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Latest timber industry news, updated Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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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Undisturbed ancient rainforest in an African volcano

Standing in a pit in the red soil of a mountaintop forest in northern Mozambique, Dr Simon Willcock was dirty but very excited. “Undisturbed forest is incredibly rare,” he said. “That is why we scaled a 125-metre-tall cliff with a pickaxe.”  Source: The Guardian Willcock, from Bangor
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DNA database will trace illegal logging

Jakub Bednarek headed into the forest near his home in Leavenworth, Washington, and collected samples of maple leaves to send to a lab for DNA analysis. Mr Bednarek, who also works as a biologist in his day job, is one of 150 volunteers in a project that stretches along the Pacific Co
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Demand for sawn softwood remains satisfactory in Europe

The sawn softwood production of most European sawmills is currently at a high level due to the increased demand for structural timber in Europe and continuing brisk demand in the USA and China, among others. Source: Euwid This can be seen in the 2017/2018 Annual Report of the European
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Australian designers in Tulipwood

Eight of Australia’s most highly regarded designers have re-imagined their works in American tulipwood. The designs were launched at Denfair, one of Australia’s premier design showcases, in Melbourne from 14-16 June 2018. Source: Timberbiz Anne-Claire Petre, Adam Goodrum, Adam Markowi
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Kauri in the High Court

The Northland Environmental Protection Society has argued in the New Zealand High Court and the Court of Appeal that it is unlawful to send swamp kauri overseas in the form of table tops and slabs. Source: Radio New Zealand Those courts have rejected the society’s arguments, say
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NZ forest industry progresses with Overseas Investment Act amendments

Forest Owners say the government’s announcement that the Overseas Investment Act would be amended to cut out red tape is a very positive signal to potential investors. Source: Timberbiz FOA President Peter Weir says though he still can’t see the point of including cutting rights, inst
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Timber education website makeover

FWPA’s WoodSolutions Campus – a collaboration with the University of Tasmania to provide free online timber education – has had a website make-over, and is the subject of a new promotional campaign. Source: Timberbiz The campaign invites timber salespeople and others in the timber sup
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Safety conference highlights culture and technology changes

A major national conference series on forest safety practices is set to showcase how forestry leaders have brought about practical benefits to logging and forestry workplaces through changes in culture and technology. Source: Timberbiz Registrations are now open for the 4th FIEA Fores
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The switch to timber is well underway

Timber is being used instead of conventional materials in 21 substantial building projects from government housing to hotels and offices, thanks to the hard work of FWPA’s Mid-rise Advisory Program. Sources: Timberbiz, FWPA Developers of a further 262 projects are also expressing inte
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