Logged out: Queensland's timber shortage as inaction sends supplies crashing
Article and photo published by InQueensland Media
Flawed, out of date legislation and government inertia is grinding down the Queensland timber industry's efforts to meet surging demand amiz a frenzy to reach carbon reduction goals.
Demand for timber is booming, forcing suppliers to consider privately held grazing land as one option to increase production.
Yet farmers say vegetation management laws make those plans a pipedream.
Timber Queensland CEO Mick Stephens says there's more than two million hectares of "commercially viable" additional country across South-East Queensland alone suitable for forestry, a virtual blank canvas on which to plot the state's future timber resources as soaring demand is expected to quadruple by 2050.
While some of these seeminly bonus swathes of land identified just happen to be on privately held farms, that in itself is no stumbling block, he says.
"With improvements, we could be doubling our current rate of product in this area alone," Stephens says.
Read full article here.
Pictured: Mick Stephens, TQ CEO
Growing Trees for Wood
Article for Timber Queensland by Alex Lindsay, Forsite Forestry
In North-East Queensland there are several hundred privately owned small scale timber plantations, planted with a diverse range of species, many of which now have trees of a harvestable size. There is also interest from new landholders, either to plant woodlots of timber trees, or incorporate wood producing species with their plans for the rest of their property (usually cattle grazing or wildlife conservation). There is an abundance of articles online about species options, and planting trees, but very little information about proven growth rates, ongoing management, or utilising the trees. The information exists, but mostly in the heads of experienced local tree growers, or retired extension staff.
In 2020 a group of northern foresters sought to address this disconnect, by organising two one-day workshops Growing Trees for Wood. Timber Queensland was one of the major sponsors of the workshops, which were attended by 20 private landholders – quite an achievement in the year of COVID restrictions. Each workshop included a visit to a local plantation where the landholder had harvested and utilised some of the trees they had planted, and were able to share their experiences with the group. There was also some classroom time, introducing the participants to tree measurement, silviculture and wood utilisation.
The first workshop was held at Ravenshoe. Local grazier Roger Portess had planted pines and eucalypts to act as windbreaks for his cattle, and has periodically cut logs for fencing and farm construction projects. Roger told the group that it was hard enough work to get the trees established, but now every year his grass was greener for longer, in frosty and windy weather, than his neighbours who had no trees.
The second workshop was at Julatten. Barry Mildren, a former timber worker and dozing contractor, had planted high value timber trees along an erodible section of Bushy Creek. The trees were planted in the early 1990s under the Community Rainforest Reforestation Program (CRRP). For the last few years Barry has cut one or two trees every once in a while, sawn and dried the timber, then used the boards to make furniture.
The course was delivered by Forsite Forestry, in conjunction with the Australian Agroforestry Foundation with content delivered by Dr Kevin Harding and David Skelton. The initiative was sponsored by Timber Queensland, Responsible Wood, CO2 Australia, Tablelands Regional Council, Mitchell River Watershed Management Group, Johnstone River Catchment Management Association and Malanda and Upper Johnstone Landcare.
Ravenshoe field day group.
Julatten field day group. The stump is from a West Indian Cedar that Barry used to make into furniture and boards.
Live Christmas tree brings merriment and the smell of pine to Parliament House
Queensland MPs and forest and timber industry representatives celebrated the start of the festive season late last week with the unveiling of a “live” Christmas tree located in the building’s foyer.
The Speaker of the Queensland Parliament, Curtis Pitt, was joined at the event by the co-chairs of Queensland’s Parliamentary Friends of the Forest and Timber Industry network Bruce Saunders, Member for Maryborough and Tony Perrett, Member for Gympie.
The occasion was celebrated with a contingent of Parliamentary colleagues from around the Chamber to “launch” the tree, including Mick de Brenni, Minister for Public Works and Procurement and Deb Frecklington, Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing.
Our thanks also to Joan Pease, Member for Lytton, Chris Whiting, Member for Bancroft, and Bart Mellish, Assistant Minister to the Premier for Veterans' Affairs, Trade and COVID Economic Recovery, who also stopped by for a photo with the tree and an ornament.
Timber Queensland and the Queensland forest products industry is once again pleased to assist with the provision of the live tree, a trend which is rapidly gaining popularity as consumers turn away from artificial trees.
A real Christmas tree is a sustainable choice as it removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it grows and stores it in the stem and branches, highlighting the carbon friendly nature of well-managed forestry activities.
A live Christmas tree can also lift the festive spirit of everyone visiting the Parliament through the fresh smell of pine, and provides joy through our natural affinity with plants.
Grown in Queensland, the pine tree is festooned with locally grown and processed plywood decorations in the shape of a tree - symbolising the growth of Queensland’s $2.4 billion forest and timber industry.
Surrounding the tree are ‘southern pine’ seedlings kindly donated by HQPlantations, the largest commercial plantation grower in the state. These seedlings represent the renewability of the industry, where every five minutes in Queensland the plantation softwood industry grows enough wood to build another timber framed home.
Timber Queensland would like particularly to acknowledge the support of the Speaker of the House and the Queensland Speakers Office, in promoting the tradition of a live Christmas tree in Parliament.
The tree provided to the Queensland Parliament is a Monterey pine otherwise known as radiata pine (Pinus radiata), that is commonly grown for Christmas trees in Australia due to its conical shape and form. The seedlings comprise Pinus caribaea and Pinus Elliottii hybrids, the major commercial pine species grown in Queensland for timber products.
First Image: Members of Parliament and Industry Representatives Celebrate the Launch of the Christmas Tree (L- R Top Row: Sam Hyne, Hyne Timber, Clarissa Brandt Timber Queensland, Greg Phipps Eco Cottages, Sarah Porter Timber Queensland, Beth Welden Forest Learning L- R Bottom Row: Steve Worley HQPlantations, Curtis Pitt Speaker of the Queensland Parliament, Tony Perrett Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Mick Stephens Timber Queensland, Bruce Saunders Assistant Minister for Train Manufacturing and Regional Roads, Simon Dorries Responsible Wood, Ian Haines DTM Timber, Mick de Brenni Minister for Public Works and Procurement).
Second Image: Minister for Public Works and Procurement, and Bruce Saunders, Assistant Minister for Train Manufacturing and Regional Roads, help to adorn the tree.
Third Image: Clarissa Brandt and Mick Stephens of Timber Queensland with Deb Frecklington, Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing.
Developing Northern Australia Conference 2020
Last month TQ Mick Stephens CEO attended the Developing Northern Australia Conference in Rockhampton with key CRCNA partners to present the research findings of the northern forestry situational analysis led by Timber Queensland. You can access his presentation Forestry Development in Northern Australia: cross sector synergies with mining, grazing and indigenous enterprise opportunities here.
The conference also coincided with the release of the CRCNA's State of the North Report, which can be accessed here.
Pictured is Mick Stephens & TQ member Aaron Soanes from CO2 Australia visiting the CRCNA stand at the DNA Conference.
A floor on which a table can sit!
TQ's office renovation is reaching its final stages with TQ associate member Scribed Flooring onsite installing solid Spotted Gum flooring donated by Parkside Timber, Blackbutt engineered hardwood flooring donated by Boral Timber and Darwin Stringybark donated by DTM Timber. Adhesives for all stages of the flooring have been provided by Mapei Australia.
Another major milestone is the completion of the boardroom table made from Queensland speciality timbers provided by Branch 95. Responding to TQ’s request for a versatile solution that would allow the large space to function as a boardroom and be reconfigured to operate as a training space, Mark Hogan from Architectus and Leo May from Branch 95 conceptualised a design that allows use as a boardroom table, or separated for individual usage as needed.
As the principal craftsman Leo was assisted by his Branch 95 colleague Michael Gill to hand manufacture the table which comprises of four sections. Laminated Black Wattle was used to create the centre of each section, framed with Queensland Silver Ash and the table tops are mounted onto Darwin Stringybark legs.
DTM Timber’s General Manager Ian Haines said Leo’s design is a modern take on a parquetry feel and includes rebates into the frame to accentuate the design.
“They have been hand finished and coated in a 2 pack lacquer to preserve and highlight the amazing look of the timber,” said Ian.
“These species all come from our range far North Queensland specialty timbers and the design will allow them to be a stunning piece of furniture in either layout,” he said.
Timber Queensland looks forward hosting to productive meetings with members and stakeholders around this table for many years to come.
Timber Queensland's biophilic "Timber Hub" refurbishment taking shape
When TQ relocated our office, necessary improvements to the layout and fit-out presented an opportunity to create a "Timber Hub" showcasing Queensland timber species to visitors and stakeholders.
Designing a showcase for Queensland timber species
Working with our long-term member architectus a floor plan and interior design was developed using the principles of biophilic design. This 'nature connected’ design philosophy is explained in Planet Ark’s report Wood – Nature Inspired Design which outlines how using wood in an office brings nature indoors, providing a healthier, happier environment for all.
Wood can also be used to reflect the patterns and shapes seen in nature – this is known as “biomorphism”. In the new Timber Hub, individual offices, common and break areas, and the foyer have been framed with timber and hardwood upright dowels, and plantation forest photo murals will be installed, giving a sense of being enveloped by branches or trees for privacy, while allowing light to filter through like it might in a forest.
As the peak industry body representing Queensland’s forest and timber industry, we wanted our headquarters to showcase as much as possible locally grown and produced products and our members have generously donated the majority of the products used in the fit-out.
The project kicked off with associate member Scribed Flooring installing the plywood underlay flooring donated by Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts Australia. With the underlay flooring in place, staff members were able to use the office “open plan style’ while the office wall joinery was designed and manufactured.
Entering the forest
Following lengthy planning, the project has recently taken leaps and bounds. Today, the concept of ‘biomorphism’ is immediately apparent on entering the office, the reception area features a seating area constructed with plywood donated by Austral Plywoods and a timber dowel “forest” made from recycled spotted gum donated by Kennedy’s Timber.
Walled in by nature
Again using recycled spotted gum donated by Kennedy’s Timber and iHoop appearance plywood donated by Austral Plywood, local timber joinery All Kind Timber & Glass fabricated walls and screens to create offices, meeting areas and a kitchen. Eight doors using Queensland cypress and hoop pine for offices and the boardroom have been fabricated and donated by modular home manufacturer EcoCottages, who specialise in using cypress timber.
An inspiring boardroom
Creating a sizeable boardroom big enough for member meetings and training sessions was a priority in the office design. The end product is impressive incorporating more of Austral Plywood’s iHoop appearance product, and featuring donated Hyne Beam 17 products, these pine glue laminated beams are well suited to a variety of critical loads and long span applications.
Kiln dried MGP10 treated pine framing from Hyne Timber was also used for some of the internal constructions and was sourced from Versace Timbers, a member of the Accredited Queensland Timber Merchant Network (AQTMN). The AQTMN was established by Timber Queensland in 2014 to assist builders and consumers source Queensland produced timber products as part of the ‘Buy Queensland Timber’ campaign.
Timber cladding adds warmth to walls
Adding to the warmth and beauty of the fit out, Black Shou Sugi Ban cladding donated by Hurford Wholesale has been used as a wall cladding to signify a small meeting area. In the kitchen PNG Forest Products donated hoop pine plywood to clad an internal wall creating a nature connected space for staff to have some down time.
We have been fortunate to engage an expert carpenter, Peter Arcus of Anything Wood, who is also a joiner by trade. Peter has installed all pre-fabricated walls and built all other elements of the fit-out, bringing the vision of Mark Hogan from architectus to life.
Solid and engineered timber flooring seals the deal
As the the office fit out project draws to a close Scribed Flooring will soon be returning to install and coat solid Spotted Gum flooring donated by Parkside Timber and Blackbutt engineered hardwood flooring donated by Boral Timber. Final coatings and stains are being completed by the very fast and efficient Sarri Painters and designs are being considered for our boardroom table which will be built using Queensland speciality timbers provided by Branch 95.
Project certification, the highest benchmark in forest certification
Working with certification body SCS Global Services, one of eleven certification bodies approved by Responsible Wood to certify Chain of Custody audits, Timber Queensland and Responsible Wood has committed to use certified wood, selected from forests certified under the Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management.
In January 2019 SCS Global Services Nick Capobianco spoke to Responsible Wood about the project:
“SCS audited the Timber Queensland office refurbishment project to the Responsible Wood chain of custody standard AS 4707:2014 and confirms that systems are in place to source certified wood, implement a Due Diligence System and make an accurate claim about the certified wood used for the project.”
“A final audit will conform compliance of the project once the sourcing and installation of all timber and wood products are completed.”
“If all the relevant chain of custody criteria are met, Timber Queensland will be issued a Responsible Wood Chain of Custody certificate for the project.”
SCS Global Services have generously donated their time pro-bono to assist with the project, with the Timber Queensland office representing an important frontier in timber certification.
“In order to claim using the Responsible Wood logo a minimum requirement of 70% of all timber used no the project must be claimed in accordance with AS 4707 or PEFC ST 2002:2013 and validated by an approved certification body,” Mr Capobianco said.
We look forward to meeting you across the table soon – watch this space for updates.
Glulam beams for Boardroom – Hyne Timber
Plywood cladding for kitchen – PNG Forest Products
iHoop appearance plywood for partition sheeting and entrance box bases – Austral Plywood
Flooring underlay plywood – Carter Holt Harvey
Solid hardwood timber flooring – Parkside
Blackbutt engineered timber flooring – Boral
Black Shou Sugi Ban cladding – Hurford Wholesale
Recycled timbers for wall partitions, battens, dowels and skirting boards – Kennedy’s Timber
Cypress doors – EcoCottages
Flooring glue and adhesive - Mapei Australia
DESIGN & TRADES
Architect – Architectus Brisbane
Installation of timber flooring – Scribed Flooring
Wall partitions and timber machining – AllKind Joinery & Glass
Carpenter/Joiner – Peter Arcus – Anything Wood
Painting – Sarri Painters
Timber Framing Campaign - Industry Assets now available for use
Building on the success of The Ultimate Renewable industry brand, a closely aligned Timber Framing messaging campaign has been developed and implemented by the AFPA Market Development Subcommittee (MKDS), AFPA’s Softwood Manufacturers Chamber (SMC), as well as the FWPA and industry stakeholders including TQ.
The timber industry has collaborated to develop a range of marketing and promotional assets that can be co-branded and incorporated into your own collateral and communications. The campaign assets include logos, brochures, print advertisement templates and e-signature images.
WoodSolutions has a dedicated timber framing assets website with information for consumers, video testimonials, and all of the downloadable marketing collateral for industry-wide use. We encourage industry members to access and make use of these industry assets in your communications to help us all reinforce that timber framing is The Ultimate Renewable™.
Real Christmas tree makes arrival to Queensland Parliament
Parliamentary Friends of Forest & Timber Industry Co-Chairs Tony Perrett, Member for Gympie, and Bruce Saunders, Member for Maryborough join Curtis Pitt, Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Timber Queensland CEO Mick Stephens to celebrate the launch of the Queensland Parliament’s “live” tree.
This December staff and visitors to the Queensland Parliamentary Annexe are enjoying the fresh smell of pine from having a real Christmas tree located in the building’s foyer.
On 27 November, Curtis Pitt, Speaker of the Queensland Parliament, together with Mark Furner, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Bruce Saunders, Member for Maryborough, were joined by Tony Perrett, Member for Gympie, and other members of Queensland’s Parliamentary Friends of the Forest and Timber Industry network to launch the arrival of a real Christmas tree.
Speaker of the Queensland Parliament, Curtis Pitt was thrilled for the Parliament to host a real Christmas tree.
“At the Queensland Parliament, we want to celebrate Christmas the Queensland way. That’s why we are more than happy to host a real Christmas tree, adorned with timber ornaments grown right here in Queensland,” Mr Pitt said.
Timber Queensland’s CEO Mick Stephens, said the Queensland forestry industry was pleased to assist with the provision of the tree, which added to the festive spirit and put smiles on everyone’s faces who walked through the Annexe.
Web based "Construction Timbers in Queensland" tool makes it easier to use the right timber for the job
Building with timber just got easier easier for the construction industry with the release of a new web-application, QTimber, which can be use to look up the rules, specifications and restrictions for using construction timbers in Queensland.
“The new web-application is an essential resource for every business specifying, treating or using timber in design, building and engineering,” said Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ senior forestry development scientist Dr Susan House.
“It is a digital version of the publication Construction Timbers in Queensland (CTIQ) which is a significant resource for the timber industry,” said Dr House.
“CTIQ is a reference document for the Building Code of Australia and holds critical information about using the right timber for the job, depending on where in Queensland you are building and what you are building.
“QTimber allows you to select from a list of approved timbers when you input your location and type of building project. It also shows any conditional restrictions or preservative treatments that may apply to the project.
“You can look up the wood properties, performance information and use specification of any Australian-grown or imported timber.”
Previously, CTIQ was only available as a PDF in two volumes that is inconvenient to consult. The web-application makes this information user friendly and accessible through smart phones and tablets.
The QTimber project was funded by the DAF through the Queensland Forest and Timber Industry RD&E fund and advised by Timber Queensland and representatives of Queensland’s timber industry and businesses.
QTimber is available here.
Guides to help assess and repair flood damaged timber & cyclone affected sheet metal roofs
Technical guides are now available for homeowners and builders as they assess and repair structural damage post Cyclone Debbie.
Guide to Assessment and Repair of Flood Damaged Timber and Timber Framed Houses - provides information about cleaning, inspecting and repairing timber roofs, walls, floors and decks.
Sustainable materials must be in Queensland Building Plan
Timber Queensland has called on the Queensland Government to ensure sustainable materials are included in the sustainable buildings policy in the Queensland Building Plan.
Timber Queensland CEO, Mick Stephens, said “All over the world there is increasing recognition that the choice of actual building material can have just as an important impact as energy efficiency measures when it comes to lowering the carbon emissions from buildings.”
“The Queensland Building Plan discussion paper places a strong emphasis on the role of energy efficiency ratings, but says nothing about the carbon impacts of the building materials used.”
In a submission to the Government Timber Queensland has recommended that the Queensland Building Plan put equal weighting on embodied energy impacts when it comes to promoting more sustainable buildings into the future.
Two Queensland Councils adopt Wood Encouragement Policies (WEPs)
Following a "wood first" campaign of Queensland regional councils by Timber Queensland and Planet Ark, in January 2017 two of these councils have adopted Wood Encouragement Policies (WEPs). This is a first for our State.
On January 18, Fraser Coast Regional Council became Queensland's first council to implement the policy, which requires responsibly sourced wood to be considered as a first-choice construction material in all new-build and refurbishment projects when it is equally fit for purpose.
Click to watch Mayor Chris Loft discuss Fraser Coast Council's WEP.
A week later on January 25, Gympie Regional council also voted to adopt a WEP.
TQ CEO Mick Stephens congratulates Mayor Mick Curran.
Our CEO Mick Stephens was present at both of these meetings to show Timber Queensland's support for the motions. We commend the forward thinking and environmental mindedness of both of these councils in pioneering the adoption of this kind of innovative policy in Queensland.
DAF Plantation Estate 2016 Update
The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries have released a 2016 update of the Queensland's Plantation Forestry Estate report. The paper informs forestry policy development by exploring the spatial extent of plantation forestry in the state. Download here.
Forest Industry Advisory Council (FIAC) report released
Australia's Forest Industry Advisory Council (FIAC) have released a new plan for the transformation of the Australian forest products industry. Co-Chair, Rob de Fegely, launched the plan and it's end goal to triple the economic value of the forest industry by 2050 in Canberra on 1 June 2016.
Three objectives toward this goal are set out in the plan:
Have the right trees in the right place at the right scale through wise forest resource development;
Produce bio-products using all parts of the tree to a cellular level - maximising the use of all wood harvested with limited waste;
Distinguish ourselves by being environmentally friendly, socially responsible and valued by the community through communication.
The plan sets out a vision and actions towards the forest and timber products industry's contribution to meeting our nation's emissions reductions goals and creating an Australian bio-economy for a carbon constrained future. FIAC expects a strong positive response from both Government and Opposition.
Read the full paper: Transforming Australia's forest products industry.
New Timber Plantation Operations Code of Practice for Queensland
Queensland timber plantation owners and operators can now access the Timber Plantation Operations Code of Practice for Queensland, a guide that outlines how to comply with all laws and with accepted principles for sound plantation management.
New and revised technical data sheets
The majority of metal connectors used in construction are expected to perform for the life of the building, which for normal buildings, is 50 years. TQ's new Data Sheet provides recommendations to assist in achieving thi expectation. Read more. TQ has also updated TDS12 which provides information on how to reduce the level of risk of subterranean termite attack. Read more.
Revised Technical Data Sheets
Timber Queensland is pleased to announce the completion of a major review of all Timber Queensland’s Technical Data Sheets (TDS) undertaken by TQ’s Manager Timber Application & Use, Colin MacKenzie.
TQ’s TDS are the go-to documents for building professionals and home handymen who need timber related advice. The 30 + TDS cover a range of technical topics all referenced by building authorities and Australia’s leading timber processors, fabricators and manufacturers. These are highly respected and sought after publications.
Architects, building designers, engineers, certifiers, builders, handymen and homeowners all access the documents to obtain expert, straight-forward and accurate advice that reflect Australian Standards, state and national Building Codes and current best practice. This makes the right selection, specification and use of timber and timber products so much easier. Most importantly they are developed in Queensland for Queensland applications – information that cannot be obtained elsewhere.
The revised TDS are now available on TQ’s website in the Members Only Resource Centre. If you would like to find out how to join TQ and obtain the documents as part of your membership see here.
Copies of the full set of TDS are also avaliable for purchase in TQ's Online Shop.
Advisory Note - Recommendations on the Use of H3 LOSP Treated Pine
This Advisory Note, produced by Timber Queensland and the Building Services Authority, provides best practice guidelines that reflect industry company recommendations covering installation, finishing and maintenance as well as a check list for builders. It is hoped publication of this note will lead to an increased awareness by the building industry of requirements for use of these products resulting in improved performance.
Recommendations on the use of H3 LOSP Treated Pine
Subscribe to TQ's event notifcation service
Timber Queensland reguarly holds technical and industry focused seminars, workshops and networking events. To be notified of upcoming events register for event notifications here.
Myrtle Rust in Queensland
Myrtle rust is a serious fungal disease that affects plants in the Myrtaceae family. This family includes Australian natives such as rose apple (lilly pilly), bottle brush and tea tree.
Myrtle rust also affects many plants that are commonly found in gardens. These include:
• willow myrtle
• thready-bark myrtle
• scrub cherry
• lemon scented myrtle.
Myrtle rust cannot be eradicated and will continue to spread in Queensland as it produces large numbers of spores that are easily spread by wind, human activity and animals. However, to determine how far it has spread and to learn more about the disease Biosecurity Queensland needs to know if you think you have seen myrtle rust. Call 13 25 23 or visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au to report any suspect sightings. Find out more from the Biosecurity Queensland Myrtle Rust factsheet
and visit the DEEDI
The Facts: Chain of Custody Certification & Forest Certification Schemes
Government, businesses and consumers are steadily growing demand for certified timber. But what is certified timber? How does it get certified? And who certifies it as coming from legal and sustainable forests? To answer these common questions Timber Queensland has produced two fact sheets summarising the major issues invovled in Chain of Custody Certification and Forest Certification Schemes.
The Facts: Chain of Custody Certification
The Facts: Forest Certification Schemes