Friday Offcuts – 31 October 2014

growing trees cutting and milling timber forest products
At 11am this morning (NZ time) a large gathering of forest owners, contractors, Government, industry associations and unions are meeting in Rotorua, New Zealand. The occasion – the first public release of the findings of the Independent Forestry Safety Review.

If reading this soon after 11am (NZ time) you have the opportunity of linking in live to the release of the report through Rural TV. This has been set up because of the extremely high level of interest generated from across the sector. From 11am, you can get the live feed from the Rotorua gathering through www.ruraltv.co.nz. The release is expected to take approximately 1.5 hours with speakers from the Forest Owners Association, Forest Industry Contractors Association, Farm Forestry Association, Wiremu Edmonds (worker representative) and Worksafe along with George Adams, Chair of the Review Panel.

Set up in late January, the Review Panel over the last nine months has been consulting widely throughout New Zealand, including those that have been affected by serious injuries and fatalities. Meetings with more than 540 forestry stakeholders have been run, 111 submissions were received and more than 330 workers have completed a Forestry Worker Survey as part of the review.

The independent panel’s task was to identify the likely causes and contributing factors that have led to the high rate of serious injuries and fatalities in the New Zealand forestry sector. As detailed by Review Panel Chair, George Adams, unfortunately the forestry sector has been the most dangerous sector in which to work in New Zealand. The injury rate is double that of the other sectors and the fatality rate is 15 times the overall rate for all sectors. This has to change.

The full and comprehensive report (146 pages) can now be downloaded directly from www.ifsr.co.nz. A video interview with panel members on the findings from the report can be seen here and an 11 page Summary of the Recommendations has been uploaded here for you and can be viewed by clicking here.

The report contains a package of practical recommendations that are considered necessary to bring about long-term, system-wide and integrated changes within the sector for Government, the forestry industry and workers to action. A commitment to change and leadership will be an essential part of the recommendations. It’s recommended that a Forestry Leaders Action Group and Forestry Sector Health and Safety Action Plan be put in place within three months of today’s meeting. Take a look yourself at the findings. Further comment is covered below and other details will follow.

Finally upcoming events to mark into your diaries include; the annual Forest Industry Contractor’s Association AGM and associated activities on 7-8 November in Napier (NEXT WEEK – for details click here, the Engineered Wood Products seminar on 13-14 November at Queensland’s Gold Coast hosted by the EWPAA and FWPA, the FIEA technology series, ForestTECH 2014 (19-20 November, Rotorua and again in Melbourne on 25-26 November) together with an array of industry led practical half and one day workshops around LiDAR and remote sensing technologies (Note - already over 200 have registered for this latest series so if you haven’t registered your people yet – better do so quickly on www.foresttech20014.com) and a workshop being run in Rotorua on 26 November by FFR / NZFOA / NZFFA to discuss future ideas and priorities for harvesting and logistics research.



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NZ forest industry endorses safety report

The sponsors of the Independent Forest Safety Review see the review panel’s major recommendations as a blueprint for change. “We accept that safety needs to be given highest priority in the day-to-day operations of the industry,” says Forest Owners Association (FOA) spokesperson Bill McCallum.

“It is unacceptable to have any forestry workers seriously injured and killed on the job. Everyone who works in our industry has the right and responsibility to return home safely at the end of the day. By adopting the report’s recommendations and continuing to drive the safety initiatives we already have underway, I am convinced we can transform our industry into a safety success story.”

He says the sponsors – the FOA, the Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) and Farm Forestry Association (FFA) – commissioned the review in late 2013, after a terrible year for forest fatalities. “Despite the best efforts of many people over many years, workers continued to be injured and killed in our forests. It was clear that we needed an outside expert review in order to achieve our target of zero serious harm injuries.”

He says the FOA executive and the boards of the two other sponsoring organisations, are now studying the report. Once they have discussed the findings with their members, decisions will be made about who takes responsibility for implementing the recommendations.

“These decisions will need the involvement and support of government, Worksafe NZ, training organisations, ACC, Federated Farmers and others. Forest safety involves many players outside the industry itself.” FICA spokesperson John Stulen says the industry has champions who put safety first. Their initiatives have saved many lives. “But what we haven’t achieved is a cultural change across the industry from ‘can do’ to ‘can do safely’. Making this cultural change is probably the most important message in the report”.

“Fine words will not be enough,” he says. “Safe working practices will now need to be agreed with contractors right along the supply chain and documented in contracts or by reference to the Approved Code of Practice and Best Practice Guidelines. Compliance needs to be rewarded and non-compliance penalised. Carrots and sticks if you will”.

FFA spokesperson Peter Berg says smaller forest owners tend to harvest infrequently, so tend to hire contractors based on word-of-mouth. “The panel’s support for the accreditation of contractors, as well as workers involved in safety-critical work, will help to reassure owners of smaller forests that they are hiring a contractor with the appropriate skills and that they are also meeting their obligations under health and safety legislation.”

He says the report highlights incidents and case studies which are both positive and negative for the forest industry. “It is now important that we focus on the positive … those are the examples that we can all draw inspiration from. They show that we can transform our industry so it is seen as a great place to work – safe, rewarding, and professional.”

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NZ$100 billion construction boom forecast for NZ

New Zealand’s Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith has welcomed the findings of the second National Construction Pipeline report, which confirms building and construction activity in New Zealand is expected to reach unprecedented levels by 2017.

“The report released yesterday points to the biggest construction boom this country has seen in decades totalling NZ$100 billion over the next three years. It anticipates a minimum 10 per cent increase in activity every year to 2017, reaching a value of NZ$35 billion. We are looking at the longest sustained period of growth in construction activity in 40 years,” Dr Smith says.

The latest findings support similar projections made in the first National Construction Pipeline report released in December last year. It shows slightly greater construction activity this year, and a lower peak in 2017 with the boom peaking slightly later in Christchurch in 2017 and Auckland in 2018.

“Growth in construction activity is on the cards for every region in New Zealand. I am particularly encouraged to see the strong forecasts for Auckland and Christchurch,” Dr Smith says.

“Auckland shows the highest level of construction activity, accounting for more than one-third of the upcoming workload in terms of value. This rapid rate of growth is driven by residential building, with the value of this work expected to more than double in value between 2012 and 2017.

“The forecast for Christchurch is further evidence that the post-earthquake rebuild efforts in the city are moving at pace. There are at least six Government projects due to begin in the next six months, with a collective value of nearly NZ$1 billion.

“There is further good news for Christchurch in that this Government-funded construction activity appears to have wider, positive flow-on effects, with non-earthquake related, non-residential construction also expected to grow.”

The National Construction Pipeline provides national and regional forecasts of activity for residential and non-residential building and construction by central and local government, as well as the private sector. The second National Construction Pipeline report is available at: www.buildingvalue.co.nz/publications.

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Trees soar above politics in Canberra

In a remarkable show of cross Party national political support for the sustainable forestry and forest products industries of Australia, dozens of Senators and House of Representative members joined together on Tuesday evening to launch the, first ever, Federal Parliamentary Friends of Forestry and Forest Products group.

The event was attended by Labor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator Richard Colbeck, Independent Senators Ricky Muir, John Madigan as well as members of Parliament from the Liberal, National and Green Parties.

The Parliamentary Group was co-convened by the Member for Barker, Tony Pasin MP and the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, and Member for Hunter. Mr Pasin said, “The forest and forest products sector is one of the most sustainable industries. In the new low carbon economy, it is the only carbon positive sector. To strengthen and diversify our regional economies, we need to continue to support this environmentally sound industry”.

Mr Fitzgibbon said, “This is a bipartisan event filling a very important policy space. Tonight we should be talking about the ‘fibre-boom’ and imagining a future filled with enormous opportunities to help meet the building, biofuel and fibre needs of the region.”

Andrew Leighton, Norske Skog Managing Director Australasia and Deputy Chair of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) hosted the event. He said, ‘For far too long forest product industries have found themselves caught up in political debates. There will always be work to do to improve our practices in places, but the formation of this group proves that most of our political leaders understand that we operate at global best practice”.

“What we now need is cross Party policy agreement which will ensure a vibrant future for our sustainable, renewable, carbon friendly businesses. Some 80,000 Australians work in the forestry and forest products sector and contribute about AU$22 billion to the national economy. Those jobs remain secure and can grow if we get the policy settings right. Our industries are delighted that our co-convenors have taken on this additional responsibility and stand ready to assist them in any way we can as they grapple with our future”.

The Parliamentary Friends of Forestry and Forest Products group will meet periodically and provide a cross Party forum to discuss issues impacting the sector.

Source: AFPA

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Reducing injuries and fatalities in NZ forests

“The Independent Forestry Safety Review has recommended a three-year action plan to drive improvements in the forestry sector. The action plan will leverage the commitments to a new safety culture and a better safety record made by the forestry sector during the Review process. It will be a document against which the actions of the sector - at all levels - can be measured.

“The Panel Review believes the first action that needs to be undertaken is the development of a Safety Charter and an agreement by leaders across the industry to meet the mandatory health and safety and employment standards already in place.

“In the 21st century being unable to achieve these basics is simply not acceptable and has a negative impact on the culture of a workplace and the ability to work safely. It sends terrible signals to workers about how they are valued and the priorities of their employers. It also has a direct impact on safe working practices.

“The Panel Review believes all participants in the forestry sector need to make a concerted effort to improve the basic standards on the forest block to reduce the numbers of serious injuries and fatalities. If there are industry participants at any level that cannot or will not meet the standards, they should consider exiting the industry.

“We agree with WorkSafe New Zealand (WorkSafe) when it said, if you cannot operate safely, you should not be operating at all. Safety is a cost of doing business, but one that will bring productivity gains. The Review has seen and heard from many examples of good forest owners and managers, contractors and crews during our consultation process. The challenge is to take the good culture and practice, and roll it out across the industry. It is possible. The Review Panel has a vision of a safe, sustainable and professional forestry sector by 2017, achieved in partnership by government, industry and workers.”

“We believe a Forestry Leadership Action Group should be convened to deliver the recommendations from the Review and to support long-term, system wide changes in the forestry sector. There is no silver bullet to reducing the rate of injuries and fatalities.

“The Review Panel wants to see the advisory group convened by WorkSafe. This is critical to ensuring the momentum from the Review is maintained and the first steps towards a new safety culture are quickly put in place. Over time, WorkSafe can take a lower profile, but the nature of New Zealand’s health and safety environment means that government, industry and workers will always need to work together.

“With rapid implementation of the Review’s three key recommendations, the Forestry Leadership Action Group and the Forestry Sector Health and Safety Action Plan, we believe rate of serious injuries and fatalities can be lowered quickly and dramatically.”

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Satellites for smart logging

Satcoms are helping to save our trees through more efficient use of our forests. Satellites are mapping forests, sending instructions to loggers, monitoring tree-harvesting machinery and coordinating log transport almost in real time.

The Treemetrics company in Ireland, supported by ESA, has developed an all-encompassing device that uses hybrid satellite and terrestrial communications, and GPS. The display gives detailed mapping information, showing a harvesting machine's driver which trees should be felled and how the wood should be cut.

At the same time, information on the logger's progress and location is sent via satellite to a central web-based system. The in-vehicle display also helps other drivers find the logs stacked at specified locations so they can be moved to the roadside to await transport to sawmills.

Independent owner-operators of harvesting machinery benefit from detailed navigation as well as security features that help safeguard their equipment. For forest owners, the system offers accurate information on logging yields. The sawmills can tune the incoming supply by informing operators the type of timber currently in demand, whether pulp or a higher grade.

Treemetrics is also working under ESA's ARTES programme to develop a web-based application that uses satellite navigation and Earth observation data to provide vital insights into the health of forested areas, assisting the owners of forests to identify those areas most suitable for logging.

The Irish Farmers Association will jointly market the approach to their national membership under the name 'iForest'. Green Belt, Ireland's largest private forestry company, has announced plans to deploy it nationally to their clients.

Coillte are in talks to begin a pre-commercial rollout of the system in a test area by the end of the year. It is also being introduced in the UK to relay harvester information to some of the largest forestry companies. More >>.

TreeMetrics CEO Enda Keane will be presenting in both New Zealand and Australia in the upcoming ForestTECH 2014 series which starts in New Zealand in just over two weeks. Registrations are already looking pretty full (over 200 already registered for this series) so if keen on securing a space at either Rotorua or Melbourne, you can register directly on line at www.foresttech2014.com .



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Converting wood waste into high value products

New generation technology to convert wood waste into sustainable and high value wood products will become available in Australia and internationally from next year.

3RT Strand technology has been developed in partnership with the Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology at Flinders University, and provides a solution to transform softwoods and wood waste materials into premium wood products with similar properties to mature tropical hardwood.

In early 2015, 3RT will operate its Technology Centre in Adelaide to provide international licensed turn-key manufacturing solutions, tailor-made to the specific wood waste of each licensee based on the research done in the R&D Centre.

In addition, the R&D Centre will implement a Technology Roadmap for alternative waste materials and new industry applications. 3RT has also partnered with a wood processing mill in Mount Gambier, South Australia to establish the first pilot manufacturing unit using Radiata Pine wood waste, and partnerships are being established to enable fast global scaling of the licensed manufacturing units.

Peter Torreele, Managing Director of 3RT will discuss this significant new manufacturing development at the seminar “Engineered Wood Products - from here to the future” to be held on November 13 & 14 at Queensland’s Gold Coast, and hosted by the EWPAA and FWPA.

For more information on this important seminar and other activities in the event program, visit the website – www.fwpa.com.au and click the conference banner.


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Government 'confident' of passing anti-protest laws

The Tasmanian Government has moved to water down its controversial anti-protest laws. The move was met with a mixed response as unions were worried industrial action could be caught up in the laws, while industry threw its support behind the changes. The laws would still see on-the-spot fines, and mandatory jail sentences for people who trespass on workplaces.

But the changes would see the laws confined to five areas: forestry, mining, agriculture, construction and manufacturing. The Government has also added a safeguard that would give protesters a "fair opportunity" to stop their actions meaning police would need to give a warning before making arrests.

Proposed laws:

- Protesters may not cause or threaten damage to a business
- Police can direct protesters to leave a business or "business access area"
- Police can remove any obstructions to a business and people may not prevent them doing so
- Inciting any of these acts is an offence
- Police can demand proof of identity
- Police can arrest without warrant and remove people from a business
- Officers can use necessary force to perform these powers

On-the-spot fines have also been reduced from $2,000 to $280 for first-time offenders. Resources Minister Paul Harriss said the amendments were made following extensive criticism of the original bill. The Government said the Legislative Council would have more briefings on the laws this week with the bill to be debated in the Upper House in coming weeks.

Source: ABC News



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New Zealand Log Prices - October 2014

Agrifax average A-grade in-market log prices are at US$133/ JAS in China, and reports are that the increase in prices there has tapered off. Prices began to increase as inventories showed signs of decreasing but confidence has been pegged back as the slowdown in construction has showed no sign of recovery. Inventories are reported to have decreased to about 3.8 million m³ at the end of September, but these supplies have not found much use as construction activity has slowed, and there has been no pick up after the Golden Week celebrations.

In China there is reported to be much tighter restrictions on credit following the downward price correction. Finance companies that got burned by importers who couldn’t pay are much more cautious about lending now, and this could mean that if inventories don’t decline the market will be seen as risky and less credit will be made available.

Log prices from other sources have followed the same trend as NZ log price in China. However, US logs are reported to have continued increasing in price in October following two months of more subdued deliveries. Australian pine prices have not recovered in price to the same extent that NZ logs did.

NZ wharf-gate log export prices have increased by close to 10% in the past month, mostly due to foreign exchange movements. The CFR pricing in China has been flat, as inventories aren’t showing the declines that have been expected. This means that although increasing prices in NZ are encouraging for harvesting, the demand is actually flat in China. Large scale forest owners are indicating that there will be little in the way of increased harvests this year as the inventories are still too high in China.

The domestic log market is mostly flat, though there have been slight increases for pruned and pulp logs. Supply of these logs is tight, especially in the Central North Island, and this is likely to lead to increased competition for logs in the New Year. Pulp processors are reportedly buying low grade sawlogs to top up supply in the North Island, as they are growing concerned at declining inventories.

Exports of lumber and panels have continued to decline in the past months, and are down 11% and 7% respectively. However, MPI figures suggest that production has remained constant and domestic consumption has increased to offset the decline in exports.

The Agrifax log price data is a weighted average of prices collected each month from a range of New Zealand log buyers and sellers. Log prices shown in the table will vary regionally and by supplier and should only be used to provide a broad trend of log price movements.
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Filming at the Hyne Timber Mill - Tumbarumba

Wednesday 22 October marked the end of Hyne Timbers taste of Hollywood when the filming of ‘The Daughter’ wrapped up in the Tumbarumba Mill. Starring Geoffrey Rush and Miranda Otto, the movie makers not only selected the Hyne Timber mill as one of their filming locations, but also employed 25 Hyne Timber staff as ‘extras’.

Hyne Timber Manufacturing Manager, Chris Skeels-Piggins (pictured with Geoffrey Rush) described the experience as a career highlight and an exciting opportunity for the Mill and Tumbarumba. “The film makers wanted a Saw Mill for some of their scenes, ideally set upon a scenic backdrop in country New South Wales.

“While initially, we couldn’t think of anything worse than accommodating a film crew in an active mill, the opportunity for Hyne Timber to support a project bringing all these people to the town of Tumbarumba far outweighed any challenges.

“The crew were great to work with and it didn’t disrupt operations at all. We opened the Mill especially on a Saturday with our trained Hyne staff employed as extras. This meant all health, safety and environmental requirements were met while our employees joined in the film making fun.

Bruce Wright, Site Services Manager at the Tumbarumba Mill assisted with the recruitment of the extras and coordination of the film crew. “The whole crew including the directors and the stars were great to work with. Nothing was too much trouble from managing security at the gate house to getting all the shots done. “All our staff employed as extras described the experience as ‘a great day out’. “It always helps popularity when fantastic food is provided from their catering van too!” Bruce Wright said.

While little is known about the movie ‘The Daughter’ at this early stage of production, it is a family drama written and directed by Simon Stone inspired by Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen’s ‘The Wild Duck’ (1884).

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New Forests acquires 7,000 ha blue gum plantation

New Forests have announced the acquisition of a 7,000-hectare blue gum plantation estate, which will be managed as part of Limestone Plantations, a hardwood estate previously acquired by New Forests’ Australia New Zealand Forest Fund 2 (ANZFF2). The acquisition includes 28 properties with approximately 5,500 hectares of net planted area located across south-western Victoria.

ANZFF2 closed in March of this year with more than AU$700 million of capital from institutional clients. Since then New Forests has completed three Australian and three New Zealand transactions on behalf of the ANZFF2 investment fund. This includes the acquisition of the original 21,000 hectare Limestone Plantations in March and purchase of a 175,000-hectare Tasmanian forestry estate in September of this year.

“These are attractive, high-productivity forestry properties,” said New Forests’ CEO David Brand. “The Green Triangle is a premier forestry region, with low operating costs, proximity to processing and ports, and excellent forestry management capacity.” The combined estate of Limestone Plantations now comprises 28,000 hectares and offers high-quality forestry land with a mix of leased and unleased properties.

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Wood Energy South project heating up

A NZ$1.5m government funded project to convert commercial boilers to wood energy is gaining momentum in Southland, New Zealand. The Southland pilot project was announced in May 2014 by Energy Minister Simon Bridges and in June the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) announced it would partner with Venture Southland in the three year life of the project, which aims to switch large users of fossil fuels such as coal to wood energy.

Several Southland businesses and schools have already converted to wood energy options which offer long-term cost and performance benefits over traditional boiler fuels. The project has been called Wood Energy South and was launched with an official event in Invercargill yesterday.

“By working with Venture Southland and local businesses, we will ensure the benefits of using wood energy are realised – that is a win for both Southland and New Zealand,” Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority project manager Chris McArthur said.

Wood Energy South Project co-ordinator Cathy Jordan said increased interest in wood chip boilers was encouraging as the project aimed to increase public understanding about how renewable wood energy could contribute to carbon reduction and economic goals.

Several Southland schools already use wood energy; several are in the process of undertaking feasibility studies – while others are at the stage of tendering for wood chip boilers to be installed. Environment Southland has installed a wood chip boiler as part of its leadership role in the community.

Miss Jordan said Wood Energy South was progressing well with forestry companies, heat plant suppliers, fuel suppliers and heat plant users enthusiastic about the initiative to address supply and demand issues and look to overcome any other potential barriers.

A project steering committee has been established with representatives from the local community, the Bioenergy Association of New Zealand, the forestry sector, local business, and EECA. A project website was also being established that will provide information on the project, links to consultants that can help businesses investigate using wood fuels, as well as a wealth of information on what to consider when using wood fuels, she said.

Source: Scoop

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Lumber market update

NZ exports drop

The value of NZ lumber, panels and mouldings exports in the year to August are all down on 2013. The total values have fallen NZ$82.5 million, with the largest decline in lumber exports which are down 11%, or NZ$56 million. Pulp and paper exports are up 1%, or NZ$6 million. Export volumes of lumber to China are down 28% as there has been lower demand from China with the construction downturn there, as well as the closure of the Tachikawa sawmill in Rotorua which was a large exporter of lumber.

Production of sawn timber according to MPI statistics, however, was similar in the first half of 2014 to 2013. Though there has been a slight increase in sawn timber in storage in NZ, the increase in domestic use of sawn timber is likely to have almost directly offset the fall in exports. Domestic timber used for structural and framing purposes is typically much higher value than the lumber exported to China for use in the construction industry. This suggests that although the value of lumber exports is falling, the actual value of output from this industry is likely to have increased during 2014. There is a similar trend for panels, where increases in domestic use have actually offset the decline in exports, while storage levels of panels in NZ has decreased.

US demand following housing

Lumber prices in the US have eased during October, but remain above September pricing due to a late increase in September. Demand for Radiata mouldings and lumber remains high, with exports to that country slightly ahead of a year ago, but with prices marginally down. Mouldings imports to the US from NZ and Chile are well down for the year to August. US lumber imports from Canada have increased in 2014, along with housing starts, but the US housing starts have failed to show the growth that most forecast this year, currently sitting around the 1 million starts mark at an annualised rate. Most forecasts made last year expected starts to reach 1.4 million this year, and have since been reduced to 1.1-1.2 million, but housing starts still don’t look likely to reach this target.

Source: www.nzxagri.co.nz/agrifax


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Forest manager Forico starts reinvestment strategy

The company managing the former Gunns Tasmanian timber plantations is embarking on a new investment phase, with plans to spend around AU$20 million on woodchip mills and plantation establishment. The New Forests owned forest management company Forico will this year re-plant 1,000 hectares, but next year intends to spend between AU$10 and AU$15 million replanting up to 5,000 hectares of eucalypt plantations in the state.

Forico CEO Bryan Hayes says the industry is at the bottom of the economic cycle and they are positioning their company for the recovery. In doing so, he's ruled out building a pulp mill. Forico is now responsible for 100,000 hectares of Tasmania's total 240,000 ha of plantations, making it the single largest owner.

Subject to board approval they will spend up to AU$15 million refurbishing their woodchip plants at Surrey Hills in Tasmania's North West and Long Reach on the Tamar in Northern Tasmania. "In get sufficient processing capacity at those mills in order to process the wood out of the plantations that's growing and standing out there, we have to effectively double our capacity". Mr Hayes says once confidence is restored, they see an ongoing role for plantations on private farmland.

Source: ABC Rural

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Great Wall of China to be captured in 3D

China’s Ministry of Culture and State Administration of Cultural Heritage, with partial funding from UNESCO, has launched a project to capture the entire length of the Great Wall of China in 3D. Thanks to its Chinese reseller, IFA Tech, Acute3D’s Smart3DCapture solution has been chosen for the 3D automatic reconstruction part of the project, which was officially launched on 16 September 2014.

The goal of this project is to protect, document, and promote the Great Wall of China to the world. The whole 6,000km length of the Wall and its surroundings will be captured in high resolution over a period of three years. The Smart3DCapture will be combined with ground imagery and laser scanning. Using Smart3DCapture, Redbird Helicopter Surveying Technology has already produced a part of the Great Wall of China in 3D from images taken by helicopter.

Renaud Keriven, president and CTO of Acute3D said that “mapping such an incredible man-built structure, long enough to be visible from space, dating back so many centuries, is a project which embodies the ability of the human beings to use progress to better understand their history and preserve its heritage.

Source: Spatial Source
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Forestry Tasmania reports AU$43m loss

The Tasmanian Government is blaming the forest peace deal brokered under its predecessor for another big loss posted by Forestry Tasmania. The Government-owned forest estate manager lost AU$43.1 million after tax in the financial year that ended in June. That was despite the previous Labor-Greens government handing the company AU$37 million during the year in a bid to keep it solvent.

Resources Minister Paul Harriss told Parliament the peace deal that led to the creation of new native forest reserves was to blame for the result. "Forestry Tasmania has had another very challenging year," he said. "It has advised me that the reduction in land area under the Tasmanian Forest Agreement (TFA) was a significant contributor to its difficulties."

Mr Harriss said he was hopeful Forestry Tasmania's long run of losses would end over the next four years. "I am optimistic that that will be the case, and it's all about rebuilding the industry," he said. Forestry Tasmania's chairman Bob Annells said as well as legislative changes the business had been impacted by external factors, such as a high exchange rate. He said it had also been affected by restricted access to "critical processing and export sites" in the south and north-west. The valuation of forest assets available to the agency had reduced by AU$18.9 million.

Mr Annells said it reflected a big reduction in the area of public production forests but the board remained focused delivering a commercial return. "Forestry Tasmania is determined to improve its financial performance as we have a very important job to do on behalf of all Tasmanians," he said in a statement. More >>

Source: ABC News


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Jobs


Buy and Sell


...and one to end the week on ... magnicent trees of the world




A few more to finish the week on....

Paddy says to Mick, "Christmas is on Friday this year". Mick said, "Let's hope it's not the 13th then"


My mate just hired an Eastern European cleaner, took her 15 hours to hoover the house. Turns out she was a Slovak.


Since the snow came all my husband has done is look through the window. If it gets any worse, I'll have to let him in.






And on that note, have a great weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
PO Box 904
Level Two, 2 Dowling Street
Dunedin, New Zealand
Ph: +64 3 470 1902
Fax: +64 3 470 1904
Web page: www.fridayoffcuts.com


This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at www.fridayoffcuts.com

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