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Austral Plywoods jumping through hoops for responsible forestry

Using 100% Hoop Pine, sourced from HQPlantations, which is a Responsible Wood certified softwood plantation in South East Queensland, Austral Plywoods manufactures a wide range of panel products, specialising in marine plywood and appearance grade plywoods. Source: Timberbiz

The products are stocked by wholesalers in Australia and New Zealand, and Austral Plywoods targets architects and interior designers, and has been involved in a number of notable projects including the Brisbane Supreme and District Courts, Perth Arena and Melbourne Recital Centre.

The supply of the Hoop Pine resource, pruned and harvested, plays an important role in supplying Austral Plywoods with superior grade product for manufacture.

For Austral Plywoods, Responsible Wood is more than just a ‘trust mark’, through Responsible Wood’s Chain of Custody it provides Austral Plywoods with a licence to support responsible forestry.

Austral Plywoods opened its doors for Responsible Wood directors Mark Thomson, and Willie van Niekerk, and Jason Ross – marketing and communications officer, to tour its facilities.

Brothers Scott Matthews and Stuart Matthews are joint CEOs of Austral Plywood which employs more than 50 staff. The company competes with domestic and imported manufacturers of plywood product.

“Competition in the market is strong with imported product competing against local manufacturers,” Stuart Matthews said.

In such a competitive market place, forest certification plays an important role in differentiating sustainable product from the rest.

“Responsible Wood certification is an important consideration. Whilst there are other environmental logos, the Responsible Wood ‘trust mark’ is the only logo that verifies that the plywood timber originates from a forest that meets the Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management,” Scott Matthews said.

Verifying the origin of timber in the forest is one thing, but ensuring that manufactured timber maintains high levels of certified timber, is a key consideration for all environmentally conscious purchasers.

According to Responsible Wood director and architect, Mark Thomson “this distinction is widely misunderstood by well-meaning specifiers of timber based products”.

“When specifiers and builders source plywood they should ensure the product is Product Certified PAA, first and foremost. They then should make sure the product is processed and manufactured by an identified organisation that continues the commitment through Responsible Wood Chain of Custody,” Mr Thomson said.