Friday Offcuts – 4 December 2020

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A couple of weeks ago we reported on the first salvo being fired by Chinese authorities that was starting to impact on the Australian forest products industry. Amidst curbs being placed on Australian exports of lobster, barley, wine, copper and coal destined for China (and tariffs of up to 200 percent being placed on Australian wine announced last week), bark beetles found in export logs were being cited as the reason behind the stop put on log exports out of the Victoria and South Australia.

Since the announcement a few weeks ago, those involved in wood harvesting operations in south-west Victoria and south- east South Australia have been laid up. More than AU$70 million of plantation harvesting and haulage equipment is "parked up" because of the lack of work. No ships carrying softwood logs have sailed out of Portland for more than two weeks, leaving tens of thousands of tonnes of logs stacked around the port. Already it’s estimated that about AU$9 million has been lost because of the current spat with more than AU$100 million worth of annual log exports (and a large number of jobs) being at risk unless the current impasse can be resolved.

Some great news this week though on recruitment and training. Post COVID-19 has seen a boom in the number of kiwis enrolling in forestry training programmes. A 314% increase in enrolments over the past 12 months has been recorded with a good deal of the increased interest coming from fees being removed from apprenticeships. It’s needed though. More than 5,400 people are required to fill roles in the industry over the next five years. As detailed by a number of contractors, despite the new enrolments in training courses around the country, recruitment still continues to be a challenge though.

And from the East Coast of New Zealand, a forestry training programme run through the Eastland Wood Council has been rewarded for its success in providing local forestry contractors with ‘work ready” employees. The Generation Programme has now been going for three years. It's just received another boost in funding of $440k which will enable it to operate for at least another two years. This is yet another excellent example of a training initiative that’s been set up because of the urgent need to find skilled employees within the region. It’s supported by local forestry companies and the wider community and it’s delivering the right skills and people back to the industry.

And finally, as we move towards the end of what has been a tumultuous year, for advertisers and for those supplying material for upcoming issues of Friday Offcuts, our last issue for this year is Friday 18 December. For planning into 2021, our first issue is scheduled to go out on Friday 22 January . If you have any questions relating to advertising in the lead up to the end of this year and start of next year, please make contact directly with kerry.apthorp@fridayoffcuts.com. And that’s it for this week.



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Forestry industry post COVID-19 busier than ever

COVID-19 recovery training numbers tracking well in the New Zealand forestry sector, with more trainees than ever carving out a career in the industry

With a significant increase in the number of Kiwis enrolling in forestry training programmes over the past 12 months and more than 5,400 people needed to fill roles in the industry over the next five years, the forestry sector is busier than ever.

Industry training organisation Competenz has reported a 314% increase in enrolments in the past 12 months, which CEO Fiona Kingsford believes is in part due to the government’s post-COVID-19 funding boost – a shot in the arm that has seen fees removed from all apprenticeships and other financial support directed to employers.

Through the TTAF (Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund), all apprenticeships and traineeships are free from July 2020 to December 2022 for currently enrolled and new apprentices. The Fund also covers Levels 3 to 7 NZ Certificates traineeships and micro-credentials in a number of sectors including forestry.

“Additionally, there is the government’s apprenticeship boost, which provides relief for our employers and protects the jobs of workers in the early stages of their apprenticeships. It also allows businesses to take on new apprentices to help combat an ongoing skills shortage and post-COVID unemployment. The government has shown a real commitment to getting New Zealand industry training back on track to lead our post-COVID economic recovery,” says Ms Kingsford.

William Oldham owns Proforest Services in Dunedin. He has 20 staff, swelling to 35 in the winter and takes on new trainees at the end of every planting season. William says the government assistance has helped him expand his business.

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of trainees in our business. Training is expensive and before the government stepped in, we were very choosy about who we invested in due to the cost. But now we can invest in training everyone who would like it. “Often people come to work for just a pruning or planting season, but now they will stick around and we’ll train them up, usually through a Competenz apprenticeship. And we’re so busy – we could do with another 10 people!”

Further north, Amy and Toby Satherley’s company ATS Logging in Hawke’s Bay has also seen a jump in the number of people wanting to work in forestry and enter into apprenticeship programmes. Currently Amy has 26 staff, four of whom are doing Competenz apprenticeships while others are working towards national certificates.

“There are quite a few young people who come into the industry with little or no experience and no tickets. But nowadays there’s a push to have some qualifications against your name and the government funding has definitely helped encourage people into training. Amy says the past 18 months have been hard in the forestry industry, with volatile export markets and COVID-19. “Export prices were dropping before COVID and we’ve been on productivity restrictions, which have only just come off but the outlook now is generally more positive.”

The financial support that is available for both learners and employers will reach those who need to retrain in a new industry due to Covid-19, and school leavers who may face an uncertain future in the job market, according to Ms Kingsford.

“There will be a swathe of school leavers entering the job market at the end of this year and they have just been given a real boost. An apprentice wage subsidy enables more young people to undertake on-the-job training, get paid and gain nationally recognised qualifications, providing tangible opportunities that may not have been available otherwise, which is great news for the forestry industry,” she says.

Another South Island-based forestry business, Johnson Forestry Services in Mosgiel, has 40 staff on its books and according to owner Steve Johnson, “at least 10” trainees. While Steve agrees there’s been a lift in the numbers of apprentices in the industry, he says recruiting people is still a challenge.

“There is so much work out there we can’t keep up. We need another 10 people at least and they are hard to find. We are recruiting and training people who are new to the industry and also retraining people who have been displaced through Covid. We have three Competenz assessors who regularly visit our business to support those in training and they are booked out for months – they can’t keep up! The industry is booming. The challenge now is to recruit even more people.”

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Green Triangle feels China export bans

The customary roar of trucks and harvesting machines across vast softwood plantations astride the Victorian-South Australian border has turned to near silence. Two weeks ago, crayfishing boats were left moored in the port of Portland as the crayfishing season began.

As China ramps up its assault on Australian exports to include tariffs of up to 200 per cent on Australian wine last week, those who harvest the forests and the sea in south-west Victoria and south-east South Australia have been reeling for weeks.

China's recent trade bans on logs and crayfish are causing a crisis in Portland and what is known as the "green triangle" – a cross-border area rich in 340,000 hectares of plantation forests.

No ships carrying softwood logs have sailed from Portland for more than two weeks, leaving tens of thousands of tonnes of logs stacked around the port and in danger of deteriorating to the point they won't find a buyer.

More than AU$70 million of plantation harvesting and haulage equipment is "parked up" for lack of work, according to the chair of the Green Triangle Forest Contractors Group, Wendy Fennell, who is co-owner of one of the biggest forestry industry and transport companies in the area.

Chief executive of the Port of Portland Greg Tremewen said China's ban on logs was putting the economy of the port and the entire green triangle at risk. "At stake are hundreds of millions of dollars," Mr Tremewen said. "Thousands of jobs rely on this [forests export] industry ... The federal government has to find a way to sort out this problem urgently."

More >>

Source: SMH

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Significant Australian softwood plantations sale

Forestry investment giant Global Forest Partners LP has put a portfolio of Australian softwood plantations on the block, sparking expectations of one of the biggest domestic forestry deals in the past decade.

The Australian Financial Review reports that Global Forest Partners is seeking a buyer for the Green Triangle Forest Products (GTFP) softwood business, which owns plantations in the "green triangle" in South Australia and Victoria and services sawmills that supply the residential construction market.

Potential buyers were told the up-for-grabs portfolio was a 25,000ha freehold estate that investment manager Global Forest Partners had been involved with for the past two decades. Sources said boutique advisory firm Resolute Advisory had started shopping the business to potential buyers in Australia and offshore and sent a sale flyer to ahead of a two-part auction.

The portfolio is being pitched as the jewel in the "green triangle" crown, given its balanced age profile and best-in-class growth rates for softwood in Australia, as well as its established management team and status as a supplier to the residential construction market, which is a net importer of softwood.

GTP is located close to other major estates owned by big Australian forestry investors including the Future Fund backed OneFortyOne, Sydney-headquartered New Forests and global player Hancock Timber Resource Group. It shapes as the biggest forestry deal in the "Green Triangle" region since South Australia privatised its forestry assets in a AU$670 million deal in 2012 that was sold to OneFortyOne.

For further information click here for the media release for the sale of Green Triangle Forest Products.

Source: Australian Financial Review, Resolute Advisory



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Major harvesting event running in 2021

If you’re involved in wood harvesting, you’ll remember well the major logging event, HarvestTECH 2019 that ran a couple of years ago. It ran in Rotorua, New Zealand and the event SOLD OUT well in advance of it actually running. It was by far the largest ever gathering of its type seen in New Zealand with close to 500 logging contractors, harvest planners, forestry managers and equipment and technology suppliers into the region’s logging industry attending.

Roll on two years. HarvestTECH 2021 is being planned with the two-day event running in Rotorua, New Zealand on 13-14 April 2021. The conference programme is already full. Registrations are now live and exhibition spaces, as expected, sold out six months before the event runs.

It’s going to be another major turnout and after the major disruptions of 2020 (bush fires and a slow down through excess log inventories in Chinese ports at the beginning of the year, COVID-19 lock-downs and then a halt on log exports out of some Australian States into China towards the end of the year), it will be well overdue.

So, it’s going to be another huge turnout. All major key suppliers to local wood harvesting and log transport operations have put their hand up to be involved and include;

McFall Fuel, Cookes, Eagle Technology, BOA, Duxon Donaldson, Randalls Equipment, AGrow Quip/John Deere, Tracplus Global, WorkSafe NZ, Porter Equipment, SouthStar Equipment, Lubricants NZ, Komatsu Forest, West-Trak Equipment, Finance NZ, DC Equipment, Remsoft, FISC, TDDA, TerraCat , Braford Industries, Footwear & Apparel, EMS, Husqvarna, Rearsense Warning Systems, Trimble Forestry, Waratah, Toi Ohomai, Seeing Machines, C3, Hydraulink, Shaws and Chainsaw & Outdoor Power.

“A few extras have also been added to the event this year for those attending” says Brent Apthorp, FIEA Director. “Topics like mechanised harvesting on steeper slopes, integrating automation & robotics into wood harvesting operations and best practices around ensuring the environmental sustainability (roading, stream crossings and harvest residues management) of logging operations will be covered. With a raft of new technologies being developed and adopted by some leading companies, the 2021 event will also be outlining new log scaling and measurement technologies, log docketing options through the wood supply chain, wood flow logistics and log transport innovations.”

“As an added bonus, the very popular forestry safety event run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association, Forest Safety & Technology 2021, is also being held at the same venue on the first day, Tuesday 13 April” said Brent Apthorp. This is going to enable delegates from both events to network during the breaks and it’s also going to capitalise on the large number of trade exhibitions that will be set up over the two days for those attending”.

And finally, with the uncertainty still surrounding travel and border restrictions that may or may not exist in April 2021 because of COVID-19, for the first time, live links from the New Zealand event will be set up for those unable to travel into Rotorua. We had in 2019 a large contingent of forestry companies and contractors come into New Zealand from Australia and North America. This means the full two-day event can be viewed in real time or if delegates are going to be tied up in the forest during the two days, each recorded presentation will be able to be viewed later.

Like 2019, it’s anticipated that places at the venue again will go very quickly. Full details on the programme along with registration information can be found on the event website, www.harvesttech.events/ht21



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Funding boost for Generation Programme

Eastland Wood Council’s Generation Programme has received a huge boost from Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) who have topped up the coffers by NZ$441,000 through its One Billion Trees Programme.

EWC chief executive Kim Holland says the funding has secured the future of the programme for the next two years. “It is fantastic to strengthen our relationship with Te Uru Rākau through this kind of support and to see them invest in forest industry training like this,” said Ms Holland.

“It means we can continue to develop the programme to ensure it meets industry needs. This recognises the success of our Generation Programme in providing skills and people to our industry work ready. The industry and contractors are snapping up our trainees – that says so much.” At the heart of the programme is health and safety, ongoing training and plenty of mentoring to give candidates the best possible chance of success in the future.

“The forestry industry is a significant employer on the East Coast and there is an ongoing demand for skilled and trained forestry workers. To ensure there are trained people, ready to go and aware of the hazards of their work, sound training programmes, such as the Generation Programme, are required,” says Annie Hindle, Acting Director of Forest Development, Grants, and Partnerships, Te Uru Rākau.

“We are proud to support the Eastland Wood Council in their efforts to provide contractors with ‘work ready’ employees by investing in the training and upskilling of our forestry workforce.”

Ms Holland says COVID has meant a particularly tough year for so many, but Te Uru Rākau stepped in to support when it was needed. “Our programme has had to adapt as things rolled out. We established online learning during COVID Alert Levels 3 and 4, and made sure our trainees were all safe when returning to the new normal.”

There are currently 14 contractors working with the Generation Programme, all of whom contract to EWC member companies. “The success of this programme comes through our ability to continue to recruit, even in a very challenging year,” says Ms Holland who also tipped her hat to programme manager Siobhain Fyall.

The programme is now in its third year, and the current intake is its seventh. “It is great we have the continuity of both the programme and the ability to retain the likes of Siobhain and continue to grow the forestry industry relationship with Tūranga Ararau whose pastoral care involvement had been crucial to success for a number of candidates.

“We have interest in the programme from far and wide, with trainees moving to Gisborne to train with us and then work in local forestry,” says Ms Holland. “We have been blown away by the number of women who are stepping up to take part in the programme. It is great to see and it is making such a difference to people’s lives.”

Over the three years, there have been over 60 trainees, with 33 trainees – men and women – continuously employed in forestry, with 14 more moving into other industries.

Next year the programme will accept rolling enrolments, allowing people to tap into the training as they are looking for work. “It also means we can place trainees into employment on a rolling basis so the contractors don’t have to wait for the end of a cohort.” The practice has already been successfully trialled with trainees who entered the programme with experience but needing to gain tickets.

The newly-formed Central North Island Wood Council is in the throes of establishing its own Generation Programme in Tokoroa where they will follow the Tairāwhiti blue-print but tailor it to meet the requirements of the industry in their region. “I am very proud of what we have achieved here and we are all looking forward to 2021,” said Ms Holland.

Photo: Generation #7 on a site visit - Pete, Damon Ashley, Harli, Api, Siobhain (GP Manager) Mike, Vaughan, CPM Logging at Waituna Forest with Logic Forest Solutions

Source: Eastland Wood Council



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Falcon given wide berth by logging operation

A pair of karearea/New Zealand native falcons found by a logging crew have been given a wide berth so their two eggs can hatch. The area of forest where the birds were found, on New Zealand’s east coast, will not be harvested until the eggs have hatched and the chicks are old enough to fly away.

Aratu Forests harvest planning manager Andy Costello said even though the timber would have devalued by that time, they took comfort it was for a good cause. The karearea is the country's most threatened, and fastest, bird of prey with around only 4,000 breeding pairs left in New Zealand.

The nesting pair and their eggs were found by a team of breaker-outs from the Stubbs Contracting Log 4 crew. Mr Costello thanked the Stubbs crew and the effort they put into an appropriate management plan, and moving logging operations away from the area.

“As additional security for the nest we've put predator traps around the nest to give the chicks the best chance of survival. We often see karearea in our forest. Usually we see them hunting or passing overhead. This time, however, it appears that the karearea established a nest within five metres of a cable logging operation, during operations”.

“We think the falcons built the nest while we were operating in the vicinity, in doing so evading our annual karearea nest monitoring programme.” Mr Costello said as part of Aratu's internal environmental systems, all their staff have an awareness of rare, threatened and endangered species.

The karearea is an endemic bird with an “at risk/recovering” status.

Source: gisborneherald

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Forest Owners recognise climate emergency declaration

“It is clear, with this week’s declaration by New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, that the Government now recognises the importance of this issue for New Zealand and each of us, as New Zealand citizens,” says NZ Forest Owners President, Phil Taylor.

In doing so, it’s important for everyone to recognise the key role that trees, and forests play in mitigating climate change in the short term, while we unite to take action to deal with the carbon emissions at source, he added. “Unless New Zealand takes the opportunity to take action on both fronts, we will have trouble meeting our international obligations for emissions reduction.”

Taylor said the alternatives are neither desirable or palatable to either Government leaders or us, as citizens. New Zealand is not in a position to renege on or modify our emissions reduction targets. The only other option would be to purchase carbon credits on international markets using capital which can then not be invested within New Zealand, and nobody wants that possibility.

“Our key message for all New Zealanders is that forestry has a critical role to play in mitigating the effects of climate change. We urge the Ministers responsible for setting policy to also recognise the opportunities that forests can bring to this problem.”

“There is a lot of misinformation regarding the role of trees on farms and in the right places in the rural landscape. We urge everyone involved in rural land use to take the opportunity to enhance our environment by planting trees.”

The challenges and opportunities for a wide range of stakeholders will be covered in the FIEA Carbon Forestry 2021 Conference running on 15-16th June 2021 in Rotorua, New Zealand. The keynote speaker for this event will be announced shortly.



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Record WA Indian sandalwood harvest

The world's second-biggest producer of Indian sandalwood has completed its largest ever commercial harvest in Western Australia's remote Kimberley region. More than 106 hectares of timber has been put through Santanol's processing shed in Kununurra, where the sweet scent of sandalwood wafts through the air as it is dried, graded, and fed through grinding equipment.

From there the processed chips are trucked more than 3,000 kilometres south to the company's facility in Perth, where the sandalwood oil will be distilled and refined over the next 12 months. Santanol managing director David Brocklehurst said after many years spent trying to perfect its forestry model, this was the company's most important harvest yet.

"This is one of our very early plantations," he said. "They were still learning the art of growing sandalwood, so for so many of our trees to have that much heartwood is really encouraging. The results from this will be incredibly valuable for us across the balance of the estate and how we manage it moving forward."

The Indian sandalwood producer, which was bought by global forestry giant Mercer International in 2018, owns more than 2,000ha of trees across the Ord Irrigation Scheme. Over the past four years the company has been selling its Santalum album oil to fine fragrance markets in Europe, North America, the Middle East, India, and China. Often described as "liquid gold", nearly half of all perfumes contain sandalwood oil.

Photo: Santanol has harvested more than 100 hectares of sandalwood this year, which is processed at this facility in Kununurra.(Facebook: Santanol)

More >>

Source: ABC

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$3B boost for Canadian forestry sector

The Canadian forestry sector received a $3-billion boost in Canada’s fiscal update this week – but with the focus mainly on ecological management, a national forestry association says there are still opportunities for further development in the industry, especially when it comes to the bioeconomy.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented the fall economic statement late Monday, noting that Canada will see a $381.6 billion deficit this year, with the possibility of more pending further COVID-19 related lockdowns. The number is the result of the federal government’s COVID-19 aid package, which so far totals $490.7 billion.

Freeland said the government expects to spend $70 billion to $100 billion over the next three years to boost the country’s recovery from COVID-19, but that the full breakdown of funds is still to come. She expects one million jobs to be created as a result of the investment.

Included in that stimulus spending is money for “nature-based climate solutions.” Starting in 2021-22, the government will allocate $3.16 billion over 10 years for Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to work with provinces, territories, NGOs, local governments and Indigenous communities to plant two billion trees.

Another $30.6 million in 2020-21 will funnel through NRCan to the provinces and territories to offset costs associated with COVID-19 safety measures for small and medium-sized businesses in the forest sector, including tree planting operations.

And starting in 2021-22, the government plans to provide up to $631 million over 10 years to facilitate the restoration of ecosystems, wildlife protection and resource management of Canada’s grasslands, wetlands and peatlands.

Source: Canadian Biomass



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Announcing Russ Taylor Global

Your Friday Offcuts team is pleased to provide an announcement from a veteran FIEA conference speaker and one of our favourite Canadian wood export experts, Russ Taylor.

Wood Business and Market Consulting. Russ Taylor is going back to his roots when he started his first consulting company, RE Taylor & Associates Ltd, back in 1992 by announcing that he’s setting up a reinvented company, RUSS TAYLOR GLOBAL.

Russ’s return to consulting work, as well as selected strategic analysis areas, follows on from his 25 years of leading International WOOD MARKETS Group and then the completion of a three-year employment contract with FEA as part of the WOOD MARKETS’ sale agreement. Russ may have “retired” from FEA, but not from the wood business! Russ will now be working with his extensive global network of experts.

For further information check out russtaylorglobal.com or make contact via russtaylor@russtaylorglobal.com

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Forest Growers Levy rate to increase

Directors of New Zealand’s Forest Growers Levy Trust have raised the rate on Harvested Wood Materials, for the first time since the levy was introduced by a forest grower referendum in 2013. The Chair of the Levy Trust, Geoff Thompson, says clear support for the value of the investment, led to the decision to raise the levy from 27 cents a tonne to 33 cents.

“We had overwhelming support in our levy referendum at the beginning of last year, from small and large-scale foresters, even more than when the levy was first voted on.” The FGLT was set up under the Commodity Levies Act, where producers of a commodity can vote to impose a levy on production for common-good projects. The levy has raised about NZ$10 million per year in recent years.

Geoff Thompson says Covid-19 in China early in the year and the lockdown in New Zealand soon afterwards, was a severe hit on levy income and required a fresh look at how spending commitments could be met, and the prudence of replenishing reserves. “Our main priority is research, to fund projects which increase forest productivity, whether in large forests or in farm woodlots. We fund major investments in harvesting technology, forest management and mechanisation.”

“Another priority is the Forest Industry Safety Council and its projects to make forestry a safer place to work after the horror stories early in the decade. We still unfortunately aren’t at zero fatalities and serious injuries, which is the aim, but this year we’ve had the lowest fatality rate in six years,” Geoff Thompson says.

“Biosecurity is no less vital for us than for any other part of the primary sector. A biosecurity officer is now part of the FGLT Secretariat’s staff. Projects like these allow leveraging of other funding from the Government sector. Our biosecurity funding is an additional eye-out for all the pests and diseases which may arrive in New Zealand and harm native trees or the horticulture industry.”

Geoff Thompson says the decision followed close consultation with the Forest Owners Association and the Farm Forestry Association. “We also surveyed owners of forests when we did the referendum last year. The consensus was that we had set the levy rate too low, and it should be about 35 cents a tonne, so more work could be done with it.”

“The change will also meet new challenges in the industry, such as the political attacks on landowners’ right to prevent a land use choice of planting trees for harvest and carbon credits.” But looking forward, we need to assist in the huge and vital area of research into new wood uses, such as resins which replace plastic, transparent timber sheets that can replace glass and biomass use for no-emission energy production. Trees are a huge part of the bio-economy future.”

Source: FOA



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HomeBuilder program extension essential

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed the announcement of an extension of the HomeBuilder program, which further demonstrates the Morrison Government has listened to the new home construction sector and responded.

As well as extending HomeBuilder until the end of March 2021, the Federal Government has pushed out the construction commencement deadline from 3 months to 6 months, and increased property price caps for new builds in the key markets of NSW and Victoria, which are both welcome refinements to the program.

The Chief Executive of AFPA Ross Hampton said, “The Morrison Government’s quick action on COVID-19 coupled with the introduction of HomeBuilder has effectively saved the livelihoods of thousands of Australians. This extension and refinement mean that the housing construction sector will continue as the engine room for growth and jobs in Australia’s economy, and that includes the timber products sector.”

“The program coupled with State Government complementary stimulus measures have been effective in increasing consumer confidence, bolstering new home and major renovation demand, and underpinning many regional jobs and families across Australia.”

For more information on the extension of the HomeBuilder program announcement, click here

Source: AFPA

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New Gippsland Forest Hub launched

The Gippsland Forest Industries Hub (GF Hub) has officially been launched and stands ready to contribute to the future of the forest and wood products industry in regional Victoria.

The Gippsland forest and wood products industry is a dynamic and sustainable provider of regional employment in the community, driving economic activity and delivering essential products based on a renewable resource that sequesters carbon. The Gippsland Region is home to some 1.43 million hectares of productive forests, including 90,000 hectares of plantations as well as native forests. The forest growing, harvesting, transport, processing and manufacturing sectors in Gippsland employ some 3,400 people directly.

The GFHub, including members from the forest growing, timber processing, contracting, education and local government sectors, is the latest of 12 similar Hubs located in key forestry regions throughout Australia and established as part of the Commonwealth Government’s 2018 forest policy commitments.

Mr Simon Gatt said he was humbled to have been nominated as Chair of the new hub and was looking forward to working with the committee as it focuses on three key goals for the next year:
- development of a 30 year strategic plan;
- facilitating the role of innovation and regional research to develop a framework for future skill needs;
- identifying issues, needs, and opportunities for industry development.

Mr Gatt has worked in the forest industry for the past three decades and is the operations manager for Hancock Victoria Plantations where he is responsible for the delivery of operations across their Gippsland estate. He has worked in both public and private sectors across a range of native forest and plantation settings.

“We are looking to identify opportunities for a growing industry into the future to make the industry sustainable while supporting local regional communities to thrive and assist in the dissemination and promotion of strategies and solutions to industry and community for the benefit of regional towns in Gippsland.

The effects of COVID19 have had a dreadful impact in Victoria, but at the same time have highlighted the importance of the forestry sector in domestic made products such as paper and packaging products and additional opportunities that could be developed.

“To assist us in the delivery of this work, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Lesia Clark to the GF Hub. With a wealth of experience in forestry, including education and training and stakeholder engagement, Ms Clark is the ideal candidate to drive the Hub’s important work,” said Mr Gatt.

Ms Clark said she was looking forward to getting stuck into the essential job of promoting and growing the industry in Gippsland. “The GF Hub has been formed with a focus on constructively and effectively engaging the community, industry, educators and government. We plan to contribute to the development of a strong, deliverable strategy and action plan for sustaining industry growth in Gippsland” she said.

Source: GF Hub

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Wellons expands into Australasia

For over 50 years, Wellons has been a leading supplier of biomass-fired energy systems, timber dry systems, and related products and services to North American and international forest products companies. Since incorporating in 1964, Wellons has designed and manufactured more than 370 Biomass Boiler and Energy Systems, over 50 Cogeneration Projects and more than 1,500 Timber Dry kilns. Wellons timber drying systems utilize steam, thermal oil or natural gas direct fired heating systems.

The company’s headquarters and main manufacturing facility are located in Vancouver, Washington. With additional manufacturing facilities in Sherwood, Oregon; Surrey, British Columbia; and Montreal, Quebec, Wellons maintains over 215,000 square feet of manufacturing capability. Wellons has just appointed a well-known timber drying specialist, Keith Robertson ( keith.robertson@wellons.com as their Director of International Business Development to represent the company in Australasia.



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... and one to end the week on ... men who lack adult supervision


























And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Must be about time to start looking for Christmas presents huh?

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, Fax: +64 (03) 470 1906
Web page: www.fridayoffcuts.com


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

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