AUSTim­ber 2016 launch gets thumbs up!

Australian Forests and Timber - - FRONT PAGE -

AUSTIM­BER 2016 (11-16 April) near Trar­al­gon has been hailed as a “real coup” for La­trobe City and Gipp­s­land. “The event is per­fectly suited to La­trobe’s unique and abun­dant nat­u­ral re­sources that sup­port a pro­duc­tive tim­ber and forestry in­dus­try pro­vid­ing soft­wood, value-added hard­wood, and pa­per prod­ucts sold to do­mes­tic and ex­port mar­kets,” said La­trobe Mayor Dale Har­ri­man at the public launch of the event.

Held in HVP’s Flynn Creek Plan­ta­tion, the launch was at­tended by spe­cial guests from or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing the Vic­to­rian For­est In­dus­tries As­so­ci­a­tion, ForestWorks, HVP, La­trobe City Coun­cil, La­trobe Val­ley Bus Lines, Keith Walk­ing Floor, and Aus­tralian Pa­per.

Mayor Har­ri­man said La­trobe City Coun­cil was a keen sup­porter of the tim­ber and wood prod­ucts in­dus­try and re­cently re­leased its draft Wood En­cour­age­ment Pol­icy for com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion.

“AUSTim­ber 2016 will pro­vide a tremen­dous boost to our com­mu­ni­ties, with the cre­ation of many eco­nomic and em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties now and for the fu­ture in our lo­cal econ­omy as well as in the wider re­gion and Vic­to­ria.

“And, there is an op­por­tu­nity to host another two AUSTim­ber events in 2020 and 2024 which would add to our solid rep­u­ta­tion as a lead­ing re­gional event des­ti­na­tion and tim­ber hub with pos­i­tive im­pacts on our lo­cal econ­omy,” he said.

AUSTim­ber, run un­der the aus­pices of AFCA, was held in Mount Gam­bier in 2008 and 2012. AFCA’s chair­man Ian Reid out­lined ex­actly what had been achieved at both of the events and also the suc­cesses of the fore­run­ner to AUSTim­ber.

Lau­rie Martin, Gen­eral Man­ager AUSTim­ber Events, told the in­vited guests to “look around you at one of the most el­e­gant so­lu­tions known to man for re­duc­ing car­bon in the at­mos­phere, and I’m not talk­ing about trees... I’m talk­ing about a pro­duc­tion for­est”.

“Aus­tralia has about 125 mil­lion hectares of for­est of which about 2 mil­lion hectares are in­dus­trial plan­ta­tions such as this one. Of the roughly 123 mil­lion hectares of na­tive for­est, a bit over 36 and a half mil­lion (or a shade un­der 30%) are avail­able and suit­able for com­mer­cial wood pro­duc­tion.

“We ap­plaud the lock­ing up of al­most 61 mil­lion hectares (al­most half Aus­tralia’s for­est cov­er­age) in na­ture con­ser­va­tion re­serves and ar­eas pro­tected for bio­di­ver­sity con­ser­va­tion.

“But on hot days like to­day, we know the sus­tain­able man­age­ment of na­tive forests that are avail­able for pro­duc­tion means those forests are

bet­ter pro­tected from to con­tinue pro­vid­ing bio­di­ver­sity and the main­te­nance of na­tive

“While they’re ac­tively grow­ing, trees ex­tract car­bon diox­ide from the at­mos­phere and store it in their wood. But, by the time they reach ma­tu­rity, they’re nett emit­ters of car­bon to the at­mos­phere be­cause the leaves, nee­dles, bark and branches they shed rot and re­lease the car­bon stored in that ma­te­rial.

“So, plant­ing trees for the pur­pose of re­mov­ing car­bon from the at­mos­phere means we need to harvest those trees be­fore or by the time they reach ma­tu­rity to keep as much of that car­bon as we can locked up in wood prod­ucts. “For much of history,

con­tin­ued on page 4

The Mayor of La­trobe City (Cr Dale Har­ri­man) of­fi­cially launched the count­down to AUSTim­ber 2016, and gave the site and plans the thumbs up.

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