Forestry and timber stories
The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Forestry & Timber sector
Stunning architectural features and bespoke furniture are being crafted out of an innovative timber veneer, which is also helping to preserve Tasmania’s specialty woods.
13 August 2018, Edition 197
It’s a fascinating collaboration. A team of wooden boat builders from the USA is preparing to travel to Tasmania where they will spend months crafting a keel-boat out of our beautiful timber. This will be one of the star attractions at the 13th MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival in February. The seven boat craftsmen are all alumni of the renowned North West School of Boat Building in Washington. They will be arriving in Tasmania in November to begin their mission to build a classic American keel-boat, the Haven 12.5. In the meantime, specialty timber for this project is being sourced and prepared. Hydrowood – reclaimed from the cold depths of flooded hydro lakes where it has been preserved for decades – is being donated for the task. Celery-top pine, a popular wood used in boat building for centuries has been selected as the timber of choice. It is a rot-resistant old-growth timber that bends well and can be used for either structural timbers or planking in boat building. To view the finished product, put a note in the diary for the 2019 MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival which will be held on 8 – 11 February along the Hobart waterfront. For more information visit www.australianwoodenboatfestival.com.au.
10 July 2018, Edition 196
After much speculation, Hampshire has been unveiled as the site of Hermal’s massive $190 million timber mill in Tasmania’s north-west. The Melbourne-based Hermal Group settled on Hampshire after scoping sites in the wider Burnie area. The location of the 80-hectare facility – a twenty minute drive from Burnie – is ideal as it is close to Forico who will be supplying the bulk of the timber. Hampshire was also one of the two sites that Gunns considered for its ill-fated pulp mill before settling on the Tamar Valley. Hermal special projects manager, James Lantry, told The Examiner that the company had secured an outstanding site for a world class facility. Once completed, it will be Australia’s largest plantation-based hardwood mill, and the first ever hardwood cross-laminated production plant. Premier Will Hodgman has described the mill as “an absolute game changer”. It is expected to employ 160 people during the construction period due to begin later this year. The mill will employ more than 200 people when it is operational in mid-2020.
12 June 2018, Edition 195
A record number of Tasmanians are working, with latest figures showing 600 full-time jobs created in March, and ‘new’ forestry is one of the main contributors.
8 May 2018, Edition 194
A homesick Tasmanian has created an Australian oasis 17,600km away on the Shetland Islands – and he even has his own Bennetts wallabies.
11 April 2018, Edition 193
Construction of Australia's biggest hardwood mill — to be fed with plantation-grown Eucalyptus nitens — will begin in Burnie by the end of this year.
8 March 2018, Edition 192
Tasmanian forest management business Forico has signed a 10-year contract to sell carbon credits to the Federal Government. The credits will be earned through a 630ha plantation in the north-east that will be converted from a short-rotation pulpwood crop to a long-rotation softwood crop that will be suitable for domestic processing after 20 or 30 years. It is the first such deal between a forest manager and the Federal Government's $2.28 billion Emissions Reduction Fund. The Chief Executive of environmental lobby group, Markets for Change, Peg Putt, said: "To ... have them showing interest in carbon abatement in plantations is good and moving toward a situation where plantations are used for a higher and better use, like sawmilling."
8 February 2018, Edition 191
A Special Species Management Plan, featuring a “tread widely, tread lightly” harvesting approach, was released by the Tasmanian Government in October.
5 November 2017, Edition 189
The State Government has released a draft Special Species Management Plan for a six-week public consultation period. An accompanying statement said: “Unfortunately, while the plan sets out a way forward for the sector, a large proportion of the resource identified will not be able to be accessed in practice until our legislation to unlock production forests and fix up the unworkable application process for special species harvesting is passed … it is highly unlikely that special species can be harvested from these production forests until Labor – who blocked our legislation in the Legislative Council – reverse their opposition to it.” Andrew Denman of the Tasmanian Special Timbers Alliance welcomed the plan’s release. “As the broader forestry sector moves to a re-growth/plantation-based forestry model over the next few years, the special timbers sector, through this plan, has an opportunity to move in a new direction where special timber management is more specific and individually tailored to improve sector outcomes.”
6 September 2017, Edition 187
All Tasmanian Government projects will now be required to consider locally sourced timber in project design following the adoption of the Tasmanian Wood Encouragement Policy, foreshadowed in last year’s Budget. The Minister for Building and Construction, Guy Barnett, said: “In a first for any Australian State, the policy means wood will need to be considered for use in future public building projects, leading to a wide range of new opportunities to utilise Tasmanian timber.” Mr Barnett was speaking at Federal Group’s newly completed MACq 01 Hotel, which features Tasmanian timbers on exterior and interior finishes. Mr Barnett said the hotel was an example of how building projects could add value to sustainably sourced wood. Planet Ark’s Make It Wood Campaign Manager, David Rowlinson, said: “Responsibly sourced, certified timber is the only major building material that helps tackle climate change.” Mr Rowlinson hopes other States will follow Tasmania’s lead.
4 July 2017, Edition 185