Everyone’s ‘herd’ about this specialist plywood manufacturer
BRISBANE-BASED Austral Plywoods actually started out as a dairy farm when in 1925 they began producing butter boxes for their dairy business. This grew into more uses for plywood until the business became just a plywood mill.
The resource has changed greatly over the years, from sourcing North Queensland hardwoods and natural growth hoop pine from South East Queensland to present day plantation hoop pine.
In 1986, the current owners (the Matthews and Clark families) bought Austral Plywoods from the Foxwood group, a subsidiary of Email. In the late 80’s, early 90’s, when plantation hoop pine forest became a sustainable resource Austral went to 100% hoop pine plantation logs as their only resource.
“From the mid 1990’s, Austral changed direction from a mainly small structural mill trying to compete with the big boys to an appearance grade mill marketing towards a decorative rotary peel plywood for walls, ceilings and cabinetry work,” explained Austral Sales and Marketing Manager Gary Holmes, a man who has notched up more than three decades with the business.
“This proved successful late in the 1990’s, supplying around 25,000 sheets of appearance grade plywood into the 2000 Olympic Games venues.
“It was then that Austral Plywoods firmed its place as a leading premium grade plywood mill in Australia,” he said.
Austral Plywoods has supplied many high profile projects.
“One of our favourite projects was the Melbourne Recital Centre. The concert hall is regarded as acoustically perfect, mainly due to the quality of hoop pine plywood.
Then there was the Brisbane
Supreme District Courts -- 12,000 sheets of “A” grade hoop pine plywood was used for wall lining, seating and furniture.
“This project was where hoop pine multiply became a sought-after plywood for applications that need superior edge detail,” Gary said.
In recent years, Austral Plywoods has seen the need for protection of plywood when used in exterior applications.
“We introduced pre-finished Ariaply and Endurapanel, which have a unique coating system where the panels are dipped into the colour that contains a preservative, ensuring the panels are completely sealed.
“Both products are the only plywood products that have a seven year warranty on the coating that it will not mould or craze,” he added.
“Our resource is 100% plantation grown Hoop Pine, sourced from HQPlantations in south east Queensland. Our products have Chain of Custody certification under Australian Standards AS 4707:2006. The Austral Plywoods Chain of Custody, linked to the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS), was awarded through an independently audited process carried out by the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA).
“Manufacturing to Australian/
New Zealand standards, we maintain a process quality control system in compliance with the EWPAA-JASANZ product certification scheme. Our A-Bond products have a Super E0 rating, the lowest formaldehyde emission rating obtainable.”
Second generation joint CEO’s Stuart and Scott Matthews are committed to maintaining the high quality products and excellent customer service Austral Plywoods is renowned for.
No pun intended but ... the cream really has come to the top!
Stuart and Scott Matthews (joint CEOs) and Gary Holmes (Sales and Marketing Manager).The photo was taken inside the Brisbane Supreme Court where 12,000 sheets of Austral’s specialist hoop pine was used.
The acoustically brilliant Melbourne Recital Centre.
The lathe where the logs are peeled.