In the aftermath of a devastating wildfire that destroyed almost half of Tasmania’s forests, Tasmania’s timber harvesting industry is experiencing some serious issues, with thousands of workers unable to access the state’s main supply of timber.
Key points:Timber processing companies have had to rework their supply chain to accommodate the increased fire riskSource:The Department of Conservation and Forestry (DFCF) has revealed some major changes to the timber processing industry, with workers unable access the timber supplyThe Department says many of the industry’s supply chains are still in place, but it’s been forced to overhaul its supply chain in the wake of the blazeThe Department is also facing challenges in dealing with a huge backlog of logs needed to supply the forestry industry.
Some of the biggest issues the industry has had to face over the past two years include:Processing logs to be processed for export are being reworked to accommodate increased fire risksThe department says it’s trying to make its logging operations more efficient and more resilient to the increased fires.
Key point:Many of the company’s supply chain are still set up, but are undergoing a major overhaul in the aftermath Of those problems, the Department says a major issue is the increasing fire risk.
“A major challenge we’re facing is dealing with the increased risk of fires,” said DFCF spokesperson Tim Wood.
“The fires in Tasmania have a number of different causes and it’s also a bit of a mystery why they’re happening in Tasmania at all, because we’ve got a number more fire events a year than we’re currently seeing.”
So the challenges we’re having to face are not only related to the increase in fire risk, but also related to a lot of different types of supply chains.
“The department has announced some major challenges that have been affecting the industry over the last year, including:Processors have had the ability to apply to the DFCS to reroute logs from logging operations in the Kimberley and Cape York regions to their main supply site in the southern part of the state, where timber is processed.
However, the DFSF says this has not been the case and processing operations have not been able to access those parts of the forest.
Processing operations have also had to adjust their processing routes to accommodate an increase in demand, resulting in an increased demand for processing services, which have to be diverted to other operations.
In response, DFCFs managing director Peter Kowalewski said the department has now agreed to transfer a portion of the logging operations to the state Forestry Commissioner, which will enable the company to re-route logs to its main processing site in Adelaide.”
We’ve been working closely with Forestry Commissioner Tim [Wood] to ensure that our processes are operating optimally and that they’re moving logs as quickly as possible to the processing site,” he said.”
That process has been a huge help to our process and to the industry, and we’ll be looking at that process moving forward.””
It’s really a matter of time, and the more we can see that process going through, the better the company will be able to continue to do its job.
“In its most recent financial results, the department reported that its log processing and shipping business was in the red, but was still profitable, with profits up from $1.2 million in 2016 to $2.2.7 million in 2017.”
It is our hope that the logging industry can now get on with the business and continue to focus on the needs of the workers in the logging industries,” said Wood.