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Latest timber industry news, updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Operational changes at ForestWorks

Tim Woods has taken on the role of acting general manager of ForestWorks following the resignation of general manager Diana Lloyd after more than two years in the role. Mr Woods is a well known and respected industry figure and a regular contributor to Timberbiz. Source: Timberbiz 
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NZ incentives for tree planting include climate change vision

New Zealand has deepened the environmental role of forestry as part of its $NZ480 million, 10-year plan to plant one billion new trees by 2028. The Minister for Forests, Shane Jones, said NZ had now included permanent forests as part of changes to its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) sh
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Indepth on VicForests report

VicForests made a net profit of $1.2 million on sales of about $101 million in 2017-18 despite big cutbacks in the state’s timber resource, according to the annual report of the government’s commercial forestry operator. The state-owned company, despite a small drop in the value of sa
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VEAC’s draft proposals ignore real issues in Central West

Victorian Environment Assessment Council (VEAC) draft forestry proposals for Central West Victoria slug the region’s timber industry, while ignoring its economic importance and its role in fighting fires and maintaining biodiversity, according to the state’s peak forestry body. The dr
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New Geelong timber manufacturing factory “industry game-changer”

Quintessential Equity has hailed the opening of a new Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) processing and offsite manufacturing factory at Avalon Airport’s new industrial precinct, as a major win for both the City of Geelong and the building industry’s march toward more sustainable methods of
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Merger between IFA and AFG one step closer

Exciting times are ahead for the Institute of Foresters of Australia (IFA) and Australian Forest Growers (AFG) as they facilitate Extraordinary General Meetings for their members to vote on the proposed merger of IFA and AFG, a proposal endorsed by both boards of the two not-for-profi
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Norske Skog to invest $7m in NZ

The Norske Skog group has decided to invest about AUD$7 million to upgrade the Nature’s Flame wood pellets facility in New Zealand to more than double its annual production capacity to 85,000 tonnes. The increased production capacity will be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2019.
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Pulp and paper leads the way in sustainability and innovation

Australia’s renewable pulp and paper industries are leading the way in global sustainability and innovation, according to the 2018 National Pulp and Paper Sustainability Report. “The report confirms Australia’s renewable pulp and paper industries are setting the agenda with ambitious
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Australian Paper gets enviro tick for waste disposal energy

Australian Paper’s $600 million energy from waste proposal at its Latrobe Valley plant has been given an ‘environmental tick’ from EPA Victoria. The EPA has issued a Works Approval, which means the project meets the EPA’s stringent emissions standards. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timbe
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Durable Eucalyptus Grower’s Forum Australia & NZ launched

Eucalyptus species are grown throughout the world for their hardwood qualities and rapid growth. As a plantation species, their most common use is for pulp production and in many developing countries for utility poles and fuel wood. In Australia, there are approximately 900,000 hectar
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Forestry chief dumped from new Victorian Cabinet

Former Victorian forestry chief, Philip Dalidakis, has been dumped from the new Victorian Labor Cabinet because half the ministers will be women. Mr Dalidakis, a former chief executive of the Victorian Forest Industries Association and a strong forestry supporter, was omitted from the
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Labor rejects ABC’s allegations on improper harvesting

The Andrews Government – senior ministers and relevant departments – has strongly rejected allegations made on the ABC that VicForests has illegally harvested native forest timber on a massive scale. ABC’s 7:30 Report, three days before Saturday’s state election, accused VicForests of
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CFMEU at loggerheads with FSC on new standards

Just recently FSC Australia was making the news with what it called its ‘groundbreaking’ Australian version of the world’s strongest forestry standard. In FSC’s media release it pointed to a certification standard “jointly agreed by industry, environment and community interests”. Whil
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Pellets are a growth opportunity for Australia

Wood pellets, which can play a big role in cutting carbon dioxide when used in pulverised coal power stations, are a growing export opportunity for Australia, according to Australia’s peak wood researcher. Wood pellet exports are increasing and their future looks bright, says Forest &
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400 tonnes of timber for auction in WA

About 400 tonnes of logs and a selection of sawn timber are up for auction on Saturday 24 November in Western Australia. The auction, for timber from the South West and Goldfields regions, will take place at the WA Forest Products Commission Harvey Mill. It will kick off at 10am. The
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FSC forest certification standard made for Australia

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has developed a new forest certification standard specifically for Australia to support the sustainable management of forests across the country. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz FSC Australia’s National Forest Stewardship Standard joins the ex
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Australian Paper feasibility study for $600m waste plant

Australian Paper is forging ahead with its $7.5 million feasibility study into building a $600 million energy from waste plant at the Maryvale paper mill in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, according to the company’s 2017-18 Sustainability Report. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz The pr
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Review of Sustainable Timber Tasmania annual report

Revenue from the sale of Tasmanian forest products from public land rose by more than 19% last year to $144.86 million, according to Sustainable Timber Tasmania’s annual report. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz A $26.6 million increase in the value of the managed forest, plus othe
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VAFI Industry Review 2018

Victoria’s plantation estate needs to be increased by about 20% to 500,000 hectares over the next decade, according to one of Victoria’s peak industry bodies. Source: Philip Hopkins for  Timberbiz Victoria now has about 421,700 hectares of hardwood and softwood plantations, the Victor
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Victorian forestry industry awards for excellence

A young female forester, Emma Gall from HVP Plantations, was one of four winners at this year’s Victorian forestry industry awards, which covered individual excellence, sustainability and contributions to the economy and community. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz The awards were
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KIPT appoints new director

The Board of Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers (KIPT) has planned a transition to a governance and management structure better suited to an operating timber export business. Source: Timberbiz As the development phase of the company’s growth approaches its conclusion and the productio
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Andrews Government voices pre-election support for timber and forestry

A leading Andrews Government minister, Philip Dalidakis, vowed to the Victorian forestry industry on Friday night that he would boycott Bunnings and Officeworks if they refused to sell Victorian forestry products. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz “As far as I am aware, I’m the onl
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Government to get tough with Australian Forestry Standards

The Federal Government has foreshadowed a tough approach towards retailers who refuse to sell goods certified under the internationally recognised Australian Forestry Standard (AFS). Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz The Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck,
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Government’s one billion trees plan inadequately supported

The Federal Government’s $20 million forestry plan to plant one billion trees is a big policy step, but is inadequate as it amounts to only two cents per tree. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz That was a key point made by the chairman of the Australian Forest Products Association,
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Home building beats expectations

According to HIA economist Diwa Hopkins Australia’s home building industry beat expectations in commencing construction of 228,480 homes in the 2017/18 financial year. Source: Timberbiz This represents a 3.3% increase on home starts in the previous financial year.  The ABS today relea
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VicForests Roadmap for FSC Controlled Wood

VicForests released the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) audit report (May 2018) and reaffirmed its commitment to pursuing certification of FSC Controlled Wood standard. In conjunction with the results, VicForests released its FSC 2020: VicForests Controlled Wood Roadmap outlining the
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Funding opens up the future of forestry in NSW

The NSW Government has opened round 1 of applications under the Forest Industries Innovation Fund loan scheme – a $34 million fund to assist industry in adopting new technology and innovative practices. Source: Timberbiz The scheme aims to attract projects that will better address the
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Fire season nears in Australia – we should take heed

Aborigines’ fire management skills should be integrated into Victoria’s fire-fighting planning to complement fuel reduction burning, according to the state’s forestry experts. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz “The traditional owners of the land have unique skills and expertise in
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NSW to fund forestry projects to open up markets

The NSW Government will fund new innovative forestry projects aimed at improving profitability, opening up new local and international markets, and preparing for future opportunities. Source: Timberbiz Minister for Lands and Forestry Paul Toole said applications would soon open for th
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National forestry plan examined

A total of 30 key plantation regions will be created under the Federal Government’s national forestry plan, with farmers playing a big role in planting trees. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz The $20 million, four-year plan aims to plant an additional 400,000 hectares of forests –
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AFPA annual report released

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has released its annual report for the 2017/2018 year and in it  Chief Executive Officer Ross Hampton said the association has had a strong year, growing in membership, capacity, capability and influence. Source: Timberbiz He said that
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The robots are coming!

Robots are likely to have a bigger role in timber processing as they take over work that is dirty, dangerous or difficult. By Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz That was a key message of Troy Krogh, regional director of Scott Automation & Robotics, to the WoodTech conference in Melbourn
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A billion trees for Australia in new Liberal plan

Australia’s renewable timber and wood-fibre industry will be better prepared for future challenges and opportunities with the support of the Australian Government’s National Forest Industries Plan – Growing a better Australia. Source: Timberbiz Minister for Agriculture and Water Resou
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OneFortyOne’s two significant initiatives

The new owner of Nelson Forests OneFortyOne (OFO) has marked the settlement of its purchase with the announcement of two significant new initiatives – the establishment of a substantial fund for sedimentation research and a school leaver program that will provide trade apprenticeships
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SA state budget delivers for forestry

The Australian Forest Products Association SA Branch (AFPA SA) has welcomed the forest industries measures announced in the South Australian State Budget. Source: Timberbiz “It’s great to see that the SA Government has heeded the advice of AFPA SA provided during the state election ca
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Timberlink $100m investment in regional manufacturing Jobs

Timberlink has approved a $100 million upgrade program to its Australian sawmills. This generational investment will see the total processing capacity of the Australasian sawmilling company increase by more than 15%. Source: Timberbiz The investment will secure more than 1350 direct a
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Colbeck’s welcome comeback to forestry may be cut short

After the Federal government’s recent political spill a change has come that will certainly be welcomed by most of the forestry industry as well as Tasmanians. Richard Colbeck has been given the portfolio of Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources assuming responsibilit
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National Forestry planned Canberra launch

Australia’s ‘new look’ government is due to launch the National Forest Industries Plan in September 2018. The plan is to be released by the Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Anne Ruston, who remains responsible for forestry.  Source: Timberbiz The developm
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QUT program tackles production challenges in manufactured timber

A new pilot program has been launched by Weathertex and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to understand the chemical changes that take place during the production of external timber cladding. Sources: FWPA, Timberbiz A collaboration between industry and academia, the intended
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Mainstream media taken to task for negative slant on forestry

A recent article in ‘The Age’ shows how easy it is for the mainstream media to feed negative perceptions about the native forest industry, according to forestry writer and consultant, Mark Poynter. By Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz Mr Poynter, in an address to the National Timber Counci
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Labor’s promised forestry plan – science over hysteria

The federal Labor Party has promised a forestry plan that emphasises science over environmental hysteria, and includes carbon farming and bioenergy as chief ways for the sector to fight climate change. Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz “Labor’s principle – it has to be informed by the fact
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OFO maps its future growth in Australia and NZ

OneFortyOne Plantations(OFO) is consolidating its position as a new vertically integrated company, including potentially using bioenergy as it maps future growth in Australia and New Zealand. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz The company’s executive general manger – forestry,
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Carter Holt Harvey in High Court with Shadowclad

A multi million dollar court action seeking damages from building products giant Carter Holt Harvey has been filed at the Auckland High Court. Sources: Newshub, Stuff NZ It is seeking at least NZ$40 million in damages on behalf of owners of properties constructed with Shadowclad. Shad
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Pine residue up for grabs in West Australia

About 60,000 tonnes of plantation pine residue is up for grabs over two years in Western Australia. By Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz The WA Government has let a tender for the product, with the successful bidder or bidders expected to be announced this month. WA’s Forest Products Commi
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Please learn from the Greek tragedy

The Federal and State Governments must learn from the Greek fire tragedy before we experience another Black Saturday bushfire in Australia. That is the stark warning from the Institute of Foresters of Australia. Source: Timberbiz and IFA Bob Gordon, National President of the Institute
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The race to zero deforestation

Forests cover almost one-third of the world’s land area and over one billion people rely on them for their livelihoods. Source: Steve Nicholson, director of sustainability at Solaris Paper As of March 2017, nearly 450 companies had made 760 commitments to curb forest destruction in su
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LINX Cargo Care Group’s agreement to acquire Pedersen Group

LINX Cargo Care Group, and its subsidiary C3 Limited, has been successful in its bid to acquire Pedersen Group, a market leading provider of wood chipping and wood yard management services to pulp and paper mills, and forest owners in Australia and New Zealand. Source: Timberbiz Peder
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Leadbeaters still endangered but not so much by forestry practices

Leadbeater’s Possum (LP) should retain its status as “critically endangered” but more information and research is needed to finalise this designation, according to a federal government scientific body. Source: Phillip Hopkins for Timberbiz Future bushfires, triggered considerably by c
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Turbocharging forestry industries in Tasmania

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) is launching a $10 million plan to turbo-charge forest industries in Tasmania, and specifically in the federal electorate of Braddon, ahead of the July 28 by-election poll. Source: Timberbiz “Forest industries are incredibly important
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Going Green Forests, Fire and a Flawed Conservation Culture

Bushfire policy, the nature of conservation and the implications for the timber industry form the key themes of a new book on native forestry. “Going ‘Green’: Forests, Fire and a Flawed Conservation Culture”, by forestry expert Mark Poynter was launched in Melbourne last Friday. Mr Po
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Private forestry forum

Opportunities for Southern Tasmania – a private forestry forum for landowners, foresters, processors and land-use managers will be held at the Royal Hobart Showground, Glenorchy on 8 August. Source: Timberbiz The forum, from 6-9.30pm, will be addressed by keynote speaker Guy Barnett,
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Forestry operations under microscope

The controversy surrounding the harvesting of a coupe at a traditional timber town, Noojee in West Gippsland, highlights the issues facing the native forest industry. By Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz. A full hearing of the Federal Court, likely in February, will hear a claim by the Fri
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New online platform maps Australia’s renewable energy hotspots

A new online platform called AREMI identifies the location, availability and volume of biomass, and has been flagged as a pivotal tool to boost investment in Australia’s renewable energy sector. Source: Timberbiz Businesses and investors now have access to a data-rich platform which m
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American forest model could prove its worth for Australia

American group The Conservation Fund, which combines protecting forests and creating jobs in partnership with business, offers a model that Australia could follow. By Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz That was the key message of the Vice-President of The Conservation Fund, Robin Murphy, in
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Frame conference wrap-up

Australia now has the third highest number of tall buildings in the world made from wood. More than 50 buildings in Australia have been built from engineered timber in the past five years, with Australia now having the third highest number of tall buildings in the world made from wood
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Forestry innovation research grants open

The Australian and Tasmanian governments are supporting advances in a sustainable and productive forestry industry with wood product innovation they hope will grow the sector. Source: Timberbiz Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, and Tasmanian
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VAFI dinner a premier pre-election event

The Victorian Association of Forest Industries Annual Dinner will be held on 19 October at the RACV Club, Melbourne. Source: Timberbiz One of the premier events for the state’s forest and wood products industry and of particular significance with 2018 being a state election year, the
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Landmark Australian genetic technology boosts tropical eucalyptus plantations

Australia-based forestry company New Forests will use landmark Australian genetic technology to boost productivity in its tropical eucalyptus plantations. By Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz New Forests has forged a partnership with Gondwana Genomics, a private company founded in 2014 wit
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Housing growth continues and Victoria leads the way

Australia’s housing approvals surged in March, rising 9.2% compared with February, totalling 19,452 separate approvals. While the monthly data was positive, the big stories are that free-standing house approvals are still growing and Victoria’s approvals remain at record levels. Sourc
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Mt Gambier research hub up and running

The new National Institute of Forest Products Innovation has kicked into gear in South Australia, with an inaugural meeting of its industry-driven advisory committee electing Tammy Auld as Chair and planning a workshop to discuss the research priorities and strategy with all intereste
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National Farmers Federation on a mission to investigate farm forestry

Representatives from the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) and the National Farmers Federation (NFF), including AFPA Chair Greg McCormack and NFF President Fiona Simson visited New Zealand to examine farm forestry operations near Rotorua. Source: Timberbiz The joint delega
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Top 5: Market Points from IndustryEdge

513,811 bdmt – projected woodchip exports from Australia in April 2018, measured in bone dry metric tonnes, based on IndustryEdge’s unique vessel tracking and analysis -$23.03/m3 – the February 2018 discount for softwood log exports that were <15 cm diameter. Their exports averaged
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Next generation forest plantation investment

Institutional investors, superannuation funds and trusts are a likely source of funds for a new venture by universities and industry that aims to establish tree plantations to meet Australia’s growing demand for wood. Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz The immediate focus is on Gippsland an
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Concerted push for contract extensions

The Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI), has thrown its support behind its members’ drive to extend their contracts with VicForests, the state government’s commercial forestry arm. From Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz Tim Johnston, the chief executive of VAFI said processor
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G6 increase pressure on Vic Government

Six Gippsland sawmills have renewed pressure on the Victorian Government, urging Premier Daniel Andrews in an Open Letter to save jobs, protect regional communities and return confidence to the timber industry. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz The G6, as the new group calls itself
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Top 5: Market Points from IndustryEdge

448,686m3 – Australia’s log exports in February 2018, dominated by 403,136m3 of softwood logs AUD14.895 million – the value of dressed sawn softwood imports to New South Wales in February 2018, on a free-on-board basis 12.4% – growth in the value of timber windows imported to Australi
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South Gippsland votes against timber harvesting

VicForests said that it respected the sentiments of South Gippsland Shire Council, that voted against native timber harvesting in Mirboo North.  “We urge the Council and the community to continue talking with us,” Alex Messina, VicForests General Manager Corporate Affairs said.  “Ther
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Softwood chip prices up 21% in February

Australia’s woodchip exports totalled 580,785 bone dry metric tonnes (bdmt) in February 2018, with hardwood chips at 494,345 (bdmt). Softwood chips continued their recent strength, totalling 86,440 bdmt. Source: IndustryEdge, Timberbiz Latest data analysed for the Australian industry
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Security of supply

Landscape-scale forest planning and security of supply are key demands of the Victorian forestry industry for the next generation of the 20-year regional forest agreements (RFAs). By Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz All five Victorian RFAs, which are to be finalised by March 2020, must re
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RFAs finally signed for Victoria

Victoria’s forest industry jobs and the environment have been assured certainty with the Australian and Victorian governments extending the Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) for East Gippsland, Central Highlands and the North-East regions. Source: Timberbiz The extension of the three
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Gippsland Forestry Expo linking forestry education and careers

Australia’s forestry industry is finding it difficult to attract qualified or experienced people to work in this interesting and rewarding sector. Source: Timberbiz This is despite the fact that Australia’s forest industry is a dynamic and sustainable provider of regional employment,
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Forest2Market report for US fibre market

As global consumer trends and demands continue to shift at an escalating pace, a new Forest2Market report shows that both structural and temporal market shifts in recent decades have impacted the markets for wood fibre residuals. The report, Changes in the Residual Wood Fiber Market 2
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Global softwood lumber markets

Global trade of softwood lumber from January through September 2018 was down 2.5% as compared with the same period last year. China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the MENA region reduced their imports, while the US and continental Europe have imported more lumber this year than in 201
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A green bullet for Scotland’s carbon store

Thousands of trees planted near Loch Ness could help grow a new income stream for Scotland’s forestry industry while removing thousands of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere. The trees comprise a large-scale test site investigation by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)-fund
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Study options open in timber durability

Timber is one of the world’s most important renewable construction materials and Australia remains a leader in the field. Its durability is an important aspect of performance, particularly with Australia’s climate extremes and voracious termites. The National Centre for Timber Durabil
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A 35-year career in forestry ends for Bob Germantse

Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Bob Germantse is retiring as Snowy Region Manager following a 35-year career dedicated to the forestry industry. Mr Germanste is based in Tumut and said his career reflects the opportunities that the forestry industry can offer. Source: Timberbiz “Looking
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Kangaroo Island signs MOU with Flinders Ports

Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers Ltd (KIPT) has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Flinders Ports Pty Ltd, under which the parties will work together on an exclusive basis to achieve a port operating model for KIPT’s propose Kangaroo Island (KI) Se
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Deere and Hitachi announce split in Australia

John Deere Construction & Forestry Company (Deere) and Hitachi Construction Machinery (Hitachi) have had a long and successful global partnership spanning multiple continents and product lines. This partnership has served both companies well and supported each company’s global gro
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Green buildings no longer lead by Romilly Madew

The Green Building Council of Australia’s long-serving leader, Romilly Madew, has been appointed chief executive officer of Infrastructure Australia. Ms Madew’s appointment was announced by the Infrastructure Australia Board and welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack. Sou
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VEAC’s report discredited by forestry experts

Victoria’s forestry experts have savaged the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council’s (VEAC) draft proposals for the state’s Central West Forests, suggesting the agency no longer provides the legally required independent advice on natural resource management. The Victorian divisio
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