Friday Offcuts 18 January 2019
To start 2019, we’ve included some positive “good news” stories to get you into the right frame of mind. Over the Christmas period, if in New Zealand and you were able to tear yourself away from the BBQ and the outdoor activities on offer, you may well have picked up one of a number of adverts on TV promoting forestry and wood products that appeared during the ad breaks. They looked great, they were sharp and well-focussed. Congratulations to the Forest Owners Association. The timing was spot on. Details on five different adverts that are appearing and links through to each (for your own viewing or future use) are included in the story below.
Also, we cover this week a story (one of a number being produced to paint a more positive picture of the industry to the wider community) on a young logging contractor thriving on working and training with a harvesting crew in the lower South Island of New Zealand. For the educators, a four-day whirlwind tour co-ordinated by ForestLearning also ran this week for Queensland teachers. Like the FOA advert included in this week’s issue, the initiative was aimed at showcasing the many opportunities open to students in forestry and wood products.
As we move into 2019, we’d really encourage you to continue to send these types of stories and leads through to us. We’ll cover them and help spread the word. Amongst the more negative news routinely picked up by mainstream media, they’re uplifting. They’re also profiling some of the really positive things that are been done day in-day out on the ground, they’re providing impetus to others to pull an article, story or video together and of course, more often than not, they’re being picked up by other media which in turn is getting the positive message on the industry and those working in it out to a much wider audience.
Finally, late last year early details were supplied to readers on the region’s major wood harvesting event run in New Zealand every two years. HarvestTECH 2019 runs in Rotorua on 26-27 June. The full programme for the two-days can now be viewed on the event website (www.harvesttech.events). As anticipated, exhibition stands (inside and outside the venue) have gone very quickly (as can be seen here). If as a major supplier you still want to ensure that you pick up one of the last remaining spaces left, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org very smartly. Further details on the event will follow in future issues.
In this week’s bumper issue we also profile one of the key presenters at both the New Zealand harvesting event and the HarvestTECHX 2019 event (www.harvesttechx.events) being run up in Vancouver on the 12-13 March. American logger Eric Krume continues to innovate. He’s well known for constantly seeking out and developing technologies best suited to the differing forest conditions that his logging crews are encountering from one setting to the next. Eric is now perfecting his latest innovation – a fully hydraulic 100-foot yarder for logging steeper terrain. Details can be found in this week’s issue.
On that upbeat note, enjoy this week’s read, the first of many planned for 2019.
This week we have for you:
New wood panels prefab operation for AustraliaQuintessential Equity has hailed the opening late last year of a new Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) processing and offsite manufacturing factory at Avalon Airport’s new industrial precinct, as a major win for both the City of Geelong and the building industry’s march toward more sustainable methods of construction.
Executive Chairman of Quintessential Equity, Shane Quinn, said the launch of Cross Laminated Offsite Solutions’ (CLOS) factory will create local jobs, support sustainable development and bring significant potential to grow an advanced manufacturing industry in Geelong.
“Green design is no longer an option, it’s an expectation. We believe every new building in Australia from today onwards has to be designed with sustainability top of mind. The CLOS factory in Geelong will be a game-changer for the construction industry in Victoria and beyond. Local, accessible mass engineered timber will help put Australia in contention to meet and exceed global standards like WELL Ratings and the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
“We’re excited about CLOS because Quintessential Equity wants to use CLT technology – we’d love to construct our first CLT building in Geelong. Building with CLT is sustainable and efficient. Eight times the amount of carbon is emitted to produce a tonne of concrete compared to a tonne of timber, and building costs can be reduced by up to 20 per cent during construction,” said Mr Quinn.
Quintessential Equity has a strong track record of green design and supporting local economies. “One of our earlier projects in Parramatta set the benchmark for exemplar sustainability winning the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) Best Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Project.
We’ve also halved the carbon footprint of the NAB’s headquarters building in Adelaide and recently achieved global best practice at 1 Malop Street right here in Geelong, which also created hundreds of local jobs,” he said.
The CLOS factory, set to open mid-2019, will “pre-fabricate” engineered timber products into walls, floors, roofs and other building components, adding the necessary cladding, insulation and plasterboards. The materials will then be sent to building sites where they are assembled and used in construction, using a similar principle as IKEA flat pack furniture.
While CLOS will initially import the cross laminated timber (CLT) used, the company aims to become Australia’s second CLT producer within five years, which would create around 100 direct local jobs as well as secondary employment in areas such as transportation. Along with CLT processing and offsite manufacturing, CLOS will process laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and glued laminated timber (glulam).
CLOS Founder and Managing Director, John Fitzgibbon, was previously part of the building team for the new WorkSafe building in Geelong, where he saw an opportunity for Geelong to lead the way in mass engineered timber manufacturing.
“Mass engineered timber like CLT has so much potential. When you look at places like Europe and parts of the US, it’s clear Australia isn’t doing enough of it,” said Mr Fitzgibbon. The current prefabricated housing market in Australia is a AU$4.5 billion sector, or 3 per cent of the AU$150 billion construction industry, whereas Germany and Sweden’s prefabricated modular housing accounts for about 20 per cent and 70 per cent of their respective industries.
“There’s real opportunity for a major advanced manufacturing industry in Geelong – we have the space, the local workforce and the lifestyle that makes workers want to stay and live in the area. With the demise of hard manufacturing and the resurgence of white-collar jobs, I see advanced manufacturing as the next stage of Geelong’s economic growth.”
HarvestTECH 2019 details now on lineFollowing on from the early announcement at the end of last year, full details of the two-yearly wood harvesting event, HarvestTECH 2019 have now been set in place and full details can now be found on the event website, www.harvesttech.events.
The 2015 harvesting event, HarvestTECH was a SELL OUT. The 2017 event likewise sold out. Both at the time were the largest gathering of harvesting contractors, forestry managers, forest owners, harvest planners and all of the major equipment suppliers to the logging industry seen in New Zealand. Around 450 met up in Rotorua, New Zealand.
In addition to having most logging contractors from throughout the country attending, the events drew in a large contingent of contractors and forest managers from throughout Australia, as well as attracting key equipment suppliers, researchers, forestry companies and international contractors from Europe, the US, Canada, Papua New Guinea and Asia.
2019 is shaping up to be another standout. Already, as well as key local equipment and technology suppliers, most major international equipment providers will be bringing in international expertise for the event.
Leading contractors have already committed to present, as part of the two-day event, on new and innovative technologies along with some pretty clever operating practices that they’ve employed. This includes processes which are making a significant difference to their both their operations productivity and safety.
So, what’s being covered?
- Recent innovations in steep slope and winch assist harvesting
- Getting the best out of existing hauler & ground-based operations
- Harvest planning - new systems really making a difference
- Effective use of collected data from your harvesting operation
- Options for eliminating log sorts and reducing landing sizes
- Tools & Systems for harvesting smaller woodlots
- Remote sensing technologies for harvest planning and operations
- Solutions for improving in-forest communications
- Increased automation and mechanisation - new R&D
- Remote control, robotics, virtual reality and automation in the bush
- Filling the skills gap in harvesting
The full programmes can now be viewed on line. You can check out what’s being planned on the event website, harvesttech.events.
As anticipated, at this stage, many of the exhibition stands have been taken. If a supplier to wood harvesting operations in this region and you haven’t as yet booked a space, best get onto it (contact email@example.com or Tel: +64 7 921 1384) to avoid missing out.
Further information relating to this major event will follow.
Forestry hits the screens over the summer breakMany New Zealand readers – and travellers to the country over the Christmas break – will have picked up coverage on local television pushing the forestry message. There are five clips in total highlighting the benefits and contribution that forestry is making to the country, to the community, to the environment and to the economy and the array of exciting employment opportunities that are on offer within the industry. Details on each with a link to the clip which can be used in your own promotions or web sites are highlighted in the story below.
The first of the Love our Forests television commercials has been running on TV One since June 2018 after being launched at the Forestwood Conference in Wellington. Designed to appeal to a wide audience of New Zealanders who may not know anything about forestry, this commercial covers as many aspects of the industry as can be done in 30 seconds; science and technology, employment, regional development, safety and our status as a clean industry. The challenge was also raised to sheep and beef farming to be acknowledged as New Zealand’s number two primary export earner. The commercial features our industry people from Kaitaia in Northland to Otautau in Southland.
This television commercial, highlighting the environmental benefits of plantation forestry, first appeared in the Face TV series ‘Forest Call’ in August 2018. With a few tweaks it began on TV One and online in December. This commercial is targeting people who may have picked up the myths of plantation forests being dreadful for the environment. The featuring of New Zealand’s most famous wooden structure, Wellington’s Old Government Building, illustrates that forest carbon sequestration goes on well past the life of the tree the timber came from. We got Liza Stanbra, the Scion scientist who showed off how pure forest rivers were for the original 2016 Love our Forests poster, to reprise her role for this video. A logging crew went through the site just the day before our film crew and we were lucky there were some shots left to take.
A 15 second version of the forestry promotion environmental advocacy commercial was edited to go to air on TV One starting in January 2019. This advertisement features a drone shot of the under- construction wooden-engineered Beatrice Tinsley Building at Canterbury University. The commercial shows off whio and kokako at home in our plantation forests to address some of the negative myths about planted forests circulating in society.
This 15 second television commercial, which began featuring on TV One in January 2019, concentrates on the economic and recreational opportunities in forestry, while also mentioning environmental benefits. We had thought of including some of the non-timber forest products in this commercial, but decided that showing off a hunter carrying a pig on his back may not go down too well with some delicate urban viewers.
Acknowledging the vital importance of recruitment into the forest industry, this 15 second commercial went to air on TV One in January 2019, and illustrates the range of forest industry jobs that are available to young people, from people actually in the forest to working in the laboratory on biosecurity technology. The underlying theme to the public at large is still that our planted forest industry is beneficial both economically and environmentally.
Source: Forest Owners Association
Glue Laminated Timber expansion underwayHyne Timber were joined by the Acting Premier and Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, the Honourable Cameron Dick, local member, Bruce Saunders MP and Mayor, George Seymour to officially turn the first sod ahead of construction of their new Glue Laminated Timber (GLT) production plant.
News of the massive capability expansion in Maryborough was announced last October after the company secured a grant through the Queensland Government Jobs and Regional Growth Fund. During the sod turning ceremony, Hyne Timber’s CEO, Jon Kleinschmidt said the new building will be constructed using the company’s own products.
“The new building will be constructed using our own GLT, manufactured at our existing plant in Maryborough to further showcase capability and over 40 years of GLT manufacturing experience.
“Further, Hyne Timber remains committed to using Queensland products and services throughout delivery of this construction project with a priority on Fraser Coast businesses where possible. Every part of this development will celebrate and showcase Queensland businesses and skills as so many businesses and people have supported us over our 137 years of operations.” Mr Kleinschmidt said.
Hyne Timber continues to partner with Queensland company, Stirling Machinery, who are supplying the new production equipment which is made up of 14 different machines. Queensland project management company, MCD are overseeing the site development, working with Badge Construction and local Architect Adam Perrier of Bloc Design.
With construction due to commence within the next few weeks, up to 80 jobs will be created in what has been labelled by local service providers as one of Maryborough’s largest developments in recent history. The recruitment of a range of permanent, specialist roles has already commenced with more operational and specialist jobs created as production scales up.
Hyne Timber’s GLT Sales Manager, John Hesse said the company has been experiencing an increase in both enquiries and demand in GLT as consumers search for sustainable building solutions.
“There is currently a lack of Australian supply options so the commissioning of the new, additional plant towards the end of the year presents a game changer for construction. This new, highly automated plant will increase volumes, improve the speed of delivery while broadening our product capability to capitalise on new growth opportunities,” Mr Hesse said. Feedstock to meet the increase in capacity is secured from Hyne Timber’s own sawmill, also located near Maryborough.
Photo: Glulam Sod Turn - George Seymour, Jon Kleinschmidt, Cameron Dick, Bruce Saunders, Chris Hyne and Greg Moynihan
Source: Hyne Timber
Logging in a living technology laboratoryA few years ago, American logger Eric Krume expressed some frustration that technology had not moved quickly enough to adapt to Pacific Northwest conditions and dynamics. A lot has changed since then. To address this, Eric constantly seeks technology with flexible solutions to suit the differing forest conditions his logging crews encounter from one setting to the next.
His inventiveness has led to his other business - equipment manufacturing through Summit Attachments for other loggers. In addition to other developments, Eric is now perfecting his latest innovation – a fully hydraulic 100-foot yarder for logging steep forests.
A constant thirst for new knowledge makes Eric an ideal choice as one of the keynote speakers at the two upcoming major wood harvesting events;
1. HarvestTECHX 2019 ( www.harvesttechx.events0 that runs in Vancouver, Canada on 12-13 March 2019, and
2. HarvestTECH 2019 ( www.harvesttech.events) that runs in Rotorua, New Zealand on 26-27 June 2019.
Eric isn’t afraid to take risks or share his knowledge. “A lot of people, including my competitors, come to see what I’m doing. I don’t mind so long as I’m getting some good, honest feedback from them,” he says.
While Eric enjoys the challenges inherent in the design and manufacture process, he prides himself on proving the technologies out in the forest with boots on the ground himself. Other loggers tend to get very interested in new ways to work when it is one of their own who makes a real breakthrough as they know it will be practical.
Krume Logging is now developing higher production potential of his hydraulic yarders, combining it with pre-bunching on steep slopes to increase grapple payloads and hence, productivity. Eric will be sharing his latest developments at the two harvesting events planned for 2019.
Link to online article.
The attraction of operating multi-million-dollar machinesScott Thomas is a young man with an exciting future. Aged just 21, he is currently working for Gamble Forest Harvesting in a fully mechanised 8-man hauler crew in Otago. Scott has found his passion, and that is driving big harvesting machines.
I caught up with Scott in Flagstaff Forest, part of the City Forests estate high above Dunedin, during a visit with Kevin Marsh, City Forest’s harvesting and OSH coordinator. Here the crew was operating at full tilt, with a daily harvest of 500-600 tonnes of second-rotation radiata pine. This equates to 18-20 truckloads of logs leaving the skid site every day.
“I really like operating the machinery,” says Scott, who left school at 16, and went straight into the bush – or rather, into the machines that work in the bush. He has only ever worked in mechanised operations, and joined Gamble Forest Harvesting early in 2018 after stints with a couple of other Otago contractors.
Scott is now being trained to operate a relatively new addition to the array of big machines operated by Gamble Forest Harvesting. This is a winch-assisted John Deere 909MH self-levelling feller-buncher, which on steeper terrain is attached to “ROB” – a 850j John Deere Remote Operated Bulldozer. ROB carries two 500-metre steel cables which secure the harvester from up-slope. All ROB operations from starting the bulldozer to operating the winch can be controlled from the cab of the feller-buncher, so making for a multi-million-dollar one-man operation.
“It’s an unreal piece of kit,” says Scott. “I’ve been really lucky because Tony (Gamble) has taken the time to train me. Tony is the expert – he still handles all the tricky stuff. There’s nothing like learning on the job with these machines, and it’s not every contractor that has time to train people.”
Scott reckons he can operate nine of the eleven machines on-site and is adept at processing, skidding and loading. He is climbing the qualifications ladder quickly, and has been working his way through a raft NZQA certificates, recently completing his National Certificate in Forest Harvesting Operations.
“I learn new things every day at work,” says Scott. “I learn about operations, but also about safety and how to look after the environment.” Owning and managing his own crew is on Scott’s list for the future. “First I need to learn how to plan and optimise harvesting operations.”
Scott also reckons he has a few big advantages over his mates, some of whom are tradesmen, others who have been to university. “I may have to get up earlier than them, but I have a great job and I earn more than most of my friends. Also I think forestry’s reputation as a dangerous industry is unfair. We have the best health and safety systems of any industry; there are huge precautions in place.”
Gamble Forest Harvesting is a certified contractor, and has worked for City Forests for many years. Owner Tony Gamble likes his crew members to be versatile, so they are all trained to operate multiple machines. “What I’m looking for are intelligent, motivated people,” says Tony. “We’re seeing more mechanisation and automation all the time, so it’s all about people’s attitude and versatility. Scott works hard and is really keen to learn, so he has all the right attributes and I’m happy to spend time training him.”
Source: Harriet Palmer, Journalist, supported by Forest Growers Commodity Levy
Key wood message delivered to teachers“A four-day whirlwind tour, where a delegation of Queensland teachers participated in a number of activities focused on forestry education and the importance of forest certification”.
Responsible Wood was invited to participate in the ForestLearning coordinated field tours and workshop at the AgForce School and Industry Partnership Program’s Food, Fibre and Agricultural Educators conference that ran on 13-17 January 2019 in Brisbane. Highlights of the conference program that have been coordinated by ForestLearning, an initiative of Forest and Wood Products Australia, included a visit to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland (DAFQ) Wood Science Research Centre in Salisbury, Brisbane as well as a bus field visit to Responsible Wood certified AKD Softwoods in Caboolture and a HQPlantations pine plantation at Ningi.
ForestLearning works with Australian educators and the forest and wood product industry to provide free teaching and learning resources for Australian classrooms K-12. The tours for the conference provided educators with the opportunity to get up close and personal with the forestry industry, meet industry representatives from across the sector and to discover first-hand the forest and wood product renewable sector.
Forest certification was explored with teachers within the presentations delivered by Responsible Wood who outlined the importance of certification in validating the environmental credentials of timber and paper-based products at its origin. According to Jason Ross, Marketing and Communications Officer, the tour provided an ideal opportunity to meet with educators one on one to discuss the forests, social and environmental stewardship and timber, the ultimate renewable.
“We know that timber is the ultimate renewable, what this tour allowed us to do was engage with teachers directly, discussing the issues facing our industry today and into the future. The delegation represented the educators of tomorrow’s minds. The aim of the tours and workshop was to provide teachers with information to assist with the education and curriculum requirements,” Mr Ross said.
Source: Responsible Wood
Land Information NZ develops wildling toolLand Information New Zealand develops tool to enable public to help fight spread of wilding conifers, which can threaten productive farmland, native ecosystems, tourism, economy; Wilding Watch can be used to find new infestations and upload photos.
A new tool to enable the public to help fight one of New Zealand’s most invasive species has been created by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). Wilding Watch can be used to find new infestations of wilding conifers as well as upload photos. In the wrong place the pine trees can take over landscapes threatening productive farmland, native ecosystems, tourism opportunities and our national economy.
“The app allows users to see for themselves the spread of wilding conifers across the country and upload their own images to help identify new invasions across New Zealand,” says LINZ Biosecurity and Biodiversity Director Dave Mole. “New information and images from land owners and the public will improve efforts to tackle the spread of wilding conifers, helping our native flora and fauna to thrive right across the country.”
Conifer seeds can be blown many kilometres by the wind, enabling them to spread across landscapes. Seedlings quickly infest an area, and if they’re not removed, they can grow into dense, impenetrable wilding conifer forests, which is why it’s important to identify even just single trees.
“Our knowledge of where wilding conifers are located has significantly increased since the launch of the National Wilding Conifer Control Programme in 2016,” explains Mr Mole. “Part of that has been the creation of the Wilding Conifer Information System which allows authorities to enter details of where wildings are located and the control work taking place to eradicate them.”
Wilding Watch is now taking this information to the wider public, building on the Information System which has won awards in New Zealand and the United States. “Trees that would not be identified for months or even years will be brought to the national programme’s attention much more quickly,” says LINZ Biosecurity and Biodiversity Advisor Helen Payn.
“We’d like to encourage everyone with an interest in protecting New Zealand’s landscapes and ecosystems to start using it, particularly if you’re out over the summer tramping, climbing, hunting or even just picnicking with the kids. All you need to do is share a photo of the trees and your location. With the public telling us about new infestations, the national programme will be able to achieve greater success in controlling wilding conifers.
Wilding Watch can be accessed here.
Another story appearing in the media this week says that according to the Department of Conservation (DOC), 5 per cent more of New Zealand’s high country is being covered by wildings every year, and a fifth of the country could be taken over within the next 20 years if drastic action is not taken. It's that bad, that dramatic. Due to early neglect, the spread of wilding conifers has increased exponentially since about 1990. The areas of established thickly wooded wilding forest are still relatively small - a few hundred thousand hectares. But another 1.5 million hectares is now liberally sprinkled with seedlings and saplings. You can check out the story by clicking here.
Source: Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)
NZ$36 million to tackle regional erosionTe Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand) has announced funding of almost NZ$36 million through the Hill Country Erosion Fund (HCEF) to enable much-needed erosion control in the regions. The HCEF supports proposals to protect the most vulnerable hill country landscapes, where the main treatment is tree planting.
“We’re pleased by the level of interest from councils, with 12 applications received in this latest round – four of which were from regions that had not previously applied,” says Julie Collins, Deputy Director-General Forestry and Head of Te Uru Rakau.
“The annual cost associated with hill country erosion is estimated to be between NZ$100 million and NZ$150 million through lost soil, nutrients and production, and damaged infrastructure and waterways,” says Ms Collins.
“The 12 new HCEF programmes will take place between July 2019 and June 2023 and will deliver significant improvements in erosion control. For example, these range from building regional capacity and capability to plant trees, to farm planning and land treatments including planting poplars, willows and other indigenous and exotic species.
“We estimate that over four years, these programmes will result in more than 13 million trees being planted and treatment of more than 21,000 hectares of land,” says Ms Collins. “These will contribute to the Government’s One Billion Trees Programme, and deliver environmental and a range of other benefits across the country.”
Information about the successful applicants is available at mpi.govt.nz/hce
$400 a day to plant trees but no one wants the jobPay rates of $400 a day are not enough to attract workers to plant trees, potentially putting a brake on the New Zealand Government's one billion trees by 2028 campaign. Forest nurseries have doubled plantings to 100 million tree seedings in response to Government incentives, but finding staff is the biggest hurdle to getting them in the ground.
Forest Management director David Janett said the bottleneck was not so much acquiring seedlings from forest nurseries, but finding people to plant the trees. "We are fully booked up for this year." Planting rates in the North Island were reaching 60 cents a tree, which equated to pay rates of $300 to $400 a day. "And we still can't get people."
"The greatest impediment is finding the labour to plant the trees. We can mechanise a lot of the work, but we can't mechanise a person on a spade," Janett said. Tree planting was done in autumn and winter and seasonal workers from the Pacific Islands would need to be recruited.
Forest Nursery Growers Association president Kevin Haine said its member nurseries would grow 100 million tree seedlings this year, almost double the 54m trees grown two years ago. Of this, the Government was responsible for about 20m trees through its Crown forestry partnerships, such as its agreement to establish a commercial forest on Ngati Rehia iwi land in Northland.
Tree planting had already increased to 70m trees last year in response to demand for replanting of harvested forests, as the "wall of wood" from a peak planting in 1994 reached maturity. "A positive aspect is that all the logged land is being replanted in trees. This is in contrast to about five years ago when carbon credits were low and it was cheap to get out of forestry and into farming."
Nursery growers were aware that a change of government might lead to a change in tree-planting policy, which had occurred before, so were wary of gearing up too quickly, Haine said. "The contracts signed have only been for one year. The Government hasn't signed any long-term contracts, so it's year-by-year. More >>
Forest Industry Advisory Council announcedSouth Australia’s forest and forest products sector is set to benefit from a new Forest Industry Advisory Council that will help drive the industry forward. Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said he was thrilled to be delivering on this election commitment, which will bring together key industry stakeholders to provide advice to the State Government on further developing the forestry sector.
“This initiative aims to strengthen communication between government and industry, allowing stakeholders to discuss strategic policy issues and work towards common objectives,” said Minister Whetstone. “The Forestry Industry Advisory Council of South Australia will play an important role in identifying how industry and government can create the right environment for business to thrive.
“The Council – to be chaired by Wendy Fennell of Fennell Forestry – comprises captains of industry who will help drive our development agenda. Eleven representatives have been appointed, each bringing a very high level of industry knowledge and commercial responsibility”.
“Through the Council we will maintain a strong working relationship with the Australian Forest Products Association and other industry stakeholders.
The Forest Industry Advisory Council Members
- Wendy Fennell (Chair), Managing Director, Fennell Forestry
- Mark Rogers, Managing Director, New Forests
- Laurie Hein, Managing Director, Green Triangle Forest Products
- Jill Stone, Three Streams Farm and Farm Forestry expert
- Ian McDonnell, Managing Director, NF McDonnell and Sons
- Linda Sewell, Chief Executive Officer, OneFortyOne Plantations Pty Ltd
- Ian Tyson, Chief Executive Officer, Timberlink Australia Ltd
- Tammy Auld, Woodflow Manager, Timberlands Pacific
- Martin Crevatin, National Operations Manager, PF Olsen Australia
- Peter Badenoch, Managing Director, Plantation Treated Timber
- Emma Daly, Executive Manager, Van Schaiks Bio Gro
New satellite to be launched with IR capabilityAustralia's national science agency, CSIRO, has announced that it would be extending its Earth observation capabilities by acquiring Australia's first CubeSat designed to detect invisible infrared light. To be known as CSIROSat-1, the new satellite will allow researchers from CSIRO and other institutions to ‘see' features that can't otherwise be seen using satellite imagery in the visible spectrum.
Although the satellite is a pilot and relatively small, the data collected will be valuable for detecting land cover changes such as flooding events or deforestation, detecting bushfires through smoke, and studying cloud formation and the development of tropical cyclones, as well as many other applications.
Traditionally, satellites are about the size of a refrigerator, have long production and assembly schedules, and are expensive to develop and launch. CubeSats are miniaturised cube-shaped satellites units, with a single unit being 10cm by 10cm by 10cm. They are lower cost, faster to build and cheaper to launch than larger satellites. With these low barriers to entry, they are a cost-effective option for trialling new technology and space research in low Earth orbit.
In addition to enabling scientific research, CSIROSat-1 is a demonstration project, aimed at furthering development of the technology to support growth of Australia's advanced manufacturing, imaging and data processing capabilities for small satellite systems.
Expected to be launched in 2020, the AU$2 million project will be funded by CSIRO, a grant from the Science and Industry Endowment Fund, and in-kind support from industry partners. Director of CSIRO's Centre for Earth Observation Dr Alex Held said South Australia-based start-up Inovor Technologies would design, assemble and build CSIROSat-1.
As the only Australian company manufacturing satellites using a fully integrated Australian supply, they provided the added benefit of upskilling the local advanced manufacturing sector. CEO of Inovor Technologies Dr Matt Tetlow said CSIROSat-1 would be a ‘nanosatellite' made up of three cubes, stacked one on top of the other, about the same size as a loaf of bread.
"CSIROSat-1 will carry a sensor with infrared imaging capability, the first time an Australian satellite has operated in this spectrum," Dr Tetlow said. "In addition to collecting information about Earth, it will be a platform for developing advanced on-board data processing capabilities."
Other collaborators and research partners in the project include the University of New South Wales – Canberra, the Australian National University, and Defence Science and Technology Group. Data derived from CSIROSat-1 will complement that collected by NovaSAR-1, a new radar satellite in which CSIRO has a 10 per cent tasking and data acquisition share.
The use of Earth observation data for services such as remote asset management, and environmental monitoring and management, was one of the growth opportunities outlined for Australia in our recently published report; Space: A Roadmap for unlocking future growth opportunities for Australia.
Round 2 opens for forest industry research projectsThe Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation’s (NIFPI) opening of the second round of project proposals.
“Following the announcement late last year of the successful recipients in the first round which saw close to AU$9 million in funding for 12 projects announced, this new round will support many more research and innovation opportunities for Australia’s forest industries in order to grow our $24 billion-a-year industry,” Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton said.
The Launceston and Mount Gambier NIFPI centres are both calling for applications for round 2, which will close on the 15 February 2019. The Launceston NIFPI is seeking research and development projects in improved utilisation of the forest resource, new product development, non-timber forest products and services, improved efficiency and safety along the supply chain.
The Mount Gambier NIFPI is inviting research and development projects in new product development, tree growing, improved efficiency and safety along the supply chain, precision management, social licence and robotics, automation and Artificial Intelligence.
Information on how to apply can be found here.
Start 2019 with a bang with these four stepsAs the New Year starts up, it’s time for small businesses to look ahead to 2019. A new year is a brand-new opportunity, a chance to start with a blank slate, and the best way to ensure the highest chance of success is to plan for it.
Business owners need to remember that while it’s easy to become absorbed by the day-to-day running of the business, their success depends on their ability to step back from that and objectively work on the business.
The University of Pennsylvania’s George Day recommends several key areas business owners can look at to make meaningful changes to their business.
Invest in talent
Leading companies put talent at the top of their list and invest time and money into scouting and attracting expertise to lead transformative initiatives. Continued success will foster more success which is how companies like Apple and Samsung have stayed on top for so long. On a smaller scale, businesses will confirm that exceptional talent can exponentially enhance a company and attract new clientele.
Look outwards for ideas
The most successful companies look outside for ideas – turning to customers, data, industry and experts. Top businesses invest heavily in customer experience maps, a map of every touchpoint a consumer will experience from lead to customer.
Consider investment into analysis and research to continually adjust, adapt and reshape your business. Collect the customer data you already have and analyse it to make strategic business decisions. If you don’t yet have data, start collecting – targeting social media campaigns, competitions and newsletters are places you can start.
You can’t get ahead without taking calculated risks. Research suggests that many companies are following the lead of start-ups and venture capitalists – encouraging risk-taking in their businesses through rapid prototyping and implementation of lean start-up methodologies.
Companies like General Electric in the US encourage employees to think up concepts and develop the most standout ideas. It’s a catalyst to encourage creativity, freethinking and innovation, develop talent and enhance employee engagement.
Growth and innovation don’t just happen in an organisation. They have to be nurtured, encouraged and sustained through calculated risk-taking.
Bartercard’s eBook outlines how business owners can use the trade exchange platform to increase their market share, gain a competitive advantage and achieve financial success, by incorporating Bartercard into the day-to-day running of their business.
Automate where you can
Automation is a critical aspect of a successful business in 2018. Automate as many tasks as you can so you don’t have to do them manually, opening up time and space to focus on taking your business to new levels.
Tools like MailChimp for automated newsletters, Buffer for scheduling social media posts and Quickbooks for keeping track of your expenses, can make your processes cheaper, more efficient and effective. Marketing is at the core of every successful business and the marketing automation space is full of tools.
There are platforms which can manage your leads and build campaigns in a few simple steps, triggering when they are sent at every step of the customer journey from the first point of contact. They can also track activity from the first visit to the latest purchase and capture and calculate user metrics so you can refine and adjust based on what works and what doesn’t.
Buy and Sell
... and one to start the year on ... all the luck
A man goes into a doctor's office feeling a little ill.
And on that note, enjoy your weekend. For our Australian readers, having baked in a furnace now for a week or so, relief according to the Bureau of Meteorology isn't that far away. Apparently, on Tuesday of this week, you held all 15 of the world's hottest temperatures with the hottest place recorded being Tarcoola in inland South Australia, which reached 49.1 degrees. So, roll on the cooler weather. Cheers.
We welcome comments and contributions on Friday Offcuts. For details on advertising for positions within the forest products industry or for products and services, either within the weekly newsletter or on this web page, please contact us.
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