Friday Offcuts 21 October 2022
In the forest technology space this week, we’ve built in coverage and some of the trends coming out of a large geospatial conference that ran in the US recently. The key buzzword this year was definitely ‘metaverse’. It’s being described as “a journey into the new reality” that’s transforming geospatial and mapping industries. A much more in-depth review on some of these new technology developments is provided in the story below. And New Zealand’s first satellite imagery marketplace has just been launched. The idea here is that it’s going to enable land and resource managers, planners and GIS specialists to more easily access timely satellite imagery. With new satellites and technology being launched all the time, it’s providing the user access to a comprehensive range of satellite services that are now available.
On the subject of innovation in log transport this week, we’ve got an intriguing story from a couple of enterprising Canadian inventors who’re building a hybrid electric logging truck, backed up by diesel generators. It’s a great concept and you've got to love the company’s slogan, Edison Motors: Stealing Tesla’s Idea. Very simply, the truck drivers head up the mountain electrically with empty trailers and then come back down loaded with logs, the brakes regenerating the batteries on the way down. You use the stored potential energy to get to the top of the mountain and then you turn it into kinetic energy on the way down. “Pretty slick" is how the two inventors who’ve retrofitted a 1962 Kenworth as their prototype describe it.
In log transport, we continue to cover an array of new innovations in electric, hydrogen and diesel-hybrid powered vehicles, truck automation and platooning. Right now, there’s a huge amount of interest by larger fleet operators and already, a number of firsts for fueling log trucks in this part of the world are underway and being planned for early 2023. It’s for this reason that the first Wood Transport & Logistics event is being planned right now for 24-25 May 2023 with industry. Mark the date into your diaries. Early details can be found on the event website, www.woodtransport.events and if you’re keen on information as this major event is being planned, you can sign yourself up for updates.
Finally today, in forestry training initiatives, from the central North Island of NZ, a course implemented by a local iwi trust is taking rangatahi (youth) to new heights, three years after its launch. The iwi trust has a well-defined strategic plan to assist their young people into forestry employment. Wrapped around the training though to build up a skilled and dedicated future forestry workforce is a clear commitment to iwi well-being. Pastoral care and personal development are both important cornerstones of the success of the programme. A mill in NSW likewise has been working with Correctional Services NSW taking on minimum-security inmates after bushfire and housing shortages left the mill unable to fill workforce vacancies. It’s been described as a win-win arrangement for the Tumbarumba Mill and for the inmates who’re nearing the end of their sentence, enabling them to reintegrate back into the workplace. And that positive note, that’s it for this week.
This week we have for you:
ForestLearning wins across multiple categoriesForest and Wood Products Australia’s education program ForestLearning has been recognised for its outstanding contribution to geography education, collecting two wins for three of its teaching resources and one highly commended resource at the biennial Australian Geography Teacher’s Association (AGTA) Awards held in Hobart recently.
The AGTA awards reward quality geography teaching products that meet all set criteria including the resource’s currency, authenticity, application of contemporary understandings about how students learn, the use of cutting-edge production, and contemporary and innovative style in supporting geographical education in Australian schools.
The award-winning ForestLearning resources included the world-first ForestVRTM – Learn through immersion education toolkit. ForestVR brings virtual reality (VR) forest and milling experiences into the classroom and allows students an immersive 360-degree view of Australia’s productive forests and wood processing facilities.
Filmed at over 75 forest and wood processing sites across Australia, ForestVR video experiences can be viewed via the classroom ready ForestVR app or via any school technology via web-based content. 360-degree photo tours with embedded hotspots form another avenue for student VR exploration. Phase 2 ForestVR was recently launched in June 2022 with ten new video experiences and was funded with support of the Australian Government.
In conferring the awards, AGTA judges commended the high quality of the ForestVR education products and pointed to the “explicit value to their classroom with their technology-rich product design” which present a “highly accessible and engaging resource for students”.
The two Drones in Forestry teaching units for primary and secondary classrooms produced in partnership with She Maps also picked up a win for the best Digital/Online Resources. Launched in August 2022, these resources have already been downloaded over 520 times in their first month of being published online.
The new, innovative, highly engaging, and technology rich units of work for Years 5-6 and 9-10 Geography and Digital Technologies classrooms allow students to explore and understand through real-world case studies how drones and Geographic Information systems (GIS), including remote sensing, assist forestry workers to sustainably manage the forest environments that provide sustainable and renewable resources for society.
Finally, the highly commended Year 10 geography Environmental Change and Forest Management resource produced in partnership with the Geography Teachers Association Victoria (GTAV) published in May 2022, provides teachers with a complete teaching toolkit aligned to the Australian Curriculum focussing on Australia’s productive forests. The resource fully equips teachers with a range of engaging and technology rich teaching tools including the embedding of ForestVR tools and interactive spatial resources into the geography classroom for enhanced student engagement.
“Our curriculum aligned resources make it easy for teachers to engage students in topics such as sustainability, spatial technologies, and the environment. Importantly they address the gap of Australian-specific teaching resources about forests and wood products,” said ForestLearning National Education Program Manager Beth Welden.
“Using the power of virtual reality, the ForestVR 360-degree videos and photo tours make otherwise inaccessible areas of Australia for school field trips instead accessible online for educators and their students.
The ForestVR, ‘Year 10 Environmental Change and Forest Management toolkit’ and ‘Drones in Forestry’ resources are available to view and freely download via the ForestLearning website: www.forestlearning.edu.au.
Links to resources
• ForestVR virtual tours and 360-degree video experiences
• Drones in Forestry Years 5-6
• Drones in Forestry Years 9-10
• Year 10 Environmental Change and Forest Management education toolkit
Photo L-R: Beth Welden, ForestLearning National Education Program Manager, Veronica Tyquin, a ForestLearning curriculum specialist
New marketplace for satellite imageryCritchlow Geospatial has announced the launch of New Zealand’s first satellite imagery marketplace.
Recent advances in optics, remote sensing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing mean that satellite imagery (and its ever-growing catalogue of derived data) is now more powerful and accessible than ever before.
Today’s satellite imagery is not just high-resolution optical imagery either, it now includes multi (and hyper) spectral capabilities that can distinguish between materials on the Earth’s surface, as well as Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) that can penetrate through clouds, smoke and darkness of night.
The NZ Satellite Imagery Marketplace will make it easier for businesses and organisations to kickstart or ramp up their satellite imagery journey by providing knowledge, tools and insights as a one-stop online resource.
With flexible new business models around the licenses for software and data, the Marketplace will make it much easier for agritech, farmers, horticulturalists, planners, engineers and GIS specialists who serve those industries to access satellite imagery in a timely and automated manner, often via web-based and self-service subscription models.
Critchlow Geospatial Group Managing Director, Steve Critchlow says that the launch of the New Zealand Satellite Imagery Marketplace coincides with the commercial maturation of the technology and the imminent need for innovation in accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy.
“Earth observation via satellite imagery and its derived data is at the forefront of green policy and the shift to low carbon activity and emissions reduction. As part of a low carbon strategy, it will help organisations reduce their emissions and enable them to achieve their Net Zero targets much more expediently,” says Critchlow.
However, with new satellites and technology being launched all the time, it's a complicated proposition to keep up with the rapid pace of change not to mention all the new players entering the market, and this is where the New Zealand Satellite Imagery Marketplace does all the heavy lifting.
Each provider in the Marketplace has been carefully hand-selected by Critchlow Geospatial to ensure the most comprehensive range of satellite services available today. Current providers include, Maxar, NTT Data, Pixxel, SI Imaging, Head Aerospace, Capella Space, Satellogic and SpaceWill.
With the satellite Earth observation market expected to grow globally to US$7.88 billion by 2030, almost every industry sector in New Zealand will benefit from next-generation satellite imagery and its derived data. The New Zealand Satellite Imagery Marketplace will enable the accelerated adoption of this innovative and essential technology.
Wood – our low carbon future launchedFunding from the Forest Growers Levy Trust and Te Uru Rakau is driving a new promotional campaign for New Zealand’s plantation forestry and the wood processing industry. The campaign was launched at the NZIF Conference in Auckland on 13 September. Television advertisements are due to run between 9-23 October.
For more information, visit the campaign website
Below is one of two television commercials now playing on TVNZ.
The other can be viewed here
City councillors lack climate change understandingA lack of understanding based on misconceptions and misinformation continues to impact Australian native forestry. Greens’ councillor for inner-city Melbourne suburb Marigyrong, Simon Crawford tabled a motion at the recent the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) conference to end native forestry earlier than the Victorian Labor Government’s phased 2030 Victorian Forestry Plan.
The MAV provides inner-city councils voting rights 2:1 over their regional counterparts. “This voting system is a clear imbalance of power providing inner-city councils with decision making over regional areas that actually provide essential commodities such as produce, meat, fibre and energy,” state AFCA General Manager Carlie Porteous.
Mr Crawford stated his reasoning for the motion as “we’ve declared a climate emergency, so we need as much native forest around the world as possible”. However, his statements appear contradictory to the recommendations of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which supports the active management of our forests for carbon sequestration and timber supply.
Fires pose one of the highest risks to meeting much needed carbon sequestration goals. A report by Nature Journal quantified the devasting impact on carbon dioxide emissions from the 2019-2020 bushfires at more than 715m tonnes into the atmosphere. Much of it burning through unmanaged National Park areas.
In Victoria during the 2019-20 bushfire season, 34 forest contracting businesses provided over 137 days of critical aid to the Victorian Government and threatened communities. This required the skill and experience of 284 full time employees with using 190 pieces of specialised equipment.
“Many Victorians do not support the end of native forestry in Victoria. Particularly as demand for products has not diminished and there are no identified resources to fill the gap besides importing from overseas,” explains Ms Porteous. “This shortened timeframe is also a concern from a bushfire management perspective. Should we assume the councillor and those supporting the motion have a plan to protect Victorians from the next catastrophic bushfire?” questioned Ms Porteous.
Given the motion has been passed, the MAV is now obliged to lobby the Victorian government for an early phase out of the industry. “I would encourage all councillors, considering voting yes, to meet and speak with the men and women who saved communities during all of the historic and catastrophic fires in Victoria’s history and who continue to manage the forest for generations to come”. Stated Ms Porteous.
AFCA General Manager, Carlie Porteous
Diesel-electric hybrid trucks for logging industryIf one guy can call his electric-car company Tesla, why not call theirs Edison, a couple of Merritt entrepreneurs figured.
While the real-life Tesla and Edison, ground-breaking inventors, became fierce rivals, Edison Motors has a way to go before catching up with Elon Musk’s car company. But the journey has begun: Chace Barber and Eric Little are building hybrid electric logging trucks, backed up by diesel generators.
“The fact there’s a car company called Tesla and we’re called Edison is pure coincidence,” Barber, CEO of Edison Motors, said over the phone, the sound of his tongue in his cheek coming through clear. “Our company’s slogan is, Edison Motors: Stealing Tesla’s Idea, a nod to Thomas Edison stealing Nicola Tesla’s idea.”
What Edison Motors has come up with is a unique diesel-electric powertrain with a 6,000-pound generator. “We’re seeing a 70 per cent reduction in fuel,” Barber said. “Basically, you go from a 50 litre diesel (engine) to a nine litre diesel and you can drive for, depending on your load, about two hours off the batteries and then the generator fires up for another 30 minutes. So, you are only running a nine litre motor for a half-hour to drive off electric for two hours, instead of running a 15 litre diesel 100 per cent of the time.”
The reason the truck is particularly suited to logging, Barber added, is drivers head up the mountain electrically with empty truck beds and come back down full, the brakes regenerating the batteries all the way down. “You use the stored potential energy to get to the top of the mountain and then turn that into kinetic energy on the way down. It works pretty slick.”
The hybrid logging trucks can be plugged in to charge, meaning you can bring it into town and hook up to a charging station, but making them fully electric would have meant outfitting the prototype with 40,000 pounds of batteries, Barber said.
Barber and Little met at Thompson Rivers University where, although mechanical (Barber) and electrical (Little) engineering were their passions, they were business students. Diesel trains have been using the technology for almost a century so, like the real Edison borrowing from the real Tesla, the two thought why not make what is basically a train on wheels?
The prototype truck’s cab is a retrofitted 1962 Kenworth Needle Nose, which made a lot more financial sense than building a truck from scratch. The main work is replacing the axles, dropping a transmission and installing a generator.
“We realized a lot of these trucks out here, they’ve got good bones,” Barber, who also happens to be a third-generation logging-truck driver, said. He and Little, to their astonishment, have also become Tik Tok stars, their videos seen by millions. That caught the eye of NBC’s Today Show, which flew a crew to interview Barber in Merritt and at a trade show in Hope. What piqued NBC’s interest is the videos appeal to those who traditionally have been against, or felt threatened by, the transformation from fossil fuels to electric power for vehicles.
NOTE: With so many major changes and innovations being rolled out in log transport (electric, hydrogen, diesel hybrids, in-forest log truck platooning ….), the first log transport event, Wood Transport & Logistics 2023 for over five years is being planned at the moment to run in Rotorua, New Zealand on 24-25 May 2023. Programme details will be posted shortly and early information on the planned event can be found on www.woodtransport.events.
W.A. draft Forest Management Plan releasedA pledge to end native logging in Western Australia’s southwest is included in a draft Forest Management Plan released for comment by the state government. The move will preserve another 400,000 hectares of forest on top of the 1.6 million hectares already protected from logging, though not mining.
Under the 10-year plan, the only timber to be taken from native forests will come from managed activities designed to improve forest health, such as ecological thinning, or for clearing for approved mining operations, and infrastructure maintenance.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions will engage with the Noongar traditional owners to enter formal arrangements to manage the South West conservation estate consistent with the area’s native title settlement.
The government previously announced an AU$80 million investment to support workers, businesses, and communities transitioning out of native logging. It said the forest management plan reaffirmed its commitment to act on climate change and protect biodiversity by reducing deforestation and forest degradation.
The plan also outlined future approaches to bushfire risk management and access to domestic firewood. Environment and Climate Action Minister Reece Whitby said the decision to end native logging had not been made lightly but the government had to preserve forests for future generations. “The science showing climate change is having, and will have, a devastating impact on our environment is well-established and cannot be ignored,” he said.
“This does not mean an end to forest management activities but an end to large-scale commercial logging in our native forests,” Mr Kelly said. The public consultation period on the draft plan will continue until 18 December 2022 with community information events to be staged in regional locations.
Read more from the Hon. Reece Whitby, Minister for Environment and Climate Action (WA), The Hon. Dave Kelly, Minister for Forestry (WA), Joint Media Release, 18 October 2022.
View the plan and make a submission at www.dbca.wa.gov.au
Source: SMH, Australian Rural & Regional News
AKD goes pink again for October2022 is AKD’s fourth year of turning PINK for Breast Cancer Awareness Month for the McGrath Breast Care Nurses who provide invaluable support and care to women and men experiencing breast cancer.
A breast cancer diagnosis changes your life, often in ways you wouldn’t expect. A McGrath Breast Care Nurse brings you and your family peace of mind through expert knowledge, personal care and genuine compassion. They can help you create time in your life not defined by breast cancer and they are free.
This year AKD has a real focus on spreading awareness of the risks of breast cancer and importance of early intervention. “Check Yourself to Protect Yourself” is AKD taking a step forward and starting the conversation about the importance of being breast aware.
This year in Australia, 57 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day. Early detection of breast cancer gives greater options of effective treatments available. Approximately 5% of breast cancer diagnosis have inherited a genetic predisposition to the disease from their mother or father. It’s not just your own life at risk!
Every AKD employee across the country has received a new uniform embroidered with a pink AKD ribbon logo and ‘CHECK yourself to PROTECT yourself’ slogan and can get involved with different events at each site. The company even changes its product packaging and strapping for the month with the key messages presented on its pack wrap.
AKD CEO, Shane Vicary, says “AKD is proud to be associated with McGrath Foundation to increase awareness and support the Care Nurses by sharing this powerful message throughout October with our employees, their families, and our communities”.
Donations can be made here.
Rangatahi growing in forestry with iwi trust trainingIn New Zealand, a training initiative implemented by a central North Island iwi trust is taking rangatahi (youth) to new heights, three years since its launch.
Rotomā No. 1 Incorporation’s mahi is mostly dedicated to the forestry industry, but at the heart of ensuring its sustainability is a scheme to secure a skilled and dedicated future workforce and a commitment to iwi well-being.
The iwi trust has a clear strategic plan to assist their young people — descendants and beneficiaries of Rotomā shareholders —into employment. Bringing iwi through a silviculture (pruning and thinning) training programme is helping Rotomā to grow a solid workforce and succession plan, while proving highly successful in developing Ngāti Pikiao rangatahi.
Rotomā Kaiarahi (Career Pathway Advisor) Abe Whata (Ngāti Pikiao) is responsible for supporting their rangatahi to attain qualifications. With a Navy background, Abe joined the team in 2019 and with experience working in Te Maioha o Parekarangi Youth Justice Residence, he is driven to make a difference for rangatahi.
Before being assigned to a crew and exposed to the reality of working in a forest, all rangatahi start their training with a six-week pre-employment block course that covers first aid, nutrition, health and safety, along with site safety training. Abe explains that pastoral care and personal development are important cornerstones of the programme.
“We take rangatahi from 16 years old. Some have left school at 13, and we need to quickly assess whether they need extra support with numeracy and literacy competency, for example. We teach them the skills they need to be set up for a successful career and that includes financial literacy, so they can start saving a deposit for their future home,” says Abe.
Basic work ethics and time management are supported with mentoring. Mature workers buddy up with younger learners so they can impart valuable advice from a new perspective.
Abe highlights the changes families see in their learners as they progress through the training. “We regularly hear from whānau how proud they are of their young people when they start training; proud they are employed, earning and learning. The programme has enhanced the structural foundation of our whole community.”
Shane Kaaho (Te Arawa) is a Forestry Trainer and Assessor endorsed by industry training partner Competenz. Shane supports the rangatahi in first attaining a New Zealand Certificate in Forestry Operations, Level 3. He understands the journey many of the rangatahi are on — he followed his family into forestry 40 years ago not being able to read or write.
“I’m passionate about passing on my own experience. We achieve great outcomes. We even get the guys participating in rugby and golf. They start to learn that they are in a team, they begin to set goals, and they become their own family in the middle of the forest – they become whānau,” he says.
The Global Forest Industry this QuarterGlobal Timber Markets:
A halt in Russian log exports and reduced wood demand in China contributed to a 20% decline in international softwood log trade in the 1H/22. Sawlog prices increased worldwide in the 2Q/22, except for Oceania and Northern Europe. The increase extends the upward price trend that started in early 2020. As a result, the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI), representing 20 regions worldwide, has increased 34% in two years.
Global Wood Fibre Markets:
Tight wood fibre supply, low pulp inventories, and record high market pulp prices have pushed the costs for pulplogs and wood chips up over the past year. The global Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) jumped 5.3% q-o-q in the 2Q/22 and was 13% higher than a year ago, while the global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) has gone up relatively less (+7%) since the 2Q/21.
Global Pulp Markets:
Prices for all the primary pulp grades reached new highs in the 2Q/22. The substantial increases in pulp prices paired with only modest increases in wood fiber costs have resulted in record gross margins for pulp companies worldwide. Global trade of market pulp fell slightly during the first half of 2022, driven by lower demand in China, Germany, and Italy. The United States stood out as the only market with substantial importation expansion mostly because of continued strong demand for a variety of paper products.
Global Lumber Markets:
Global trade of softwood lumber fell about 10% in the first half of 2022. Most of the decline was driven by lower lumber demand in China, the US, and Germany. Lumber prices in Canada and the US fell by about 50% from March to July 2022 but were still close to their five-year averages.
The international boycott of Russian forest products created much uncertainty in the European lumber market, and lumber prices softened in early summer. Lumber imports to China fell 44% during 2020-21, and shipments are on pace to reach their lowest levels in ten years in 2022.
Sawmills worldwide can look back on a few years with historically high profits due to record-high lumber prices and limited increases in wood raw-material costs. According to the Wood Resource Quarterly, current profit levels are the highest in at least 25 years.
Global Biomass Markets:
Russia's war in Ukraine has shaken up the European pellet market. Pre-war shipments from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine totaled about 3.5 million tons in 2021, about 30% of total imports to the continent. However, in the 2H/22, this trade is likely to come to a halt. The tumultuous energy market in Europe brought wood pellet prices in the second and third quarters to extremely high levels never seen before.
Source: Wood Resources International
A journey into the new realityImpressions from HxGN Live Global 2022
In which direction is the geospatial industry heading? Which core activities will companies focus on? How will the rapidly progressing technological advances shape the future? The recent edition of HxGN Live Global in Las Vegas formed an important hub for professionals who wanted to get a clear picture of what lies ahead in the field of mapping and surveying – and also, as became apparent during the event, increasingly outside of it.
Hexagon is unquestionably a digital reality solutions powerhouse, so it came as no real surprise that attendees were immersed in the very latest in sensors, software and autonomous technologies at the company’s flagship conference, HxGN Live Global 2022, earlier this year. Everything was dazzlingly showcased, with the packed auditorium being addressed by passionate Hexagon executives on a huge stage supported by stunning audio-visuals. The billion-dollar company’s vision of the future was interspersed with updates, product launches and other announcements. But what is the philosophy behind the technological developments, and how will they influence the surveyor’s work?
HxGN Live Global 2022 was held at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, USA, from 20-22 June. The key buzzword this year was definitely ‘metaverse’. One problem with buzzwords is that they often conceal the real meaning rather than conveying it efficiently. However, in Las Vegas, the discussions fortunately went deeper. According to the Open Geospatial Consortium, the metaverse is “the internet transformed by real-time 3D technologies, but the impact of real-time 3D is also transforming geospatial. In the metaverse, the real world and the internet will merge – and geospatial information and technology will be key to that combination.”
In a keynote on this topic, called ‘Where the Metaverse Meets Business’, Hexagon CTO Burkhard Boeckem likewise emphasized that geospatial and the metaverse are intertwined. He described the metaverse as “a journey into the new reality” that is transforming the industry. That journey goes hand in hand with new technology created by Hexagon, he explained, as he zoomed in on all the ingredients needed to create a smart digital reality – ranging from advanced photogrammetry and remote sensing solutions enriched with artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, to GIS and building information modelling (BIM).
Forest scientists concerned by lack of evidenceDocuments released under a Freedom of Information request have exposed a lack of evidence-based decision making by the Western Australian Government in relation to management of native forests, according to the organisation that represents professional forest scientists and managers.
Chair of the WA Branch of Forestry Australia, Brad Barr, said revelations that the decision to end native forest timber harvesting was not backed up by scientific evidence gave reason to question the Government’s motives. “It seems that the Government tells us to “listen to the science”, except when the science contradicts its own policy objectives,” Mr Barr said.
“Claims by the Western Australian Government that climate change and declining rainfall make future harvesting of native forests unsustainable have not been backed by evidence. On the contrary, potential impacts of climate change on forest growth have been factored into conservative forest productivity models.
“Forestry Australia notes that the 2014-2023 Forest Management Plan and its various independent reviews, the most recent released in 2019, have all re-iterated that the potential effects of climate change on the growth rate of jarrah and karri trees have been factored in when projecting future yields. Future tree growth and timber yield estimates have assumed high climate change severity. And even then, a further ten percent was deducted from calculated sustainable yields, to provide an additional safety buffer”.
“A government spokesperson quoted the 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which found reducing deforestation and forest degradation rates is one of the most effective and robust ways to mitigate climate change.
“Forestry Australia agrees completely, which is why we are puzzled that the sustainable harvest of native forest products is ceasing, while broad-scale clearing of thousands of hectares of jarrah forest for mining is allowed to continue, and even to expand.”
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ”In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fibre or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.”
Source: Forestry Australia
Skilled inmate employment helps mill operationA Mannus Correctional Centre works release program is providing inmates with employment opportunities, while helping meet an unprecedented demand for timber by filling a labour shortage in the state’s largest sawmill. Hyne Timber Tumbarumba Sawmill, which has a long-standing relationship with Corrective Services NSW, expanded its employment of minimum-security inmates after bushfire and housing shortages left the mill unable to fill workforce vacancies or operate at capacity.
Mannus Correctional Centre classification and placement officer Anna Hjelmroth said inmates nearing the end of their sentence are allowed to apply for the coveted positions, which provide them with paid employment and work experience prior to their release. “It’s a fantastic opportunity because they get to feel normal, reintegrate and take on that responsibility before leaving prison with a bit of money in their account to set up for a law-abiding life,” Ms Hjelmroth said.
“Inmates take really valuable skills to Hyne that they’ve gained here at Mannus by working in our onsite timber processing unit or gaining qualifications like a forklift ticket through our programs with TAFE NSW.” So far, 11 inmates are working at the sawmill, including John (not his real name) who earnt his place on the team 18 months ago.
“At Mannus I’ve learned how to operate machines and be part of a normal workplace,” he said. “This job is giving me a good work ethic, confidence to go back into the working world and financial stability for when I get out. You feel good about yourself and I think it helps you progress back to a normal way of life.”
Hyne Timber Tumbarumba Sawmill site manager, Darren Wright, said inmate employees are proving essential to the sawmill, which produces a volume of structural framing onsite every day that could almost stretch from Tumbarumba to Sydney.
“We have a fit and able workforce just five minutes down the road, helping us fill many vacancies in spite of current recruitment challenges and our experience has been very positive,” Mr Wright said. “Our Mannus Correctional Centre team members are hard-working, appreciative of the opportunity and paid equitably.”
CSNSW Commissioner Kevin Corcoran said empowering inmates through education and employment pathways is paramount to rehabilitation. “Training and education for inmates empowers them to gain employable skills for when they are released and offers a better chance at successfully re-integrating into communities,” Mr Corcoran said.
Buy and Sell
... and one to end the week on ... one liners
“The starting pay is $40,000. Later it can go up to $80,000.”
On that note, enjoy your weekend (a three day weekend
beckons for the Kiwis, it being Labour Day on Monday).
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