Friday Offcuts – 22 January 2021

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Welcome back. We trust that your summer break has been a good one, that you’re now recharged, refreshed and reinvigorated for 2021. Come on - it has to be better than 2020 – right? We’re looking forward again to working with you this year. The plan is to continue to bring you the very latest in news, insights into innovative technologies that we think may assist you in your own business or operation and provide you with the very latest updates on upcoming events, jobs, tenders and equipment that have been posted during the week. Any contributions, leads or contacts that you wish to supply during the year for much wider distribution amongst our ever increasing readership in the Friday Offcuts, WoodWeek and communities are of course welcomed.

To start this year, we’ve built in a calendar of forestry and wood products technology events that have been set down to be run in 2021. We finished 2020 with record turnouts recorded (after the enforced lockdowns for most of us in the middle of last year) for the WoodWorks and ForestTECH events. The plan is to build on this at the front end of this year. In the first six months of 2021, MobileTECH Ag 2021, HarvestTECH 2021 (another workshop has just been added for those travelling into Rotorua – see story below), Forest Safety & Technology 2021 and Carbon Forestry 2021 are planned to run.

In this week’s issue we’ve also included details for the first expressions of interest to present at a major sawmilling event being planned by the industry for this region, WoodTECH 2021. Because of likely border travel restrictions, it’s going to be run for the first time in 20 years in both New Zealand and Australia - at the same time – in early August. You can check out the details along with early information on content for the planned two-day event on

Since our last issue in mid-December 2020, we’ve had a number of senior staff movements that have been announced including changes within the Australian Forest Products Association, the newly created Victorian Forest Products Association, New Forests and One Forty One’s NZ operation (see below). And finally, over the summer break the impasse between China and Australia (and resultant pain being felt by forest growers, harvesting and wood haulage contractors) around export logs hasn’t been resolved. There are recent reports though that China has notified the World Trade Organisation that it will be introducing regulations around new phytosanitary requirements for timber imports, including those out of Australia. These are likely to apply to logs and sawn timber, not processed wood products. We’ll keep you informed as news on this issue comes to hand. On that note, enjoy this week’s read.

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2021 Technology Events – mark your diaries

So after an incredibly disruptive year in 2020, the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) has in conjunction with a wide cross section of industry on both sides of the Tasman, developed an Events Planner for this year.

With a series of technology webinars run during lockdown last year (which doesn't even come close to meeting up in person) and then record turnouts attending the FIEA technology events that were run in Rotorua in October and November of last year, we’re really excited with what 2021 holds.

The Events Planner is going to enable; forestry and wood products companies to pencil the dates into your own calendar for next year and industry associations, research organisations and those involved in setting up your own programmes for 2021 to take note of the dates (and ideally look to dovetail in to the tech events timing and location to add value to the industry and those likely to attend).

For product and service suppliers, we hope this forward planning will also enable you to schedule your involvement and to budget early on in the year to the relevant tech event and for overseas suppliers, it will enable you to lock in a time to plan visits to your key customers or distributors in Australia and New Zealand (if our borders reopen) and to link in to the relevant technology events in this part of the world this year.

FIEA and Innovatek led technology events for forestry and wood products companies being planned for 2021 include;

1. MobileTECH AG 2021
23-24 March 2021, Rotorua, New Zealand
www. + live remote.

2. Forest Industry Safety & Technology Conference
13 April 2021, Rotorua, New Zealand
Note: This is being run in conjunction with the two-day log transport and wood harvesting event, HarvestTECH 2021.

3. HarvestTECH 2021
13-14 April 2021, Rotorua, New Zealand + live remote.

4. Carbon Forestry 21
15-16 June 2021, Rotorua, New Zealand
www. + live remote.

5. WoodTECH 2020
3-4 August 2021, Rotorua, New Zealand
3-4 August 2021, Melbourne, Australia
Note: For the first time, this sawmilling event will be run at the same time in both New Zealand and Australia. + live remote.

6. WoodWorks
21-22 September 2021, Rotorua, New Zealand

7. ForestTECH 2021
16-17 November 2021, Melbourne, Australia
18-19 November 2021, Rotorua, New Zealand

Mark the dates into your 2021 calendars. At this early stage, if interested in either presenting or exhibiting, let us know early on and if appropriate, we can look to build you into the planned programmes. Of course, dates and venues selected will be dependent on just how the COVID-19 issue is resolved this year.

Also attached for your information is a PDF of 2021 Technology Events which provides you with further information on the schedule of tech events planned for next year.

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Mechanical planting trials show promise

At the end of last year, well over 300 tree crop managers, establishment foresters and remote sensing specialists attended or came in remotely for the ForestTECH 2020 event that was held in Rotorua, New Zealand. In it, for the first time in this region, the key suppliers of mechanised planting equipment out of Europe, local companies that were making modifications to some of this equipment for local conditions and forestry companies, both in Australia and New Zealand, outlined some of their results from operational planting trials using the mechanised gear.

From Australia, Forestry Corporation of NSW detailed their early trials using tree planting equipment manufactured by Risutec in Finland. They had just finished trialling mechanical forest planting in the Nundle area, with the technology offering many advantages for the bushfire recovery planting program.

The trial was conducted using the Risutec equipment and it was the first time that this equipment has been used in Australia. The use of mechanical planting has the potential to reduce the need for site preparation, to increase planting rates and to extend the planting season, said Forestry Corporation’s Manager of Innovation and Research, Mike Sutton.

“Mechanical planting could be a way of addressing the extra workload ahead of us in replanting burnt forests, while maintaining a safe workplace for our crews and contractors,” Mr Sutton said. “The trial is a partnership between Forestry Corporation and All Above Reforestation Australia, with support from Risutec and Komatsu, to explore how planting machinery can complement on-ground crews”.

“The trial is a great opportunity to advance the forestry industry’s knowledge in this area.” The planting technology offers many benefits for the replanting program, including extending the planting day (by operating at night under lights) and planting season (with the option of irrigation), spot site preparation, and GPS navigation and tagging of tree planting locations.

The 40-hectare trial, across two compartments at Hanging Rock State forest, identified the potential benefits of mechanised planting and ways that the equipment and operations could be improved. “We look forward to comparing the performance of the machine-planted seedlings with hand planting at the six-month survival assessment,” Mr Sutton said.

“The planting head spot-cultivates at the time of planting, removing the need for separate site preparation. The trial was able to demonstrate that the spot cultivation was superior to conventional site preparation – i.e. ripping followed by “double-dig” planting with a spade. “Cultivation, planting and the optional application of herbicide, water and a water-retaining gel is done in one pass.”

All Above Reforestation leased the machinery from a New Zealand business to assess its suitability for use in NSW forests, said Managing Director Shay Radcliffe. “Despite some initial teething problems, the planting unit exceeded our expectations.”

Photo: All Above Reforestation, Shay Radcliffe & FCNSW, Mike Sutton

Source: Forestry Corporation of NSW

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Australian Pine Log Price Index report released

The Australian Pine Log Price Index for the for January to June 2020 period has just been released. The Australian Pine Log Price Index is compiled by KPMG using data provided by Australian softwood growers. The Index documents changes in pine log prices achieved by large-scale commercial plantation owners selling common grades of plantation softwood logs to domestic processors.

KPMG updates the Index biannually, with the two reporting periods being January to June and July to December. The Index has a base period of January to June 1998. KPMG acts as the independent Index manager and collects confidential data on log volumes and stumpage values for all sales, including long and short-term contracts and spot transactions, at the end of each reporting period. Quantity information on export sawlogs and export pulpwood is also provided.

This report presents a summary of the results of the Index report released for the period for January to June 2020. The findings in this report are based on data provided by major growers who are involved in the growing and management of softwood plantations in southern and Eastern Australia.

Add in saved PDF The report is attached here for your information.

Source: KPMG

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Early Expressions of interest - WoodTECH 2021

Plans are now well underway for Australasia’s major sawmilling event, WoodTECH 2021. Despite major woodworking tradeshows, exhibitions and conferences throughout Europe, North America and Asia been cancelled in 2020 and stops already being put on most shows well into 2021, we’re confident, that WoodTECH 2021 will run this year in New Zealand and Australia on 3-4 August. In fact, it’s expected to be one of few that will be run in 2021 – anywhere around the world.

For over twenty years now, the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) has provided Australasia’s only regular independent platform for local sawmilling and wood manufacturing companies to meet, to network and to learn about new innovations in technology and smart operating practices that can be used to improve their productivity and performance.

The WoodTECH series was re-jigged in 2017 to alternate every year between green-mill and dry-mill operations. After a decade of national training programmes falling over, saw-doctors groupings folding, mill closures and consolidation within the industry, local wood producers were keen on getting their teams together again at one central location in New Zealand and Australia. The WoodTECH series very quickly became THE sawmilling and wood manufacturing event for local mills and key suppliers into this part of the industry, both locally and internationally.

So how it is going to be run?

You’ll notice that the dates are the same. Because of the uncertainty still surrounding international travel, for the first time WoodTECH 2021 will be run concurrently in both Melbourne, Australia and Rotorua, New Zealand on 3-4 August 2021. For the first time, sawmillers and wood producers will be able to meet up in different countries – with live links being set up between the two meetings and remote links set up for key tech providers from outside the region.

Again, for the first time, WoodTECH 2021 is going to be live streamed for those mill staff and key tech providers from outside Australasia. This is going to enable overseas delegates to participate by either watching the event live, or access the recorded presentations later.

What’s being covered?

In short, any operation associated with green-mill operations. This includes saw design, maintenance and operation, wood scanning, sawmill optimisation, saw alignment and size control, preventative maintenance, kiln drying and on-site energy management, wood wastes utilisation, timber treatment ….

Early details on the WoodTECH 2021 event can be found on the event website.


So, if keen this year in presenting (as a wood producer or tech supplier) as part of the WoodTECH 2021 series in August 2021, please contact BEFORE Friday 12 February.

Note: Information on opportunities for exhibiting will be advertised and sent out in the next couple of months. Early expressions of interest can be made directly with

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Pine log yard development for Eden

Since the devastating 2020 bushfires, vital revenue from softwood export log sales together with woodchip sales from interim woodchip operations has allowed Allied Natural Wood Exports to retain employment during the rebuild of the Eden wood processing and export facility.

Post the bushfires, log deliveries to the Eden export terminal recommenced in February 2020 with the operation receiving approximately 12,000-tonnes of pine per week from the fire affected forests in Bombala, an average of 80 haulage trucks through the gate each day.

At times this has led to the export log yard reaching full capacity and being unable to accept additional deliveries from growers. The development of a four-hectare site into a suitable pine log storage area will allow for an additional 60,000 tonnes of burnt-logs to be handled and stored at the Eden facility.

ANWE Director, Malcolm McComb said that the Pine Log Yard Development was possible due to the funding secured under the NSW Government’s AU$140 million Bushfire Industry Recovery Package.

“We are grateful for the tremendous support that we have received from the NSW Government following the 2019/20 bushfires. The Bushfire Industry Recovery Package highlights the NSW Government’s commitment to support the forest and forest products industry thereby retaining and creating regional jobs, and generating economic activity,” he said.

Mr McComb said creating the new log storage area will provide ANWE and its partner, Pentarch Forestry with the opportunity to secure additional sales and allows for salvage operations to be optimised and tree replanting to occur, providing long-term stability to the Eden operation and to a large network of contractors across Eden, Bombala, Batemans Bay and East Gippsland.

“We are aware of the importance of our operations to the economy in the southern NSW and East Gippsland regions and harvesting of this bushfire affected resource is key to the recovery of these fire-scarred regions. The additional value to the regional economy from ANWE’s ability to store and export the additional pine log volume is estimated to be AU$7.9 million,” Mr McComb said.

Source: Allied Natural Wood Exports

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Additional workshop added to HarvestTECH 2021

For all harvesting contractors and harvest planners who'll will be in Rotorua, New Zealand for the major HarvestTECH2021 event that will be running in mid-April, an extra workshop (no charge to HarvestTECH 2021 delegates) on the afternoon before the event runs on Monday 12 April has been set up.

It’s titled “Developing an Intelligent Roadmap for Harvest and Wood Flow Planning”. It will be covering how best analytics technologies can be used to meet harvest and wood flow planning goals, with tech tips and take-away tools to develop your own planning roadmaps. More details can be viewed via this link.

The workshop will be run by Corinne Watson, Asia Pacific General Manager, Remsoft, New Zealand (in-person) along with Sandy Loder, Senior Analyst & Sacha Gascoigne, Technical Sales Analyst Remsoft, Canada (live remote). Registrations for those interested in the three-hour workshop can be made as part of your HarvestTECH 2021 registration.

Details on the harvesting and wood transport event for 2021 can be found on the event website,

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New Forests appoints new CFO

Sydney-based investment management firm New Forests has appointed Adrian Williams as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) commencing in January 2021.

Mr Williams, a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), has over 30 years of experience in finance and accounting in both Australian and international organisations. He was most recently Acting Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of AMP Capital, where he oversaw $200 billion of real assets and listed investment portfolios.

New Forests’ Chief Executive Officer, David Brand, says Mr Williams will bring a wealth of knowledge to the company’s senior leadership team as it prepares to grow over the coming decade. “We are really pleased to have Adrian join us. He has tremendous experience and capacity in supporting the growth of an asset management business like New Forests”.

Throughout his career, Adrian has led large finance teams with a focus on team development. He has significant experience in strategy, systems change, and sustainability, and is also actively involved in supporting Indigenous employment and the arts.

As CFO of New Forests, Mr Williams will oversee funds management accounting, corporate accounting, strategic planning, and business management. Mr Williams says, “I am excited to be joining New Forests and feel a strong sense of alignment with the business and its vision and mission for the forestry sector.

New Forests manages approximately $6.6 billion in funds across Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and the United States on behalf of a range of institutional investment clients. The firm specialises in sustainable forestry, conservation, and rural land investments and has grown substantially over the past 15 years since it was founded.

Source: New Forests

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OneFortyOne’s NZ Executive GM steps down

OneFortyOne announced just before the Xmas break that Lees Seymour was resigning from the role of Executive General Manager, New Zealand, effective from 18 December 2020.

OneFortyOne CEO Andy Giles Knopp said “Lees has made a significant contribution during his time at OneFortyOne. He has been at the heart of the New Zealand business for over 20 years and has been a passionate advocate for the industry, the community, and our people.”

“Lees led OneFortyOne New Zealand during a period of change as it transitioned from Nelson Forests in 2018 and I thank him for his commitment to the business as well as his support and guidance. OneFortyOne will continue to be a strong contributor within the Nelson Tasman and Marlborough regions.”

“We thank Lees and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.” Brent Guild, General Manager Forests and Tracy Goss, General Manager Kaituna Sawmill will lead the New Zealand team as an interim arrangement.

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AFPA appoints new Deputy CEO

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has appointed Victor Violante to the new role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer after more than 4 years in the organisation. Mr Violante has held the position of Senior Policy Manager for the past 4 ½ years, looking after AFPA’s Hardwood Processing Chamber as well as native forestry policy, bushfire management, and export regulations.

AFPA Chief Executive Officer Ross Hampton congratulated Mr Violante on the new role, which comes at an exciting time for AFPA. “AFPA has created the new role of Deputy CEO to reflect AFPA’s increasing influence in national policy, and our growth in membership and ties to the newly established industry representative arrangements in Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, and soon NSW,” Mr Hampton said.

“During his time as Senior Policy Manager, Mr Violante has been an integral part of several major policy wins for our renewable forest industries, including the extension of the Regional Forest Agreements, the recognition of the impact of the Black Summer bushfires on our forest industries, and the participation of forestry plantations in the Climate Solutions Fund. I am confident that he will help AFPA continue to grow as a highly effective voice for our renewable industries across the value chain and across the nation.”

Prior to joining AFPA in 2016, Mr Violante held senior roles as a political adviser in policy and communications, and as a journalist. Mr Violante said he looked forward to taking on more responsibility for AFPA’s strategic direction in partnership with AFPA’s Board, membership, and state colleagues.

Source: AFPA

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Contract awarded for harvesting fire affected logs

Australian forestry services company Harvestco has been awarded the contract to harvest, store and stockpile the first 200,000 tonnes of pine in the Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers estate.

Harvestco started work on the Island in December 2020, clearing rows of trees alongside powerlines, as part of KIPT’s fire prevention work in conjunction with SA Power Networks. Soon the harvest proper will start, with Pinus radiata logs cut to length and sorted according to potential future markets – logs, chips, pellets.

The best of the fire-damaged timber will be sent to water storage at KIPT’s Macgill property, and placed in the Sheep Creek Dam on that property. A harvesting trial starts this week to determine the optimal recovery from the pine estate. After the trial is planned to start clearfell harvesting, building to an annual production rate of 200,000 toned per annum from April. The harvest of about 4.5 million tonnes of fire-affected timber is expected to take about five years.

KIPT Managing Director Keith Lamb said it was an important step for the company to have appointed HarvestCo for the initial harvest. “This is an experienced company with an excellent record and we’re glad to be working with them.”

Harvestco will initially employ about 12 people for the Kangaroo Island work and that will increase over coming years. Harvestco Managing Director Rick Murphy said he was looking forward to the harvest-proper on Kangaroo Island. “There are some unique challenges in working on an Island and with a fire-damaged resource but we have many years’ experience across Australia and we’re looking froward to bringing our expertise to the circumstances on Kangaroo Island.”

Mr Murphy is keen to employ local operators on Kangaroo Island and Harvestco has a well-established training program in concert with the Logging Investigation and Training Association (LITA), based in Mt Gambier.

Source: KIPT

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Rod Carr to deliver Carbon Forestry keynote address

We are pleased to announce Rod Carr as the keynote speaker for the FIEA Carbon Forestry 2021 Conference which will run in Rotorua, New Zealand on 15-16 June. Dr Carr will lead a strong line up of speakers for this timely national conference. The Climate Change Commission has a pivotal role to play in the next stage of New Zealand’s action to meet its international climate obligations with practical targets and timelines.

As Chair, Rod Carr is planning a course for the Climate Change Commission he helms through uncharted territory, looking to find a useful place for the body in New Zealand's public debate and the realities of politics. The Commission is empowered to push the Government to do more to reduce emissions, he will have to tread a fine line between doing his job and engaging in political advocacy.

According to Newsroom reporting (see more here) Carr's Commission has quickly taken on a role for education and awareness about climate change, engaging with members of the public and seeking from them a mandate to push harder for climate action.

Dr Carr has extensive experience in both public and private sector governance and leadership. Dr Carr led the University of Canterbury as Vice Chancellor for ten years and was the founding Chair of the National Infrastructure Advisory Board. He served as Chair and non-executive director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and served as Deputy Governor and for a time Acting Governor of the Bank.

For further information on the June event click here.

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Softwood sawn timber testing facility set up

A research project that’s looking into the mechanical properties of softwood sawn timber has resulted in the establishment of a world-leading, dedicated timber testing facility in South Australia, from which industry is likely to reap rewards for years to come.

The state-of-the art laboratory, established at The University of South Australia’s (UniSA) Mawson Lakes campus, has been fitted with the latest machinery from around the world. Combined with improved testing methods and processes, and innovative software programs, the facility is set to benefit Australia long-term through significant advancements in timber testing capacity and capabilities.

The inaugural project being conducted out of the new lab will determine the mechanical properties of softwood sawn timber. The information and insights gathered will be used to safeguard the industry, by providing a robust evidence-base to demonstrate timber product properties as required by industry standards. The work will help confirm confidence amongst existing and emerging markets, opening the door for potential new applications.

Some of the information generated from this study will assist softwood manufacturers when confirming the compliance of their products under various industry standards, including AS/NZS1748 Timber - Mechanically stress-graded for structural purposes.

As part of the project, which is being led by UniSA with funding from industry collaborators, as well as the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI), researchers are capturing a representative sample of softwood sawn-timber production from 13 participating Australian sawmills over a full year of production.

Using the lab’s newly installed machinery, timber samples will undergo testing for bending, tension and compression, with associated moisture and density information also captured. To support the process, the UniSA Information Technology team has developed rigorous data capture and storage software to keep track of the samples and reduce the risk of data mishandling.

Researchers will analyse test results and provide accurate information to industry on the structural properties of their sawn timber products, which it’s hoped will empower industry to broadly promote the many performance benefits associated with timber.

“The establishment of this new facility is so exciting because it represents a significant development in Australian timber testing capabilities, which will be invaluable for equipping the industry with an ongoing understanding and database of timber properties and performance,” said Andy McNaught, Chair of the AFPA Solid Wood Products Technical Committee.

Going forward, the new testing facility will be opened up to industry in support of their own testing projects, including those focused on structural works, architecture and construction project management.

More >>

Source: FWPA

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Victorian Forest Products Association CEO appointed

The Victorian Forest Products Association (VFPA) has announced the appointment of its foundation Chief Executive Officer Deb Kerr. Ms Kerr has extensive experience in the primary industries sector, having worked in various industry representative roles across the sector, and most recently as a senior executive with Australian Pork Limited.

The Chair of the VFPA Tony Price said Ms Kerr’s appointment marks a new beginning for the Victorian forest industries as the single united voice for timber growers, harvesters, processors, and manufacturers, with the backing and support of a national body.

“Deb brings a wealth of experience and she has the skills and experience needed to represent our industry with the State Government and in the wider Victorian community, and we’re glad to have her on board,” Mr Price said.

Ms Kerr said she is excited about the new role and is looking forward to starting. “Victorian sustainably operated forest industries produce the ultimate renewable that is used by Australians every day in more ways than they probable realise,” Ms Kerr said.

“The state’s native forests and plantations integrate environmental, commercial and community values while contributing around AU$730 million to the Victorian economy and directly employing more than 21,000 people, many of whom live and work in regional communities. It’s an honour and privilege to lead this new organisation.”

“The VFPA and AFPA will work closely together“ Mr Price said. “The forest products industry is a major contributor to Victoria’s economy and a major employer, and Deb joins it with a well-earned reputation. I congratulate her and look forward to working with her when she starts on 1 February.”

Mr Price has also paid tribute to Tim Johnston, the outgoing Chief Executive of the Victorian Association of Forest Industries Inc (VAFI), which is being replaced by the VFPA. “I want to thank Tim and acknowledge his many years of service to the industry,” Mr Price concluded.

Source: VFPA

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Timber unlocks adaptive reuse options for new hotel

A new hotel sitting atop six storeys of commercial office space in Melbourne’s CBD may not look that different from the neighbouring glass-encased development, but is in fact hailed one of the largest timber projects in the world.

The 10-storey 14,000sqm commercial tower built out of cross laminated timber sourced entirely from Forest Stewardship Council certified suppliers was completed in August, with only a few COVID-19 hiccups. More than 5,300 tonnes of cross laminated timber were shipped from Austria, with sources from Australia largely non-existent when the project first started (but anticipated to take off shortly).

The AU$50 million, 220-room serviced apartment hotel was built like Lego over a working office space. The thing about constructing with timber, Bates Smart architectural firm director Julian Anderson says, is it’s “a very quiet process” compared to steel and concrete. Which means the impact on adjacent residents and then also the tenants within the commercial building were pretty minimal.”

The building now operates as a “carbon sink”, as described by the building’s owner Hume Partner’s managing director Scott Davies, offsetting about 4200 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

And despite Melbourne’s strict planning controls, Mr Anderson says there is plenty of untapped potential for timber extensions, which lead to sustainable outcomes. The timber hotel, known as Adina Melbourne Southbank, is not Bates Smart’s first foray into the material.

The studio also designed Australia’s tallest timber office building, 25 King in Brisbane. Opened in late 2018, the building is one metre shy of the world’s tallest timber building, Brock Commons in Vancouver. The 52-metre-tall Brisbane tower set a global precedent for larger structures that pushed the boundaries beyond steel and concrete by leaving the timber frame exposed.

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Source: thefifthestate

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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... a genius street artist

There’s a Genius Street Artist Running Loose In The Streets.

Let’s Hope Nobody Catches Him or Her!

And one more to start the year on. A wealthy lady decides to go on a photo safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle along for the company. One day the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old poodle thinks, "Oh,oh! I'm in deep sh** now!" Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap, the old poodle exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. "Whew!" says the leopard, "That was close! That old poodle nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection. So off he goes, but the old poodle sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up. The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard.

The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!" Now, the old poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?", but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old poodle says: "Where's that damn monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard!"

Moral of this story: Age and cunning will always overcome youth and skill.

And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Distinction Dunedin Hotel
6 Liverpool Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (03) 470 1902, Mob: +64 21 227 5177, Fax: +64 (03) 470 1906
Web page:

This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at

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