Forestry and timber stories
The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Forestry & Timber sector
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
Innovative business Hydrowood — and the government decision-makers who backed it — have struck an unusual jackpot in Tasmania’s manmade lakes.
1 May 2017, Edition 183
Tasmanian blackwood has been chosen for the restoration of a massive 16-tonne pipe organ at Adelaide’s St Francis Xavier Cathedral. A rare Canadian Casavant Frères pipe organ was moved from Montreal and rebuilt in Adelaide. The organ’s 3,500 pipes, weighing 16 tonnes in total, were painstakingly reassembled under the supervision of a renowned South Australian master craftsman, Lex Stobie. Britton Timbers at Smithton supplied Mr Stobie with blackwood for the façade, case work and other associated cabinetry around the incredible instrument. Blackwood had the right colour and grain to achieve a fresh, modern look in a traditional church setting.
6 April 2017, Edition 182
A legally blind Tasmanian furniture maker has been selected to exhibit his work at the Euroluce lighting show in Milan, Italy, this month. One of the world’s biggest lighting trade shows, Euroluce hosts about 500 exhibitors and admitted more than 300,000 attendees last year. Duncan Meerding makes lamps from tree stumps that would usually be discarded as waste wood and has been working recently on the fitout of a Hobart hotel. Mr Meerding told The Mercury his loss of vision at age 18 had helped formulate his design approach. “Whether I like it or not, my visual field does influence my design aesthetic and it’s something I probably would have shied away from explaining when I first started this journey,” he said. “Without my vision [having] degenerated when it did, I wouldn’t have designed the designs I have.” Mr Meerding said his design inspiration can come from the wood he handcrafts, from nature or from his restricted vision.
6 April 2017, Edition 182