Australasia's home for timber news and information

Emergency summit today in SA to halt timber shortage crisis

SA-Best MLC Connie Bonaros

An emergency summit was being held in Adelaide this morning with all key housing industry stakeholders in an attempt to develop a blueprint to avoid the timber shortage crisis from worsening. Source: Timberbiz

Those invited to attend the summit, organised by SA-Best MLCs Connie Bonaros and Frank Pangallo, include key industry associations such as the Master Builders Association of SA, the Housing Industry Association, the Plumbers Association of SA and National Electrical Contractors Association, some of the state’s leading timber producers and suppliers, and SA’s largest homebuilders.

“It’s scandalous that timber logs from local plantations are now being shipped offshore to India and China because of the high prices suppliers are fetching and demand from Europe and the United States,” Mr Pangallo said.

“Local growers are fulfilling their contractual obligations with local sawmills and suppliers – many of which were written well before the Homebuilder boom – but instead of helping these businesses meet their huge increases in demand are preferring to ship their excess stock to overseas markets due entirely to the better profits they can make,” he said.

“That processed timber is likely to find its way back here at much higher cost than if it was processed by local sawmills, which are crying out for supplies, is a disgrace,” he said.

“We also need to know whether sawlog from the State’s Southeast is also finding its way to the lucrative overseas markets.  If this is happening, and I am of the belief it is, our Federal and State Governments need to step in immediately to save jobs and business here from collapse. The priority must be local.

“If timber can’t be supplied to build houses, carpenters won’t get paid for putting up the frames, bricklayers won’t get paid for laying the bricks, electricians won’t get paid for wiring the house, the businesses that supply those tradies won’t get any orders for materials…and so it continues,” he said.

“Already there is genuine fear many tradies won’t have incomes after July and many businesses will be forced to start shedding jobs by September or October,” Mr Pangallo said.

“Worse still, there are grave concerns significant numbers of jobs will be lost and many small to medium sized businesses will go bust if the issue isn’t addressed as a matter of urgency.”