Friday Offcuts – 15 March 2024

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Welcome to this week's edition of Friday Offcuts.

Today, we have a number of key developments, including a new $100m Australian Forest and Wood Innovations program, the closure of VicForests and some interesting studies showing another side to NZ forestry. 

The Australian Forest and Wood Innovations program is a welcome initiative by the Albanese Government. With research centres planned across key universities, including Launceston, the Sunshine Coast, and Melbourne, AFWI is poised to 'unlock the full potential of wood' as a renewable material. Minister Murray Watt underscores the program's role in supporting sustainable forestry while meeting growing demand and addressing climate change threats.

Unfortunately, we also bring news of the coming closure of VicForests. It is a significant development and will spark debate about the future of forestry in Victoria. As VicForest prepares to cease operations, questions arise around job security, environmental factors and the numerous misleading claims being made in the media. 

Finally, our planted forests also double as mountain biking havens and generate significant economic benefits for the community. Additionally, initiatives like the kea study in pine forests underscore the importance of balancing conservation efforts with industry interests.

We cover these and more in another packed edition of Friday Offcuts. Enjoy the read.

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A$100m Australian Forest and Wood Innovations program

The future of sustainable forestry received a significant boost today with the official launch of the Albanese Government’s A$100 million Australian Forest and Wood Innovations (AFWI) program.

AFWI is a collaboration between the Albanese Government and the University of Tasmania, committed to advancing research and innovation in Australian forest and wood products.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt, said the University of Tasmania AFWI Headquarters in Launceston would support a local AFWI research centre, with further centres planned for the University of the Sunshine Coast and the University of Melbourne.

Establishing AFWI was an election commitment which we are proud to deliver and forms part of our record A$300 million investment in the Australian forestry and forest product sector,” Minister Watt said.

“This program will support sustainable forestry, while also helping to deliver a future made in Australia.

“It’s an exciting time for forestry research as we work towards unlocking the full potential of wood as the ultimate renewable material and growing our forests and forestry industry.

The three research centres will undertake research to enhance our production forests and the wood products sourced from them – managing and sustainably expanding our Australian forestry resources, transforming wood residues into renewable products and energy solutions – all while helping to address the threat of climate change.

“We saw demand for forest products significantly increase during the Covid-19 pandemic — increasing production in our sustainably managed plantation estate and product recovery from our sawmills and wood and fibre processing plants will see us better positioned to meet demand into the future.”

Minister Watt said AFWI would also shortly be announcing the opening of the first of four, A$5 million annual national open calls for forestry research projects. The annual national open calls will be open to applications from all Australian-based researchers supporting the forest industry, and not be limited to the research centres established by AFWI.

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Source: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

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VicForests to close 30 June 2024

State-owned logging business VicForests will cease to exist from June 30 this year. It is the first time a decision on VicForests' future has been revealed, after the Victorian government deregistered it as a state business corporation in September last year, removing the requirement for it to be commercially focused.

The development comes after native forest logging ended in Victoria on January 1 and VicForests' management of community forestry, including the harvesting of wind-thrown timber, ended on February 5. 

It is not yet clear what will happen to VicForests employees or the wider sector. Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) industrial organiser Kassey Dickie said today's announcement would result in job losses for some members.

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Source: ABC News

Please Note: VicForests has released a follow up statement (posted below).

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Setting the record straight - VicForests

Recent public commentary about the closure of VicForests has included numerous false and misleading claims

VicForests knows there are individuals and organisations who are opposed to native timber harvesting who will be celebrating VicForests’ closure. But this doesn’t mean it’s open season – and it will never be acceptable to treat the men and women of VicForests with blatant disrespect.

False claims do harm. This includes the impact on the mental health and wellbeing of people who have dedicated themselves to the management of forests for future generations.

The most offensive category of false claims being made is the suggestion VicForests is “rogue” or a “cowboy agency”. These claims are demonstrably false – but repeated often by those opposed to the legal activity undertaken by VicForests in furtherance of longstanding government policy.

VicForests is a government agency, overseen by an independent Board and otherwise subject to the ordinary governance obligations and control of any government agency. The executives and staff of VicForests are Victorian public servants. It is self-evident that if VicForests was acting otherwise than in accordance with Government policy – or behaving illegally - then it was clearly within the power of the Government to intervene.

The system of regulation in Victoria is based on compliance with explicit rules to manage known threats to the environment that have been developed by forestry and environmental experts over many years. These legal rules balance environmental objectives with economic and social objectives. This balance is required by the Principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development – which is a cornerstone of Australian and International environmental law.

VicForests has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to meeting, and often exceeding, the explicit rules set by Government. It has never been prosecuted by the independent environment regulator. 

This is backed up by the latest published independent audit result from the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, which saw VicForests achieve an average of 96% compliance across four environment areas: environmental values in State forests, conservation of biodiversity, operational planning and record keeping, and coupe infrastructure for timber harvesting operations. The 96% average compliance findings are a testament to the work our staff undertake in Victoria’s state forests.

So contrary to false claims, our people are passionate about the health of forest ecosystems and remain committed to the care of Victoria’s forests. Our staff have specialist degrees and are professionals in a range of fields from environmental and forest scientists to ecologists, policy and compliance officers, research and modelling analysts. Our expert foresters specialise in tactical and operational planning, roading, harvesting and contract management, silviculture and native forest regeneration.

This includes foresters who have put their lives at risk over the last month, as they have many times before, directly fighting fires threatening people, homes and forests throughout Victoria.

And we are proud of the legacy we leave behind. Timber harvested by VicForests is now in countless homes, public buildings and products throughout Australia. Through the 20 years of its existence VicForests met its mission by selling 25.9 million m3 of timber to customers, generating around $1.8 billion in direct revenue for the State and many billions in economic activity – mostly in rural and regional towns.

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Source: VicForests

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Kea study in pine forests a boost

A preliminary study has been published documenting kea habitat use, movement and diet in forestry company OneFortyOne’s forests in the Nelson Tasman region.

The study, conducted by Lincoln University Masters student Jodanne Aitken, and funded by forestry company OneFortyOne, confirmed that kea are residing and utilising food sources within pine plantation forests in the Nelson Tasman region.

Jodanne will be a speaker at the upcoming FIEA Environmental Forestry Conference on 25-26 June 2024 in Rotorua, NZ.

Jodanne said very little is known about kea occupancy, behavioural ecology or habitat use of plantation forests. “It’s a preliminary study, which gives us a better insight into kea behaviour in pine plantation forests and help us understand what might be keeping them in the pine forests," said Jodanne.

“It is thought kea may utilise plantation sites to forage for seeds and insects and could possibly even seek out plantation sites at particular phases of forestry activities, for example immediately post-harvest to find specific food items.

“The study used GPS-VHF units to track the movements of three kea through the forestry blocks, I also recorded feeding observations of kea in the forest.” Jodanne said.

Jodanne noted the kea in OneFortyOne’s forest were different to those she had previously studied further south.

As a PhD student, it’s not often you’re outsmarted by your study species, but Jodanne said the kea in the Nelson Tasman forests were the hardest birds to catch out of all kea in the country. “It took almost four months to lure the birds in,” she said.

“The kea studied tended to sit up in the trees more, and are not observed on the ground as often. This behaviour is similar to what we would see in Okarito in the West Coast, the diet was also similar with them eating mostly invertebrates and seeds.”

Understanding kea use of plantation forestry sites is vital for guiding effective conservation management strategies and ensuring that no negative interactions occur between kea and forestry workers and their equipment.

“The numbers of kea are sadly low (~5000-7000 kea remaining), we need to understand them better in all their environments to conserve them.” 

“It would be great to see more large land users replicate the investment OneFortyOne has made. We all need to work together to protect these beautiful and extremely clever birds,” said Jodanne.

OneFortyOne has contributed $100,000 to a suite of Kea Conservation Trust projects, including this study focused on kea habitat use and diet in plantation forests.

Source and image credit: OneFortyOne

Environmental Forestry 2024

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March NZ log market update

Opinion Piece: Marcus Musson, Director, Forest360

History is a great predictor of the future, and the log market is no different. March export prices have been released and it feels as though we’re trying to climb a barbed wire fence, but the problem is we’re currently stuck with one leg on either side, our crotch is snagged on a barb and our feet are slipping. We’re starting to feel some pain and we’re not sure how much more we’ll have to endure before our feet find firm ground.

March prices have dropped around $10/M3 from February and while a drop was not entirely unexpected, the quantum is a pain point. There’s three key metrics that determine export log prices, CFR price (sales price in $USD in the export market), shipping costs and foreign exchange, and unfortunately all three are causing our feet to slip this month. It’s not unusual for CFR price to drop post Chinese New Year (CNY) holidays as the Chinese populus slowly return to work from the longest break of the year and take a while to crank the various industries back into life. Post holiday demand has been very weak and, with NZ and other countries continuing to supply over the holiday period, inventories have increased around 1Mm3 to around 4Mm3. While historically this figure is at the lower end of the total inventory position scale post CNY, with consistently lower log demand now a new norm, 4Mm3 still represents around 65 days inventory which is similar to previous years’ when demand was significantly higher.

Foreign exchange jumped a cent early in the month following the Reserve Bank Governors’ comments and a generally weaker greenback. Freight has caused our feet to slide the most with the Suez Canal scuffle increasing the bulk vessel demand in the Atlantic and resulting in a shortage of vessels in the Pacific. This has resulted in vessel costs increases of around $US8/m3 over the past 6 weeks and unfortunately, like Adrian Orr, these shipping issues are problematic and likely to be around for a while.

The general outlook for China hasn’t really changed with the property market in its third year of downturn. The country’s leaders have just finished their week-long national congress with pledges to boost employment and stabilise the property market, which has historically made up around a quarter of the economy. However, much like Chloes’ recent post promotion speech, the CCP pledges are long on rhetoric and short on practical and workable solutions. There’s no hiding the demographical issues China is facing with a reducing and ageing population which will struggle to fill the availability of new homes currently on the market. The IMF recently released their projections of a 45% fall in housing investment based on 2021 figures and asserted that ‘an accelerated cleanup of distressed developers and other policies will help smooth the path to a smaller, more sustainable role for real estate in the economy’.

There’s no denying the need for a reduction in NZ supply to match the new level of demand in China and this is happening slowly. Volume from our cousins over the ditch has resumed into China, albeit at a low but not insignificant level, and supply from other countries has reduced to a trickle due to a myriad of issues. We have seen a couple of vessels heading to India from NZ in recent months, but this isn’t a silver bullet – yet. NZ supply will seasonally start reducing as it gets wet and depending on how far into the undies the barb penetrates, the private sector supply will react accordingly. Longer-term fixed price contracts are becoming an important tool for forest managers to help de-risk the export returns for clients and provide exporters with some committed volume over the medium term with which they can plan sales and shipping rotations.

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Source: Forest360

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New 40,000 hectares to open in Tasmania

In Tasmania, a dispute has ignited over the state's forests, pitting the last remaining Liberal government in Australia against conservationists and industry stakeholders. The government's proposal to open an additional 40,000 hectares of native forest for logging has stirred significant controversy, challenging a previous agreement forged in 2012 aimed at resolving long standing conflicts dubbed the "forest wars."

The move has drawn criticism from conservationists, forest industry representatives, and former politicians. Concerns abound that this decision could revive past conflicts and prompt consumer boycotts. Notably, the Tasmanian Forest Products Association has expressed disappointment, advocating for a thorough examination of the land involving a diverse array of stakeholders.

Premier Jeremy Rockliff has defended the decision, asserting its necessity to address wood supply challenges. However, opponents argue that the move could endanger jobs and tarnish Tasmania's environmental standing. Former Greens leader Bob Brown has strongly condemned the decision as a betrayal of trust and urged federal intervention to safeguard the forests.

The Labor Party has yet to unveil its forestry policy.

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10 most-visited mountain biking tracks were in planted forests

Mountain biking tourism pumps NZ$112 million into the NZ economy each year and employs hundreds.

Planted forests are currently the most important mountain biking destinations in New Zealand, new research has found. As a major driver of activity in the regions, several sectors, including tourism, reap the economic benefits of mountain biking.

In a research project funded by Forest Growers Research, Scion senior research economist Dr Richard Yao and resource economists Julio Botero and Saeed Solaymani looked at the economic value of mountain biking and its wellbeing benefits. They also looked at the role of planted forests compared to other mountain biking destinations.

Yao says, “while the economic benefits derived directly from mountain biking in the forestry sector may be relatively small, the contributions of forestry assets to mountain biking activities are significant”.

As part of the research, carried out in May and June 2023, thousands of mountain bikers were surveyed about where they biked and their relevant spending.

The researchers used an input-output model to assess economic impacts and found mountain biking generated NZ$112.3m. Of this, transport contributed NZ$20.2m from expenses like air travel, petrol, and shuttles. Accommodation made up NZ$17.6m, rental and hire services NZ$16.3m and food and beverage contributed NZ$15.2m.

Retail contributed NZ$12m, manufacturing, professional services, construction, primary manufacturing and financial and insurance contributed a collective NZ$18.9m and other sectors contributed NZ$11.5m. Forestry received NZ$261,000 of economic benefits.

Seven of the 10 most visited local sites were in planted forests, with Whakarewarewa Forest taking the top spot with 36.3% of visitors followed by Wellington’s Mākara Peak (14.8%) and Woodhill in Auckland (10.8%). Four of the 10 most visited sites by distant visitors were planted forests.

Yao says if the other six non-planted forest sites closed this would lead to a wellbeing reduction of NZ$2.6m illustrating the higher contribution planted forests make to the wellbeing of mountain bikers. He says the outcomes from the multi-site travel cost model show that the value of the extra satisfaction derived from visiting the top four planted forest locations surpasses that of visiting the leading six non-planted forest sites.

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Source and image credit: Scion

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Carbon-pricing system introduced for BC pulp mills

B.C.’s updated carbon pricing system for large industry will give companies incentives to lower pollution and create more good clean jobs for British Columbians. Starting April 1, 2024, B.C.’s output-based pricing system will see large industries, such as pulp mills and mines, pay for its emissions above a set target, and ensure companies have flexibility, support and incentives to reduce emissions and transition to a clean-energy future.

The pricing system sets a performance standard based on the average intensity for the respective industrial sector. Companies that exceed the standard are rewarded with credits. Companies that do not meet the performance standard will have the flexibility to buy credits or offsets. The standard tightens over time as B.C. transitions toward a cleaner economy and in order to comply with federal requirements.

Industrial operators also have access to the CleanBC Industry Fund, which supports their transition to clean-energy solutions. Since 2019, the fund has invested CA$215 million back into industry and has reduced nearly nine million tonnes of carbon emissions. The fund will be open for new project applications in spring 2024.

B.C. was the first jurisdiction in Canada to bring in a price on pollution in 2008. The Government of Canada’s changes to national carbon pricing requirements meant B.C.’s system needed updating. The shift to an output-based pricing system was a key request of industry following the introduction of the federal carbon pricing backstop. The output-based pricing system supports the Province’s CleanBC goals to lower emissions by 40% by 2030, 60% by 2040, and 80% by 2050.

"It's essential that industry take action on its emissions. This new system holds industry accountable for its pollution while advancing new opportunities for jobs in the transition to a clean energy economy. B.C. is setting the bar for other provinces, which we hope will follow a similar path” said Tom Green , Senior Climate Policy Adviser, David Suzuki Foundation .

"We appreciate that the government held firm and didn't bow to industry pressure by making concessions that undermine climate action. This well-designed climate policy offers incentives for positive change while retaining B.C. industry's ability to remain competitive.

"Given the mounting evidence about the severity of the climate crisis, the system could be even stronger. We believe that as large industry makes real investments to decarbonize production and swap out polluting fossil gas and oil, the benefits of stricter compliance measures will become obvious. We will continue to advocate for more stringent measures, such as exposing more emissions to taxation, when the system is reviewed."

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New Forests Acquires Otiwhiti Farm Forest

In a strategic move that underscores the appeal of New Zealand's forestry sector, New Forests-managed Australian New Zealand Forest Fund 3 (ANZFF3) has completed the acquisition of Otiwhiti Farm Forest in the Rangitikei District. This acquisition not only represents the final investment of the A$866m ANZFF3 fund but also showcases a unique partnership with the local Otiwhiti Land Based Training School, aiming to foster educational advancements alongside forestry development.

The Otiwhiti Farm Forest covers 1,246 hectares in the scenic Turakina Valley near Hunterville. Dan Bridgman, a leading figure at New Forests , emphasised the positive outlook for New Zealand as an investment destination, particularly for its future contributions to the forestry and wood processing industry.

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Source: BNN

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One million ‘Introduction to AI’ scholarships available to Australians

Artificial intelligence (AI) ‘scholarships’ are now on offer to one million Australians, in a bid to increase the nation’s literacy of the technology estimated to be worth A$4 trillion to the economy by the early 2030s.

The free 'Introduction to Artificial Intelligence' microskill course is provided by the Institute of Applied Technology Digital, a technology-focused institute at TAFE NSW, and the National AI Centre (NAIC), coordinated by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO.

The course will provide a non- technical introduction to AI fundamentals and is designed for people at the beginning of their AI literacy journey.

Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan today welcomed the announcement which is an ideal opportunity for workers seeking to upskill, those starting their career in AI, and small to medium business owners.

The microskill is available now through the TAFE NSW Institute of Applied Technology - Digital. Working in collaboration with TAFE NSW, Microsoft, Macquarie University, and the University of Technology Sydney, the Institute of Applied Technology Digital designs and delivers market-leading training that rapidly adapts to industry needs.

The two-and-a-half-hour course will cover:
  • what AI is
  • common AI terminologies
  • the challenges and risks of using AI
  • common misconceptions
  • real-world applications of AI
  • Australian AI case studies
  • advice from industry experts to start your career in AI
NSW Minister for Skills, TAFE, and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan, said: “Artificial Intelligence is already transforming our economy, workplace, education system, and community. This is an exciting opportunity for people nation-wide to advance their AI understanding.

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Source: NSW Government

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Stora Enso expands Harvesting Partner concept

Stora Enso launched its Harvesting Partner concept in November 2022 to encourage more skillful operators and new entrepreneurs to join the forest industry. The concept was initially introduced in Sweden, but it has since then been launched also in Finland, Norway and Lithuania. Stora Enso is currently recruiting for the second generation of harvesting partners that could join the network in 2024.

SEB has been Stora Enso’s partner from the start, and the bank has developed a new financing model to make it easier for the new entrepreneurs to start their business. Based on this model, new machinery is rented with a monthly cost for a four-year rental period after which the machinery will be returned to Stora Enso for maintenance and further use either in a new rental or in training new harvesting partners.

“We are happy to support with a financial set-up that enables Stora Enso to retain ownership and control of the machines with the aim to extend usage over its lifetime as well as prolong the machines end-of-life,” says Jakob Hansson, Head of SEB Product as a Service Incubator for Large Corporates.

“Together with SEB we want to attract more people to join the industry and enable entrepreneurship for people living in the rural areas. The new financing model developed by SEB lowers the barriers of entry to the market as the initial investment by the entrepreneur will be lower due to external financing,” says Mattias Bränngård, Sourcing Director, Harvesting in Stora Enso. “The financing model also enables us to have control of the circularity and further use of the machinery.”

Stora Enso’s Harvesting Partner concept is based on a four- year contract with new or established entrepreneurs. The contract includes financing of new machinery, accounting and HR services, training and participation in Stora Enso’s management and harvesting networks. Through the contract, Harvesting Partners will commit to provide Stora Enso with safe, sustainable and efficient operations and agreed volumes as well as developing their operations further.

Source and image credit: Stora Enso

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Who needs skidders? – elephant logging in Burma

An extract from Ross Lockyer’s book, That’s What Elephants are For appears in the February 2024 issue of NZ Logger. It’s an amazing read – and an amazing story. In mid-1984, Ross Lockyer was offered a consultancy with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as Logging Engineering Consultant for the Project Completion Mission pertaining to the ADB Burma Forestry/Loan Project.

His job was to travel around all the areas that were covered under the project and observe, investigate, assess, evaluate and report on the situation as he saw it at the time. With elephants for skidders and buffalos for loaders, he got far more than he bargained for.

Part of his job was to locate and inspect log-harvesting equipment, which had been by the first ADB Burma Forestry Project. This included logging trucks, log loaders, log loaders, log skidders and chainsaws, road construction equipment such as bull-dozers, road rollers, water trucks, fuel bowser tankers and maintenance and repair workshops.

As well as these checks, Ross was also charged with inspecting and reporting on the log storage and rafting operations, logging and loading operations, sawmills and the traditional Burmese log extraction equipment comprising of elephants, water buffaloes and oxen. Throughout Burma at the time, teak logs were being extracted from the forests on the steep and hilly terrain and by buffaloes on the easier and flatter terrain. Oxen were used mainly on the riverbanks for short hauls on gentle, favourable downhill sloping terrain, or to haul two-wheeled ox carts for transporting logs along tracks and roads.

For the first time in New Zealand, at Wood Transport & Logistics 2024, Ross Lockyer, now 80 years of age, a retired forest ranger, adventurer and storyteller will be telling his story of his experiences on Elephant Logging in Burma.

Retired and living near Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands, friends had been telling Ross for over 30 years that he should write a book about his life and adventures in the forestry and logging industries in the forests of Asia and the Pacific. So, in 2013, he put pen to paper and started writing - "the book".

Ten years later that one book has expanded into five books. All five books have now been published and have sold over a thousand copies to date. The titles include "An Accidental Bushman" (about the making of a Forest Ranger in early 1960s NZ); "Cannibals, Crocodiles and Cassowaries" (a NZ Forest Ranger in pre-independence Papua New Guinea); “The River is my Highway” (stories from the forestry and logging industry in the jungles of Indonesian Borneo).

Meanwhile, Back in the Jungle…” ( a kiwi bushman in the jungles of Indonesian West Irian and North Sumatra); and finally, released in November 2023, “But That’s What Elephants Are For!”; (a forestry consultant working with the logging elephants in the teak forests of North and Central Burma, followed by more stories of adventures in the forestry and logging industries of Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, China, Thailand, Japan, Kiribati and South Africa.

With a gung-ho approach to life (and often his own safety), Ross threw himself into his work and immersed himself in the local cultures and communities wherever he went, learning the languages and customs that helped him fit in and do his job. He had many fascinating and hair-raising adventures and close scrapes, and he encountered many amazing people wherever he went. Indeed, a wonderful and fulfilling forestry career for a country kid from Okato, Taranaki, who at 17 years of age, on the 7th January 1962, fronted up at the NZFS Forest Ranger Training School at the FTC in Rotorua with 28 other keen young men to begin a lifelong career in forestry.

Many of those now 80-year-olds, still keep in regular contact and have become lifelong mates to this day. Ross considers himself fortunate that he has been able to record his stories for the enjoyment of others.

Registrations to the Wood Transport & Logistics 2024 event being run in Rotorua, New Zealand on 22-23 May can be made here

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'Cheaper than a mince pie'

Tradie charges up electric digger then tows it to work with his Tesla

A New Zealand tradie has simultaneously charged up his electric digger and Tesla while towing the earthmoving machine 2.5 hours to a worksite, and says he is sick of the misinformation spread about electric vehicles. With no noise and no dangerous diesel exhaust pollution, electric earthmoving equipment will be a game changer for the health and wellbeing of millions of machine operators and tradespeople.

“I’m a bit over hearing about what you can’t do with EV – much prefer what you can do,” posted Greg Gedson on NZ EV Owners facebook group. “I just drove 2.5 hrs to a job that starts in the morning. Stopped to charge the car and the digger on the way, only needed 20 mins.”

The all-electric digger, a Sany SY19E electric excavator, was recently reviewed by Gavin Shoebridge on his EV YouTube channel Ecotricity NZ. The digger has a 22 kWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery enabling it to run non-stop for 6 hours on the job site.

“This thing will run all day long for less than the price of a mince pie,” says Shoebridge. With this thing you can quite literally bury your competition.” According to the cost of a mince pie in New Zealand in 2022 was $5. To fully charge a 22 kWh battery for $5 the price of electricity would have to be around $0.23 per kWh making Shoebridge’s mince pie claim highly plausible.

While kiwi tradies are already reaping the benefits of going all electric, some Australian politicians are attempting to rehash the culture wars against electric vehicles after the government recently announced its intention to legislate vehicle efficiency standards. A pollution standard that only Russia and Australia still fail to have in place.

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Source: thedriven

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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on … on speed cameras

A man was driving down the street when he saw a flash in his rear view mirror. He realised he'd just passed a speed camera but was sure he was well within the limit.

So to check the accuracy of the camera he drove past again, well under the speed limit. The camera flashed but now he was satisfied it was faulty and feeling very smug.

And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Ken Wilson
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Mob: +61 452 262 337 Web page:

This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at

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