Latrobe City gets AUSTimber2016
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]ber.org.au 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.