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Jack Kyle, owner of Narangba Timbers, a supplier of timber fencing in the Brisbane area, has recently published a basic guide to building a timber fence. Source: Timberbiz Mr Kyle stressed the importance of knowing local council regulations, especially for those who own swimming pools. He also provides recommended best practices from Timber Queensland, a timber industry trade group. “Timber Queensland has been helping to define standards and practices for the timber industry in various forms since 1938,” said Mr Kyle. “They are a non-profit organisation that serves as the de facto voice of the timber industry in Queensland. “They represent everyone in the timber industry, from retailers such as us to plantation growers, manufacturers and builders. “They have done a great job of helping the timber industry police itself and adhere to the high standards that homeowners and other consumers deserve.” Timber Queensland updated their recommended practices for timber fences in March 2014. Their data sheet has basic and detailed information on how to ensure that a timber fence is built in a way that it will perform well for a number of years. Mr Kyle presented the basics on his company’s website, preferring to leave the more technical data for those who are building a fence. “We put basic information on our blog as a public service, but always invite those who require deeper information to call us and talk to a customer service specialist,” he said. Narangba Timbers supplies timber fencing, timber flooring and other timber products to the Brisbane area.
The State Government has not ruled out giving more money to prop up cash-strapped Forestry Tasmania (FT). Source: ABC News The Government has confirmed a $30 million equity transfer will keep the Government company solvent as it borrows up to $31 million this financial year to stay afloat. Government company TasNetworks revealed it would give up to $30 million next financial year to the loss-making forestry company in an equity transfer. The State Government rejected Opposition suggestions it had broken an election promise to stop bailing out the company with taxpayers’ funds, saying the money was not coming from consolidated revenue, and was not a subsidy. The Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, did not rule out further transfers. “Look, I’m not going to speculate on what the future might hold,” he said. But he said there was no concrete plans to give FT more money. “We are certainly not planning for further equity transfers.” Forestry Tasmania is asking Tasmanians to have faith the company will eventually return to profitability. Chairman of the state-owned forester Bob Annells said the loss-making company had fundamentally changed how it did business. He told a parliamentary hearing he was optimistic a long spell of tough times for the timber sector would soon end. “But I guess it’s a question of faith,” Mr Annells said. Opposition Leader Bryan Green accused the Resources Minister Paul Harriss of breaking his promise to cut subsidies to Forestry Tasmania. During a fiery exchange with the Opposition Leader, Mr Harriss denied anyone had been misled. Forestry Tasmania has not been able to balance the books. The company lacks export ports in Burnie and in the south, has struggled to find reliable markets for residues and has battled a high dollar. The bid to get certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) remains up in the air. Green groups are lobbying certifiers not to sign off on Forestry Tasmania’s practices. “We think that Forestry Tasmania doesn’t comply with FSC and that they don’t deserve a green tick of approval,” said Markets for Change CEO Peg Putt. Despite the challenges, the company’s board is optimistic. “So I guess it’s a question of faith. Do you want to believe that this industry can continue?” Mr Annells said. This would be a gamble for thousands of Tasmanians whose livelihoods depend on the company’s survival. Treasurer Peter Gutwein denied he should have disclosed a secretive equity transfer earlier. He insists the $30 transfer to Forestry Tasmania is not a subsidy.
Tasmania’s private forest owners hailed the state government’s move to review the policy that preserves the permanent native forest estate at 95% of 1996 levels. Source: Timberbiz The policy entails a virtual immediate end to land clearing for agriculture purposes. “In other words, the farmland you see would be all we will ever have,” said Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) chief executive Jan Davis. “The pending ban was to come into force as a result of a premise included in the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement 1997 that sought to end broad scale clearing and conversion of native forest on both public and private land.” Ms Davis said things had changed considerably in the almost two decades since the 2015 conversion deadline was imposed. “More than half the state is already protected in reserves; and these protected areas continue to expand,” she said. “Expectations that farmers will continue to bear the cost of even more environmental expectations are unfair and unjustified. We have long argued that the 2015 conversion ban should be overturned. “It has stifled increasing production on private land and added to the burden of regulation imposed by the federal government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act; the state government’s Nature Conservation Act, Tasmanian Forest Practice Authority regulations and local council edicts. “The government’s commitment to review this policy is therefore welcome. It will enable an assessment of the current situation, and allow fine-tuning of regulations to reflect actual environmental risk, rather than a blanket approach,” she said. “If the Tasmanian economy is to grow, if we are to prosper, we have to be able to increase and diversify our agriculture. “By very definition, that means farmers must be able to develop their own land. The investment in irrigation schemes has opened many new doors for farmers. This review of the 2015 ban hopefully will address barriers that have prevented smarter farming outcomes. “Private land is just that – private. Farmers should be able to manage their own lands and farming operations without more and more overlays of heavy-handed and unjustified regulatory interference,” Ms Davis said.
Millions of dollars earmarked for reducing Tasmania’s native forestry sector are to be spent on rebuilding it. Source: ABC News After dismantling the forest peace deal, the State Liberal Government has set about rebuilding the native forestry sector. Forestry contractors can now apply for a share of $4 million that was originally earmarked to help them leave the industry. About 90 contractors received exit grants that were offered from 2010 under the forest peace deal. With the industry ramping up since the Liberals took power, many contractors who remained found themselves going into debt to buy equipment and hire more staff. Resources Minister Paul Harriss expected 12 to 15 operators to apply for the current grants. “About $7 million in exit funding that wasn’t allocated is now being spent rebuilding the native timber industry,” he said. Fourth-generation contractor Adrian Bennett from Ranelagh in the Huon Valley is the kind of contractor the Government hopes will apply for assistance. Mr Bennett said he had accrued more than $1 million of debt increasing his capacity to truck timber to export. “We’ve sort of spent all our savings on getting ourselves up and going and increasing,” he said. During the recent turnaround of the native forest sector, Mr Bennett’s company doubled its haulage capacity to 80,000 tonnes. Mr Harriss said of the $7 million exit money $4 million would go towards debt reduction and the remainder would be kept in reserve. “This will help forest contractors who have contracts with Forestry Tasmania manage their debt and launch into the regrowth of the industry,” he said. Contractors who used exit money to leave the sector would be allowed to buy their way back in but only using their own money. “There’ll be no double dipping in this exercise,” Mr Harriss said.
The Ballina Shire Council is looking to crack down on private forestry activity in the shire to prevent the clearing of koala habitat trees and other native vegetation. Source: The Echo Councillor Paul Worth has lodged a motion calling on the council to amend the Ballina Local Environment Plan 1987 to establish a requirement for council consent for anyone undertaking private native forestry (PNF) activity. PNF is the logging of native vegetation on private property, and it requires Environment Protection Authority approval. But Cr Worth said there appeared to be limited assessment of ecological and amenity impacts associated with EPA approvals. “PNF is emerging as an activity in Ballina shire that could result in the clearing of substantial areas of the remaining native vegetation in the shire,” he said “In particular, it is evident that there is interest from both landholders and timber companies in undertaking PNF in the Bagotville, Meerschaum Vale, Wardell, Coolgardie and broader Blackwall Range localities. “A recent example of this is the clearing for PNF purposes on the western side of the Coolgardie escarpment along Wardell Road.” Cr Worth said it was a concern that much of the native vegetation that was potentially suited to PNF was not subject to forestry and clearing regulation by council under the local environmental plan. “This is of concern as council has consistently identified native vegetation in the Bagotville, Meerschaum Vale, Wardell, Coolgardie and broader Blackwall Range localities as ecologically significant and important from a scenic amenity perspective,” said Cr Worth. “More specifically, the Coolgardie Land Use Review, council’s vegetation mapping and council’s endorsed environmental protection zones under the Standard Instrument LEPs indicate important environmental values are present in areas that may be subject to clearing via PNF without a council approval process.” In a comment to the motion, council staff have said that the PNF approval process through the EPA was ‘fairly narrow’ … and there is ‘concern that the process does not provide for an in depth or holistic assessment of the impact of the activity’.
The Jamestown and Wirrabara communities are joining forces to advise the State Government on its approach to the Mid North forestry. Source: The Flinders News Community members have formed the Northern Forests Community Initiatives Working Group to strategically research and develop recommendations for the Bundaleer and Wirrabara forests to take to the government. Locals formed the group in response to a call from Forestry Minister Leon Bignell for local community input on the future of forests following the devastating Bundaleer and Bangor fires. “Our group aims to provide community input in a thoroughly researched and well documented way,” said group chairman Greg Boston. “It is imperative that we respond with a proactive, united voice.” Mr Boston said a priority for the group was replanting and ensuring commercial forestry is a viable industry for the region. Another priority was making safe the use of areas of the forests by the community. “We are in the process of creating a landscape plan which details the areas of forest that need to be replanted and outlines options for the community use areas and areas not suitable for pine plantations,” he said. “Only the most productive areas for commercial forestry will be put forward for re-planting. “However, at this stage we are still waiting on ForestrySA to provide site quality maps of the forest areas with growth data and other integral information regarding the status of the forests following fire damage.” It is expected the maps will be made available this month. Mr Boston said the group was also researching and compiling the local community’s ideas and thoughts regarding the future of the picnic grounds, walking trails, broad-acre grazing areas, heritage buildings, orchards and vineyards. Group members include Anne Brown, Jackie O’Reilly, Paul Kretschmer and Kevin Sizer from Wirrabara and local sawmill operator Ed Morgan, Simon Seppelt, Tracey Dewell, James Lang and John Malone from Jamestown. Community members are encouraged to keep providing feedback. When Forestry Minister Bignell was asked about whether he supported the establishment of the community group, Mr Bignell said it was exactly what he had hoped to see. “At the large public meeting I convened in Jamestown on October 22, this is exactly the sort of reaction I was looking for when I called on people to be proactive,” he said. “The government doesn’t have all the answers regarding the future of the region and I welcome the establishment of the local community group which will help form options for use of the forest lands. “The people with the best ideas are the locals who live in the area and know the land intimately. “What the future looks like is largely the responsibility of local people and I urge everyone to speak up now. It can’t be all about forestry, the region needs a diversified economy not one that is largely dependent on one primary industry but a multitude of industries and businesses.” Mr Bignell also said he was continuing to work with sawmill operators the Morgans on how their business could be adapted to changes.
To complement the ABARES national forest and wood products statistics work is progressing on establishing a data aggregation service for Australia’s forest growers. Source: Timberbiz A contact program commenced in late August, 2014 with 16 forest growers to explore the level of interest in aggregating data on log production and weighted average log prices for domestic and export sales. This covers major companies involved in: Softwood Plantation Hardwood Plantation Native Forest The response has generally been positive and at this stage most of the growers have confirmed participation. In addition some growers have also expressed interest in benchmarking measures of operational performance. At present the national data is published annually with information for sawlog and pulp log volumes. By comparison some other countries such as New Zealand provide more regular information. It is expected the growers’ data series will provide quarterly or six monthly data with detailed log grade data. More information at www.fwpa.com.au
RYN SHAREHOLDER ALERT: LEVI & KORSINSKY, LLP Reminds Investors of Class Action Against Rayonier, Inc. and Its Board of Directors and a Lead Plaintiff Deadline of January 12, 2015 -- RYN
Deadline in Lawsuit for Investors in Rayonier Inc. (RYN) Shares Announced by Shareholders Foundation
ForestTECH 2013 was SOLD OUT three weeks before the event ran. Over 430 forestry managers, forest owners, harvest planners and harvesting contractors from throughout New Zealand, Australia, Chile and North America came into New Zealand to participate in a Steep Slope Wood Harvesting conference and Forest Industry Safety Summit.
Because of the range of innovative new technologies developed since the 2013 event - grapple-equipped hauler carriages, tethered “winch assist” machines, new wheeled harvesters, remote controlled mechanical tree felling - to improve safety and productivity of extracting wood off steeper slopes - a 2015 Steep Slope Harvesting event is scheduled mid-year for Southern hemisphere forestry companies.
Promotions have yet to get underway but already interest is already very high from companies that have approached us to present, to exhibit and to build their own meetings, site visits and tours around the June 2015 event. It’s planned to run again in Rotorua, New Zealand.
At this stage, if interested - or if you represent a major equipment or product supplier involved in wood harvesting and wish to save a space - please get in contact with mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org BEFORE Friday 19 December.