Timber industry stands ready to assist State budget for housing and infrastructure
JOBS FOR Queensland -- a $1.8 billion Queensland Housing Strategy in the State budget -- has the potential to boost employment in the State’s timber industry.
Timber Queensland CEO Mick Stephens said using Queensland grown and processed timber products in social housing makes economic sense.
“We are seeing rapid advances in timber construction using engineered wood products and timber building systems such as prefabrication, that can increase the speed of construction and significantly reduce costs.
“Using a combination of prefabrication and timber products such as cross-laminated timber, glulam and laminated veneer lumber can result in up to 30% less time on site,” Mr Stephens said.
“The State plans to build 5000 social and affordable homes over the next five years, so speed of construction and social liveability will be key.
“A recent report by Planet Ark Environmental Foundation has found that Australians appear to be innately drawn towards timber. Their results indicate that wood elicits feelings of warmth, comfort and relaxation and create a link to nature.”
Mr Stephens said choosing timber as a preferred building material for housing projects can generate other environmental and carbon benefits for the State.
“If half of all new residential dwellings built in Queensland in any one year were ‘timber maximised’, for example, this would equate to a saving of 600,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year compared to other materials, or 6 million tonnes over a 10-year period.”
Other budget measures such as an extension of the $20,000 first home owners grant and construction of regional projects, including the expansion of the Cairns Convention Centre, have the potential to boost the local timber industry and regional economic benefits.
“The forest and timber industry delivers many benefits to Queensland, not least the jobs for 10,000 people and an annual turnover of more than $3 billion. The economic benefits are spread throughout the state and timber processing facilities across regional Queensland are the lifeblood of many rural communities,” said Mr Stephens.
Timber Queensland CEO Mick Stephens.