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Innovative New Forestry Mulchers

Built tough to tackle even the hardest Australian timbers, Fecon Australia’s range of premium mulchers for skid steers and excavators is now bigger and better than ever following the addition of two impressive new models – the Standard Flow and the Blackhawk.

Standard Flow Skid Steer

Mulcher Fecon’s range of world-leading skid steer forestry mulchers have until now been exclusive to only larger loaders that offer 91 litres per minute or more of hydraulic flow. Fecon Australia is therefore proud to release the all new Standard Flow Bull Hog Mulcher to suit skid steers and track loaders with as low as 53 litres per minute. Owners and operators of mid-sized machines now have a lucrative new capability of forestry and land clearing work using a premium Fecon mulcher – meaning the Standard Flow mulcher is a game changer for the entire industry.

22 highly durable cutting tools, designed to maximise mulching efficiency and provide an unrivalled long service life, are contained within a cleverly designed 1270mm rotor to produce a consistently fine chip size and a remarkably tidy final product. Operating within a 2400 to 3000 rpm range, Fecon’s Standard Flow Mulcher can efficiently process small trees up to 150mm in diameter, and makes light work of even the most dense scrub. With a weight of less than 600kg even including its adaptable mounting plate and push bar coupled with its close centre of gravity design, the Fecon Standard Flow Mulcher is easily carried by most mid-sized skid steers and track loaders.

Fecon Australia’s new Standard Flow Mulcher head is ideal for owners and operators of mid-sized skid steers or compact track loaders undertaking fire prevention clearing, general vegetation management, agricultural mulching such as fence rows and crop perimeters, construction site clean-ups and dense brush clearing.

The new capability for mid-sized skid steer loaders to run a heavy-duty, premium quality mulching attachment expands the overall business capabilities and generates lucrative additional revenue streams for virtually every one of the thousands of owners and operators of these machines throughout Australia.

Blackhawk Skid Steer Mulcher

Another mulching head that is brand new to the Fecon Australia line-up is the innovative Blackhawk Mulcher for skid steers and track loaders.

Where Fecon’s other mulchers are designed to process trees and thick scrub, the Blackhawk is instead the perfect mulcher to tackle land clearing operations in stringy, fibrous, dense and fast-growing vegetation. The Blackhawk is formulated to process stubborn foliage quickly and efficiently, and will also collect and feed already felled material to ensure no unprocessed vegetation is left behind.

The Fecon Blackhawk’s uniquely designed rotor contains 30 cutting tools distributed evenly across a wide 1930mm cutting width, offering a prime configuration for quick spool up and immediate recovery. Its reversible tools extend service life by double, and the ingeniously designed lace pattern of the rotor enhances the overall efficiency of the mulcher. The effect is a finer mulch size and evenly processed material.

Requiring a high hydraulic flow range of 91 to 171 litres per minute at a maximum 6000 psi pressure, and an overall weight of 1230kg including mounts, the Fecon Blackhawk is intended for use with large skid steers and track loaders. Alternatively, owners and operators can attach the Blackhawk to Fecon Australia’s own impressive new FTX150 Forestry Mulching Tractor for maximised power and optimal results.

In Stock Now – Plus National Parts, Service and Support

Fecon Australia’s new Standard Flow and Blackhawk mulchers are now in stock and available for sale Australia-wide, along with the existing well-renowned range of forestry mulchers and attachments. Contact Fecon Australia today for further information, and ask about their national demonstration program and try-before-you-buy options.

Furthermore, Fecon Australia offers a nationwide sales, parts and service network for all machines and attachments. The result – not only will Fecon Australia provide perfectly-suited forestry equipment for your needs, but you will also have the peace of mind that only comes with dealing with the very best in the business.

For more information about Fecon Australia’s diverse range of forestry equipment, visit or call 1300 332 661.

October 18, 2020 / by / in ,
Sustainability And Renewable Forests

The past year has thrown up its fair share of challenges, however the forestry industry remains resilient and forward-looking, with a number of initiatives being undertaken to bolster the industry in the long term, while the collective focus has been turning to ensuring all preparations are made ahead of the upcoming fire season.

The NSW government recently released its independent NSW Bushfire Inquiry report, examining the circumstances of the 2019- 20 bushfires, and has advised that all 76 recommendations made by the inquiry will be accepted in principle, designed to improve planning, preparedness and response to bushfires.

In this issue we talk to Bob Gordon, President of the Institute of Foresters of Australia (IFA), about how a wealth of knowledge and experience are key to correct forest management.

AAF talks to Ruth Ryan AFSM, HVP Plantations Corporate Fire Manager, about some of the fire prevention and management techniques employed by plantations, along with the importance of close and regular collaboration between a range of stakeholders in seeking to establish effective strategies.

Ruth notes that the basic principles of fire fighting haven’t changed much over the years, however does highlight the increasing role that technology is playing in fire prevention and management, providing fire fighters a range of information, from weather forecasting, to mapping and the utilisation of fire modelling software.

We have also caught up with Caterpillar Forestry Manager Felice Stocco, who talks about his new role with the heavy equipment manufacturer, and his goals for the coming years, along with the growth opportunities for industry.

Felice points to opportunities in the Australian and New Zealand markets, highlighting the harsh operating conditions that are often faced, and the importance of customer feedback in developing equipment designed to get the job done.

National Forestry Planting Day

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) marked National Forestry Planting Day on August 3 – initially launched in 2017, designed to recognise the country’s “sustainable and renewable forest industries” – with AFPA CEO Ross Hampton noting approximately 70 million new trees are planted during winter in southern Australia and summer in northern Australia each year. Hampton highlighted the role the season plays in ensuring “Australia has a continual, renewable resource that contributes to long- term carbon emissions abatement”. “These are trees that, as they grow, will absorb carbon from the atmosphere before being harvested to create products used in homes every day,” he commented. “As well, our sustainable and renewable forest industries support communities across Australia, providing livelihoods for thousands of families, while making a positive environmental contribution.”

Hampton noted that enough tree seedlings are planted every year to cover an area equivalent to 136,000 football fields, and that this figure is set to increase.

“In order for Australia to meet the anticipated quadrupling of demand for wood fibre by 2050 even more trees than the 70 million need to be planted each year,” he commented.

“The federal government has recognised this need through its National Forest Industries Plan, and has committed to planting one billion new trees over the next decade. It has also funded nine forest industry hubs across Australia in regions where the industry is well established, to ensure the right trees are planted in the right places.”

New NT Association

The AFPA has welcomed the establishment of the Forest Industry Association Northern Territory (FIANT), representing all major forestry enterprises in the NT, with Frank Miller taking on the role of the association’s inaugural president.

Hampton said the AFPA is looking forward to working with its NT colleagues, and pointed to the strong potential of the NT forestry industry.

“The top end of Australia has real potential for renewable forest products industries,” he commented. “It is close to developing markets in northern Australia and South East Asia, which meet a growing demand, and help Indigenous communities meet the goals they want to achieve for economic development and financial independence.”

“FIANT has also set as a goal to play a major role in helping the NT economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is well placed to do that, as, like all sectors of the sustainable forest products supply chain around the country, it is providing an essential service which did not stop.”

As previously reported in AAF, a Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia study, released earlier in the year, highlights the potential for growth of the northern Australian (which includes all of the NT) forestry and forest products industry, finding it could potentially treble its production value to up to $300 million per annum over the next five-to-10 years.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the country the AFPA has welcomed the appointment of Nick Steel as the Tasmanian Forest Products Association’s (TFPA) first CEO, which is replacing the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania, highlighting Steel’s experience working over 10 years for the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association at senior levels.

“The TFPA’s membership includes all the major growers and processors who are part of Tasmania’s sustainable forest products industry, in native forestry and plantation, softwood and hardwood, heralding a new era of cooperation between all parts of the industry to represent Tasmania’s forest industries to governments, media and the community,” Hampton commented.

October 14, 2020 / by / in ,
Power Take-Off

WPT Power Take-Off clutches for mobile wood chipper applications

Wood chippers and grinders are common machines in forestry, logging, landscaping, and recycling industries. Typically, a Power Take-off (PTO) is mounted to the engine and transfers power to the chipper or grinder drum via a belt drive.

In this setup, the PTO is crucial to the operation of the machine. The WPT Power Take-offs provide performance-proven reliability that will enhance the service life of the machine’s operation.Mobile wood chippers or grinders used in roadside, park, and other municipal applications are usually equipped with one of two styles of lever-actuated PTOs, Mechanical and Automotive.

The first is the Mechanical PTO, which is an over-center clutch with a trusted design that minimises costs while providing solid, trouble-free performance. It’s best suited for in-line and side load applications.

The next one is the Automotive PTO that is a spring-loaded clutch assembly named for its use on engines that one might find in a ute. This style eliminates the pilot bearing and has easy external adjustments to reduce maintenance time and cost.

Large industrial chippers and grinders used in forestry generally have one of two styles of hydraulic power take-offs installed on them for dependable performance, the Type 2 or Type 1. Both feature designs that eliminate clutch adjustment throughout the life of the clutch and can be used with the WPT Python™ Hydraulic Clutch Control for smooth actuation.

The WPT Type 2 utilises a high capacity dual main bearing design to provide increased sideload capacity in a compact design.

The WPT Type 1 PTO utilises a straddle bearing design with the sheave mounted between them for maximum sideload capacity in the toughest applications.

Several criteria are involved in the selection process of a PTO including application, speed, and service factor to name a few. If a particular application requires a unique or modified operational specification, a new design may be in order. The bottom line is, when you need a reliable and heavy-duty PTO, WPT Power is there to provide a solution.

For information call WPT Power on 0429 787 976 or visit

October 4, 2020 / by / in ,
Wildfire Blades: Proudly Aussie Made

With 153 years of history, WH Blakeley Industrial Knives is one of the Australian owned businesses who proudly manufactures high quality products for the tree work industry.

The arborist industry as we know it today has its roots grounded in the Saw Milling industry.

In the 1850-70s the States of Australia were separate colonies and timber was one of the key industries. Saw-mills had their own saw doctors to sharpen, hammer and set the band, circular and cross-cut saws.

H. Blakeley & Co.

H. Blakeley & Co. was the first manufacturer of saws and knives for the lumber trade in Australia. The Company started in Russell street, Melbourne, a wide dirt street in the heart of Melbourne. Today, 153 years later, W. H. Blakeley continues to trade to this day marketing their chipper blades under the ‘Wildfire’ banner.

Early chipper blades had a single edge only and slots for adjustment. The knives were hard right through, and a soft clamp over the top held the blades in the machine. If a piece of metal went through the machine it was hoped the clamp would hold the broken pieces from flying out. To hold trees together, arborists would employ metal bands and wounds inflicted by cutting tools were plastered with creosote.

Modern Chipper Knives

Today’s modern chipper knives have a dual edge and like the Wildfire brand are fabricated with a soft centre and hardened edges for longevity. The soft centre allows the blade to flex when faced with an unexpected impact. Considerable effort has been made by W. H. Blakeley to get chipper design just right.

Really amazingly ‘Wildfire’ manufactured in Melbourne are still able to compete with imported product. Unbelievable! Why?

Wildfire production is vested in state of the art machines that keep machining times minimal. Steel mills are dealt with directly. Wildfire holds a large inventory of all models and makes, and custom made blades are no issue.

The skills set that has been handed down over the generations is why Wildfire Blades outperform others chipper blades significantly. ‘Wildfire’ can claim a factor of three to one times compared with the performance of imported knives.

Once tried there is no turning back, from customer feedback many wished they had heard of Wildfire earlier.

It’s good to see an Australian family company that has lasted over 150 years and which is still producing high quality product in Australia.

For more information call (03) 9562 1511 or visit

September 29, 2020 / by / in ,
The New Rex X Splitter

Whitlands Engineering has announced the launch of their new REX X Splitter.

After a lot of research and discussion with participants in the Australian Firewood Industry, Whitlands Engineering identified a need for a high-volume production wood splitter built to handle all species of Australian hardwood timbers and with the specific goal of producing split firewood for bagging operations.

As a result of this, the REX X Splitter prototype was developed. Loosely based on a kindling splitter they developed previously, they have repurposed this concept into a new splitting machine. The X blade auto cycles as the blocks move through the blade at predetermined increments. The infeed belt increments can be pre-set to produce large or small wood pieces and also kindling.

When set up permanently, firewood blocks are loaded into a 4m³ hopper, from which the operator places blocks onto the infeed belt. This belt moves the blocks through the X blade. The pieces of wood exiting the splitter on the outfeed conveyor are still in the shape of the original block, making it very easy for workers to remove and place into bags.

The machine has been designed and built to last the rigors of firewood production. The blade is made from Bisalloy 400 HT steel. When set up permanently it can be optioned with either diesel or 3-phase electric power packs between 30 – 50 horsepower. The splitter uses a 6” Ram and develops between 30 – 50 tons of splitting force and can cycle as quickly as four seconds. Power and cycling are dependant on input power, pump flow and pressure.

Maximum block diameter is 650mm and maximum block length is 320mm.

The machine head and conveyors weigh approximately three ton. They estimate that with a five-second cycle and feeding with consistent blocks of 450 – 650mm diameter, it will be capable of producing up to 20m³ of bagged firewood per hour.

If you would like to discuss the new REX X Splitter, please visit  or call 1800 702 701.

September 24, 2020 / by / in ,
Replantation Program

NSW Government to regrow forestry industry following catastrophic bushfires.

Fire-affected forests will soon be rejuvenated with new life as the NSW Government embarks on the largest replanting program in the state’s history, beginning with an injection of $46 million into Forestry Corporation.

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Forestry John Barilaro visited Blowering Nursery in Tumut to kick off the seedling season and said more than 10 million new shoots would be planted over the next 12 months across NSW.

“The forestry industry was devastated by an unprecedented bushfire season, with more than 50,000 hectares, or around 25 per cent of the state’s pine plantations burnt,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Tumut was one of the worst hit areas, losing around 35 per cent of its state-owned plantation so I’m thrilled to see the first round of replanting efforts are getting underway.

“Thanks to the $46 million stimulus funding we are able to give the replanting efforts a real kick-start, with more than 14.5 million trees to be replanted yearly across the State from 2021, a massive 40 per cent increase on 2019 plantings.

“This investment will see us get back to pre-bushfire levels of stocked trees in stateowned pine plantations within a decade.”

Mr Barilaro also emphasised this funding injection for regrowing state forests highlights the sustainable nature of the forestry industry.

“Wood is the ultimate renewable product.

When forests are managed sustainably and regrown time and again, they deliver a vast range of benefits for our communities, including carbon storage,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere and when they are harvested and regrown, carbon is stored in both the products made from timber, like house frames, as well as in the new crop of trees growing within the forest.”

The stimulus funding will also support new contracts and job opportunities and rebuild lost infrastructure.

“NSW’s forestry industry supports around 23,000 direct jobs and many more indirect jobs and they’ve had a really tough start to the year, so we are showing our support by ramping-up our efforts to get the industry back on track,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Nurseries at Grafton and Blowering near Tumut will be expanded thanks to the funding boost, and we will be able to start rebuilding or replacing some of the highpriority vital infrastructure, including public roads, damaged in our state forests during the fires.”

Forestry Corporation of NSW provides about 25 per cent of the timber needed for housing construction across the country. They also provide a significant proportion of the fibre used for food packaging, including cardboard.

As part of the response to the bushfires, additional support for the NSW forestry industry has also been made available through the $140 million bushfire recovery package announced by the NSW Government.

For more information visit and

September 21, 2020 / by / in ,
Swing Machines

John Deere Forestry Swing Machines stack the deck when in full swing.

Australian forestry customers now have the full offering of John Deere Forestry Swing Machines with several hitting the woods over the last few months configured as Harvesters, Processors and Log Loaders. In addition to these configurations, these machines are designed as purpose-built forestry swing machines to also cover Road Building and Shovel Logging. Designed for specific applications these swing machines are equipped with the safety features and operator protective structures to meet global OH&S standards and keep your operators safe and comfortable every hour they are in the cabin. These dedicated forestry machines also feature robust undercarriage and mainframe, upsized swing bearings, reliable John Deere engines and a front or boom to meet the specific application you are handling. Not to mention the superior hydraulics that make these machines come together, as industry leading products.

Eight Models

Eight models rated from 28 to 48 tonne operating weight with processor, harvester and roadbuilder configurations designated in the model number by “54” and offered with hooked/excavator booms, either side entry or rear entry cabins. Then there’s the “56” models specific with straight booms for log loading, shoveling, and processing with elevated rear entry cabs. Style of the boom either excavator style and hooked (54 Series) or straight and log loader booms (56 Series) dictates the application applicable to the machine model.

Whether you need a log loader, shovel logger, road builder, processor/ harvester or a versatile “combo” machine, G-Series Swing Machines will help you get more done, more efficiently. The visionary spacious cab boasts plenty of legroom. Isolation mounted to reduce noise and vibration while smoothing the ride in rough terrain, substantially reducing fatigue. Ergonomically correct short-throw pilot levers provide smooth, precise fingertip control with less movement or effort. Creature comforts include fatigue-beating amenities such as efficient climate control, a heated/ cooled seat and ergonomic controls, plus, there’s plenty of room inside the cab to stow your personal items.

Cab Options

Two cab options are significantly more comfortable. The low Side-entry cab is 25-percent larger than the previous model. Elevated Rear-entry cab, now standard on all 56 series models (optional on 54 series), features windows in the floor and injection moulded polycarbonate windows, for superb visibility to the tracks and working area. In the log-loader rear-entry cab, floor-mounted windows and the cab forward riser option expand views to the tracks and working area for log-loading applications. Countless hours of virtual-reality studies and field-testing with loggers resulted in these superb all-around visibility changes. 32mm thick polycarbonate is the norm for harvesters and processors and all cabs are certified to global forestry industry standards, no compromises to safety of your operator. The Cab-forward design improves visibility to the right. A staircase at the rear of the machine eases cab entry and exit, for more stable footing where and when you need it. A new handrail is significantly larger than on previous models, for secure three-point contact. Low side-entry cab and elevated rear-entry cab are interchangeable on any style/series of machine.

LED lights are standard for when you need to extend your workday beyond daylight. The 14-light LED package plus service and access lights provide outstanding all-around illumination.


Productive performance driven by the John Deere Powerful PowerTechTM Plus 9L diesel engine on the 3154G/3156G and 3754G/3756G offering 30-per cent more horsepower at low rpm than previous models. The 2154G/2156G and 2654G/2656G are fitted with the efficient John Deere 6.8L PowerTech Plus engine.

Hydraulic Reversing Fan

Hydraulic reversing variable-speed fan runs only as needed, conserving power and fuel. The standard reversing feature automatically reverses airflow to eject debris from the cooler cores, decreasing the frequency of cooler maintenance. Next-size-up main hydraulic pump improves multifunctioning, fuel economy, and component durability.

All Machines Have Exceptional Hydraulic Oil Cooling Capacity.

On all models the hinged A/C condenser swings out and the engine-compartment screen can be quickly removed, easing cleanout of debris. Fuel-shutoff valve eliminates leaks, for fast fuel filter changes with less mess. Plus, a pre-cleaner for the engine air intake extends filter life, further reducing maintenance time. Conveniently located filters, fluid-fill locations, and grease points help ease daily checks and preventative maintenance. All models have a large plastic counterweight fuel tank with easy fuel sump drain access.

Productivity Modes And Remote Diagnostics

Three productivity modes allow the operator to adjust the machine to the application. High Productivity Mode delivers more power and faster hydraulic response. Power Mode delivers a balance of power, speed, and fuel economy mode for normal operation. Economy Mode limits the top speed and helps save fuel.

Because time is money loggers always need more uptime. Remote diagnostics come standard on all John Deere Swing Machines via JDLinkTM. This enables fast, accurate remote diagnostics and rapid service response with the right part the first time. JDLink also provides you with visibility to machine telematics to help you manage the performance of your fleet.

Jobsite-Mapping Tools

Now available as an option on all John Deere forestry equipment TimberMaticTM Maps and TimberManagerTM are proven jobsite-mapping tools designed for full-tree and cut-to-length logging operations. TimberMatic Maps enables enhanced visibility, allowing operators to review production values as well as see and create points of interest that can be shared in real time with other onsite team members. Staff not on the jobsite can also access any of this data through TimberManager, to optimise tasks and increase efficiency.

Talk to your local John Deere dealer about viewing this new tool on their simulators or speak to a contractor already running TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager to understand the true benefits this new technology brings to your jobsite and business.

Five years in the making, backed by over a half-century of experience in the woods, the John Deere G-Series Forestry Swing Machines will redefine your expectations about what a Swing Machine can accomplish.

For more information contact AFGRI Equipment (08) 6287 7777 in Western Australia, for all other states, contact RDO Equipment Pty Ltd 1300 008 608.

September 13, 2020 / by / in ,
Looking Ahead Opportunities For Industry

The forestry industry continues to play an important role in communities in many regions around the country, and amid growing demand for forestry products there is strong potential for growth in the coming years, however a number of challenges will need to be addressed going forward.

An Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) report, released towards the end of last year, sheds light on the scale of the industry and how it compares internationally.

The ABARES Insights report reveals that in 2017-18:

  • There were 32.9 million m3 of logs harvested in Australia, generating $4.9 billion in sales and service income across the forestry and logging industries
  • The log harvest comprised 4 million m3 of native forests and 29 million m3 of plantations (with the share of logs harvested from plantations increasing from 68 per cent in 2007-08 to 88 per cent in 2017-18)
  • There were 28.1 million ha of native forests and 1.9 million ha of plantations available and suitable for commercial harvest
  • Taking into account the cost of intermediate goods and services purchased, the forest and wood product manufacturing industries are estimated to have added $9.2 billion (0.5 per cent of GDP) to the national economy
  • Exports totalled $3.6 billion (with exports having risen by 76 per cent since 2012- 13, primarily driven by growth in log and woodchip exports to China)
  • While the total volume of logs harvested in Australia is small compared to countries such as the United States, Canada and Russia, Australia was the second largest exporter of woodchips (in value terms) and the eighth largest exporter of whole logs (in volume terms)
  • The vast majority of log and woodchip exports currently go to China, with Australia also exporting woodchips to Japan and paper products to New Zealand

The forestry industry continues to play an important role in communities in many regions around the country, and amid growing demand for forestry products there is strong potential for growth in the coming years, however a number of challenges will need to be addressed going forward.

Looking Ahead: Opportunities For Industry

Growing domestic demand has the potential to create opportunities for the forestry industry, however it is a matter of ensuring that adequate measures are in place to fully realise the industry’s potential.

According to ABARES’ Economic potential for new plantation establishment in Australia: Outlook to 2050 report, domestic softwood sawlog availability from current plantations is expected to fall short of demand by 3.4 million m3 in 2050, assuming log exports remain constant at 2015-16 levels.

As is noted in the Insights report:

“This has raised concerns that the industry could be missing out on opportunities for growth that may be taken up by other countries or industries.”  The federal government’s Growing a better Australia: A billion trees for jobs and growth plan has been designed to address these issues, stating that:

“Growing the size of Australia’s plantation estate will provide confidence to our forest industries that they will have the resource security they need into the future to underpin their investment decisions for decades to come.”

The plan outlines a goal of a billion new trees in forestry plantations over a decade to meet Australia’s future needs for wood and fibre, providing timber for new homes, along with various wood and fibre products. Among the measures proposed to support this goal are:

  • The creation of Regional Forestry Hubs – focusing on existing softwood plantation and processing regions, set up to serve a range of purposes, including identifying new plantation opportunities
  • Deliver policy mechanisms and onground support within the hubs – designed to provide farmers confidence to participate in farm forestry ventures
  • Reduce barriers to forestry expansion – supporting the planting of more trees, with a focus on the hubs
  • Smarter resource use – helping industry extract greater value from forestry products
  • Growing Community Understanding – building public support for sustainable forestry activities

Progress made in the coming years could provide ongoing, long-term benefits, with the plan pointing to the potential to boost the Australian economy, and drive jobs and growth in rural industries and regional manufacturing.

AFPA Welcomes Federal Government Bushfire Recovery Package

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed the federal government’s announcement of a $50 million bushfire recovery package, supporting fire-impacted forest product industries.

The federal government has advised that the measures include:

  • A $40 million Forestry Recovery Development Fund for competitive grants supporting processors to navigate future wood supply shortages through innovation and product diversification
  • A $10 million fund for the establishment of storage facilities for processed timber products, fire-affected logs and other forestry products

“We are pleased that the federal government has listened and responded to the crisis facing our industry as a result of the bushfires,” AFPA Chief Executive Officer Ross Hampton stated.

“The $40 million Forestry Recovery Fund will support timber processors facing significant, long-term reductions in log supply to retool and upgrade their mills, while the $10 million Salvage Log Storage Fund will boost mills’ capacity to process and store the short-term surplus in burnt logs, particularly in the NSW South West Slopes region, where around 40 per cent of the softwood plantations were fire-damaged.”

August 25, 2020 / by / in ,
Potential for Growth

Following on from the launch of this section in the April-May issue of AA, we’re again delving into a range of forestry-related topics in this issue, against the backdrop of what by any measure has been an eventful few months for both the forestry industry and industry in general.

Of course, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is currently being felt across a wide range of industries, and in the following months, as industry collectively seeks to navigate a path forward, a clearer picture will emerge about its ongoing effects.

Here at AA, we’re firmly focused on continuing to deliver our readers an overview of what is happening in industry both locally and overseas, along with the tools required to get the job done, from equipment reviews to the latest technologies and trends.

Read on the following pages for some of the recent developments in industry from around the country.

Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA) study has highlighted the potential for growth of the northern Australian forestry and forest products industry, finding it could potentially treble its production value to up to $300 million per annum over the next five to 10 years.

The analysis, the result of a collaboration between the CRCNA, Timber Queensland (TQ), the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Resources, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the University of the Sunshine Coast, also points to the potential to generate up to 600 direct jobs in the forest products industry.

It found that these increases could be achieved via sustainable management of northern forestry areas for timber harvesting, and by maintaining a framework conserving the natural values of the forest.

According to the study, the industry is currently estimated to have an annual production output of around $84 million, supporting more than 1,240 direct jobs.

TQ CEO Mick Stephens observed that key industry sectors have until now largely been based on establishing around 100,000 hectares of underlying plantation forest resources for downstream processing and export markets.

“With forecast increases in demand for forest products both domestically and globally, the industry is poised to take advantage of growing Asian and domestic markets for a range of plantation wood fibre and timber products,” he commented.

With the study making a number of recommendations geared to delivering further industry growth, Stephens noted “the analysis shows government and industry must focus on removing barriers for downstream processing and value-adding for forest product and timber markets – and addressing barriers to new plantation investment”.

NSW Government Establishes $140 Million Bushfire Industry Recovery Package

Following the bushfires late last year and early this year, the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has welcomed the NSW government’s announcement that it is establishing a $140 million Bushfire Industry Recovery Package.

The government has advised that the package will support the forestry, horticulture and agriculture industries impacted by the bushfires, helping these industries to recover and rebuild.

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro stated that it will be focused “on recovery in the short term and will support valuable investments to help these sectors plan for recovery in the longer term”.

AFPA Chief Executive Ross Hampton said the government has provided “a clear sign that primary industry and regional NSW is a priority, and our renewable forest product industries are an important part of that”, with the AFPA to “urgently engage” with the government on how the funding will be distributed.

“The bushfires have had a devastating impact on all sectors of our industry, from forest growers, to harvest contractors, to hardwood and softwood timber processing and manufacturing,” he said.

Hampton pointed to softwood timber-producing areas, such as the Tumut/ Tumbarumba region, which have been adversely affected by both the fires and the COVID-19 pandemic, stating the “package could be the shot in the arm that’s needed to help recover”.

“It will also support the hardwood timber industry along the coast affected by the bushfires, which is also struggling,” he stated.

“The forest products industries are mostly based in regional NSW, and when they are affected negatively, the communities who directly rely on them for jobs feel the pain as well. This package may be aimed at industry, but its relief will flow on to everyone.”

August 4, 2020 / by / in ,
Time To Invest In High Quality Mulching

Introducing the all new Fecon FTX150 Tracked Forestry Mulcher

Did you know that the Australian Forestry industry is the nation’s second largest manufacturing sector, with an annual turnover in excess of $23 billion?

Furthermore, the industry contributes between 0.5 and 1 per cent of Australia’s overall GDP per annum. Approximately 67,000 people are directly employed in the forestry and wood manufacture industry, and this is set to continue to rise throughout 2020 and beyond.

It’s a genuinely booming industry – so what better time than now to invest in your own premium quality forestry equipment and expand your business capability? Fecon Australia – national dealers of the USA’s number 1 selling forestry equipment – offers a diverse range of vegetation management machinery, including mulchers for excavators and skid steers, stump grinders, tree shears and versatile mulching tractors.

To add to their already renowned product range, Fecon Australia has just released the all new, highly impressive FTX150 Tracked Forestry Mulcher, continuing on from the very successful FTX128 model.

Engineered and manufactured withstand the full gamut of mulching conditions, the FTX150 comprises high strength steel construction built tough to last, yet without sacrificing ground pressure.

A powerful 140hp 4cylinder water-cooled Cummins 4.5 Engine offers exceptional operating power, whilst a 345 bar 227 litres per minute high flow hydraulic system maximises the performance of any mulcher or other attachment. Moreover, this hydraulic flow is adjustable in-cab for supreme operator versatility and convenience.

The FTX150’s deluxe ROPS/FOPS cab is designed for maximum operator satisfaction – adjustable joystick pods attached to a suspension seat with 4 points of egress ensures maximum ergonomics, and a large touchscreen IQAN display makes machine operation easy and efficient. The cab is also pressurised with heating, defrosting and air conditioning, delivering premium all-day comfort in any conditions.

“The result for owners and operators is the ultimate goal – minimal downtime, reduced costs and maximised productivity.”

A cleverly designed undercarriage offers 410mm of ground clearance, 6.4km/h travel speed, 500mm track width and an impressively-low 3.7psi of ground pressure – meaning you can work harder, faster and smarter in a range of terrain conditions, with minimal ground disturbance.

Even the minimal servicing procedures and requirements of the FTX150 are remarkable. Large side compartment doors allow easy and complete access to the engine, whilst the moving components of the machine are designed to work longer and more efficiently than other competitor track loaders in its class. The result for owners and operators is the ultimate goal – minimal downtime, reduced costs and maximised productivity.

The FTX150 also comes equipped with a severe duty BH85 Bull Hog mulcher head as standard, designed for fast and clean mulching of even Australia’s most challenging hardwood trees.

As a result, the FTX150 is on track to fast become the most sought-after machine in the Australian forestry and vegetation management industry. Make the smart investment and expand your business capabilities with the innovative, efficient and reliable FTX150 Tracked Forestry Mulcher from Fecon Australia.

To book your demo today Contact 1300 FECON 1 (1300 332 661)

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July 27, 2020 / by / in ,