done between log-to-log contact and not by hammering the logs against the steel components. Barking efficiency was also increased and the bark carry-over in the chip was well under the 1% that was required. This new drum shell was also easier to keep in alignment
on the rubber tyres and was much quieter in operation. “The debarker has met our expectations for bark removal and reliability,” said Rijan Veldsman, Marusumi Site Manager. “The whitewood content is at an acceptable level and, because the new drum is significantly heavier, it is much more stable on the drive system.”
The SCE installation team removed the old debarking drums, re-aligned the rubber tyres and installed the new drum debarker in the one week shutdown time that was allotted for its installation. The SCE Group is now looking to offer this new drum debarker for use in other chip mill processing systems when existing drum shells become due for replacement.
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32 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
biofuels & chipping
Getting better at integrating mallees A
DDING NUTRIENTS to belts of mallee trees integrated into paddocks with pasture or crops can significantly increase mallee growth, according to the latest research from Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre’s Woody Crops Program. The CRC’s Woody Crops Program leader, Paul Turnbull, said that in some ways that shouldn’t be surprising. “We all know that generally speaking if you add nutrients to plants, they’ll grow better,” Turnbull said. “But we thought that when belts of mallees were growing in paddocks, water was most likely the major limiting factor. Our latest research has proven that is not necessarily the case and that nutrients, especially nitrogen, are very important.” Overall, the research, which was supported by the Australian Government’s Second Generation Biofuels Research and Development Program Fund (Gen2 Program), sought to learn how to plant mallees into farming landscapes in a way that optimised the integration of trees and crops. Another surprising finding was that building bunds or small dam walls below the trees captures water and nutrients and the trees grow better. “It’s one thing to know that something like bunds may help, but it is another thing entirely to know exactly how and where they should be built in a farm system and just how much difference they will make,” Turnbull said. “Answers to these sorts of questions enable us to really refine our recommendations as to how farmers can integrate belts of mallee trees into their farms and we can
quantify the benefits of different approaches and management options.” Mallee trees are a potential source of biomass for the developing biofuels industry. There is strong motivation for the development of biofuels as they will reduce reliance on fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector and, providing production costs are competitive, may mean lower fuel prices in the long term by increasing the supply of transport fuels. The CRC’s biofuel research focuses on mallee trees, which are a good source of biomass for biofuel production. When integrated into wheatbelt farms, mallees have the potential to diversify farm income and return significant natural resource management benefits, while minimising disruption to food production. “The integration of mallees into wheatbelt farms has now been studied for over 20 years and has been successfully demonstrated on over 1000 farms in Western Australia. “The research we have just completed has used highly sophisticated equipment and complex modelling to produce data and recommendations that will truly make a difference to farmers who want to grow mallees,” Turnbull said. “The modelling and data collection in this project shows that by increasing the distance between the rows of trees from two metres to 15 metres and by considering biomass growth and the competition with adjoining crops, the cost of biomass is reduced by 12% and overall farm profits from biomass and grain are maximised.
Dr Richard Bennett (CSIRO) inspecting monitoring equipment on mallee trees, Narrogin, WA. Photo: FFI CRC.
“We have also quantified the likely effects of the mallee trees on the crop that grows between the mallee belts. From this we know exactly how close to the trees crops can be planted in different seasonal conditions.” Turnbull said there was still
more research to do but results to date have proven that mallee belts integrated into crops could be a sustainable and profitable option for wheatbelt farmers. “The interest shown by the aviation industry in mallee biofuel is fostered by this important work
and helps farmers and biofuel plant operators work out a reasonable price for biomass supply. What is really pleasing about this work is that benefits flow to farmers and transport fuel consumers while improving regional communities and the environment.”
Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 33
Photo by Peter Herbert.
Arbuthnot Sawmill celebrates 123 years of history A
RBUTHNOT SAWMILL, the last remaining mill using red gum high quality sawlogs harvested from State forests along the Murray River, celebrated its 123rd birthday this year. Managing director of the mill, Paul Madden, said Arbuthnot had been processing timber since the time paddle steamers ruled the Murray River and was part of rural Australia’s rich history. “From supplying wood for the boats that once made the Murray the river highway of Australia, to the high quality red gum for furniture and homes, the timber
that came from Arbuthnot helped build many of the towns along the Riverina,” he said. “We have a proud history of local manufacturing and 123 years later, we are still processing quality red gum timber for heritage projects in our towns, including the upgrade of the Echuca Wharf, to keep the history alive for another generation.” Paul said locking 90% of red gum State Forests in Victoria and New South Wales up in National Parks made it difficult for the business, which is now the last of the Riverina sawmills working with high quality red gum sawlogs from public land.
Photo by Peter Herbert.
Photo by Arbuthnot Sawmill.
However, as one of the largest employers in or around Koondrook, with 25 full time staff, he is convinced the mill will continue the proud tradition of sawmilling in the region. “As its 123 year history shows, this business is a survivor,” he said. “With supportive State
Governments and increasing demand for low-carbon renewable building products like timber, we believe that not only do we have a rich history to look back on, but a long-term and sustainable future to look forward to.” The 123rd anniversary was celebrated on 23 July and was
attended by a number of guests, including State Member for Rodney Paul Weller and Gannawarra Shire Mayor Max Fehring. The celebration included a mill tour and an exhibition of the mill’s latest investments in new laminating and finger jointing plants.
34 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Key focus is import replacement A
U S T R A L I A N S U S T A I N A B L E Hardwood’s Heyfield operation comprises two sites, a greenmill and a drymill processing plant. The greenmill, comprises a massive log yard storing a number of months supply of logs, dam and bore with water sprayed across the log yard to keep the green logs moist and the actual greenmill sawing operation producing the slab timber for the dry mill. The drymill site comprises the air drying yard where the timber is stacked for nine months, kilns, boiler, two scanning drymills three high speed Weinig moulders, an automated finger-jointing laminating line, an appearance laminating line and reprocessing area. All areas work 16 hours a day in two shifts, a permanent day and a permanent afternoon shift, five days a week. The dispatch section works 12 hour shifts five days and eight hour shifts on weekend while the boiler and kilns sections work 24 hours a day 330 days a year. ASH is Australia’s largest hardwood sawmill processing 155,000 cubic metres of sawlog each year, with a workforce of 204 people, an $11million wages injection directly into the local economy and a turn over of $54 million per year. It produces KD sawn timber,
staircase components, window and door components, Supalam and Supachord fingerjointed laminated products and solid structural Supa17 timber, sold throughout Australia and exported to China, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Denmark and Germany. ASH’s chief executive Vince Hurley sees the Heyfield operation’s future in focusing on quality components for the building and furniture fabrication industries. “We are really about import replacement, that’s our key area (for future development) there’s more wood imported into Australia than what’s made here. Our key focus has been and continues to be import replacement.” While the high Australian dollar causes problems for ASH the firm’s ability to streamline processes for its clients enables the firm to remain competitive with imports. “We are making components, that’s where we need to be, streamlining by putting it all together.” For example ASH supplies 80 staircase manufacturers with components such as treads, stringers risers and posts, all cut to length and sanded ready to be assembled. For those individual manufacturers to laminate and sand those components would be prohibitively expensive. “We can do it because we have large volumes, economies of scale,
we have good German machinery and we are taking more steps down that line.” Sixty percent of Ash’s output goes to other manufacturers, firms producing furniture, cabinets, windows, doorframes and doors. More than 2200 people are employed in manufacturing industries in Melbourne through utilisation of ASH timber products.
Apart from competition from South East Asian imports being made cheaper because of the high Australian dollar Hurley’s other concern is certainty of log supply. The firm intends to expand its finger jointing line to increase its ability to produce laminated product, but is restricted to a degree by industry uncertainty. “Because of a lack of log security
people are loathe to invest.” However, Hurley is hopeful the future is positive. “The one thing the Government is doing through this timber industry action plan is putting that security back in place, which enables investment which means we are able to drive safety outcomes but also drive production and sales outcomes,” he said.
Butt laminating line, Anthony Rose and Aaron McDonough check laminated beams.
VAFI congratulates Arbuthnot’s contribution to Koondrook and the Riverina THE VICTORIAN Association of Forest Industries (VAFI) has congratulated Arbuthnot Sawmills for reaching the milestone of 123 years of continuous operation.
VAFI chief executive officer Lisa Marty said Arbuthnot’s longevity highlighted the socio-economic importance of businesses in the forest and wood products industry to a number
of communities across Victoria. “Arbuthnot played a major role building the communities along the Murray River,” Marty said. “For 123 years they have provided employment in
Koondrook and surrounding communities, and produced sought-after red gum timber products for furniture and flooring, heritage building projects, such as the Port of
Echuca, and structural building products and firewood. She said businesses like Arbuthnot were not only part of the history of their communities, but also an important part of their future. “Arbuthnot is an example of a local business that has continued to invest and upgrade its equipment and its products,” she said. “They are also an important part of the Victorian forest and wood products industry, which directly employs around 24,000 people and indirectly supports up to 50,000 more jobs. “Secure future availability of timber is crucial to underpin the successful of Arbuthnot and other forest and wood products businesses into the future. “The Victorian Government’s Timber Industry Action Plan provides for this security, encouraging future investment and competitiveness in the Victorian timber industry and helping provide a sustainable future for the industry and ongoing benefits for the local communities it supports.” VAFI is the peak body for the Victorian forest and wood products industry.
Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 35
Yard operations at ASH Heyfield green mill site.
Staff dedication paved way for major changeover A
PPREHENSION AND uncertainty hung over the Heyfield community for much of 2011 and for six months this year. Until June this year locals feared for the future of Australia’s largest hardwood processor, Australian Sustainable Hardwood at Heyfield. The public haemorrhaging of the Heyfield mills’ struggling owner, Tasmanian timber giant Gunns, had cast a pall over Victoria’s timber industry, which reached its deepest gloom in June 2011 when Gunns’ announced to the Australian Stock Exchange it was putting the Heyfield operation, as well as its Alexandra mill up for sale. The impact of Gunn’s ASX announcement on June 1, 201, should not be underestimated. It sent shockwaves through Heyfield and the broader district. The Heyfield mills and processing plant had grown to become a major contributor to the district’s economy,
under previous owners Neville Smith Timber Industries and then ITC, employing close to 200 people directly, with service and transport contracts contributing to the security of employment for close to 500 across Gippsland and Melbourne. Australian Sustainable Hardwoods chief executive Vince Hurley explained the purchase of the company’s green mill and timber processing operation from Gunns, on May 30 this year, was based on two premises; the safety, employment and wellbeing of its employees and staff, and the long term sustainable profitability of ASH. “The seriousness Gunns’ ASX statement indicated that in the absence of a sale they were going to realise the stock, which is “short word” for close the mill and just sell the stock. “That was a fairly big thing for us,” Hurley admitted. To facilitate the sale of the
Milling operations inside the greenmill Heyfield.
operation the Heyfield staff created a data room, containing all the information about the business. “Nothing much happened, so I decided to approach Ron Goldschlager, the owner of Hermal whom I knew, he owns one of our customers, Mortim, to look at the business,” Hurley said. “He thought it was a very good business; we spent about five months talking to the Government and VicForests about resource security and other things to get that right.” However, during this time the whole outlook of the banking world changed and it became difficult to obtain finance. “Ron decided it was better to bring a couple of other people in with him, and they would together finance the vast majority of it, and the bank finance would be a reduced amount. That enabled the deal to get over the line,” Hurley said. Because sales had been part of
Vince Hurley, ASH chief executive officer.
Gunns corporate structure product sales had been handled externally. However after the June 2011 announcement things changed. “Because Gunns was not interested we had to force it (customer service and sales) from
Heyfield and got direct contact with customers back again. “So when it came to changeover to ASH it was reasonably seamless sales-wise, because we already had to do what we had to do. “I think that showed the dedication of the people that we’ve got; everyone has really worked hard to make this work,” Hurley said. The sales guys were working enormous hours . . . purely because they knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel. The operational transition from Gunns ownership to ASH has been remarkably straight forward, according to Hurley. In fact the transition led to the creation of five new positions at Heyfield; three additional sales people and two senior administrators. “Essentially, five reasonably senior positions, thanks to the change, bringing us to 204 employees.” Retaining the existing employment made for an easier transition than faced by many forms but there was still a big challenge in integrating all the new systems. “Production has stayed reasonably the same, we are still cutting logs, still making slabs, still drying timber and processing dried timber into various components.” But the move out of Gunns corporate structure meant ASH had to buy completely new systems, new payroll system, new accounting system, a new production system. “And we had to integrate them, and we had to do it quickly, so with 204 employees, 175 of whom are award employees who get paid continued on page 36.
36 – September 2012, Australian Forests & Timber News
Air drying timber and finger jointing and laminating line.
Staff dedication paved way for major changeover
Operations manager David Gover.
continued from page 35. weekly, we were up and running and had our first pay run in the first week.” Just five weeks into independent operations as ASH, Hurley was upbeat. “We are up and organised, we were invoicing second day, we’ve still got various things to do with IT, but we are getting there.” Before the sale of the business by Gunns had been negotiated many in the community had been fearful of the future. Heyfield’s green mill, which reduces the saw logs to slabs suitable for air drying and processing at the dry mill, had operated at reduced capacity because of a shortfall of logs. Gunns failure to pay its supplier
Drying kiln is loaded remotely.
VicForests had placed the entire operation under stress. The impacts shuddered through the whole community as contractors struggled with reduced incomes and mill staff took annual or long service leave. While the dry mill processing plant continued to operate much as normal it had done so only because of stockpiling of resources “We had been running the green mill at greater capacity than we had been running here (the dry mill) . . . that built up a bit of stock, fortunately. “The green mill was the one that really suffered. It was on reduced capacity, we were able to live off our stock to some extent and we were still bringing stock down from Alexandra, we (Gunns) had shut the Alexandra mill, so this mill stayed afloat and stayed on a reasonably even keel. “Therefore our sales stayed on a reasonably even keel because we had that buffer of stock. The green mill really hurt... it was on reduced capacity for four months in 2011, post July, and we didn’t even start cutting any logs till the end of February (2012), we had really two months out. “That was a time of difficulty and great uncertainty, because the deal wasn’t over the line, we had a mill that was not operating, we had people on long service leave and annual leave, we had people down here trying to find work to do to keep them employed, so it was quite a difficult time,” Hurley admitted. “The people who relied on the green mill for income, such as our log-yard contractor and our cartage contractor who carts between the two mills and our
chip carter, all had significantly reduced work, because of that.” The Heyfield operation provides significant employment outside the actual mill sites through numerous contractors. “Bedggods of Maffra play a significant cartage role, wood yard contractors, Conway’s chip cartage, hydraulic, electrical, pneumatic, engineering, a lot of contractors,” Hurley explained. “We have a lot of contractors who rely on this business. It’s not just about the 204 employees here. “If you were to extrapolate you would have 400-500 people, they’re not low paid jobs, if you’re talking getting a hydraulic engineer in here, it’s not $20 an hour, it’s $90 an hour.” While ASH’s direct contractors involve significant economic contribution to the region a lot of money is also involved the activities of VicForest’s contractors as well. Beyond that there is the symbiotic relationship between ASH and Australia Paper at Maryvale. “The reason this business is so important is that we and Australian paper go hand in hand, without us Australian Paper wouldn’t get their wood and without Australian paper we wouldn’t get our wood,” Hurley said. “Because the harvesting has to be integrated, it goes together, Australian Paper is the largest private employer in regional Victoria. So that’s significant.” The financial importance of the Heyfield operation to Wellington Shire and Gippsland, as well as Melbourne, Victoria and Australia’s timber based industries should not be under-rated.
Drying supervisor Shane Phillips, at start of finger jointing line.
Vince Hurley with KD product.
Bedggood transport driver Troy Rush checks his load.
Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 37
New sawmill survey for Australia B
etween November 2011 and March 2012, ABARES undertook a survey to up-to-date mill-specific data, including mill inputs, production and employment. This survey updates the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARES) 2007 national sawmill survey. The results provide consistent and reliable estimates of the production of broadleaved and coniferous wood products, using standardised approach and definitions across each State of mainland Australia. Mill survey results for Tasmania have been adopted from a survey undertaken Schirmer and colleagues in 2011. Excluding sawmills in Tasmania, ABARES received a survey response from around 36% of broadleaved sawmills, 57% of coniferous sawmills and 52% of cypress pine sawmills.
While the survey results are broadly consistent with comparable datasets, such as the estimated volumes of logs harvested in Australia in 20102011, some discrepancies remain, and future surveys will work toward resolving these. Because of regular changes that occur in Australias forest sector, the ABARES database of wood processors was validated before undertaking the survey. This involved consulting industry associations and directly contacting many mills. The validated database includes 332 sawmills, more than half of which are small processors of broadleaved sawlogs, each with an annual processing capacity of less than 15,000 cubic metres of sawlog. It is estimated there were 241 broadleaved and 91 coniferous sawmills comprising 68 sawmills based on the coniferous plantation
Sawmill expansion plans AUSTRALIAN SUSTAINABLE Hardwoods (ASH) is gearing up to expand its presence in Victoria’s residential and commercial construction market, according to a report in The Brisbane Times. Heyfield can process 155,000 cubic metres of hardwood timber a year - well over one-third of Victoria’s sustainable native hardwood production - and has a turnover of $55 million. The Victorian Ash timber is bought from VicForests and is certified by the international brand PEFC through the Australian Forestry Standard. ASH produces a range of products for the building sector: various parts and components for manufacturers of staircases, furniture, windows and doors; cabinetry and shopfitting; and products for the merchant market - f looring, architraves, skirting boards, dressed-all-round timber, and long wide beams. ‘’The next goal is to maximise our high-grade outturn in the context of maximizing our total recovery from each log,’’ ASH chief executive Vince Hurley said. ‘’There is no doubt with updated equipment, more investment in latest scanning and handling equipment from Europe, we will extract more value and more recovery out of each log we buy.’’ ITC invested in equipment that can scan the insides of a log to find the best way to cut it, and laser beam scanners that cut to exact dimensions. ‘’That equipment is 10 years old. There have been leaps and bounds in that technology in the meantime,’’ Hurley said. ‘’We have short-term plans to invest in manufacturing equipment, and medium-term to invest in a new dry mill project. We do have reasonably long-term licences. The Victorian Government is putting in place steps to enable long-term contracts. We won’t do anything substantial until the longer-term contracts are in place.’’ Heyfield has four factories beyond the kiln-dried sawnwood stage. Mr Hurley said it was not just about creating economies of scale in the volume of output of sawn, kiln-dried boards. ‘’It’s also the economies of scale of having manufacturing plants on site. Eighty per cent of our product is further value-added through those four plants,’’ he said. Hurley said once long-term contracts were available and new efficient equipment installed, ‘’that gives us the opportunity to expand the business, taking a lower grade of log, or even a different species’’.
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resource, and 23 cypress pine sawmills in Australia in 20102011. The number of sawmills in Australia has fallen significantly, with broadleaved sawmills falling by 72% and coniferous sawmills by 67% since 19992000. The results of the survey, combined with data for Tasmania, show that around two million cubic metres of broadleaved sawlogs, over eight million cubic metres of coniferous sawlogs, and 186,000 cubic metres of cypress pine sawlogs were processed in Australian sawmills during 2010-2011. Broadleaved sawnwood production in 2010-2011 was estimated at around 730,000 cubic metres, coniferous sawnwood production at around 3.7 million cubic metres, and cypress sawnwood production at around 81,000 cubic metres.
It is estimated that 28% of broadleaved sawnwood output from Australian sawmills was produced as dry appearance grade sawnwood, while green structural, green other and dry structural grade sawnwood also accounted for significant shares of final broadleaved sawnwood production. In contrast, it is estimated that more than half of all final coniferous sawnwood output was produced as dry structural timber. According to the ABARES wood processing database, the broadleaved sawmilling industry is characterised by a large number of relatively small mills in New South Wales and Queensland. Compared with other States, both average mill size and sawnwood recovery rates were estimated to be relatively low in Tasmania. The coniferous industry,
excluding cypress pine mills, is more uniform, with mill size averaging above 100,000 cubic metres across Australia. The cypress sawnwood industry consists of relatively small mills in New South Wales and Queensland only. The post and pole industry is more evenly distributed across Australia, with average mill size similar to that of the cypress industry. The wood-based panel industry is also distributed fairly evenly across the states, with more than half having a processing capacity of 100,000 cubic metres or greater. This information was taken from an ABARES report. More information is in the ABARES report titled ABARES National Wood Processing Survey 2010201, which is available for download from daff.gov.au/ abares/publications.
Keep our forests
healthy and take a
38 – September 2012 , Australian Forests & Timber News
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Australian Forests & Timber News, September 2012 – 39
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Fitted with EGS700 Processor, 750mm Saw 7150 hrs Price $165,000 + GST
Salem Twin 54” Band Resaw
Roundabout. Operator cabin. Hydraulic sizing, fence, line bar, cant turner and handling equipment. Sawn timber transfer deck. $279,000+GST
Moreen Johnston 50” Horizontal Band Wing line
With roundabout and wing transfer deck.$44,000.00+GST Hyundai R290LC-7 HC
Windsor board twin edger
With laser guides, pneumatic sizing and conveyor waste transfer.
2006 Model, 7000 hrs High Wide Chassis Hyd Thumb Price $75,000 + GST
Morbark Chipper Model 75 Has reconditioned C19 Cummins engine, feed bed, remote controlled and blade sharpener $125,000 + GST
Austral Timber Group Contact Ken Baker 0438 643 992 email@example.com
1300 727 520
Steve McKiernan 0417111592
FOR SALE Komatsu WA500-1 Approx 15,000hrs. Good machine for parts only. Does not include Log Forks or bucket.
Morbark 22 inch Electric Chipper Infeed & outfeed conveyors, screen & several spare parts.
Peterson Pacific Debarker 15,000hrs. Capacity of 30” log diameter. Been converted to Electric. Infeed & outfeed conveyor.
Morbark 30 inch Portable Chipper
Contact: Kevin Muskett 0428 144 984 - Tasmania
2002 CATERPILLAR 924G Wheel loader 11500 hrs $55,000+GST
BRUNNER HIGH VAC KILN 45m3 capacity Hot water boiler All trolleys, computer system, manuals, etc Great hardwood drying kiln $300,000+GST
TIMBER TREATMENT CYLINDER Ex CCA plant 1.8mt diameter 10mt long $20,000+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
KOCKUMS FORWARDER 85-35T No grab Good engine, hydraulics, transmission and tyres $15,000+GST
SMITHS TWIN EDGER 2 x 75hp motors Will cut 700mm diameter x 6100mm log $30,000+GST
LARGE STAINLESS STEEL TANK 3.05mt diameter 4.8mt high Some damage
LARGE STEEL TANK 3.6mt diameter 9.2mt high
For all enquiries please call Damien on 0417 570 616
Timbco T445C Hydro Buncher $45,000 + GST Selling due to completion of contract Phone: (07) 5594 9607 Dave: 0418 765 832 or Roy 0403 555 845
Visit www.timberbiz.com.au/dtn to sign up today.
FOR SALE GREY ONE MAN BENCH • Late model Hydraulic Reversible • Full length line bar • Right hand • 5 Strand out feed deck • Grey pop-up docker • Green chain (5) strain • Bench and Docker has grey blower extraction system Cost 360K in 1998 will sell for 85K Gympie Qld Phone KARRA 0408002858
Ultimate Chipping Machine Get the maximum return on your investment with a Peterson 5000H Chipper! With the capability to produce a 10 â€“ 25 mm sized chip, the 5000H can meet your chpping needs quickly and efficiently at a lower cost per ton! Just one look at a Peterson 5000H can show you why we build the most innovative chipping machines in the market. For thirty years, Petersonâ€™s attention to detail and obsession with creating the highest quality, highest volume producing machines makes the 5000H whole tree chipper a sure investment. For more information call Komatsu Forest or visit www.petersoncorp.com today!
5710C Komatsu Forest Pty Ltd 11 / 4 Avenue of Americas Newington NSW 2127 Australia T + 61 2 9647 3600 F + 61 2 9647 2540 www.komatsuforest.com
September 2012 issue