Inside this issue!

Second Edition, October 2021

Letter From the Chair


Now that our website is about to be commissioned, I would like to take the opportunity to let our members and members of the community know what’s going on between the South West Slopes Forestry Hub meetings.
I would like to thank my many friends and colleagues who have called, text, emailed or inquired after my health during the last fourteen months. Your support is really appreciated and has helped me stay positive when things were pretty grim. Thank you all.
As previously discussed, we now have a proposal from Jacki Schirmer to analyse the current economic state of the plantation based industry post the fires of 2019/20. We know how valuable the 2017 report was in providing factual data to government, and this report is an essential follow up. The proposal will be considered for decision immediately and our members will be advised accordingly.
The paper on one of the options that could be considered for expanding the plantation base that was prepared by our in-house economist Diana Gibbs, was included on the agenda for the Softwood Industry Advisory Group (SIAG) meeting with the Deputy Premier a few weeks ago. Unfortunately this was cancelled due to the Covid crisis, however the paper has been widely circulated to his office, DPI Forestry and our state MP’s.
I have previously discussed a proposal to construct some realistic numbers for land availability around the existing hubs in NSW, as a base for understanding NSW’s potential to expand the plantation estate in the face of looming Australian and global wood shortages. There are plenty of resources which can be utilised for such a project, and all sections of the industry should have input.
The next SIAG meeting can’t come soon enough!
Greg Mullins, the former boss of NSW Fire and Rescue and the leader of the retired fire officers group, was reported in the weekend media as strongly supporting a call for a paid rural firefighting group to back up the existing resources of FCNSW, NPWS, and RFS. He has also proposed using this group to assist with fuel reduction burning and related tasks. Sounds a great idea to me!
The mighty effort put into winter planting is brilliant. I don’t have accurate numbers but over 15000ha is a rough figure for the SWS supply zone. There couldn’t be a better way to express confidence and pride in the industry and the region.


Peter Crowe OAM,

Socio-Economic Impacts of the
Softwood Plantation Industry in the
South West Slopes & Bombala Region, NSW

This report (link below) was prepared by the SWG in 2017 in conjunction with the University of Canberra. It was updated in 2020 to provide further baseline data that incorporated the southern zone of the Hub (ie. North East Victoria). The original report was prepared because, at the time, there was little current data on the socio-economic contribution of the industry to the region, or the key areas in which investment is needed in skills and training to help maintain the industry in the future. This study addressed that gap, collecting data via a survey of the industry and analysis of data produced in past studies and by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This enabled production of the up-to-date information on the value of the industry, the jobs it generates, its contribution to the region, and the skills and training needs of the industry.

It is important to note that throughout Australia, more than 80% of the wood fibre and timber used by wood and paper processors is supplied form Australian softwood and hardwood plantations. However, this plantation-based industry is challenged by a lack of investment in new plantations, and to remain competitive requires ongoing investment in the plantation estate as well as in integrated hubs of processing facilities located near plantations. 

The 2019-20 fires have had an enormous impact on the availability of crucial timber supplies from the Hub region. Hence this report will be revisited with the intention of quantifying the socio-economic impacts of the fire and re-setting the base line for the future.

It is expected that this report will be finalised in the first quarter of 2022.
VIEW report here

Opportunity Knocks in Forestry Planning

AFPA 2021 National Pulp, Paper & Packaging Sustainability Report

As another winter forestry planting season draws to a close, it’s worth considering the great work our forestry planters do getting seedlings in the ground that will grow to become the Aussie houses of tomorrow. Tens of millions of new trees have been planted nationally this year and it wouldn’t happen without those willing to put up their hand for the physical work, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Ross Hampton said today.

Take 26-year-old backpacker Rubio Harmsworth from Ontario Canada. Rubio spent two years planting in British Columbia before coming to Australia. She’s now added a further two years planting with Outland Resources in the Snowy Mountains area of NSW – and has managed to put an astonishing 320,000 seedlings into the ground!

Australia's paper and paperboard manufacturing industry is essential to the modern and continuing needs of the nation, and to its emerging circular economy.
Supplying critical safety, sanitation, packaging and communication materials across the nation, and delivering many products to the local regional and the world, the industry is on the cusp of its next surge in sustainability.
Already one of the leading recyclers of its own products that are at the core of its operations.
By sustaining employment and growing production throughout 2020, pulp, paper and paper product producers maintained their regional footprint despite ongoing operational pressures.

Continue reading 
Continue reading 

Forest Learning - Who Are They & What Do They Do?

• R&D investor, Market development, Statistics and economics, Promotions, Education
• Funded through compulsory levy (growers, processors and importers) and Government
• Contract with the Australian Government
• Owned by members (180 members)
• Industry services company
What they do:

They provide educators with free teaching resources relevant to the Australian Curriculum and with a focus on Australian forests and sustainable timber products.

FWPA collaborate with government and industry stakeholders to determine strategy and deliver programs designed to grow the market for forest and wood products, increase productivity and across the value chain and ensure positive environmental and social outcomes.
Learn more about Forest Learning

NEW From ForestLearning
- Primary Educators Toolkits!

ForestLearning along with of course George the Farmer have just released NEW awesome teaching resources for primary school classrooms! Ideal too (given the current climate) for home learning and packed full of fun and engaging activities and student projects for F-4 at school or home!
Download FREE 
Download FREE 

ForestLearning Career Profile

Join Elle Kromar as she answers questions for students about her career in forestry
(Harvesting Supervisor) and what she does in the NSW Forestry Corporation.
Watch the full interview here 

SWSFH Member Profile - AKD Softwoods

Associated Kiln Driers Pty Ltd (trading as AKD Softwoods) is a 100% Australian owned and operated integrated forestry and timber processing company with operations in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

AKD is distinctive amongst its key competitors for its reputation as a high quality producer, its exceptional customer service and its vertically integrated operations which comprise:
  • Six sawmills processing in excess of 1,000,000m3 of sawlog per annum
  • Over 9,000 hectares of radiata pine plantations located in Victoria and South Australia
  • Three preservation businesses
  • A softwood chip export operation
  • Multiple log export locations
Building an excellent reputation on its quality, service and flexibility, AKD has a wide range of products, and an end to end planning process that enables products to be made to order and dispatched on its own truck fleet, to customers across Australia.

As a regional employer, AKD plays an active part in supporting a variety of local community activities and sees its employees as the vital ingredient in its past and future success.

Since its founding, AKD has continually made significant investments to ensure long term growth and prosperity. AKD has grown its business over the long term, by building a stable foundation. This solid foundation includes stable ownership, long term customer relationships, long term log contracts, its own plantations and multiple state of the art processing facilities.

These foundations are constantly being enhanced by continual reinvestment in the business, plant expansions, plantation growth, employee development and the latest processing, automation, scanning and optimisation technology.

AKD is proud of its 60 year history, having retained its headquarters at the site on which it was founded in Colac, Victoria in 1955 by an association of local family companies. The four equal shareholder companies that own AKD have been involved since day one.
Learn more about AKD here 

AKD are Turning Pink to Raise $100k!

AKD is once again turning pink this October in support of the McGrath Foundation and Breast Cancer Awareness. After raising $80k last year, this year they are targeting a huge $100k!

All donations received will go into the AKD Thank You Draw, with gifts valued at over $3,000. Entrils close 31st October, with the Draw conducted on 5th November and the winner announced via AKD social platforms. Any enquiries can be made to

Why not get behind AKD and The McGrath Foundation to support this worthy cause?
CLICK HERE to donate

Why Forestry Matters!
The role of commercial forestry in
offsetting emissions from the ASX top 50

Attendees at the inaugural Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) National Forest Industries Symposium were offered insights from FWPA on the role of commercial forestry in offsetting carbon emissions from Australia’s biggest companies, and simultaneously helping to solve the global housing crisis.

The symposium was attended by a cross section of industry stakeholders including growers, processors, manufacturers, transporters, retailers, researchers and government. Delegates heard from industry leaders about current challenges, and learned about new research and emerging innovations.
Continue reading 
Should you have any queries regarding the content of our Newsletter please
do not hesitate to contact us at

Share this email with a friend


Our mailing address is:
PO Box 519
Lavington NSW 2641

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp