Green Triangle earns gold star
CSIRO Honorary fellow and retired chief scientist, Dr Sadanandan Nambier, told over 200 delegates at the full day conference titled 'Precision Forestry in Action' that the challenge now was learning how to forest in a sustainable way to match the global exponential wood demand.
"You have to maintain and conserve site resources as much as possible.
"The whole business of forestry relies on the right amount of wood at the right time and the right quality.
"The amount of water we have and the soil we inherited, what the foresters, the contractors and the operators have achieved here is a world record in the type of productivity in the quality of timber," he said.
Attended by industry leaders from Australia and around the world, the conference transcended into a professional development forum at the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre where speakers discussed issues facing the future of forestry.
The conference was a prelude to the largest forestry and timber expo in the southern hemisphere which will be held in Mount Gambier over the weekend.
Aimed at sharing experiences in the application of precision technology to business and forestry agencies, the conference focused on new technologies and ways they can be used to boost business.
International and local speakers shared the latest information from the industry, including global developments from forward-forestry thinkers in Europe, North America and South Africa.
Innovations included satellite missions which support strategic forestry investments in New Zealand; integration of new inventory methods in Sweden; utilisation of pre-harvest data methods in Ireland; examples of maximisation of log value recovery in Canada and opportunities for remote and terrestrial systems in South Africa.
The conference was officially welcomed by Parliamentary Secretary of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Honorary Peter (Sid) Sidebottom, who along with major sponsor Forestworks Chief Executive Officer, Michael Hartmann, launched a Skills Scan document.
The document was produced by Forestworks on behalf of the federal government, and outlines recommendations in each sector where innovation is happening and opportunities are available.
Hartmann said the manufacturing sector faced the biggest challenges.
"In our industry it has been hit with a range of imports which we are struggling to compete with.
"Our industry is in the middle of a slowdown because we are losing people and there is a skill shortage," he said of people used by the mining sector.
Hon. Sidebottom concurred that a lot of challenges lay ahead for a sustainable forestry industry in Australia.
"What we've got to do is marry techniques, technologies and the markets together so we are able to do this more sustainably in the future," he said.
Thousands of local and international visitors have descended on Mount Gambier booking out accommodation in the city ahead of the timber expo over the weekend which will showcase the latest innovations hoping to propel the forestry industry into the future.