‘Wood En­cour­age­ment’ pol­icy to put La­trobe City Coun­cil on world stage

Australasian Timber - - NEWS -

IN AN Aus­tralian first, La­trobe City Coun­cil is in­tro­duc­ing a ‘Wood En­cour­age­ment’ pol­icy. If adopted, the draft pol­icy will see La­trobe City join other na­tions driv­ing tim­ber for so­cial, en­vi­ron­men­tal and in­dus­try de­vel­op­ment rea­sons. Wood First or Wood En­cour­age­ment poli­cies al­ready op­er­ate in coun­tries in­clud­ing Canada and France.

The draft pol­icy aims to pro­mote the use of wood as the pre­ferred ma­te­rial in both the con­struc­tion and fit out of Coun­cil build­ings and in­fras­truc­ture.

La­trobe City Coun­cil’s mayor, Coun­cil­lor Sharon Gib­son, said that if the pol­icy was adopted it would be a clear sig­nal of Coun­cil’s view.

“Our area is one of Aus­tralia’s most im­por­tant ‘ fi­bre bas­kets’. Trees, wood and fi­bre pro­vide for 1325 jobs within the mu­nic­i­pal­ity ei­ther di­rectly or in­di­rectly and in­ject over $800 mil­lion into the re­gional econ­omy ev­ery year.

“This draft pol­icy will al­low us to drive hard to at­tract wood-re­lated de­vel­op­ment and re­search into our com­mu­nity. Wood is the most en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly, carbon friendly re­source avail­able and we are one of the main­stays of the in­dus­try na­tion­ally.

“There will, of course, be cases when wood will not be the most suitable ma­te­rial, or be just one of a mix of ma­te­ri­als put for­ward. That is why this draft pol­icy en­cour­ages, rather than man­dates, the use of wood for Coun­cil projects.

“The draft pol­icy has been open for pub­lic com­ment from 6 Novem­ber and we are very keen to hear from our com­mu­nity about how it can be im­proved. Our goal is to en­sure that wood is care­fully con­sid­ered from the mo­ment ar­chi­tects, de­sign­ers and builders con­sider bid­ding for a Coun­cil project – any­thing from a new ma­jor build­ing to a se­ries of bus shel­ters,” Cr Gib­son said.

“In re­sponse to Coun­cil’s sup­port for the for­est and wood prod­ucts in­dus­try and its ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, the ma­jor in­ter­na­tional in­dus­try event, AUSTim­ber2016, will be held in the city for the first time. This event will no doubt see a huge in­flux of vis­i­tors to our re­gion which in turn will have a pos­i­tive flow-on ef­fect on our econ­omy,” Cr Gib­son said.

“This will demon­strate to the world that La­trobe City is open for busi­ness and will high­light to those new and ex­ist­ing en­ter­prises the po­ten­tial of tap­ping into the ad­van­tage of our skilled work­force and our abun­dant supply of raw ma­te­rial,” she said. The Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of the Aus­tralian For­est Prod­ucts As­so­ci­a­tion, Ross Hamp­ton, trav­elled to Mor­well to ad­dress the Coun­cil­lors at the Coun­cil Chamber.

“This is a for­ward think­ing Coun­cil led by Mayor, Coun­cil­lor Sharon Gib­son,” he said.

“All over the world in coun­tries such as Canada and France, Govern­ments are mak­ing the de­ci­sion to change their ten­der pro­cesses to bet­ter ac­com­mo­date tim­ber.

La­trobe City Coun­cil is to be con­grat­u­lated for lead­ing our na­tion. The rea­sons po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion mak­ers are tak­ing this stance is sim­ple. Tim­ber and tim­ber prod­ucts are com­pletely re­new­able, biodegrad­able and as they store carbon, play a pos­i­tive role in re­duc­ing green­house gas emis­sions. In La­trobe City Coun­cil’s case the ben­e­fits are clearly eco­nomic as well.” Na­tion­ally, forestry and for­est prod­uct in­dus­tries pro­vide some 80 000 di­rect jobs and about 200 000 in­di­rect. These jobs are gen­er­ally clus­tered around re­gional ar­eas in Tas­ma­nia, South east Queens­land, the Green Tri­an­gle of South Aus­tralia and Vic­to­ria, Gipp­s­land, north­ern and south­ern NSW, Cen­tral Table­lands and the Tu­mut area of NSW, and South­west WA.

Mr Hamp­ton said, “It is my hope that all coun­cils in these ar­eas will fol­low the lead of La­trobe City Coun­cil and adopt their own wood en­cour­age­ment poli­cies.”

The draft Wood En­cour­age­ment Pol­icy is open for pub­lic com­ment un­til 5 De­cem­ber.

To have a say visit www.la­trobe.vic.gov.au/in­sertlink or call 1300 367 700 for more in­for­ma­tion.

La­trobe City is open for busi­ness and will high­light to those new and ex­ist­ing en­ter­prises the po­ten­tial of tap­ping into the ad­van­tage of our skilled work­force

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.