La­trobe City gets AUSTim­ber2016

Australian Forests and Timber - - FRONT PAGE -

THE AUS­TRALIAN tim­ber in­dus­try’s big­gest four yearly event – AUSTim­ber - is to be held in La­trobe City 11-16 April, 2016. In an­nounc­ing the new lo­ca­tion, the or­gan­is­ers ac­knowl­edged the en­thu­si­as­tic sup­port of La­trobe City Coun­cil in help­ing to stage what will be an even big­ger event than has been de­liv­ered in the past.

“AUSTim­ber2012 in Mt Gam­bier was re­garded as one of the top three for­est ex­hi­bi­tions in the world by the ma­jor in­ter­na­tional man­u­fac­tur­ers, so we’ve got a big chal­lenge to raise the bar even higher in 2016.” said Lau­rie Martin, Gen­eral Man­ager of AUSTim­ber Events.

Martin, for­merly of Aus­tralian Forests & Tim­ber News and with a long his­tory in mar­ket­ing and event man­age­ment, is look­ing for­ward to the op­por­tu­nity of ex­pand­ing the scope of the event to en­sure it fully en­cap­su­lates the tim­ber in­dus­try from trees in the ground to wood prod­ucts in the home.

“David Quill (GM AUSTim­ber2008 and 2012) left big boots to fill so I’m happy he has made him­self avail­able to give us the ben­e­fit of his ex­pe­ri­ence in manag­ing the event par­tic­u­larly as it re­lates to set­ting up the in-for­est com­po­nent.”

Work has be­gun on es­tab­lish­ing the in-for­est event site at an HVP plan­ta­tion near Trar­al­gon that has pine and blue gum at stages of ma­tu­rity to suit­ably demon­strate the full range of in-field for­est equip­ment. Cameron Mac­Don­ald, Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer at HVP Plan­ta­tions and a direc­tor of AFPA, says HVP is ex­cited by the con­cepts the or­gan­is­ers have f lagged for the mul­ti­ple events sched­uled for the week and be­lieve Gipp­s­land is the ideal lo­ca­tion given the sig­nif­i­cant role the for­est in­dus­try plays in the re­gion and the prox­im­ity to Mel­bourne that will help max­imise po­ten­tial pa­tron­age for the event.

In ad­di­tion to stag­ing an­other strong in-for­est ex­hi­bi­tion, the or­gan­is­ers are look­ing to beef up rep­re­sen­ta­tion from the fur­ther pro­cess­ing and wood prod­ucts manufacturing sec­tors of the tim­ber in­dus­try. “We are plan­ning to build on the very strong com­mu­ni­ca­tion benefits of phys­i­cally demon­strat­ing equip­ment work­ing in the for­est by hav­ing equip­ment pro­cess­ing tim­ber right through to erect­ing a house dur­ing the week of the event,” said Martin.

“The op­por­tu­nity to host AUSTim­ber 2016 is sig­nif­i­cant and the event will not only bring visi­tors but will lift the pro­file of our Re­gional City, with ex­po­sure na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally,” said La­trobe City Coun­cil mayor, Cr Sharon Gib­son.

“This event will cre­ate many eco­nomic and em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties now and for the fu­ture in our lo­cal econ­omy as well as in the wider re­gion and Vic­to­ria. The event is per­fectly suited to La­trobe City’s unique and abun­dant nat­u­ral re­sources which sup­port a pro­duc­tive tim­ber and forestry in­dus­try pro­vid­ing soft­wood, value-added hard­wood, and paper prod­ucts sold to do­mes­tic and ex­port mar­kets. Fur­ther­more, 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,” Cr Gib­son said.

The lo­ca­tion of the in-for­est event site near the Loy Yang brown coal fired elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion plant may seem ironic given the benefits of sus­tain­ably man­aged tim­ber pro­duc­tion in a low car­bon econ­omy but Martin sees this as an op­por­tu­nity to un­der­score the en­vi­ron­men­tal benefits in­her­ent in the in­dus­try.

“We will have a def­i­nite fo­cus on sus­tain­abil­ity as a theme run­ning through the event. The HVP plan­ta­tion is cer­ti­fied by FSC and we in­tend to use this as a back- drop for the sus­tain­abil­ity mes­sage to be de­liv­ered to the gen­eral pub­lic via a schools pro­gram. We are also keen to have prod­ucts pre­sented such as chem­i­cals, bio mass and heat­ing fu­els de­rived from woody biomass that show how sus­tain­ably pro­duced wood fi­bre can re­place ma­te­rial de­rived from fos­silised car­bon thereby re­duc­ing green­house gas emis­sions.”

More de­tails of the event will be re­leased as they are fi­nalised. Contact Lau­rie Martin at lau­[email protected]­ or 03 9533 4250

Mem­bers of the site plan­ning team (from left) Ian Reid (Chair­man AFCA), Wayne ShawJohn­ston (HVP), David Quill, Col McCul­loch (CEO AFCA) and Si­mon Gatt (HVP). AUSTim­ber2016 events will be held in La­trobe City – the shaded area of the map.

Lau­rie Martin, Gen­eral Man­ager, AUSTim­ber2016.

La­trobe City Coun­cil mayor, Cr Sharon Gib­son.

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