Friday Offcuts – 17 November 2023

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This week the first leg of the annual ForestTECH 2023 series ran in Rotorua, New Zealand. The subject material (technologies and recent adoptions by forestry companies with remote sensing, data capture, inventory management, tree crop management and mechanised silviculture) struck a real chord with local and international foresters. We had another excellent turnout. Well over 250 foresters are attending this year’s series. In addition to local businesses, forestry companies from outside New Zealand participated remotely, again reinforcing the international standing that this annual forestry technology series has built up.

The technology advancements and learnings from rapid integration into day-to-day forest operations is testament to the close co-operation existing between leading forestry companies, researchers and key tech providers in this part of the world. A real highlight this week was a new student’s competition set up by Tools for Foresters. Three young students had research projects on the go around tree survival counts using UAV technologies and presented live to ForestTECH 2023 delegates. Congratulations to the winner, Whanarua Edmonds and the two finalists, Jake Emmens and Blake Singleton. Further details on competition can be read in this week’s story. Next week, the Australian leg of the annual series will be running in Melbourne.

More this week on the rapid switch by heavy transport fleets to alternate fuels. Trelleborg enters the discussion this week on what technologies, electric or hydrogen, will be appropriate to power the vehicles of the future. Hydrogen power is developing quickly and holds some advantages over electric vehicles in certain contexts, particularly with heavier trucks.

In Australia, furniture giant Ikea, after adding electric vehicle recharging stations at another of its Australian stores, has just revealed plans to use hydrogen trucks to cut its transport emissions. This follows the Australian government’s launch of a AU$2 billion funding program, Hydrogen Headstart, to boost the production of green hydrogen in the country and the recent announcement of a two-year trial by NSW to allow heavier electric and hydrogen trucks on the state’s roads, increasing the axle weight limit.

Finally, recent log reports from Forest360 and PF Olsen have both been painting a similar picture for the NZ forest industry. A recent article from AgriHQ probably sums up 2023. It’s going to go down as one of the toughest experienced in a long time. China, which buys a little under 90% of the logs exported from New Zealand, continues to be subdued with many now questioning whether it’s actually going to achieve its targeted 5% growth in GDP this year. As a consequence of the slow down, seven consecutive months of export log prices being below the 10- year average have been recorded.

Construction activity, a key driver to log demand out of this part of the world, has stalled. The number of new houses under construction in China has dropped to less than half of what had been constructed each year between 2018 and 2021. The property sector in China accounts for more than 20% of GDP and with 70% of China’s household wealth tied up in real estate, the slowdown, is having a direct impact on the country’s economic activity. And, as any forest company, harvesting or log haulage operator, log exporter or product or service suppliers to the industry will testify, it’s having a longer than anticipated impact on forestry activity in this part of the world as well. On the positive side though, as pointed out Forest360's market update this week, we’re heading into 2024 in better shape than many would have expected ... and it can only get better from here, right?

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November 2023 NZ log market update

Opinion Piece: Marcus Musson, Director, Forest360

Rugby world cup aside, there's a bit of good news starting to stir some fizziness amongst us tree huggers and, while not at shaken beer can levels, it is enough to improve the fettle and shelve the navel gazing for a while. This has come in the form of an increase in export log prices which has seen November offerings in the $123-125/m3 range for A grade, up around $10/m3 on October and $30/m3 on June.

A few years ago, this price level wouldn’t have been anything to get excited about but after the lows of the past 6 months, it’s a welcome relief. There’s a bit of caution in this however as the increase is not specifically demand driven and is due as much to lower shipping costs and Forex (which has since bounced) as actual sales price increases.

Real demand hasn’t really changed in terms of volume, and offtake from Chinese ports is still sitting around the 60Km3 per day. NZ supply has decreased with the lower prices and unfortunately this supply reduction is courtesy of logging contractors being slowed down, parked up or at worst going to the wall. This current Chinese demand level isn’t likely to lift, especially with the well documented housing oversupply and litany of other economic woes that are starting to surface. It is thought that previously, construction accounted for around 70% of the softwood demand in China, however this is more likely now reduced to around 40%. Quick Marlboro packet numbers would tell you that demand for construction-based logs has dropped 60% from pre covid times. Luckily our radiata is a very universal product and is used for a multitude of end uses.

Reduced global log supply has also helped the China supply and demand balance with logs from Europe and Russia dropping significantly in recent months. European harvesting has receded back to normal levels as bark beetle infestation has reduced resulting in less requirement for log exports while the Russians are facing weather related issues with their seasonal harvest. Chinese log inventory is sitting at around 2.7 million m3 which is the lowest point in years and not unexpected given the reduced overall demand.

Efforts by the CCP to inject some stimulus into the Chinese economy have seen some traditionally unconventional measures with the issuance of a $US137 billion sovereign debt plan which will take the budget deficit ratio to 3.8% of GDP, well in excess of the 3.0% target set in March this year. While this isn’t at Grant Robertson levels yet, there is clearly a strong desire within the government to bring some confidence to the economy with stronger fiscal policy. This likely won’t do much to help the construction sector as the government has realized that it has become too big to kick down the road. Much of the stimulus has been targeted at fast growing, advanced manufacturing including electric cars and semiconductors – not much wood in those.


The world has looked to China as the global economic powerhouse for decades, but it appears that India is now emerging as credible player. While India lags behind China with a $US3.5 trillion economy compared to China’s $US15 trillion, early signs are showing foreign investment pulling out of China at rapid pace and reinvesting in India. China’s official growth target of 5% will be surpassed by India in 2023 with the IMF projecting a growth rate in the world’s most populated country of 6.3%. India is embarking on a large-scale infrastructure build with around 50,000km of new roads built in the 8 years between 2014 and 2022.

Unfortunately, NZ has been locked out of the Indian log market for a number of years as the EPA put ideology ahead of common sense with the effective banning (through unachievable recapture targets) of the use of the only India approved fumigant, Methyl Bromide in 2022. The recent concession by India to allow fumigation at port has seen the first vessel from NZ head to India in a few years. Understandably, we are watching this with anticipation as it’s always risky to be the first to send $NZ7 million worth of cargo across the globe to test a new process, however, all going well this will relieve some supply pressure from China.

After a rally in August, the NZU price has very slowly been heading in the positive direction with current spot fixtures around $70/NZU. This is good news if you’re in the ETS as that price level represents an annual return of around $2,100/ha. Spear a thought for the ETS administrators around the country who are not so fizzy with the continued failure of MPI’s newly built online ETS administration system, Tupu-ake.

MPI kicked off this online disaster earlier this year, right at the end of a mandatory reporting period, causing massive frustration and cost for all who have the displeasure of having to use it. This system has been plagued with problems (which makes Novapay look like a dream) and MPI officials continue to keep their heads in the sand about its efficacy. In Māori, Tupu-ake means ‘grow up’, it might be time to rename the system ‘Korenga’ meaning ‘failure’, or better still, simply bin it and go back to the old system.

In summary, we’re heading into the end of the year in better shape than many expected. There’s talk of a number of larger forest companies taking a month out over Christmas and the windthrow salvage in Taupo, which has been running at around 15,000 tonnes per day, will start to slow leading to a lower supply and inventory position in Q1 2024. The chances of a strong China led rebound are about as likely as David Seymour becoming a socialist, but if we can keep a lid on supply levels, we should see some price stability over the summer months. However, like the Winston factor, you never know what will come from left field….

More >>

Source: Forest360

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Sky’s the limit for up-and coming foresters

If ForestTECH 2023 is anything to go by, the future of forestry is bright. Three forestry students presented at the conference this week, marking the end of a student competition, organised by Scion and supported by Tools for Foresters.

The inaugural competition, funded by the Precision Silviculture Programme, led by Forest Growers Research through the Sustainable Food and Fibre Fund, aimed to address the lack of standard operational procedures for using UAVs to collect tree survival data.

As part of the competition, Toi Ohomai forestry students, Scion and Forest Protection Services staff captured data from two sites using three methods of UAV survival assessment. Three students analysed collection method costs, accuracy and ease of use and were tasked with writing a report, a standard operational procedure (SOP) and making a presentation about one of the collection methods. The report and SOP will be shared with industry through the Forest Growers Research and Tools For Foresters websites.

The three students were University of Canterbury Bachelor of Forestry Science student Blake Singleton and Toi Ohomai Forest Management Diploma students Jake Emmens and Whanarua Edmonds. They looked at using multispectral orthoplotting, RGB orthoplotting, and 100% site captures with high-resolution imagery respectively.

Whanarua Edmonds was named the winner and given the DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise care bundle valued at $7000. Edmonds said he descends from a long line of bushmen with him being the fifth generation to work in the forest industry. While the journey was challenging, he says he is stoked and grateful to take the win. “I guess you could say it’s in the blood. I’ve chosen to build on their hard work and take it to the next level with a different approach to the industry.”

Scion Geospatial Scientist Robin Hartley says the idea for a student competition arose at ForestTECH in Melbourne last year and industry had been hugely supportive with Ferntech donating the prize, Manulife Forest Management (NZ) Ltd providing the surveying sites and Indufor providing their seedling detection analysis services free of charge. Members of the TFF committee and Scion scientists also donated time to grade student outputs and help mentor the students.

Hartley said it was important to foster the next generation as forestry required outside the box thinking. He said the students all had different and refreshing approaches and he hoped to host the competition again.

Claire Stewart, who runs the Forest Growers Research Precision Silviculture programme, said the competition fed into the Tools for Foresters goal of building skills from the ground up. "Working with the students is key to getting the workforce that we need for tomorrow. The quality of their work has been so good we look forward to seeing how we can continue this work.”

For further coverage on the competition, click here.

Photo: FIEA. L-R, Robin Hartley, Jake Emmens, Blake Singleton, Whanarua Edmonds

Source: Scion

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Te Kōtuku grants to help small-scale wood processors

A new grants programme to help small-scale wood processors lift productivity and capacity will open on 20 November 2023. Te Kōtuku is for small- scale wood processors specialising in non-Pinus radiata wood products.

Te Kōtuku will provide grants of $50,000 or more to small scale processors of alternate species who want to scale up or improve their production. To be eligible, operators need to process less than 15,000m3 per annum of log input (or equivalent) of non-radiata tree species.

Examples of proposals that could be funded include portable sawmills, loaders, log decks, planers, moulders, dehumidifying or solar kilns, waste chippers, thermal treatment, other new equipment or upgrades.

Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service’s Wood Processing Growth Fund team encourages anyone interested to enquire ahead of the opening date.

Te Kōtuku is administered by Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service and is part of the Wood Processing Growth Fund. Other types of support are available through the Wood Processing Growth Fund including grants for pre- investment activities and finance for capital projects.


Email: | Ph 0800 00 83 33 | Visit: Wood Processing Growth Fund

Source: Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service
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Giant pine scale eradication program underway

The South Australian forest industries acknowledges the critical importance of implementing an effective eradication program against the giant pine scale (GPS) in Adelaide’s north eastern suburbs. “While we recognize the loss of tree canopies and urban forests is an unfortunate process, it is crucial that the giant pine scale insect is removed from our metropolitan trees before it spreads any further, as it would be a biodiversity disaster if this infestation reaches our plantation forests”, said Mr Nathan Paine, Chief Executive Officer of the South Australian Forest Products Association (SAFPA).

“Giant pine scale is a sap sucking insect that feeds on trees from the Pinaceae family, including pine, firs and spruces, and with 128,000 hectares of Radius Pine in South Australia, we need to protect the businesses and the livelihoods of those working in the forest and timber industries”, continued Mr Paine. “If this insect reaches any of our commercial pine plantations it would have a devastating impact on our state’s economy and regional communities.

Forestry in South Australia contributes almost AU$3 billion to the State’s economy, employs over 21,300 people and there are countless industries that heavily rely on our products, such as residential and commercial builders and the agriculture and horticulture industries to name a few”, said Mr Paine. “The South Australian Forest Products Association are grateful to be working with the South Australian Government on eradicating this biodiversity risk, as the removal of the infested trees will not only protect the industry it will also protect the local environment and the neighbouring urban forests that remain unaffected”, said Mr Paine.

“Thank you to the State Government and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (PIRSA) for implementing and acting swiftly to remove GPS affected trees from our community”, concluded Mr Paine.

Source: SAFPA

Native Forest Transition (NFT) Promotion

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SnapSTAT - Timber is growing in buildings too!

International Trends in Mass Timber: Study Updated - How are Multi- Story Timber Buildings evolving? Recent case studies show timber has reached unprecedented heights and dimensions, demonstrating the growing trend for such buildings. It appears the mass timber movement is gaining traction even in countries where, until 5 years ago, timber was not considered a viable option.

Source: Vittorio Salvadori, CREE, Austria

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Forestry - worst year in a while

This year is going to go down as one of the toughest in a long time for the wider NZ forestry industry. Wounds are slowly healing after a brutal first half of the year, but the fact is no one is over the moon about the present state of play, and there’s little on the horizon to suggest a return to the good old days any time soon.

There are a lot of moving parts, which explains why profits on logs and timber have dropped off big time, but if there’s an overarching theme it’s the health of the economy both here and worldwide. Historically, this is often the case when it comes to wood markets. Underlying demand is highly reliant on construction activity, and the choice to build by companies or the general population depends on a perceived level of financial security going forward.

Here in New Zealand the big killer is interest rates and their effect on house values, as well as the much higher cost to build than only a few years ago. The number of new home consents issued this year dropped 26% versus last year through to the end of August, with this deficit expanding as the year has progressed. This has left mills battling to sell structural and framing timber, often resorting to cutting production or selling timber overseas to try to rebalance the market.

It’s a similar story for roundwood producers, where forecasts of a tough farming season have already seen spending tightening on posts and poles. While it looks like mortgage rates aren’t going to ease over the short term, the pure need to house a growing population could be the counterweight to eventually reinvigorate construction activity.

Since the turn of the century a new house has been consented per every 2.1 people added to the official population count. In the first half of this year the ratio had expanded to one consent per 3.4 people. In other words, building activity is approximately 37% lower than would be expected over the long term – although this comes with the caveat that 2021 and 2022 saw high construction rates and a steady population.

Overseas it all comes down to China, which buys a little under 90% of the logs that are exported from New Zealand. Log traders and harvesters are used to a few swings up and down through the year, but we’re about to head into a seven consecutive month of export log prices being below the 10-year average. And the cost of getting a tree from woodlot to wharfgate has risen significantly over that decade.

Economic troubles in China are definitely limiting demand for NZ’s logs. What makes it worse is that much of the economy’s woes are tied to numerous high-profile, large-scale property development companies flirting with bankruptcy for two years straight. Chinese consumers’ confidence in this sector has fallen away massively as a result, and with that construction activity has massively slowed.

According to data published by the Chinese government, the number of new houses under construction has fallen by a quarter versus last year and is less than half of what was being constructed each year between 2018 and 2021.

Luckily, NZ traders have managed to dodge the worst of this impact. A shift in log usage trends has partially sheltered the market, with other avenues, like Chinese furniture production, making up a larger portion of NZ log usage than in the past.

Also cushioning the blow has been the massive drop in shipping costs, now essentially half what they were through 2021 and much of 2022. As well, China is much more reliant on NZ for softwood log supplies than in pre-covid days. Our market share has slowly lifted to 55-65% over the past two years, having traditionally ranged between 35% and 40% in the late-2010s and the start of this decade.

Source: Reece Brick, AgriHQ Analyst

Source: Farmers Weekly

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Scholarships awarded to women in forestry

Breaking barriers and amplifying impact – TFFPN awards scholarships to women working in forestry

Together, the Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network and the Tasmanian Government have awarded eight scholarships to support women in forestry to complete the I-LEAD Women in Industry Program, which commenced in October. This offering was created exclusively by Tasmanian Leaders to support and accelerate the leadership journey of rising and established women leaders in Tasmania.

Scholarships were awarded to Kuluni Millaniyage (Centre for Sustainable Architecture with Wood, UTAS), Haf Pearce (Sustainable Timber Tasmania), Jenny Retterer (Forico), Tori Cleaves (Wood Based Products), Sarah Vautin (Sustainable Timber Tasmania), Alana Summers (Triple H Contracting), and Michelle Walls and Rachel Yao (both from Sustainable Timber Tasmania).

These eight women join a cohort of forty-four outstanding female leaders across diverse industries including construction, forestry, mining, manufacturing, energy, and agriculture who commenced the Tasmanian Leaders 2023 I-LEAD Women in Industry program.

Tasmanian Leaders CEO Angela Driver said this year’s I-LEAD participants showcase the remarkable talent and potential of women in the Tasmanian workforce. “This transformative initiative, geared towards accelerating the leadership paths of both emerging and established women leaders in Tasmania, specifically addresses gender disparity within traditionally male-dominated sectors,” Ms Driver said.

The program, which is designed to boost leadership and build new networks between the women, aims to enable them to lead more effectively and with greater confidence and purpose.

“We are very grateful to our scholarship partners, including the Tasmanian Government, Tasmanian Women in Agriculture, the Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network, and Keystone Tasmania. Delivering these scholarships in partnership with industry has been extremely rewarding and demonstrates our partners’ commitment to advancing gender equality,” Ms Driver said.

The 2023 program builds on the successful program delivered in 2022 and will see seven in-person and online sessions delivered to the participants from October to November. The women will hear from a range of professional facilitators and prominent professionals offering insights drawn from their experiences and successes.

“A notable addition to the 2023 program is the introduction of peer mentoring by connecting the 2022 and 2023 cohorts. This innovative feature creates a collaborative environment, allowing participants to learn from each other and enhance their leadership journeys.”

For more information, visit

Photo: Women in Industry participants with wukalina guides Carleeta Thomas and Cody Gangell

Source: tffpn

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Europe’s great housing crisis – only starting

In a leafy neighbourhood in Dusseldorf, Milena and Manuel David planned to break ground this summer on a new home, a milestone that was going to get them out of a cramped apartment where they share a bedroom with their two kids. But during the 16-month wait for a permit, mortgage rates had tripled and their building costs rose by €85,000 ($90,000). The couple crunched the numbers again before facing the fact that their dream of building their own home had collapsed as part of Europe’s worst construction crisis in decades.

Similar struggles are playing out across much of the continent. Residential building has tumbled as costs soar, while sluggish bureaucracies and increasingly stringent energy-efficiency regulations add to the headwinds. With housing already tight, the situation threatens to weigh on growth and further stoke political tensions as shortages squeeze more and more voters.

“I spent so many nights lying awake,” said Milena, a 37-year-old teacher, overlooking the overgrown shrubs and weeds where her kids were supposed to be playing. “What makes me angry is that we were so close.” The Davids were prime home building candidates. The family has two incomes, stable jobs in the public sector, and most importantly, they didn’t have to pay for their building lot, which was given to them by Manuel’s parents. Their struggles show just how broken Europe’s housing market is.

The hardest-hit countries are among the wealthiest. New building permits in Germany have fallen more than 27% in the first half. Permits in France are down 28% through July, and UK home building is expected to drop more than 25% this year. Sweden is suffering its worst slump since a crisis in the 1990s, with building rates less than a third of what’s deemed necessary to keep up with demand.

More >>

Source: Bloomberg News

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Powering future vehicles – hydrogen vs electric

Trelleborg enters the discussion on which technologies will be appropriate to power the vehicles of the future.

Pick any data point and the growth of electric cars looks like a wildly successful phenomenon. The number of electric cars on the world’s roads hit 16.5 million at the end of 2021, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). That is triple the number in 2018. Two million electric cars were sold in the first quarter of 2022 alone, three quarters more than the same period a year earlier.

Yet with such a rapid rate of growth come challenges. The price of critical minerals essential for battery manufacturing are soaring. Lithium prices, for example, the IEA said were seven times higher in May 2022 than they were at the beginning of 2022.

The expansion of charging infrastructure in many locations has failed to keep up with the growth in electric car sales, prompting hesitancy among potential buyers. Anxiety over the range of electric vehicles regularly crops up in consumer surveys, despite the industry’s best efforts to publicize how this has extended.

For many would-be buyers, questions over range and efficiency are only part of the picture. They focus on more mundane issues, such as where to charge an EV when living in an apartment block. That, according to Weimann, is becoming a redundant question. Employers across Europe are investing in charging infrastructure and gas stations are pivoting with installations of superchargers that can fuel 250 kilometres of range in just 25 minutes.

If you drive up to 250 kilometres per week, then you don’t need a charger at home. You can charge while you buy groceries or pop out for coffee with a friend. A change of mindset is required to see the opportunity of charging while parked and doing something meaningful rather than taking the extra ride to the filling station.” The growth of EVs will place unprecedented demand on the national grid. To drive 160 km, an EV uses the same amount of electricity as it does to power a typical US home for a day, according to the US Department of Energy. Yet, while EVs place significant demands on the grid, they can also be part of the solution.

Smart charging technology known as “vehicle to grid” enables car batteries to give power back to the grid, taking some pressure off when demand is greatest. Plans to utilize the technology are already moving through the German parliament. This ‘breathing of energy’ is totally new and saves a huge amount of money on the grid because authorities don’t have to use their own storage capabilities. You can just use the fleet on the street.

Battery technology is now so advanced that it dominates the attention of governments and manufacturers. However, Weimann says that hydrogen power is developing quickly and holds advantages over electric vehicles in certain contexts, particularly heavy trucks.

Batteries weighing as much as two tonnes would be required to power standard-sized trucks, compared to a hydrogen fuel load weighing a quarter of that. That would ultimately cost the operator 1.5 tonnes of payload, and that is before you consider the slim prospect of finding super chargers outside of developed western economies. Hydrogen trucks have a window of opportunity for at least the next ten years.

That lack of infrastructure hints at the limitations facing e-mobility during the years ahead, and even points to a crisis for developing economies. Across China, the Americas and Western Europe, governments have set ambitious emissions reduction targets, which is fuelling investment in infrastructure to support the growth of e-mobility.

Cars are built for huge markets. The countries who are lacking in charging infrastructure, or who don’t have the power to switch, are going to need help developing further. Otherwise, it won’t be long until there are no longer new cars available to these markets.

For now, manufacturers are focused on their domestic markets and it is working, but will everyone be willing to switch to electric vehicles? Car enthusiasts tend to be romantic about combustion engines. Whether they can be converted is perhaps the truest test of electric cars as products.

Source: Trelleborg

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Five hydrogen trucks for Ikea Australian operations

Furniture giant Ikea has revealed plans to use hydrogen trucks to cut its transport emissions, just one week after adding electric vehicle recharging stations at another of its Australian stores. The five hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, announced, will join the company’s European operations, where they are expected to cut 160 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

IKEA Austria chief sustainability officer Alpaslan Deliloglu said the five Quantron QLI FCEV trucks were the first hydrogen trucks deployed by the furniture group worldwide and were chosen to cut its carbon emissions over long distances. “We want to show that a transformation to zero-emission delivery is already possible today,” he said.

The trucks, created by German firm Quantron AG in collaboration with Canada’s Ballard Power Systems, were drafted, built and delivered within 18 months. They have been supported by a grant from the Austria government.

Quantron executive chairman Andreas Haller said the vehicles could travel up to 400km on a one tank of hydrogen thanks to its energy management system and aerodynamics. The five hydrogen trucks would be deployed alongside a fleet of 56 electric delivery trucks, Haller said, to cut a total of 610 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

Ikea’s use of hydrogen vehicles comes after the Australian government launched a AU$2 billion funding program, Hydrogen Headstart, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to boost the production of green hydrogen in the country.

It also follows the announcement of a two-year trial by NSW to allow heavier electric and hydrogen trucks on the state’s roads, increasing the axle weight limit.

Source: thedriven

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SAFPA hails bolstered landscape bushfire protection

As South Australia enters a more challenging fire season, South Australia’s forest industries have hailed the bolstered landscape bushfire protection measures that when joined up will provide better protection for our regional communities and industries than ever before.

“This season in the South East will see the rollout of the new AU$2.3 million fire camera network, the continued use of our fire towers, the two new aerial observation helicopters in addition to the four government-funded aerial firefighting appliances including three SEATs and one Blackhawk, our industry-funded aerial firefighting appliance, a new source of water to fight fires at Callendale along with bolstered Forest Industry Brigades working with the CFS and its volunteers”, Mr Nathan Paine, Chief Executive Officer of the South Australian Forest Products Association (SAFPA) said.

“After enjoying several years of below average fire danger, this is our first year back with an El Nino weather pattern and we know that this year and the years to come will be more difficult than the past few seasons. Whilst bushfires are unpredictable, we are better prepared than ever and our plan will be to detect fires early and hit them hard and fast to ensure we are protecting life, property and the regional economy,” continued Mr Paine.

“We only have to look at the devastation wrought by bushfires on Kangaroo Island and of course the Black Saturday fires on the east coast to know how important it is that we are prepared and we congratulate the Government for continuing to invest in protecting our community and our industries from bushfires. Our bushfire history illustrates the importance of being armoured and educated to the best of our ability to protect our plantation estates, as fires are unpredictable and will always be a part of our landscape”.

“Our forest industries directly invest well over AU$5 million each and every year into our own fire prevention, detection and firefighting – that includes more than 300 firefighters, a firefighting helicopter, along with our specialist firefighting tankers and associated equipment” said Mr Paine.

“SAFPA expresses its thanks to the Malinauskas Government for this additional investment and in particular Minister Scriven for the delivery of AU$2.3 million into landscape level fire detection network and Minister Szakacs for the additional investment in aerial firefighting appliances which is part of the broader AU$26.7 million being invested in increasing aerial firefighting fleet across South Australia,” said Mr Paine.

Source: safpa
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Sawmill downsizing in B.C. creates opportunities

Canada is the world’s second-largest producer of softwood lumber, behind the United States. Over the past five years, production has decreased from 48 million m3 in 2017 to 37 million m3 in 2022. Last year, the country’s sawmill output was down almost 40% from the heydays two decades ago when the all-time high reached nearly 60 million m3. With limited opportunities for Canada to increase lumber production, European sawmills will likely remain essential suppliers for the US wood market in the coming decade.

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Source:, forestnet

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Top industries using ChatGPT

Since ChatGPT’s launch last November, the search for artificial intelligence has rocketed by 1,700%. The chatbot, which has attracted over 100 million global users, has been the centre of much debate in recent months, especially when it comes to its position within the workplace.

Keen to learn more about the use of ChatGPT within businesses across the UK, Indusface surveyed 2,000 UK workers across varying job levels and sectors, to find out more about the use of ChatGPT in the workplace. Adding to the findings, Venky Sundar, Founder and President of Indusface shares his insight around the risks and benefits of using ChatGPT in the business world.

Key Findings: - The Advertising industry ranks as the sector using ChatGPT the most whilst working, with almost two fifths (39%) of respondents utilising the bot.

- The Legal industry ranks second, with 38% of respondents claiming they use ChatGPT at work.

- Writing up reports is the most common reason for using ChatGPT at work, with more than a quarter (27%) of respondents naming this as their reason for using this form of AI.

- Over half (55%) of UK workers stated that they do not trust working with another business who uses ChatGPT!

More >>

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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... annoying habits

One to start with. My husband asked if he had any annoying habits and then got all offended during the PowerPoint presentation.

And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Distinction Dunedin Hotel
6 Liverpool Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (03) 470 1902, Mob: +64 21 227 5177

John Stulen
Editor, WoodWorks News
PO Box 1230, Rotorua, 3040
Tel: +64 7 921 1381
Mob: +64 27 275 8011

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