timber and forestry e news issue 317

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Weekly news for the timber and forestry industries Australia and New Zealand


  • 1ISSUE 317 | PAGE

    IN a timely initiative to develop new skills in an industry starved of research and development, Forest and Wood Products Australia is arranging a timber engineering study tour to Canada for young students.

    A group of engineering students, accompanied by recent graduates, will travel to the World Conference on Timber Engineering in Qubec, the birthplace of Canadas wood industry.

    The FWPA study tour which takes in the conference from

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    ISSUE 317 | 12.5.14

    FWPA study tour toboost student skills

    Cont P 4

    World conference in Qubec, Canada,is set to inspire young timber engineers

    Delivered weekly to timber merchants, sawmillers, wood processors, foresters, members of national, state and trade organizations and

    associations throughout Australia, New Zealand and various countries.

    Bonjour! Timber engineering students at Cecobois, the Centre of Expertise on Commercial Wood Construction in Qubec, will welcome Aussie students to the World Conference on Timber Engineering in August.

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  • PAGE | ISSUE 3172

    ON May 13 we will finally know just how tight the belt is being pulled around the national waistline.

    Certainly we must live within our means.

    But the real business of government is far more nuanced than that. Cutting costs is painful but, in one sense, not the most difficult of the Treasurers challenges.

    We want to see the right investment in our shared future. Budgets are intergenerational documents. Decisions taken now either pay future dividends or leave our children looking regretfully at the chances we were either too squeamish or too unimaginative to take.

    Certainly every request for new money has to be asked the question, Is this the right investment for our children? and on the Treasurers desk is one proposal which answers that question squarely in the affirmative.

    Our request is that the federal government joins with industry and state governments and invests in a new National Institute for Forest Products Innovation.

    For months AFPA has been explaining that our competitor nations, such as Canada and New Zealand, have been stealing a march on us by taking bold steps and fiercely backing forest industry innovation.

    Here? It has been the opposite. Here we have watched as our national research and development capacity has fallen off a cliff. It was $100 million five years ago and has crashed to about $30

    million; 730 researchers have shrunk to about 200.

    Every state government has now agreed that the need is great and thrown their weight behind this bid. Ministers from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australian have put aside state differences and added their voice to the calls for Treasurer Hockey to take a lead with the coming budget and set us on a growth path in forest industries.

    According to workforce modelling, there is the potential for such a step change in forest products research and development to add a minimum of 10,000 new jobs over 10 years mostly in our regional towns.

    The forestry and forest products industries of this nation have the potential to surge again as a job creation and wealth driving machine, especially in country Australia.

    The international buyers for sustainably harvested timber and pulp and paper are there and growing in number as a new middle-class emerges in Asia. New markets are emerging almost daily for radical breakthroughs such as cross laminated timber for high-rise buildings, and composites for plastic replacements.

    We have the people. We have the sunshine. We have the space. We have the expertise. We have all the natural advantages in spades. The only thing we need is research and innovation capacity to build on these strengths. We should be claiming pole position in the new world of 21st century wood.

    So, Treasurer Hockey, heres a final, eleventh hour, plea:

    When you have all the states and industry crying out that we have the chance to re-energise


    We have the people. We have the sunshine. We have the space.We have the expertise. We have all the natural advantages in spades

    Potential to add 10,000 new jobs over ten years

    Researchers have shrunk to about 200

    Yes, Joe, thats it. That much will do it!

    EXTRACTS from an opinion piece by ROSS HAMPTON chief executive, Australian Forest Products Association

    Mr Hockey .. go with push forinstitute for forest innovation

    Cont P 9

  • 3ISSUE 317 | PAGE

    PRE-fabricated timber framing and engineered wood in building construction as the theme for next weeks Frame Australia 2014 conference and exhibition has attracted an amazing number of delegates, expected to be more than 350, making the event the biggest in its 16-year history.

    Frame 2014, to be staged at the Park Hyatt Melbourne on Monday, May 19, has been organised in conjunction with the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia.

    Delegates from the building design and construction sector will attend the conference in record numbers, in part due to the active support from the Housing Industry Association and Master Builders Australia in Victoria in promoting the conference topic to their members.

    HIA members represent residential builders, trade contractors, developers, design professionals, kitchen and bathroom specialists, manufacturers and suppliers.

    Master Builders Australia has grown to more than 33,000 member companies with representation in every state and territory.

    Membership consists of large national, international, residential and commercial builders and civil contractors through to smaller local subcontracting firms, as well as suppliers and professional industry advisers.

    Frame 2014 director Kevin Ezard said a number of organisations within the timber supply, pre-fabrication and building materials sectors

    had strongly supported the event with groups of delegates using the timing of Frame for convenience in arranging national meetings of members.

    EWPAA has organised an industry dinner at the Park Hyatt Melbourne on the night of Frame 2014 and will hold a special meeting of directors the next day on May 20.

    The National Building Suppliers Group is also arranging a meeting of members during the event.

    Natbuild is a buying group for 37 independent building materials suppliers operating from more than 140 stores in metropolitan and regional locations throughout Australia.

    Within the organisation there are three regional timber and wood panel groups Queensland, New South Wales and southern region.

    These three groups enable Natbuild to negotiate regional trading arrangements on behalf of members with leading suppliers of timber and wood panel products.

    Other industry associations providing valuable assistance in supporting the conference include the Frame and Truss

    Manufacturers Association of Australia, Timber Merchants Association Victoria, and the

    Australian Forest Products Association.

    The Malaysian Timber Council is sending an important group of nearly 30 delegates from the Timber Council and

    Malaysian government, along with architects and engineers to review timber construction in low and high-level construction, for creation of opportunities for affordable housing in Malaysia and other parts of Asia.

    They have arranged a tour of housing construction sites and manufacturing plants around


    Frame 2014 biggest ever

    Wide cross-section .. the 350 delegates expected at Frame 2014 represent the main sectors of timber and engineered wood, timber frame pre-fabrication, building design and construction.

    Malaysian Timber Council sending 30 delegates

    Active support from HIA and Master Builders

    Record number of delegates from thebuilding design and construction sector

    Cont P 7

  • PAGE | ISSUE 3174

    August 10 to 14, has been supported by the Gottstein Memorial Trust.

    This is an opportunity for our best and brightest up and coming engineers and engineering students to be inspired by attending the peak international timber engineering event, FWPAs managing director Ric Sinclair said.

    Theres comparatively little exposure to large timber projects in Australia, so the engineering conference gives people the opportunity to see the enormous activity thats happening on a global scale.

    Tour leaders are Boris Iskra, standards manager, FWPA, and Dr Alastair Woodard, director TPC Solutions (Aust) Pty Ltd.

    Held every two years, the World Conference on Timber

    Engineering combines academic and industry presentations with a trade show and associated events.

    The theme of this years conference is the Renaissance of Timber Construction. This will be the third time that FWPA has organised a student delegation.

    Up to eight students are chosen to attend, with p