Image for Nitens plantations worth more than just pulp

Photo taken of Eucalyptus nitens furniture and products, unveiled by Kim Booth MP, 13 Dec 2013

The Tasmanian Greens today unveiled a strategy to use the Eucalyptus nitens plantations to generate wealth and jobs in North East Tasmania.

Greens Forestry spokesperson, Kim Booth MP said that despite spending months wondering around Tasmania’s forests Martin Ferguson failed to see the wood for the trees.

“Once again Labor and Liberal have fallen back on the pulp mill mirage as their only answer to create jobs for North East Tasmania,” Mr Booth said.

“The board table that I’m unveiling here is made from 100 percent nitens plantation pulpwood, and it is clearly a high quality high value product.”

“I have been running trials over the past year as well as researching building uses for nitens wood and know that eucalyptus nitens is too good to pulp.”

“The Greens are proposing that Tasmania pursue a diversified product range, including furniture, cross linked timber (CLT) and structural beams for construction.”

“A diversified product range will ensure smaller more efficient lines of production that can adapt to market demands and innovation in building materials.”

“We need to start using Tasmanian nitens and timber in Tasmania rather than importing product from the mainland and overseas.”

“A diversified product range will provide for long-terms jobs with better career paths for Tasmanian workers and higher return for growers.”

“Emerging markets for cross linked timber indicate that Tasmania should be able to deliver both value and volume for our nitens as well as stand on its own two feet.”

“Ferguson’s pulp mill fiction will see farmers lose their investment and public money wasted. Too much time and money has been wasted on this divisive pulp mill fiction.”

“There are sound economic alternatives for our nitens plantations resource,” Mr Booth said.

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• John Day: It continues ...  more lost opportunities?

I estimate that at least 40% of the timber on this truck is solid and straight sawlog timber, which has been deliberately spilt and sent for chipping.

A) I thought all this was to stop with the TFA.

B) Aren’t saw mills closing because they cannot get sawlogs?

C) Aren’t sawmills retooling and updating their production equipment?

D) Surely someone will pay more than the very low export woodchip price?

E) Surely someone could use this timber for a higher added value? Who is responsible to ensure quality saw logs are not chipped?

F) Is there a formal process in place to put aside quality sawlogs for sawing into dimensional timber rather than just produce low value woodchips?

It’s criminal that quality logs (given the size possibly 100 years old) are just chipped.

If you have answers I would like to hear them.

I recently purchased $400-00 of dimensional treated pine (190 X 45, 90 x 90 and 145x 35); none of this was produced in Tasmania, some was from New Zealand. The three hardware companies that I asked to quote could not advise me where their timber originated from; two said it would not be from Tasmania.

More lost opportunities. Perhaps I should have tried harder.

Yesterday on Tasmanian Times: Kim Booth: Plantation report a hoax on investors “The industry needs to look at product differentiation for new-generation timber products that will deliver real value, like cross linked structural timber.” “The reason there are no pulp mill investors coming forward is that it was corruptly approved, it has no social licence, and it has no hope of selling a tarnished product on global markets.” “We welcome Labor reconfirming today no public money will go into propping up this white elephant but the challenge now is for Tony Abbott to also declare - just as with Holden – that no further public money will go to the pulp mill.” “Labor and Liberal would have more chance of finding a yeti than this elusive pulp mill investor they keep talking about.”

Jan Davis: TFGA says private plantation resource key to Tasmania’s future