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Weekly news for the Timber and Forestry Industries


  • Advertising: Tel +61 7 3266 1429 Email: 1issuE 232 | 30.07.12 | PAgE

    Advertising: Tel +61 7 3266 1429 Email:


    issuE 232 | 30.07.12 | PAgE 1

    MBA pushesbest practice

    Cont Page 3

    Kiwi protected in the pines

    Deadline too short for biosecurity review

    US-Canada group checks out Aussie market

    Wood to energy a no-brainer

    Last of the red gum sawmillers

    Forest peace talks extended

    Less domestic wood used in new houses

    This issuE

    Governments must lead by exampleTHE building and construction industry has called for governments to examine their contracting practices and introduce a best practice model code.This initiative will extend to the importation of what the Master Builders Association describes as dodgy building materials that fail to meet Australian standards.In a submission outlining priorities for reform of contract law lodged this month with the Attorney Generals department, Master Builders has urged the government to lead by example in the reform of on-ground practices.Chief executive Wilhelm

    Harnisch said this was an opportunity for the government to show leadership and set a best practice benchmark for contracting, and then of course, abide by this best practice.The Attorney General administers a model litigation program that any department wanting to engage in litigation must follow. This model should be recreated for contracting, Mr Harnisch said.In relation to imports, Mr Harnisch said MBA was working with other associations, attorneys-general and Standards Australia on imports that were not fit for purpose or failed regulations

    Better building .. recommendations to improve contract law practices.

  • Advertising: Tel +61 7 3266 1429 Email: PAgE | issuE 232 | 30.07.122

    ForestWorks performsa range of industry

    wide functions acting as the channel

    between industry, Government and the Australian Vocational

    Education and Training (VET) system

    VICTORIAPO Box 612, North Melbourne 3051Tel: (03) 9321 3500Email:

    NEW SOUTH WALESPO Box 486, Parramatta 2124Tel: (02) 8898 6990Email:

    TASMANIAPO Box 2146, Launceston 7250Tel: (03) 6331 6077Email:

    BRISBANEPO Box 2014 Fortitude Valley 4006Tel: (07) 3358 5169Email:

    SOUTH AUSTRALIAUnit 2/191 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide 5006Tel: (08) 8219 9028Email:





    industry concern oncontent of domesticwood in new houses

    Cont Page 11

    Case wins ear of government

    It is indeed a very perverse

    outcome that the tax designed to

    reduce emissions is certain to drive business offshore to countries with

    less environmental regulations and

    much higher emissions intensities

    Simon Dorries

    Simon Dorries John McVeigh

    THE engineered wood industry has registered grave concerns over the rapidly declining proportion of Australian-made components used in residential and commercial construction.Recent surveys suggest the home-grown component of manufactured building products in new houses has fallen to as little as 30%, with the remaining 70% derived mostly from factories in Asia where workers are earning less than 30c an hour.Also, Australian houses are being built with combinations of timbers sourced in Russia, Chile, China, USA and the

    Czech Republic and the local market is threatened by increasing supplies of factory-built kit homes from Japan.These concerns were put to Queenslands Forestry Minister John McVeigh last week by an industry delegation led by Simon Dorries, general manager of the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia.We were pleased with the Mr McVeighs level of interest in our concerns and his recommendation that further submissions be made to the Minister for Housing and Public Works [Dr Bruce Flegg], Mr Dorries said.The industry also seeks the assistance from the ministers to ensure local manufacturers are not disadvantaged in state purchasing policies.The fact remains that Australian manufacturers are at a significant price disadvantage to overseas competitors at a range of levels such as labour costs, transport costs, exchange rates and are subject to a number of unfavourable taxes such as payroll tax, Mr Dorries said.Most recently, domestic manufacturers have the added burden of the carbon tax which

  • Advertising: Tel +61 7 3266 1429 Email: 3issuE 232 | 30.07.12 | PAgE

    with regards to safety.We are very conscious of this problem, he said.In a contractual sense, the contractor is held liable so we are concerned about the supply chain liability where everyone potentially can be caught out or potentially dodge the issue.There has to be quality control throughout the whole system. If a country like China gets an approval on a building product and then fails to maintain quality assurance, then authorities must act on this.Mr Harnisch said it was not unusual for federal and state governments and their agencies to engage unfair contract practices in their dealings with the construction industry.It is common for governments to include termination for convenience clauses in contracts. This allows the government department or agency to end the contract at will, at a time of their choosing and without reason.Other clauses permit governments to change the scope of a project at any time. So if a contractor has tendered on a $10 million project, the government could change it to a $15 million project and expect the tenderer to stick to its price and margins for a smaller project. The clause also allows government to reduce the size and scope of a project at any time.These practices would not be permitted in the private sector. The government should set a positive example and play by

    the same set of rules it creates for other parts of the economy, Mr Harnisch said.Master Builders submission to the Attorney Generals department on improving Australias law and justice framework makes 10 recommendations to improve contract law practices.In the submission Master Builders says there are too many inconsistent statutory constructs in place which attenuate the notion of fairness and which create a difficult web of contract law in which builders become entangled.These statutory provisions have arisen largely as a result of the common law courts rejecting substantive unfairness as a ground of intervention

    in otherwise validly formed contracts, a position Master Builders supports.It is the various and contradictory ways that the notion of fairness has been introduced as an overlay on the common law which has

    raised on-ground difficulties. Master Builders submits that the area requiring reform is harmonisation of federal, state and territory laws that underpin contracts or which regulate contractual disputes.Master Builders represents 33,000 businesses nationwide, including the top 100 construction companies. It is the only industry association that represents all three sectors residential, commercial and engineering construction.MBA estimates that the cumulative construction task over the next decade will require work done to the value of $2.4 trillion. The residential and non-residential building sectors combined will require $1.25 trillion worth of work and the engineering construction sector $1.15 trillion worth.The construction industry represents more than 9% of the total Australian workforce with the number of jobs expected to increase by 300,000 to around 1.3 million employees by 2021.According to the ABS, the value of work done by the building and construction industry was $172.9 billion in the year to September 2011, excluding around $30 billion of smaller renovations work. Residential building work amounted to $46.7 billion, non-residential building $32.5 billion and engineering construction $93.7 billion.At November 2011 the construction industry employed 1,039,900 people.

    statutory constructs entanglingbuilders in web of contract law

    From Page 1


    The government should set a positive example and play by same set of rules it creates for other parts of the

    economy Wilhelm Harnisch

    Valuable asset .. construction industry represents more than 9% of the total Australian workforce.

    Wilhelm Harnisch .. concerns about supply chain liability.

    Resignation: Gunns board shrinks to just four membersTHE board of Gunnd Ltd has shrunk to four members following the resignation of one of its directors.

    Gunns has told the stock exchange Paul Teisseire has left the board, but will continue as chairman of its subsidiary

    Gunns Plantations Limited. Mr Teisseire joined the board in 2008.Gunns shares have been in

    a trading halt for more than four months as the company negotiates a $400 million capital raising.

  • Advertising: Tel +61 7 3266 1429 Email: PAgE | issuE 232 | 30.07.124

    SIGNATORIES to the Tasmanian forest agreement have been given an extra two weeks to do more modelling on the impacts of a peace deal on industry and its effects on communities by the creation of new high conservation value forest reserves.The Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has backed the decision to grant another extension. The deal is expected to cost more than first thought.The Forest Industries Associations Terry Edwards says more money will be needed to implement any decision to reduce the amount of native forest logging.[Theyre] not all big ticket items in terms of cost but nevertheless all issues are important to ensure that any agreement can be implemented p