TASSIE LEADS IN WOOD FIRST POLICY
This forward-looking policy helps to secure the future of the Tasmanian timber industry and supports the Tasmanian economy. - Timberlink We hope other State Governments will closely consider the example set by the Tasmanian Government. - Planet Ark This
FEATURING TASMANIAN timbers in building construction and design is the aim of the just-released Tasmanian
Wood Encouragement Policy. 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.
“In last year’s Budget, we announced the development of a policy to encourage the greater use of wood and wood products in government building projects,” said Guy Barnett, Minister for Resources and Minister for Building and Construction.
The Minister announced the new policy during a visit to Federal Group’s new MACq 01 Hotel, in the waterfront precinct of Hobart. “Featuring local timbers, such as Tasmanian Oak, throughout the interiors, MACq 01 Hotel is an example of how we can add value to our forest industry through using more wood in building and construction.
“We are backing our forest industry with a policy requiring that the use of wood be fully considered in designs where it represents value for money and does the job.
“This is all about growing jobs in forestry and helping the industry to meet its target of doubling the added value of our wood and wood products by 2036.”
Timberlink has congratulated the Tasmanian Government on its new wood first policy.
being the first Australian state to develop a Wood Encouragement Policy.
“This forward-looking policy helps to secure the future of the Tasmanian timber industry and supports the Tasmanian economy,” said Timberlink’s CEO Ian Tyson.
“Furthermore, this policy highlights the government’s commitment to the sustainable building environment that can only be achieved through the use of timber building materials.”
Timberlink’ Bell Bay mill is Tasmania’s largest softwood mill employer, employing about 200 people.
Timber is renewable, it absorbs carbon from the atmosphere and stores it in the wood, and there are fewer carbon emissions associated with its production when compared to more energy-intensive building materials such as concrete and steel.
“Timberlink looks forward to working with its Tasmanian mill, customers, designers and specifiers to maximise the opportunities for wood created by this policy. The launch of this policy is certainly exciting news for Tasmania and our Tasmanian employees,” Mr Tyson said.
The announcement brings Tasmania in line with two local government authorities and 12 councils across Australia that have adopted WEPs since December 2014, including Latrobe City and East Gippsland Shire in Victoria, and Fraser Coast Regional and Gympie Regional in Queensland, which announced their adoption of WEPs earlier this year.
“We are delighted to see the Tasmanian Government demonstrate such strong leadership with this important decision,” said David Rowlinson, Planet Ark’s Make It Wood Campaign Manager.
“The adoption of a WEP is a positive move for the environment and it is very encouraging to see a government support this at a state-wide level. We hope other State Governments will closely consider the example set by the Tasmanian Government,” he said.
“Responsibly sourced, certified timber is the only major building material that helps tackle climate change. Timber is renewable, it absorbs carbon from the atmosphere and stores it in the wood, and there are fewer carbon emissions associated with its production when compared to more energyintensive building materials such as concrete and steel. Wood is also cost-effective and quick to construct,” Mr Rowlinson said.
Planet Ark has worked closely with Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) to raise national awareness of WEPs through its Make It Wood campaign. National Marketing and Communications Manager at FWPA, Eileen Newbury, also welcomed the announcement.
“This is a momentous day for the Australian forest and wood products industry. It recognises that sustainably sourced timber has the potential to play a significant role in helping Australia to achieve our carbon emission targets, while also contributing to the economies of local and regional communities,” Ms Newbury said.
Planet Ark’s latest research report, Wood – Nature Inspired Design which is an update of the Wood – Housing, Health, Humanity Report, has also shown exposure to buildings made from timber and wooden furnishings and fittings has proven benefits to physiological and psychological health and wellbeing, similar to those experienced by spending time in nature.
The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) congratulated the Tasmanian Government for becoming the first Australian state to adopt a Wood Encouragement Policy (WEP), and urged all jurisdictions to adopt similar policies to boost the use of timber products in local building and construction projects.
Plaudits also came from the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Chief Executive Officer of Ross Hampton, who said the announcement by Minister for Resources Guy Barnett – and similar WEPs adopted by municipal councils around Australia – recognised the enormous environmental and commercial benefits of using timber in construction.
“The reasons policy makers are taking this stance is simple – timber products are completely renewable, biodegradable and store carbon, playing a positive role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Hampton said.
“We are seeing increasing recognition in Australia of the environmental advantages of building with sustainable timber, as well as the benefits of versatility and speed of construction. This is evident through the increasing use of new technologies such as Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) for major commercial developments, which is a win for the environment and jobs.”
Under Tasmanian’s WEP, private sector and local government building and construction projects that receive support from the Tasmanian Government valued at or greater than $500,000 from the Government, or are to be leased by Government, will need to fully consider the use of wood.
Mr Hampton said Tasmania had a strong forest products industry which stood to benefit from the WEP, but cautioned the Tasmanian Government not to limit the benefits of the policy by applying “buy local” requirements.
David Rowlinson of Planet Ark.
Guy Barnett, Minister for Resources and Minister for Building and Construction.
Ross Hampton, CEO of AFPA