Friday Offcuts – 20 January 2023

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Welcome back. We trust your summer break has been a good one, that the weather has played ball (well, aside from those on New Zealand's East Coast that have recently been taking another beating and the drenching monsoon rains that have fallen across parts of North Queensland this week) and that now you’re recharged, refreshed and reinvigorated for 2023. We’re looking forward again to working with you all this year. The plan is to continue to bring you the very latest in news as well as insights into innovative technologies that we think may assist you in your own business or operation.

We’ll also continue to provide you with the very latest updates on upcoming events, jobs, tenders and equipment posted during the week. Every week the newsletter stats tell us very clearly, it’s the jobs and classifieds board that’s one of the first links clicked by our readers. It’s still by far the most comprehensive and targeted listing of job vacancies within forestry and wood products companies across Australasia. Of course, any contributions, leads or contacts that you wish to supply during the year for wider distribution to our industry will be welcomed. Please send them through and we’ll ensure that they are distributed to our Friday Offcuts community.

To start this year, we’ve built in a full calendar of 2023 technology events that have been set down to be run in 2022. The first six months of 2023 will be hectic with a mass timber construction event, WoodWorks 2023-South being run in the South Island of NZ for the first time in late March, the first major log transport event, Wood Transport & Logistics 2023 for over five years being run in Rotorua on 24-25 May and then a follow-up to the very successful inaugural event from 2022, the Environmental Forestry 2023 event running again in Rotorua on 20-21 June 2023. Further details on upcoming events will be supplied in future issues but at this early stage, you can check out further details and/or mark the dates into your new 2023 calendar.

Finally, ex- tropical Cyclone Hale again caused heartache and misery to many on the East Coast of New Zealand over the break. Te Tairāwhiti again got hammered and for much of this week, the region was still under a state of emergency with families out of home and communities still cut off. These events are becoming more frequent and severe and forestry again was in the spotlight with images (mainstream media of course appear to be very selective with the images being used) of log debris clogging bridges and littering beaches.

Right now, forestry companies are still working with local authorities on the clean-up and repair (with crews and heavy machinery being used) to help impacted communities. Later, the forestry industry, like others, will be sitting down to work on longer term planning to help mitigate the impacts of these adverse weather events in order to protect the region’s land and waterways. Philip Hope, Chief Executive of the Eastland Wood Council took the opportunity to document the aftermath of the recent storms with a series of photos and videos showing the true extent of the damage. If interested, please make contact with Philip ( directly if you'd like to view these. And, that's all for our first week back.

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This week we have for you:

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Forestry practices again singled out after storms

An environmental group has called for a commission of inquiry into forestry practices following reports of multiple properties being inundated by storm debris all over the East Coast. The Environmental Defence Society has called the issue a “disaster”.

Chief executive Gary Taylor said the consequences of inadequate controls over exotic plantation forestry operations had been seen again with massive inundation of private property by slash and debris from upstream forestry land.

“Entire houses at Tolaga Bay have been smashed to smithereens, rivers and streams wholly blocked with debris causing extensive flooding of property, and bridges and beaches covered with massive quantities of slash. This is completely unacceptable. It is a repeating occurrence and must have legal consequences.

“The wider context includes several recent prosecutions of forestry companies for breaching even the weak regulatory regime that currently applies. The courts have slammed operators not only for their breaches but also their cavalier attitudes.”

Taylor said the Government was currently reviewing the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry, but the limited terms of reference meant it would only result in tinkering with the rules applying to plantation forestry. “Agencies seem in thrall to the sector which is dominated by offshore interests which are powerful and influential. Industry representatives, with clear conflicts of interest, dominate the Government review of the Forestry Industry Transformation Plan.

“It is time for a full-blown, independent Commission of Inquiry to take a fresh look at the sector, the rules that govern it, whether clear-felling with its adverse consequences should continue, and where liability should lie for any and all offsite damage such has occurred at Tolaga Bay.” He said it was unjust that private landowners and councils should bear those costs.

“A formal inquiry is urgently needed because these extreme weather events will become more frequent with climate change. A Commission of Inquiry with all its powers, including those to subpoena witnesses, is required to undertake a proper investigation into the forestry sector. A reset in this area is well overdue.”

New Zealand Institute of Forestry Council president James Treadwell said it was early days to be calling for an inquiry. I am not against an independent inquiry but I am against an inquiry which just looks at the forestry industry and how we need to improve. The inquiry needs to look at the broader picture- the history of the site, flood plains and effects of climate change. Why are there houses on flood plains?

“It’s highly erodible soil which has been there since the time there were farms. The government planted the trees there and now we have climate change.” Treadwell said an inquiry could be useful depending on what the terms of references were.

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For further coverage this week on a suggested inquiry, click here and a community petition that's just been set up calling for change in how forest operations are managed in the region.

Right Forest: Right Place: It is time for the forest industry to have a conversation with itself about putting the right forest in the right place in the brave new world where ex-tropical cyclones are the new normal, says Dr Sean Weaver, CEO of environmental forestry company Ekos.

“The damage to Tairāwhiti property and infrastructure from Cyclone Hale is a sign of things to come if clear cut plantation forestry continues to be undertaken on erosion-prone landscapes,” Weaver said. “We need to stop doing clear cutting on erodible lands and transition to continuous cover forestry and permanent forests in vulnerable parts of the country” Weaver said.

“If the costs to clean up the mess and compensate people for property and infrastructure damage from forestry sediment trespass were factored into forestry investment models, clear cut forestry would be far less profitable in such places and probably would not happen,” he said.

“We have many steep, erosion-prone lands that are not suitable for pastoralism or clear-cut forestry. In such places we need to design land use practices to match land use capability,” he said.

Note: Sean Weaver from Ekos will be presenting on Continuous Cover Forestry later in the year at New Zealand's Environmental Forestry conference running in June. Programme details will be out shortly.

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Source: NZ Herald, Scoop, RNZ

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January 2023 NZ log market update

Opinion Piece, Marcus Musson, Director, Forest360

I’m sure most people in our industry were pretty happy to say sayonara to 2022 with the gilded belief that 2023 will see some economic stability in China - now that Xi Jinping has realized covid is as hard to keep under control as a problematic prince. The theory is: Now that covid has taken to China like Harry has to the media, it should blow through the population reasonably quickly and everyone can get back to building things and making things which use logs...without the threat of continued lockdowns.

This belief has been buoyed by increased AWG (At Wharf Gate) export log prices in January with many exporters upping the ante by around $8/m3 over the December offerings. What is important to note is that this isn’t actually a direct result of increased demand, moreover: a realization by Chinese buyers that NZ supply is subdued, in market inventories are tracking down slowly, and the bottom of the market cycle has likely been reached.

Shipping rates have reduced into the very early $US30’s/m3 and the in-market sales prices (CFR) have increased to a bit over $US130/m3 giving an FOB (Free on Board – CFR sales price minus shipping costs) price of around $US100/m3 which is about the point where we can get forest owners paying attention. The simple math on how these numbers translate into actual $NZ AWG sales prices (the gross price that forest owners receive) is as follows: ((CFR price-Shipping cost)/$US:NZ exchange rate))-Port storage and marshalling costs.

Putting this into current numbers we have (($US130-$US30)/0.635)-$NZ20=$NZ137/m3 AWG. But wait, there’s a $7/m3 difference between $137/m3 and the $130/m3 that we have been offered for by exporters. No, Grant Robertson hasn’t been fiddling around in there somewhere; this is exporters profit margin which will include some accounting for vessels and foreign exchange fixed at higher rates. It’s also important to note that different ports have different storage and berthage costs so AWG prices vary between regions.

I have plenty of clients asking what my thoughts are for pricing and demand through 2023, but unfortunately, my crystal ball was stolen in a ram-raid. Looking at the macroeconomics of China, it’s hard to see a substantial (or any) upswing in demand even though there has been a recent announcement of residential construction stimulus. The mitigating factor which will help keep some buoyancy in pricing, is the reduced NZ supply which is likely be carried through the year as a significant number of harvesting contractors have exited the system over the past 12 months.

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Source: Forest360

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Opinion Piece - A tale of two fires

Two separate fires that started from lightning strikes earlier this month reinforce the need to increase the resources available for prescribed burning and plantation protection in Australia’s south-west forests. During just one storm, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) responded to more than twenty fires resulting from over 300,000 lightning strikes across the south-west.

Fire one started in jarrah forest near Kirup on Monday, 9th of January. It had been just two years since the area had been prescribed burned and with low fuel loads, the fire behaviour, even being pushed by winds, was only moderate.

It only took two DBCA fire trucks and one bulldozer to contain the fire to just sixty hectares. Contrast this with fire two started at the same time, 10km south-west of Mumballup. Unfortunately, this lightning strike landed in fuels that had been not managed through prescribed fire for sixteen years.

Despite the best efforts of fire crews, it escaped from the native forest and burned into pine and blue gum timber plantations, inflicting millions of dollars’ worth of damage to valuable tree crops, and destroying at least one home.

The fire eventually impacted an area of over 6,000 ha and at its peak, 40 fire trucks, almost a dozen pieces of earthmoving equipment, two Large Air Tankers, several single-engine water bombers and fire-fighting helicopters fought the blaze.

The cost to extinguish the first fire would be under AU$50,000 while the second fire would be closer to AU$5,000,000 and still counting. This does not include damage to farm infrastructure, lost earnings by volunteers and economic disruption of closed roads and the psychological stress upon the community of contemplating the safety of loved ones and enacting evacuation plans. The difference of $4.95 M in direct cost to taxpayers can be largely attributed to differences in fuel ages and prescribed burning in the immediate vicinity of the ignition point.

Prescribed fire is an essential tool to mitigate the risk of wicked wildfires and help protect the communities, biodiversity and business that surround Native Forests and ensure future investment in Australia’s timber supply. With the closing down of the native forest harvesting and the sawmills that come with it, Western Australia has put all of its timber eggs in the plantation basket.

Without better protection of community assets like plantation forests, investment in new plantations to supply the timber we need will be untenable – the risks will be too great. To get a pine plantation to harvestable age, it must not be exposed to fire for a minimum of twenty-five years.

Already, it is virtually impossible for small plantation owners to obtain insurance for their crop. The massive plantation losses experienced on the east coast during the 19/20 Black Summer have scarred the insurers. Continued losses in WA from fires like those experienced last week make any insurance, let alone affordable insurance, just a daydream.

Local governments in areas where new timber plantations are being established are looking with trepidation at what risks may be being introduced into their community. They are asking questions about what increased demands will be made of their volunteer fire-fighters.

Australia is relying on these plantations to sequester carbon, to offset emissions from our major employers and creators of wealth. Not much carbon is going to be sequestered if plantations keep being rendered into carbon dioxide by fire, before they reach an age where they can be turned into timber for our children’s houses.

The members of Forestry Australia call on the WA State Government to invest further in the successful and proven prescribed burning program, and to commit to native forest fuel age maximums around plantation areas of no more than four years. Overall, prescribed burning activity should increase to exceed 250,000 ha per year. When this level of treatment was applied through the 1970s and 1980’s, plantation losses were essentially zero.

A virtuous side effect of such a policy would be that average intensity of prescribed fires, with less time for fuel accumulation between treatments, would be reduced. This would make the fires “cooler”, with less tree canopy scorching, and increased prospects for mosaics of unburned areas within fire-boundaries, creating refuges and habitat diversity.

The reinforced prescribed burning could be complemented by dedicated mitigation crews, preferably involving Noongar, working on Country, tasked with mechanical fuel reduction, carrying out cool burns in the wetter months, and being available for rapid deployment in suppression efforts during summer.

Photo: the remains of Mandalay plantation from January 9th.

Brad Barr. Brad is a Registered Forestry Professional and volunteer fire-fighter with twenty years’ experience in WA’s forests, and is current Chair of the WA Branch of Forestry Australia, the professional association for forest scientists, private forestry and commercial tree growers.

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New CEO of New Forests appointed

New Forests has announced the appointment of Mark Rogers to the role of Chief Executive Officer, replacing David Brand who will take on a new role as Chair of New Forests. Mark will commence his new role on 3 April 2023, while working closely with David Brand over the first quarter of 2023 to ensure a smooth transition.

Mark joined New Forests in 2016 as Managing Director, Australia, New Zealand and took on the additional responsibility for the United States as Senior Managing Director in 2019, overseeing the investments and business lines in those regions managing teams across acquisitions, operations and investment analytics.

During his time at New Forests, Mark has overseen strong investment performance and assets under management have grown from approximately AU$3 billion to almost AU$10 billion today. Prior to New Forests, Mark held senior leadership roles across other real asset companies where he was responsible for businesses and teams including acquisitions, distribution, project development and finance.

In addition to David’s role as Chair, he will work on strategic growth opportunities for New Forests, looking at new markets and new opportunities for the business in support of New Forests senior executive team. He will continue to chair New Forests’ investment committees and remain as Chair of New Forests until June 2025.

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Source: New Forests

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Burning native timber no longer renewable energy

Labor revokes Abbott government move which allowed energy from burning wood waste to be counted with solar and wind.

Electricity generated by burning native forest wood waste in Australia will no longer be allowed to be classified as renewable energy under a regulatory change adopted by the Albanese government.

The decision, which Labor had promised to consider after it was recommended by a Senate committee in September, reverses a 2015 Abbott government move which allowed burning native forest timber to be counted alongside solar and wind energy towards the national renewable energy target.

The right to burn wood left over from logging to create renewable energy certificates – which provide a subsidy for clean energy generation – was not often used, but conservation groups said it could be an incentive to keep felling native forests. They expressed concern that some power plant owners had plans to start using native forest timber as a supplement to coal-fired generation.

The climate change and energy minister, Chris Bowen, said the change was in step with “strong and longstanding community views” raised in a consultation process that received more than 2,900 submissions. He said the government had put in place “transitional arrangements” for one Western Australian facility that had registered to use timber as an energy source.

“We have listened to the community and acted to address their concerns,” he said.

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The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) was disappointed the Federal Government had bowed to pressure from anti-forestry groups and removed the eligibility of native forest biomass from the Renewable Energy Target (RET), at odds with the international scientific consensus.

Read more.

Source: The Guardian, AFPA

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Fletcher Building invests in wood products sector

Fletcher Building Limited (“Fletcher Building”) on 16 December confirmed two strategic investments in the wood sector.

Wood products is an attractive sector in which Fletcher Building is currently underrepresented. As previously announced at its Investor Day in June 2022, Fletcher Building will proceed with building a new wood panels plant at its current Laminex site in Taupo with a capital cost of approximately NZ$275 million.

The investment involves building a new wood panel production and processing line. The new process will supersede the current particleboard production line by producing cost competitive and superior products that have diverse applications in furniture, joinery, and the broader construction sector. All appropriate consents for this project have been granted and initial civil works will commence in early 2023. The project is expected to take around 2.5 years to complete, with FY26 expected to be the first year of operations.

In addition, Fletcher Building has agreed to acquire Waipapa Pine Limited and Renewable Wood Fuels Limited for a consideration of approximately NZ$97 million. Waipapa produces a range of sawn timber products, including industrial and structural grades, and includes a renewable fuels business.

It is geographically advantaged by being in Kerikeri (sawmill) and Whangarei (timber treatment plant), close to the supply of high-quality logs and servicing its highly valued customers from the Far North to Hamilton. It is anticipated that the acquisition, which is conditional on Overseas Investment Office approval, will be completed in the final quarter of FY23.

Fletcher Building’s Chief Executive Ross Taylor said: “Together, these investments represent our first major expansion steps in the wood products sector and nicely complement our already strong positions in Steel and Concrete.

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Forestry Corp shelves plans to buy Hume Forests

The Forestry Corporation of NSW has shelved plans to buy Hume Forests after facing objections from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission.

The watchdog announced on 3 August that it was making market inquiries about Forestry Corp’s proposal and was inviting submissions from interested parties, with submissions closing on 17 August. However, the ACCC updated its public register late in 2022 to say that the application had been withdrawn.

In its statement of issues on 20 October, the ACCC said it had taken the preliminary view that a proposed acquisition would likely substantially lessen competition in the supply of softwood longs in each of the Tumut-Tumbarumba and Bathurst-Oberon regions of NSW. “The proposed acquisition will remove Hume as a significant alternative supplier of softwood logs in markets which are already highly concentrated,” the ACCC said.

It added that an acquisition could lead to higher prices or reduced service levels such as log quality delivery times for softwood logs over the long term relative to what would be the case under current or likely alternative ownership. Market experts believed earlier that the state government’s motivation for buying the plantations was likely to be that it had lost its own plantations across about 50,000ha during the NSW bushfires almost two years ago. It needed to find wood source to honour contracts with customers. These could be groups such as packaging company Visy or timber manufacturer Hyne & Son.

Hume, which is overseen by Global Forest Partners, holds softwood plantations located between the Tumut-Tumbarumba and Bathurst-Oberon regions of NSW. They comprise about 19,000ha of freehold land with a net plantation area of about 14,000ha and have been up for sale through corporate finance advisers Resolute Advisory.

The asset was expected to fetch a price of close to AU$200m, judging from analyst estimates. The plantations were inherited by Global Forest Partners from the liquation of Willmott Forests about 2010.

Source: The Australian

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HQPlantations CEO appointed

Following an extensive domestic and international executive search, HQPlantations Board of Directors are pleased to announce the appointment of Jason Wilson as new Chief Executive Officer following previous CEO Jeremy Callachor’s resignation late last year and departure in December for family reasons.

“Jeremy’s leadership saw HQPlantations successfully navigate the Covid-19 pandemic, the cessation of log exports to China, the 2019/20 bushfires, and unprecedented periods of extreme wet weather and flooding,” said company Chairman Tom Sarno.

An experienced CEO and senior executive, incoming CEO Mr Wilson holds extensive experience in the forest and timber industry both in Australia and New Zealand, most recently as the head of Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service in the role of Deputy Director-General at the Ministry for Primary Industries. While there, he led the partnership between government, industry and the workforce, and Māori to strengthen New Zealand’s forestry and wood processing supply chain.

“With over 25 years of industry experience, Jason has succeeded as a senior leader across a range of markets and roles including developing engineered wood product businesses, leading the strategic redevelopment of large timber manufacturing facilities, and the merger and acquisition of businesses to achieve growth potential both domestically and internationally,” said Mr Sarno.

Mr Wilson holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Management from Lincoln University New Zealand, a Master of Enterprise from the Melbourne Business School and more recently completed the Senior Executive Program at Stanford University in California. “Expected to join the business in April 2023, Jason is already looking forward to taking the opportunity to spend time with HQPlantations employees, customers and contractors during his early weeks to start building positive relationships and grow our partnerships for mutual benefit,” Mr Sarno said.

Until Mr Wilson’s commencement, HQPlantations will continue to be led by Interim CEO, Bill McCallum. Mr McCallum successfully led Manulife Forest Management (NZ) prior to taking on the role of Managing Director for Manulife Investment Management Timberland and Agricultue Australia where he served as a Director of HQPlantations and other timber and agricultural investments in Australia and New Zealand.

Source: HQPlantations

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Northland firefighters awarded prestigious medal

In New Zealand, Northland firefighters from Forest Protection Services have been awarded the Australian National Emergency Medal for their efforts fighting the devastating NSW bushfires of 2019 and 2020

Employees of Whangārei-based Forest Protection Services have been recognised for their efforts fighting the devastating bushfires of 2019 and 2020 in New South Wales, Australia. On Saturday, 12 Northland-based firefighters each received an Australian National Emergency Medal for their dedicated work, with deployments up to three weeks long.

In addition, 15 firefighters received the Forest and Rural Fire Association New Zealand Medal. Some firefighters participated in multiple deployments, with the last crew home on March 3, 2020. While some of the work was done in conjunction with Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ), a majority of the response was at the direct request of Forestry Corporation NSW, who contacted Forest Protection Services requesting aid.

The crew were extremely experienced, and according to Kevin Ihaka, managing director of Forest Protection Services, “had no problem integrating with local forestry crews in Australia, as most have had experience in Australia, Canada and the USA from previous deployments and are familiar with the systems and practices in Australia”.

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Source: NZ Herald

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Opal Australian Paper stands down workers

A number of Australians learned just two days before the new year that they would be stood down starting from 2023. A paper company in Victoria, Opal Australian Paper, in late December informed 35 of its workers that they were going to be stood down with full pay for an indefinite period of time. The stand downs have been effective from 1 January.

According to AAP, a further 120 workers are facing also being stood down later this month or early next month. The stand downs had been looming for some time at the Maryvale-based paper mill, in rural eastern Victoria, following a supreme court ruling and a timber shortage.

The workplace was reportedly devastated by a court decision which crippled its ability to make paper. In early November, government-owned timber business VicForests lost a Supreme Court case which found it was not doing enough to protect endangered wildlife including two possum species. As a result, the company was ordered to scale back its timber harvesting in parts of rural Victoria.

VicForests was a large supplier for Opal Australian Paper and they have been unable to obtain the necessary materials since for paper to be created. After the court order, the paper producer flagged that stand downs was a very real possibility. VicForests has appealed the Supreme Court decision.


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Calls for more action to protect plantation land

A Western Australian timber company has called for the state government to do more to protect plantation land from fire, amid concerns it could cost about a million dollars to replant hundreds of hectares of timber impacted by fires in WA's South West.

The fire in the Preston National Park burnt at emergency-level for 24 hours and tore through five and a half thousand hectares of native forest, timber plantation and farm-land east of Donnybrook. It's unclear how many timber trees have been lost but the ABC understands two plantations have been damaged and hundreds of hectares of trees have been impacted.

One of the plantations in the Noggerup area is run by the state government's Forest Product Commission. WA Forestry Minister Jackie Jarvis said it was likely some of the trees would be OK. "My understanding is that there's been about 130 hectares of mature pines impacted," she said. "Initial reports are that those will still be able to be harvested and used." "I understand there's about 140 hectares of two and three-year-old pine plantations that will need to be replanted."

The other plantation is owned by WA Plantation Resources and is made up of about 500 hectares of pine and bluegum estate. WAPRES CEO Ian Telfer said he expected about half of the plantation may not be able to be salvaged. "The area affected is a 2020 planting, so two years old, that will need to be re-planted [and] the bluegum areas that we have traditionally range from 12 years or more down to some more recent plantings.

"We'll look to have to harvest them in due course and recover what we can. The cost of reforesting those areas and replanting will be in excess of a million dollars." A full assessment of the area will be carried out once the fire has been put out.

More >>

Source: ABC

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Report on Australia's carbon sequestration potential

CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has published an assessment of twelve carbon sequestration technologies and the role they could play in helping Australia reach net zero emissions. The report, prepared for the Climate Change Authority with co-funding from the Clean Energy Regulator, looks at a range of carbon sequestration options for supporting Australia’s national emissions reduction goals.

In this report, carbon sequestration describes the process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere; and the management of existing carbon stocks, using natural or engineered solutions.

Co-lead author of the report, CSIRO Towards Net Zero Mission Lead Michael Battaglia, said the report brought together scientists with expertise across a range of nature-based and engineered sequestration technologies, to look at their sequestration potential, barriers to uptake, and co-benefits.

The technologies reviewed were permanent plantings, plantation and farm forestry, natural regeneration of native forest, avoided land clearing, savanna burning, soil carbon, blue carbon, pyrolysis biochar, geological storage (carbon capture and storage), bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), direct air capture (DAC), and mineral carbonation.

“We found that nature-based technologies such as permanent plantings, plantation and farm forestry, and soil carbon currently provide significant potential; as does Australia's vast geological storage capacity," Dr Battaglia said.

“Biochar, mineral carbonation and DAC also have significant sequestration potential but are associated with higher costs. Further research and development of these technologies is needed to bring down costs and increase national sequestration potential," he said.

While the report considers the potential for each technology, it does not analyse the impact of competition for land, resources, or energy between different technologies. These will be important considerations when it comes to implementation, as it will mean realisable sequestration is likely considerably lower than technical and economic potential sequestration estimates provided in the report.

Lead of CSIRO's CarbonLock Future Science Platform Andrew Lenton said to help Australia reach its emissions reduction targets, we will need to remove significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. “No single technology will get us there. An integrated and optimised portfolio of technologies will be required," Dr Lenton said.

A comprehensive integrated assessment modelling approach will need to quantify potential and feasible sequestration opportunities and to guide development at the national and regional scales. The report will inform an Insights Paper on carbon sequestration being published by the Climate Change Authority, which will help inform the advice to government on Australia’s 2035 emissions reduction target.

Climate Change Authority CEO, Mr Brad Archer said “This first ever stocktake of Australia’s carbon sequestration potential provides a valuable synthesis of the current level of understanding. It also identifies ways to improve the evidence base to inform Australia’s options for pathways to net zero and beyond."

The report is available here.

Source: CSIRO

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Scion exhibition celebrates 75 years of impact

A new photography exhibition is taking visitors to Te Whare Nui o Tuteata on a trip down memory lane of research and innovation at Scion. In April 2022 the NZ Crown Research Institute (CRI) turned 75 and, as part of a series of events across the year marking the special milestone, staff have dug deep into the archives to celebrate the people and research activity that have shaped Scion’s history of impact in New Zealand’s forestry sector.

Eight photos are on display in an intimate gallery space in Scion’s Rotorua building, Te Whare Nui o Tuteata until April 2023. They are a visual record of Scion’s research expertise and offer insights into the methods and equipment used over the years by scientists exploring radiata pine productivity, site mapping, tree genetics and nursery management – all work that has helped to create New Zealand’s third largest export industry.

Snapshots taken in the field, from the sky and inside Scion’s laboratories transport visitors back in time and serve as a reminder of how technology, fashion and architectural trends have changed over many decades.

Scion’s chief executive Dr Julian Elder says the exhibition has sparked animated conversations and special memories for existing staff and Scion alumni. “Much like their treatment of a treasured family album, our staff have enjoyed curating this exhibition and taken pleasure in poring over dozens of images pulled from our archives. It’s been a chance to reminisce about the hundreds of people who have contributed to Scion’s research over the years and reflect on the many changes at our site near Whakarewarewa Forest where we have been building our reputation as forestry science leaders since 1947”.

“For a long time, our site was behind closed gates, but with Te Whare Nui o Tuteata we have a new space to share our activity with the public. We invite everyone to visit our exhibition to take in some special moments in time, recorded on film.” Anniversary celebrations will continue in 2023.

Photo: Scion scientists J Nairn and Ruth Gadgil check lupin growth in a glasshouse in 1969

Source: Scion

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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... thinking of others

I asked old Maud how she lost her husband.

“Well, he needed a blood transfusion, but his blood type was not on record, so the doctors asked me if I knew what it was, as they urgently needed to know, in order to save my Norman’s life.

Tragically, I’ve never known his blood type, so I only had time to sit and say goodbye.

I’ll never forget how supportive my Norman was. Even as he was fading away, he kept on whispering to me, “Be positive, be positive!”

"That was my Norman! Always thinking of others.”

And one more.

On that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 3 470 1902
Mob: +64 21 227 5177


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

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

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