Tim­ber in­dus­try body is­sues chal­lenge to lo­cal coun­cils

Australasian Timber - - NEWS -

VIC­TO­RIA’SNORTH East coun­cils have been chal­lenged to adopt tim­ber en­cour­age­ment poli­cies sim­i­lar to those now in place in some Gipp­s­land mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Speak­ing at a meet­ing of re­gional forests and tim­bers pro­cess­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Wan­garatta re­cently, Ric Sin­clair (Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of For­est and Wood Prod­ucts Aus­tralia [FWPA]) said that lo­cal coun­cils which had an in­ter­est in the lo­cal in­dus­try could in­flu­ence the use of wood prod­ucts by adopt­ing sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives.

This fol­lows the an­nounce­ment that East Gipp­s­land Shire Coun­cil be­came the third lo­cal coun­cil in the state to adopt a tim­ber en­cour­age­ment or ‘tim­ber first’ pol­icy, fol­low­ing its adop­tion by La­trobe City Coun­cil and Welling­ton Shire.

Mr Sin­clair said a tim­ber (or wood) en­cour­age­ment pol­icy en­cour­aged the use of wood as the pre­ferred ma­te­rial for con­struc­tion and fitout of coun­cil’s build­ings where ap­pro­pri­ate.

“The fo­cus of the pol­icy is to en­sure wood is con­sid­ered for the ini­tial stages of projects,” he said.

The meet­ing fol­lowed vis­its to re­gional tim­ber pro­cess­ing plants in Be­nalla, Wan­garatta and Myrtle­ford ahead of the FWPA board meet­ing.

FWPA has a pol­icy of hold­ing some of its board meet­ings in re­gional tim­ber grow­ing and pro­cess­ing cen­tres.

Mr Sin­clair also spoke about the FWPA’s role as the ser­vice com­pany work­ing with in­dus­try stake­hold­ers and gov­ern­ment to sus­tain­ably grow the mar­ket for forests and wood prod­ucts.

“We want to see in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity across the value chain and en­sure pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial out­comes,”’ he said.

“Some of FWPA’s re­cent achieve­ments in­clude a change to the Na­tional Con­struc­tion Code to al­low mid-rise tim­ber build­ings and a suc­cess­ful TV pro­mo­tion in con­junc­tion with Planet Ark to pro­mote the ben­e­fits of wood prod­ucts and car­bon re­ten­tion,’’ he added.

FWPA chair­man John Si­mon wel­comed Cathy McGowan, the board, ex­ec­u­tives and North East re­gional pro­ces­sors at­tend­ing.

He said that new multi-storey tim­ber con­struc­tion rep­re­sented an ex­cit­ing pe­riod ahead for wood.

“I want to also thank the gov­ern­ment for its com­mit­ment to match­ing fund­ing to grow R&D and wood mar­ket­ing,” he said.

Tim John­ston (CEO VAFI), John Si­mon (chair FWPA), Cathy McGowan ( Mem­ber for Indi), Greg McNulty (Ryan and McNulty, Be­nalla), Ron Janas (Mayor Alpine Shire), and Ric Sin­clair (MD FWPA).

(L-r) Justin Tonks (D&R Hen­der­son), Steve Dadd (Bo­ral Tim­ber), John Si­mon (chair FWPA), Jim Hen­neberry (FWPA) and Ross Bar­low (CHH Myrtle­ford).

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