TRP community consultation period now open
VicForests is seeking comment from local community members on its proposed changes to the Timber Release Plan relating to timber harvesting operations in the North East, West Gippsland and East Gippsland regions.
The community consultation period began on June 15 and runs through to July 10.
The Timber Release Plan outlines the areas VicForests is planning to harvest over a five year period and is updated annually.
The changes proposed in 2015 include the modification of boundaries on existing areas based on improved planning information, the sustainable addition of new harvesting areas, and the removal of unharvested or regrown areas.
Community feedback is sought on specific operational aspects of our proposed new harvesting locations or boundary changes. This process is an opportunity to provide comment regarding concerns with:
- The timing of harvesting operations;
- The use of particular haulage routes;
- The proximity of proposed harvesting to private property or public use areas; or
- The identification and protection of other forest values within specific harvesting sites.
We welcome the community to raise any specific concerns they may have about the proposed operations. Public submissions are closely considered by VicForests’ Planning staff before the plans are finalised..
Public consultation is an important part of this process and offers the community the opportunity to have important input in our planning process.
The finalised Timber Release Plans, along with all submissions received, are then submitted to the VicForests’ Board of Directors for consideration and approval. These plans must be approved before harvesting commences and all operations are required to comply the detailed regulations which relate to native timber harvesting in Victoria.
A key part of VicForests role is to also regrow the forest after harvesting is completed.
Areas which have successfully regrown after previous harvesting operations will also be removed from the Timber Release Plan as part of this amendment.
A Schedule of proposed coupes, maps indicating approximate locations and a feedback form for public comment are available on our website: www.vicforests.com.au/Proposedtrp
Submissions can also be provided via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or made in writing and sent to: VicForests, GPO Box 191, Melbourne, 3001 until July 10th, 2015.
VAFI Forest tour with Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins
The Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI) with the help of VicForests hosted a forest tour for Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins, Member for Western Metropolitan.
The objective of the day was to showcase the forest and wood products industry in Victoria, and meet members of the communities that rely on forestry.
The day began at Powelltown where VicForests provided an overview of its operations, structure and values.
The tour then moved on to a nearby active harvesting coupe to show Dr Carling-Jenkins an operation in action. There the group met with the contractors working on the site and were taken through a typical day, explaining log grading, site mapping and use of coupe plans.
Next stop was a regrowing site that had a mosaic of age classes present. It was a fantastic example of the regeneration work undertaken by VicForests after timber harvesting is completed.
Powelltown Sawmill was next on the agenda where the group was given a tour by Harold Fox, before sitting down to lunch and further discussion about the industry and the town’s reliance on it.
Lastly the tour travelled to Bayswater to visit a local furniture manufacturer, Michael Hayes - Michael has been a furniture maker for around 14 years, makes bespoke pieces from a range of timber, including Victorian native wood. Here Dr Carling-Jenkins gained a real understanding of what the market demand for timber is and the different applications for different types and grades of timber.
Overall, the visit gave Dr Carling-Jenkins the chance to see the entire supply chain, from the forest to the final product and then the regeneration of the forest, leaving with a better understanding of how the industry works and the people who work in it and really care for it.
Thank you to VAFI and everyone who contributed their time and resources to this valuable day.
Mixed Species Research and Development Project
VicForests has engaged Timber Training Creswick to investigate detailed timber property information for key non-ash species from Central Highlands forests.
While there are some records and information on processing of these species from the mid-1990s, the focus on products from mixed species has changed since that time, and the recoveries of product that were typical may have changed.
Although only a small sample of logs will be studied, the results will either confirm existing information or indicate where these species are performing differently to expectations based on historic processing or resource from other geographic areas.
The broad areas of investigation will cover:
- Property determination: Details about density, hardness, shrinkage rates, expected colour and feature characteristics will be compared against published parameters.
- Green sawn recovery: Sawing will target appearance grades and sizes. Sawing patterns will include quarter-sawing and back-sawing.
- Drying schedules: Published CSIRO drying schedules will be confirmed or if found to result in excessive degrade, appropriate schedules will be developed.
- Machining and technology transfer: Opportunity for information transfer as the dried timber is machined.
Messmate will be the main focus given that it is by far the most well represented of the mixed species in the Central Highlands, but other species may include mountain grey gum, manna gum and peppermint.
This Research and Development project has been developed in consultation with Wood Products Victoria who will have a role in guiding the research.
Project results will be shared with industry as they become available. Please direct any queries or comments to the Sales team at VicForests on 9608 9500.
Community Support Program thank you
VicForests would like to thank all organisations and groups who made an application to the 2015 Community Support Program.
We have been encouraged by the success the initiative has experienced more than 100 applicants made to this years’ Community Support Program.
Since 2010, we’ve helped almost 200 community groups and services and have provided more than $300,000 in grants and funding across the Central Highlands, Gippsland, East Gippsland and most recently, Western Victoria regions.
Successful applicants of this years’ Community Support Program included assisting an out and about program in Heyfield aimed at helping community members who have become isolated.
A toy library in Orbost and town family picnic in the West of the state are also projects that have received funding through the program this year.
The Community Support Program has been designed by VicForests to assist regional community groups and services who are working to positively contribute to their local area.
Our support program is very important to regional communities and to us. Our staff live and work in regional Victoria and contributing to local community groups and services is just part of what we do.
The Community Support Program assists organisations that contribute to the wellbeing of local communities by providing grants of up to $2000 to organisations such as charity groups, sporting groups, educational and community groups located across the Central Highlands, Gippsland, East Gippsland and Western Victoria regions.
The Victorian forestry industry plays a key role in building and supporting rural and regional communities through its business activities and by sponsoring local community events and activities.
For more information on the annual Community Support Program, visit www.vicforests.com.au/csp