The forestry and related industries are coming together showing a united front in response to addressing the results of the bushfires both in native forests and plantations. It is important that there are no knee jerk reactions and unfortunately according to the FTMA it has already been reported that other product suppliers are trying to use this disaster as a way to undermine the timber frame and truss market. Source: Timberbiz
It may be still too early to know the exact damage these fires will have on the industry however, Christine Briggs of AKD Softwoods has said that there is an ability for the domestic softwood industry to lift structural output based on data from FWPA.
“I believe the domestic softwood industry can lift structural output by approximately 15% from last year’s run rates and some data to support this is that FWPA industry sales of structural from domestic producers was running at 1,596,000m3 actual year ending October 2018 and for year ending September 2019 was at 1,375,000m3 so I believe there is an ability for our domestic industry to lift structural output in the order of 220,000m3 p.a. this year,” she said.
The FTMA has spoken with Vida Wood and Stora Enso as well as other importers who are not only concerned for the wellbeing of timber communities but are also reassuring us that they are there to assist us in the future.
John Halkett of Australian Timber Importers Federation (ATIF), stated that it is the medium and longer-term prospects of domestic supply which are likely to be diminished as there actually may well be an initial spike in production because of log salvage. Therefore, it is important that the industry works together to plan ahead and ensure we do not struggle with a timber shortage.
Kurt Schrammel of VIDA Wood expressed the importance of getting the message out there that “timber is a safe and environmentally friendly building material – now and even more so in the future.”
Mr Schrammel also said that his colleagues from VIDA Wood’s Swedish and Canadian mills were visiting Australia to see how they can support and assist in the coming months.