Friday Offcuts – 1 July 2016

growing trees cutting and milling timber forest products

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A strong local market for engineered timber buildings is critical for local wood products and timber companies. Australia, with their own wood industry initiative that they’ve set up, Wood Solutions, are very well placed. It’s currently reviewing timber related standards, producing timber construction publications, providing up to date, easy to use and accessible technical information to engineers, specifiers and architects through the provision of resources (the website has more than three thousand pages of information), running workshops and seminars and advertising (see last week’s issue). They’re also actively involved in celebrating timber design success through their annual awards programme.

WoodSolutions is also well resourced. It’s a collaborative effort between FWPA members and levy payers. It’s also well supported by a range of industry bodies and technical associations. This week we cover a story on four new WoodSolutions technical design guides that have just been released. They’re based on the EXPAN system, research that came out of the Structural Timber Innovation Company (STIC) - based out of New Zealand.

It was very clear at the recent 2016 Changing Perceptions of Engineered Timber for Construction conference that was held in Rotorua on 26 May, that New Zealand is currently lagging other countries, including Australia, in the use of engineered timber for multi-storey construction. The country also currently lacks the resources and drive that has gone in behind the scenes in Australia to work with and alongside designers and specifiers.

A well-resourced and co-ordinated effort in Australia has already led to significant changes in their National Construction Code. As we’ve reported, from 1 May this year it’s now easier to build with timber up to 8 storeys. This is already leading to increased demand for both lightweight and heavy timber building systems. There is also naturally a flow on effect to other timber and wood based products. The “proof’s in the pudding”. Numerous high rise timber buildings are now being constructed or are in the pipeline including the first commercial office building (a six-storey constructed principally from CLT and Glulam) in Australia made completely from timber (see story below).

In keeping with the construction theme this week, check out the story this week on the opening of the world's first 3D-printed office building in Dubai. The 2,700-square-foot, single-story building was built in just 17 days using a gigantic two-storey tall 3D printer and a special mix of concrete, fibre reinforced plastic and glass fibre reinforced gypsum. For the more artistic readers amongst us, check out the chainsaw sculpture.

Finally, as we all come to grips with Brexit and its implications, you might want to check out the contributions sent in from readers at the end of this week’s issue. Remember, for our many Australian readers, remember to get out there and vote this weekend. Latest polls tell us it's going to be a close one. Enjoy this week’s read.



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The price of NZ carbon: Where to from here?

New Zealand carbon (NZU) has had a meteoric rise in the last few months since the government announced its intention to review and change settings within the ETS. Between the ETS review announcement in November of last year and the subsequent announcement of the ‘1 for 2’ phase out in the budget in June, New Zealand has signed the Paris Accord and the carbon prices has risen from around NZ$7.50 per tonne to the current price of NZ$18.05.

“Part of this rise can be attributed to the fact it is a domestic scheme only and offshore units cannot be used between now and the end of 2020” says Nigel Brunel, Director of Financial Markets, OM Financial Limited. “Another reason, the ‘1 for 2’ phase out will commence in 2017 and end in 2019, resulting in demand in the ETS doubling over that time.”

“Despite prices nearing an attractive NZ$20 per tonne, the vast majority of sellers are still absent from the market. One thing to keep in mind is that the CAP of NZ$25 does have a net present value attribute (NPV). Between now and 2021, depending on what period you are buying for, the net present value can be between NZ$18 and NZ$23. The point being is emitters won’t over-pay for carbon - NZUs are unlikely to trade at the CAP” says Nigel Brunel.

The government has said it will not change the NZ$25 CAP anytime soon and our take is it’s here to stay until 2021. However, as we move into Paris it may need to be higher. OM Financial Limited’s view remains NZUs will hit NZ$20 by the end of the year and may trade into the NZ$20’s next year. Given the CAP is a free option to emitters and the NPV mentioned above, NZUs may struggle to go much beyond NZ$22 between now and 2021.

“Beyond 2021, we like carbon in the longer term and once international units enter the fray it will be interesting to see if we head above NZ $25” comments Mr Brunel. “Some believe carbon will be well above NZ$25 in years to come”.


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NZ’s Lumbercube mill closed

Rotorua's controversial Lumbercube mill has been closed down. The mill, on the former Tachikawa mill site on Vaughan Rd was closed by its owners - the Pedersen Group – yesterday morning.

Pedersen Group chief executive Gavin Hudson said the decision to cease the mill's operations had not been taken lightly. It is not known at this stage how many jobs have been lost. In a statement sent to the Rotorua Daily Post Mr Hudson said the mill would be closed today as part of a managed wind down due to challenges in becoming commercially operational.

Lumbercube was established in 2014 with the intention of maximising the value-add component of the traditional commodity-based export log market and to bring further efficiencies to New Zealand's fibre supply chain.

Mr Hudson said despite the positive impact of the project and significant long-term potential, it became clear that a number of commercial and operating factors the business has been addressing to ensure continued successful operation could not be resolved in a timely manner.

"Yesterday’s decision is made with immediate effect to cease mill operations and to commence a managed wind down plan at the site. Consultation has now begun with Lumbercube's Rotorua-based workforce." More>>. Local reaction to the mill closure yesterday can be found here along with further coverage.

Source: NZ Herald
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EOI sought on presenting at this year’s ForestTECH

Background:

ForestTECH is this regions premier technology series run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) for Australasia’s senior forest resource managers, forest planners and inventory foresters. Since 2007, it’s the one event every year that continues to draw in foresters from both countries. Key researchers, technology providers and forest owners also pick up the opportunity to build in their own client meetings, workshops and discussion groups around both the New Zealand and Australian events to capitalize on this “once a year” turnout.

What happened last year?

Over 250 delegates attended the ForestTECH series in November 2015. Advances in new data collection technologies including satellite imagery, UAV platforms, airborne and terrestrial LiDAR, harvester heads and automated in-field sensors are increasingly being introduced to forestry operations. Leading communications and resource specialists bought in for the 2015 series demonstrated just how local foresters could best process, analyse and report on the increasing volumes of data that were being collected out in the field.

Technology advancements:

Advanced and faster processing systems are required to handle “big data” with the information now being made available, often in real time, to multiple users. Rapid advancements in smartphones and tablets, the development of user friendly forestry apps along with improved connectivity in more remote locations has changed just how forestry companies are collecting, processing and managing data to improve their own operations. Forestry apps and the development of mobile forestry applications continue to rise exponentially – from the measurement of wood volumes out in the field through to the scheduling and logistics around wood flows.

What’s planned for 2016?

In just 12 months, the pace of change has continued. New tools and technologies have been developed, in-forest trials by leading technology providers along with forestry companies have been completed and are being built into day-to-day forest planning and operations. Numerous research projects have also been completed and are ready to be presented to local companies.

ForestTECH 2016 will provide local forestry companies with a timely and independent overview of data collection tools, systems for better managing and analysing this information and forestry apps that have been developed, are available, and can add value, both operationally and financially, to forestry companies.

At this stage, discussions are underway with forestry companies, researchers and technology providers to design this year’s ForestTECH series. If interested in presenting at what is generally one of the more sought after FIEA technology events within the year, please make contact with Brent Apthorp on brent.apthorp@fiea.org.nz BEFORE next Friday, 8 July.


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NZ export log prices drop in June

New Zealand export log prices slid to a five-month low in June as returns were hurt by a stronger local currency and an increase in shipping costs. The average wharf gate price for New Zealand A-grade logs dropped to $116 in June, from $120 a tonne in May, according to AgriHQ's monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers. That's the lowest level since January's $115 a tonne.

Shipping costs to China, the country's largest log export market, rose this month to US$16.20/JAS, from US$14.70/JAS last month, following an increase in oil prices and a decline in ship visits as demand waned for fertiliser and palm kernel. The New Zealand dollar also strengthened 4 percent over the month after the Reserve Bank refrained from cutting interest rates, making the nation's log exports less competitive.

The in-market price of A-grade logs in China advanced to US$120/JAS from US$113/JAS last month even as inventory levels on Chinese ports increased to 3.8 million cubic metres from 3.6 million cubic metres last month. Some 50,000 cubic metres per day is currently being taken from ports although AgriHQ expects demand to decline in coming months.

"Cracks are slowly emerging in the Chinese log market, with the impressive market prices that have been present over the past few months likely to subside as we progress towards the middle months of the year," AgriHQ analysts Reece Brick and Shaye Lee said in their report. "Demand typically slows through the summer months in China, and the feeling among the market is that this trend will remain apparent this year, leading to a fall in in-market pricing through until September.

"Reports indicate demand out of the industrial sector has fallen away over the past month. Activity in the Chinese economy was given a boost following the Chinese New Year period after the government introduced stimulus packages to keep the economy running. However, these packages are now being tightened, taking some of the edge out of demand for logs," the report said.

Meanwhile, in the New Zealand domestic market, demand continued to underpin prices for both pruned and structural logs, AgriHQ said. In the pruned market, P1 logs rose to $184 a tonne from $181 a tonne last month, with mills absorbing the higher prices as end users of products made using pruned logs resisted the increase, AgriHQ said.

In the structural market, S1 logs held unchanged at $114 a tonne with mills unable to build up inventories as supply meets demand, AgriHQ said.

Source: Scoop




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NZ$600 million commitment to nationwide road safety

“The NZ Government’s announcement of a NZ$600 million commitment to a nationwide road safety programme has the full support of the Road Transport Forum and wider road freight industry,” says RTF Chief Executive Ken Shirley.

“Anything that can be done to reduce the risk of injury and death on our roads is very welcome. The road transport industry has long advocated for an improvement to New Zealand’s rural roads. Traditionally these have been neglected in favour of more congested urban or intercity routes, yet the fatality and crash rates tell the story, far too many serious accidents occur on these rural highways.”

Livestock, forestry and dairy product transporters are heavy users of the rural road network as they help facilitate the economic activity of our primary sector.

“Despite a steady reduction in the heavy vehicle crash rate over the last 20 years driving large trucks often with live loads on narrow, loose and difficult rural roads can be dangerous. Improving the visibility and signage, widening centrelines and putting down more rumble strips will help trucks and other motorists avoid the split second situations that can have very serious personal and financial consequences.”

“The forecast of 900 fewer deaths and serious injuries over the next ten years is an ambitious but admirable target. The reality however is that a number of improvements that are suitable and effective for cars and light vehicles often have little to no effect on trucks. Wire median and roadside barriers will not prevent a truck going across the centreline or going off the road.”

“The industry is therefore keen to make sure NZTA remains engaged with us to identify the hotspots and limit, where we can, the risk to heavy vehicle traffic.”

The Road Transport Forum and its associations already take road safety extremely seriously. The Road Transport Forum with the assistance of NZTA is running a highly successful series of rollover prevention seminars all around the country and the NZ Trucking Association has just launched their Share the Road Safely with Big Trucks Programme.

Both Ken Shirley, Chief Executive of the Road Transport Forum NZ and Harry Wilson, Freight Portfolio Director, NZ Transport Agency will be presenting at the NZ leg of the upcoming Wood Flow Optimisation 2016 event running in Rotorua on 14-15 September. Full details of this and the Australian programme can be found on the event website, www.woodflow.events.



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Australia’s first wooden commercial office tower

Australia’s first commercial office tower to be made of timber is coming to the Barangaroo development in Sydney. International House Sydney will be located at the gateway to Barangaroo on Sussex Street and will be built by Lendlease.

The six-storey building will be made of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glulam (glue laminated timber). The building will be constructed by Lendlease’s Designmake bus1iness which invests in smart design and advanced manufacturing processes to make pre-fabricated building components for customers. Components are designed and made in a modern facility in Western Sydney.

Lendlease’s Barangaroo South managing director Andrew Wilson told The Australian Financial Review that they were on the way to creating Australia’s first large-scale carbon neutral community. “The source of materials is important. To use at scale, timber is the only renewable resource,” he said.

“We are well on our way to creating Australia’s first large scale carbon neutral community and we are extremely proud to be delivering this exciting building. International House Sydney fronts directly onto Exchange Square, an entry point into the precinct, and will be a symbol of innovation and sustainability greeting some 33,000 daily visitors as they emerge from Wynyard Walk.”

The building externally will feature a glass skin with many of the structural columns being from reclaimed hardwood bridges. This building will be Lendleases’s third building constructed using these materials following Forte timber apartments in Melbourne and The Dock, a public library in Docklands.

The office tower over 7910 square metres is being designed by Sydney architect Tzannes Associates. “International House Sydney defines the south eastern connection of Barangaroo on Sussex Street to the urban fabric beyond. Looking from the bridges leading to Barangaroo, through the clean glass skin, the multi-story timber structure forms the character of the architecture, the same character that from inside creates an interior environment reminiscent of the spaces often found in Sydney’s historic timber or cast iron and brick buildings from the era when warehouse buildings were crucial to Australia’s maritime economy” said Alec Tzannes.

It is due to be completed in 2017.

Source: theurbandeveloper.com

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Forestry safety and technology training run in SA

The timber industry is one of the major agricultural industries in the Green Triangle Region of Australia. As a major forest owner in the region, OneFortyOne recently partnered with Waratah, a global producer of mechanised harvesting equipment, and held a series of training sessions focusing on harvesting safety, and bringing operators up to speed with technology.

Over 2 days, 4-hour training sessions were held for approximately 30 OneFortyOne staff and harvesting contractors. Safety around a Waratah harvester was the first topic of each session. These machines are a complex array of mechanical and hydraulic parts and training for operator safety was of paramount importance to Waratah, OneFortyOne and the contractors involved.

Training then moved on to the technology, and Waratah provided a unique training experience with the use of a harvesting simulator in the classroom. This training gave operators the opportunity to test the technology with Waratah staff there to guide them.

Waratah last ran training in the Green Triangle two years ago, but this was the first time the region had this type of training done in partnership with a forest owner. OneFortyOne’s General Manager, Willie Van Niekerk also had a turn in the training simulator and came away with a deeper appreciation of the skill needed to use the technology in the field. He commented he hoped to see further training opportunities like this for the local timber industry and its operators.

Feedback from the staff in attendance was very positive. Everyone learnt something new about the technology and reinforced their commitment to safety.

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New technical design guides to accelerate wood uptake

With the aim of increasing the specification of timber by Australian design and engineering professionals, FWPA has published four new WoodSolutions technical design guides. The guides are based on the EXPAN system, which is the result of research by the Structural Timber Innovation Company (STIC), a unique collaboration between Australian and New Zealand commercial and academic partners to create innovative structural timber solutions.

The new EXPAN prefabricated construction system gives engineers, architects and building designers a new alternative to traditional steel and concrete construction systems – while offering the timber industry new opportunities to increase high-value product sales, by meeting the needs of this emerging market.

Experts predict that prefabrication will play an increasing role in the building and construction industries, and to date, these forecasts appear to be on track. The benefits of prefabrication include: safer workplaces, reduced onsite construction times, more control over variables like weather, increased quality and the economies of scale – realised through assembly line production processes.

EXPAN’s totally prefabricated technology is a timely entrant into the burgeoning prefabrication market. The EXPAN system mimics many of the structural benefits of concrete and steel, cleverly embedding post-tensioned tendons into timber to lock the components together. The EXPAN range of design solutions also includes innovative timber frame, wall and floor systems and quick-connect portal frames.

“This is an outstanding example of the value of collaborative and market-oriented research,” said Ric Sinclair, Managing Director of Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA); “the EXPAN system is in effect, new technology, developed by our industry to anticipate and meet the needs of our design and construction markets.”

Available from the WoodSolutions website (www.woodsolutions.com.au), the new guides are: 30 – Timber Concrete Composite Floors, 31 – Timber Cassette Floors, 32 – Long Span Roofs – Portal Frames and Trusses and 33 Quick-Connect Moment Connection.

Source: FWPA



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Global softwood lumber trade up 15%

Global softwood lumber trade reached an all-time high in 2015 when, according to estimates by the WRI, 118 million m3 was traded internationally. This year has started out with even higher volumes being traded around the world; the 1Q/16 shipments were approximately 20% higher than in the first quarter of 2015, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

All countries on the “top-10 import list” increased their lumber importation during the first few months this year with the biggest changes in import volumes being in the US, China and Egypt. Some of the regions covered in the latest report from WRI include;

North America

There was mostly upbeat news about the US lumber market in the first few months of 2016; housing starts in March were the highest for that month since 2007, lumber consumption in early 2016 was 14% higher than the same period in 2015, lumber imports in January-April were up 42% as compared to early 2015, and lumber prices in May reached their highest levels in over a year. Despite increased domestic wood demand, lumber production on the US West coast actually fell about four percent during the first four months this year.

Canadian production was sharply higher during the first three months of 2016 as compared to the same period in 2015, with an increase of 19% in the Eastern provinces and eight percent in British Columbia.

China

Importation of lumber to China from the two largest supplying countries, Russia and Canada, were 33% and 4% higher respectively, during the first four months of 2016 as compared to the same period in 2015. Shipments of predominantly pine from Russia have gone up substantially the past year with deliveries in April this year 1.1 million m3 as compared to 820,000 m3 in April 2015, reports the WRQ. Despite the significant depreciation of the Rouble during 2015 and 2016, Canadian lumber prices have actually fallen faster than Russian lumber prices in US dollar terms.

Japan

Housing starts of 2x4 houses in Japan were up 3% in the 1Q/16 as compared to the same quarter in 2015. Increased lumber demand has been met both by higher production at the country’s sawmills and by increased importation. In the 1Q/16, import volumes increased by 12% year-over-year with particularly Finland, Sweden and Austria shipping more lumber this year.

Russia

Lumber exports from Russia have fallen for two consecutive quarters, with the 1Q/16 shipments being almost 10% lower than in the 3Q/15, but six percent higher than in the 1Q/15. Most of the recent decline has been in shipments to the CIS countries, including Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan, but trade with Egypt and some European countries were also down. Export prices have fallen quite substantially in dollar terms the past two years at the same time as values in Rouble terms were close to record high levels in the 1Q/16.

Source: Wood Resources International, www.woodprices.com



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HVP adopts FOLS Skills Verification Program

This week HVP Plantations (HVP) adopted FOLS as their required standard for the recording of training and skills verification for high risk forestry activities. FOLS is a national industry-led program, managed by ForestWorks. FOLS supports the professionalism and safety of industry through an online system of recording and verifying the currency of operator skills.

John Dodson, Human Resources Manager at HVP, said the decision to adopt FOLS aligns with their strong commitment to workplace health and safety. “HVP have adopted FOLS for its own employees. We have endorsed FOLS as HVP’s preferred tool to manage operator’s high risk competencies. FOLS helps to ensure workers are adequately trained, competent and safe to undertake their work activities.”

“HVP’s initial emphasis will be in harvesting but in time will review the application of FOLS for silviculture, road construction and haulage activities. The decision to endorse FOLS follows a number of contractor information sessions that we conducted in conjunction with ForestWorks, across the state,” said John. Lesia Clark, Skills Advisory Manager at ForestWorks, will be seconded to HVP from July 4 to support HVP and their harvesting contractors’ transition to FOLS.

FOLS is the national skills verification program for Forest Managers, Contractors and Operators. FOLS helps to ensure workers have undertaken the required nationally recognised training and have kept their skills current through regular practice. It includes an online database which authenticates and lists a worker’s skills – particularly in high risk activities. Operators also receive a FOLS Card to demonstrate their skills.

Diana Lloyd, Contracts and Projects Manager at ForestWorks, said HVP is the first private plantation company in Victoria to adopt FOLS as their preferred tool to manage operators’ high risk competencies.

“FOLS has been successfully used for several years, particularly in native forests, to manage the skills of employees and improve safety in the workplace. We look forward to supporting HVP’s work health and safety efforts through the FOLS program.”

For more information about the FOLS Skills Verification Program, visit fols.forestworks.com.au.

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World's first 3D-printed office opens in Dubai

The world's first 3D-printed office building has opened in Dubai, Reuters reports. The 2,700-square-foot, single-story building was built in just 17 days using a gigantic, 20-foot tall 3D printer and a special mix of concrete, fibre reinforced plastic and glass fibre reinforced gypsum.

Although the "printer" was massive at about two stories tall, 120 feet long and 40 feet wide, it only needed one staffer to make sure it was functioning properly. The rest of the 18-person construction crew consisted of installers, electricians and mechanical engineers who completed the job for a mere $140,000 in construction and labour costs — or about half the price of a comparable structure built with conventional methods.

What’s more, it was also built in under three weeks. Of course, the building is more than just another gold star in the UAE's ultramodern playland — it will also serve, appropriately enough, as the temporary headquarters for the Dubai Future Foundation. Next year, the structure is scheduled to become the home of Dubai's Museum of the Future.

"This is the first 3D-printed building in the world, and it's not just a building, it has fully functional offices and staff," the UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Mohamed Al Gergawi said. According to Gergawi, Dubai plans to have 25 percent of the buildings in the emirate built via 3D printing by the year 2030.

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Chainsaw artist counts the rings

A Boston chainsaw sculptor has created a tribute to all of that winning with his latest piece of art: the “World Championship Tree,” a tree with four stumps sculptured into slender, stubby fingers donning detailed championship rings from Boston’s four major sports teams.

Back in 1997, “The Machine” Jesse Green saw some logs on the side of the road, bought his first chainsaw and never looked back. It was “love at first cut,” he said. Now, Boston’s sports teams are reaching out to Green to tell him how much they love his work. The Red Sox even told him they are “big fans.”

The client commissioned the World Championship Tree? His idea originally was just to do the four logos on the four stumps, but it was a tree that wouldn’t die. Everything wanted to grow back around it. So then he decided, ‘Well, let’s carve the whole thing and it won’t grow back and it will be great.’

The stump needed to be cut down. It was four stumps growing out of one and it just wasn’t safe anymore. … He started looking at it and looking at it and then it just screamed to me. Then somebody showed me the ESPN cover [of a fist showing off all four Boston rings] and I said, ‘There you go.’

Source: www.washingtonpost.com.
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Labor forest industry policy positive but lacks detail

Labor’s ‘Positive Plan for Agriculture and Regional Australia’ identifies forestry as a priority sector, and lists a number of important forest industry policy areas that Labor would action, if they win the Australian election this weekend.

Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Mr Ross Hampton said, “Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP has been a strong supporter of the role forest industries can play in a low carbon economy. He has also previously won forest industry applause for reinstating ‘forestry’ in his shadow portfolio’s title, and committing to implementing a National Forest and Fibre Plan.”

“It is pleasing to see that Labor recognises forestry as a priority sector. Further, Labor’s Plan promisingly proposes to lift R&D effort; expand the plantation estate; finalise the Carbon Farming Initiative for-harvest plantation methodology; identify key infrastructure; and reform government procurement. However, the forest industry needs continuing strong political commitment, more detail and solid action in these key policy areas to help achieve our significant potential,” said Mr Hampton.

During this election campaign, AFPA has sought answers from the major Parties on the forest industry’s nine key policy areas. These are: implementation of a National Forest and Fibre Plan; plantation investment support; support for R&D through a National Institute for Forest Products Innovation; recognition of thermal heat in the Renewable Energy Target; strengthening of the antidumping system; promotion of renewable bioenergy opportunities from biomass; funding for farm forestry; bushfire mitigation through a national mechanical fuel reduction program; and renewal of the Regional Forest Agreements. Responses from the major Parties on these key policy areas are detailed in AFPA’s ‘policy platform scorecard’.

“The updated scorecard still shows that the major Parties have more to do in clarifying their policies for new forest plantations and investment in R&D, supporting bushfire mitigation initiatives, and encouraging our industries in the renewable energy space,” said Mr Hampton.

The scorecard and explanatory comments can be found on AFPA’s Build the Vote website here.



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LanzaTech has role in global low-energy drive

New Zealand-born LanzaTech is one of the businesses behind a new drive to get low-carbon sustainable fuels to the point where they make real cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Below50 campaign was launched in New York last month by the Low Carbon Technology Partnerships, and promotes the use of, and investment in, fuels that are at least 50 per cent less carbon-intensive than fossil fuels. LanzaTech, founded in Auckland by scientist Dr Sean Simpson and now headquartered in Chicago, developed a process for turning waste gases from industrial processes into fuel.

It’s one of 20 organisations already signed up to the Below50 campaign, along with ABBI, Arizona State University, Audi, CGEE, Copersucar, DSM, DuPont, GranBio, the Interational Energy Agency, SkyNRG, Joule Unlimited, LCFC, Novozymes, Pannomia, Poet, Red Rock Biofuels, RSB, SE4ALL and Yale University. Any company that produces, uses and/or invests in fuels that are at least 50 per cent less carbon-intensive than conventional fossil fuels can join Below50.

World Business Council for Sustainable Development president and chief executive Peter Bakker says the world is on the cusp of huge change. “Below50 is accelerating that shift, by scaling up the global market for sustainable fuels – it’s a huge growth opportunity that is expected to reach $185 billion over the next five years,” he said.

Source: Carbon News 2016

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... and one to end the week on....of course it's Brexit

These wee gems sent in by readers this week were just too good not to include.



And one more. If only Yes Minister was on air today. Then the Brexit issue would have been so much clearer.

As many in the UK and the rest of the world are scratching their heads right now, many of us can probably relate to the clip below. The programme should resonate to many of our older readers.

Could you imagine if Britain's foreign minister Phillip Hammond had sat across from prime minister David Cameron and simply told him: "Minister, Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last five hundred years: to create a disunited Europe.

"In that cause, we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians”.

"Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now, when it's worked so well? We had to break the whole thing up, so we had to get inside”.

"We tried to break it up from the outside, but that wouldn't work. Now that we're inside we can make a complete pig's breakfast of the whole thing."

Hang on a minute - Permanent Secretary Humphrey Appleby (played by Nigel Hawthorne) did explain that very thing in this 1980 episode of Yes Minister. Enjoy.








And on that note, enjoy your 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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