WoodWeek 15 May 2013
We have two very important news items for FICA members - later this month the contractors regional meeting in Whangarei (29 May) will discuss members' training needs and views on contractor certification. Seats are selling now for the Safety Communications Workshop running on the 25th June. For contractors from outside the Nelson region it is a good chance to go to a valuable 1-day learning opportunity and then, before or after the workshop, arrange to go out for a day with local contractors - another great learning opportunity!
Meanwhile in Australia, fallout from the forestry 'peace' deal continues with the resignation of a forest company CEO. Regional councils are also set to feel the pinch as well with production forests, which are going into reserves, no longer providing rates to help fund these local government's operating budgets. On the other hand, today's news also includes an announcement of more funding to support the deal - an additional $94 million.
In NSW the arguments are in the opposite direction with calls for the state government to deliver on under-promised allowable cuts by permitting logging in National Parks. Gee, I wonder how that went down?
Finally, while it is unlikely to change the statistics of the past 2 years for forestry deaths - it is disturbing to read that the people charged with maintaining statistics for all industries throughout New Zealand got it wrong for 10 years. How did that affect international comparisons over the past decade? Not good enough is the first thing that springs to mind.
This week we have for you:
Grieving Family wants Safer ForestsA Rotorua family whose son was killed in a forestry accident support calls for tougher workplace safety measures and an inquiry into forestry safety.
Last week, Labour MP and Health and Safety spokeswoman Darien Fenton presented a petition to Parliament asking the government to conduct an inquiry into forestry safety. She said forestry workers would continue to be killed on the job unless something was done to improve industry safety standards.
"Forestry is the most dangerous industry in New Zealand. Already there have been four deaths this year and 28 workers have died since 2008 with nearly 900 seriously injured," Fenton said.
Rotorua man Lee Edmonds, whose 23-year-old son Robert Epapara was killed instantly after being struck by a falling tree in a forestry block near Lake Rotoiti in March, said he supported the petition and a full safety review of the industry.
"As long as any review looks at everything from the man on the ground right up to the government who make the laws, " Mr Edmonds said.
For the last three years Mr Edmonds has worked alongside ACC and forestry companies to deliver health and safety messages to forestry workers.
To read the full story click here.
Forest Safety Issues - A Personal OpinionThe following article was first published in the NZ Institute of Forestry members' newsletter on 3rd May:
NZIF Safety comment from Peter Weir (NZIF Forester of the Year 2011)
Manual tree falling & breaking-out is hazardous anywhere in the world including in NZ, but accident rates for 2013 suggest things are getting worse here (it's very sobering if we project out NZ’s current fatality rates as we may see 12 hardworking people unnecessarily but tragically die in forestry workplaces this year).
It's my understanding that fatality rates (expressed as deaths per 1000 workers employed) indicate that forest harvesting in NZ is twice as dangerous as it is in Australia, though I’m not convinced that it is “seven times more dangerous than in the UK” (explained in part by proportion of steepland cable harvesting in NZ versus Australia, and fact that many UK forestry commission works have roles more akin to DoC rangers in NZ).
The cold hard fact is that in NZ, one logger or truckie is killed for about every per 5 million tonnes of logs harvested. That’s very similar to BC, so NZ is in the company of another less than stellar performer (albeit with similar mix of steep terrain and cable harvesting).
CLICK HERE to read on and for the full pdf copy of Peter Weir's comments.
Editors Note: The comments from Peter Weir are his personal views, not necessarily those of his employer or of any Association that he represents. Peter believes his views are moderately well aligned with those of others. What do others think?
Time to REGISTER for NELSON WorkshopForest managers, forest supervisors, crew leaders and contractor prinicipals - This workshop is FOR YOU!
The Nelson running of the FICA SAFETY COMMUNICATIONS Workshop happens on 25 June.
This workshop is led by communications expert Werner Naef of Kahler Communications. His presentation at the PF Olsen Safe-Start-Up meeting in Rotorua in January showed the importance of identifying communications styles for crew foreman and anyone leading staff in safety-critical workplaces.
Registrations are strictly limited to 35 delegates per session.
Click here to download the registration form. We expect high numbers for this one and early-birds get better prices - so register now!
A “Who’s Who” in Global Wood Processing TechnologiesFull details on the WoodEXPO 2013 programme which runs in both Australia and New Zealand in September have now been made available to industry.
The programmes for the one-day Wood Processing Summit, 2 days of Technology workshops, 2 days of exhibitions and the networking and social activities being planned around the three day "business to business shows" can be downloaded from the editorial this week. They can also be downloaded directly from the event website, www.woodexpo2013.com.
With four months to WoodEXPO 2013, the listing of global technology providers to Australasia’s sawmilling, wood manufacturing and wood panels industries is already very impressive. “We delighted to have this region’s largest gathering of wood products expertise yet seen in this part of the world” says Brent Apthorp, FIEA Director.
Participants in the WoodEXPO 2013 September series to date include;
So, check out the programmes, look now to pull together key personnel from your company to come through to each show and register on-line (free entry to the exhibitions if registering on-line before Friday 2 August) at www.woodexpo2013.com. Remember to save on travel and for planning in New Zealand, the last day of the EXPO, Friday 13 September, links into the prestigious Forest & Wood Industry National Training Awards dinner and ceremony.
Limited space is also still available to exhibitors at both venues but you’ll need to be quick to secure the last remaining stands. Contact our WoodEXPO 2013 Trade Stand and Sponsorship Manager, Gordon Thomson, if interested in being involved in the WoodEXPO2013 exhibitions..
Contractors to meet in Northland to discuss Training
FICA's next regional meeting will be at Northtec campus in Whangarei starting with lunch.
Date: 29th May
Location: Room D350 near Gate 1 on the Northtec Campus
Agenda items to date include: Training delivery for contractors; Contractor certification issues; Breaking-out certification workshop availability - plus feel free to add your own agenda item when you register to attend.
Click here to register for this meeting.
Accident Statistics Problem correctedThe discovery of a glitch in the way official workplace fatalities were recorded has revealed the actual figure is between 20 and 30 per cent lower than previously thought.
A Statistics New Zealand said yesterday that an error in the way fatal work-related injuries were recorded meant in some instances one fatality was counted multiple times, pushing the figure incorrectly high between 2002 and 2012.
The error happened when a workplace fatality could be possibly attributed to more than one injury to different parts of the body. "As some deaths result from multiple injuries, the number of deaths reported in earlier publications was too high," said Statistics NZ in a statement.
The figures are used to measure national injury trends. However, the work-related injury figures for fatal and non-fatal injuries in the workplace were not published in December 2012 because of concerns about their accuracy raised during quality assurance processes, said spokesman Steve Manning.
A review of the data found the real figure for fatal work-related injuries between 2002 and 2010 were on average 20 per cent lower than those previously published. Since 2010 the new figures were an average of 30 per cent lower.
To read the full story click here.
Source: NZ Herald
Forest Products recovering says PwCThe world’s forest product sector is starting to show signs of recovery after years of a challenging downturn, according to the forestry feature in PwC's recent 16th Annual CEO Survey. "We are seeing optimism that demand and prices will continue to strengthen in the solid wood sector, but recovery in the pulp and paper sector will likely lag," said Mike Vermette, partner in PwC's Deals practice. "Assuming that the rise in US housing continues over the medium term and China's economy continues to grow as predicted; the stage is being set for a potentially strong market for softwood lumber."
"However, CEOs are still watchful of economic volatility, energy costs, access to raw materials, and a shortage of skilled labour, which if not carefully managed, may limit growth once the sector kicks into high gear," Vermette continued.
Pockets of opportunity are being targeted by forest products CEOs as well as non-traditional business models as a means to control costs, manage risks and develop new markets, according to PwC. 50% of the CEOs surveyed by PwC entered into a new strategic alliance or joint venture last year. Some of these entries were new business areas or with supply chain organizations.
One example of a strategic alliance given by PwC is four leading British Columbia based forest products companies teaming to charter a cargo ship to move their products to the developing Chinese market. The collaboration allowed these companies to decrease logistic uncertainty and risk which has plagued exporting goods to Asia in recent years.
According to the PwC survey, deal making was on the mind of forest products CEOs in 2012 and will continue to be emphasized in 2013, more than CEOs of other industries. In addition to strategic alliances and joint ventures, some exits and M&As are being considered.
"Companies with strong balance sheets today are likely to be in a position to maximize profitability once the market uptick is in full swing," said Vermette. "There's a potential for financially stronger companies to take advantage of opportunities to pick up assets of less profitable producers or find partners to make further inroads into markets where the demand potential is high."
Source: Global CEO Survey - Forest, paper & packaging
Forest Company CEO steps down in TasmaniaThe Chief Executive of Forestry Tasmania, Bob Gordon, announced yesterday that he had reached agreement with the Board to facilitate a transition to new leadership. Mr Gordon said Forestry Tasmania faced significant challenges to implement the Tasmanian Forests Agreement and adjust to its new operating environment.
“The Board and I have come to a mutual agreement that now is an appropriate time for me to move on. I have been proud for the past six years to lead what I believe is an outstanding organisation through some very difficult times” said Mr Gordon. “However, I have reached agreement with the Board that now is the right time for a change. My departure will allow the Board to select a long-term leader that can take the organisation forward into what I believe is a challenging but exciting future”.
On behalf of the Forestry Tasmania Board, Bob Annells, Chairman, Forestry Tasmania acknowledged the tremendous contribution Bob had made to the organisation, and to the forest industry. "He has been a proud standard bearer through many difficult times, and has served the industry with absolute dedication”, he said.
Mr Gordon will be leaving early in July, and in the meantime will be taking leave and attending to Forestry Tasmania business overseas. The Board will initiate a comprehensive executive search for his replacement. In the interim, Chief Operating Officer Steve Whiteley will take on the role of acting CEO.
Network for Women in ForestryThe eighteenth issue of the Network for Women in Forestry (NWIF) newsletter is full of useful information for women in forestry particularly those within business management or administration roles.
Check it out here or head to the NWIF page of the FICA Website.
Forests + ETS = Decision-timeLast Friday Carbon Match reported in their weekly newsletter that a growing number of post- 1989 forest owners in New Zealand are now seriously considering the tactical withdrawal of a portion or all of their post-89 forest from the ETS. With NZUs trading a little shy of the $2 mark and ERUs zipping out of the door at $0.14 there is an enormous arbitrage opportunity here, and its been spotted like a duck at dawn.
"But it's too good to be true...isn't it?", "Pure speculation" say others. Well yes, perhaps it feels a little off to be opting out simply to avail oneself of the arbitrage. But actually, is this really speculative? In fact, we think that this is a prudent thing for all post-89 foresters to be considering, given the regulatory uncertainty that has impacted foresters to date.
This is something on which all post-1989 foresters should seek specific advice. Forestry law specialists Duncan Cotterill are producing an advisory note on this matter which will be published imminently (so CarbonMatch will link to that note in their next weekly update).
To sum up, we have the following situation:
The risk is that forest owners who don't seek advice on this option may in future find themselves in the position of having spent a lot of money to stay in the scheme, achieved little or no return for their involvement, but with costly liabilities beginning to crystallise over their post-1989 holdings.
Call to Log Australian National Parks SlammedAn Australia forest industry spokesman has accused the state government of failing to meet its commitments to timber supply and backed the recommendation of a parliamentary inquiry that national parks be opened up for logging.
NSW Forest Products Association executive director Russell Ainley said successive state governments had failed to meet guarantees about supply. He said in 1998 the government legislated to guarantee 269,000 cubic metres of large saw logs would be made available each year, but since 2003 only 160,000 cubic metres had been delivered annually.
But conservation groups have slammed the recommendation as 'completely ludicrous'. The draft report of a parliamentary committee chaired by Shooters and Fishers Party MP Robert Brown says the state government should consider the move to ensure the viability of the industry.
It recommends consideration of 'tenure swap', whereby sections of national parks would be opened for logging and state forests, which are already subject to logging in NSW, would be reserved in return.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
To read the full story click here.
More funding for Tasmania Forest DealThe Commonwealth Government will provide an additional $94.5 million over five years to help implement the Tasmanian Forestry Agreement.
The controversial agreement recently passed the Tasmanian parliament, with a stated aim of locking up more forest reserves in exchange for bringing the state's decades-long forest wars to an end. The additional money comes from funds redirected out of the billion-dollar Biodiversity Fund, as well as the Caring for Our Country program's environment stream.
The Commonwealth's funding includes $60 million over the three years from July last year, in "structural adjustment" payments. Those will go to regional sawmillers, haulage and harvest contractors who exit the native timber industry, as well as government buybacks of wood supply contracts and to support nature-based tourism.
An Innovation and Investment Fund for the Tasmanian plantation timber industry will be established, with funding of $15.8 million over three years beginning in July 2013, to help the industry transition to a greater reliance on plantation resources.
To read the full story click here.
Thanks to FICA SponsorsWe would like to thank all of the organisations who support FICA, which in turn works to promote business growth and improved safety and efficiency amongst forestry contractors for the benefit of New Zealand's Forestry Industry.
Oregon Smokejumpers land in 'other' plantationA team of smokejumpers parachuting into a fire in the mountains of Southern Oregon landed in an illegal marijuana garden being prepared for growing season.
The six smokejumpers from a base in Redmond found the site Monday evening, when there was a rash of lightning strikes.
Jackson County sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson says the smokejumpers notified authorities, who hiked into the remote site in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. They seized two guns and more than 1,000 little pot plants.
Carlson says the site near the community of Applegate was being cultivated by growers for Mexican drug gangs, and it's been used before. Mexican drug cartels have been using Oregon's forests as domestic grow sites for over a decade, despite the efforts of both local and federal law enforcement agencies, which use aerial surveillance to locate the vast marijuana plantations and ultimately destroy them.
To read the full story click here
Tasmania Forest Reserves Rates ReductionTasmania's councils are warning that many councils will need urgent financial help to cope with changes under the forestry peace agreement. Forestry Tasmania currently pays rates for land where it harvests trees, but councils fear that money will disappear when more forest is protected.
Twelve regional councils including Huonville, Dorset and Circular Head expect to lose a combined $2 million in rates each year. The Local Government Association's chief executive, Allan Garcia, says the money for projects under the peace deal may help in the long term, but councils will need more immediate support.
"I suppose from the federal perspective they're taking a long term view," he said.
"What we're saying is there's a short term perspective that has to be addressed and some of those areas like the Huon Valley, the east coast, and particularly the north-east, and Waratah- Wynyard, around those areas there's going to be significant downturn.
"There already has been and those communities are bleeding."
One of the peace deal signatories, Terry Edwards, says he warned governments that regional councils would be hit by a reduction in logging. "We knew when we went into this process that this would be a result," Mr Edwards said.
To read the full story click here.
VW shows off Amarok gruntVolkswagen has uncovered what could be the first hint at a hot new performance-focused Amarok ute. A sporty new Amarok Concept Worthersee 2013 was revealed at the weekend's Volkswagen fan show in Austria, boasting a punchy 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 engine producing 200kW of power and 600Nm of torque.
The engine is teamed to an eight-speed automatic, with power sent to all four wheels. VW claims the concept can sprint from 0-100kmh in 7.9 seconds - about a second slower than the current Golf GTI.
VW Commercial Vehicles CEO Dr Eckhard Scholz has confirmed he wants to see a performance-focused Amarok become a reality.
To read the full story click here.
Buy and Sell
... and finally ... Your Mother's Rules: Part 2
Why I Owe My Mother .... Part 2
An old Cherokee indian elder told his grandson, "My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth."
The boy thought about it for a minute and then asked, "Grandfather, which wolf wins?"
The old man simply replied, - "The one you feed."
Have a safe and prosperous week.
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