Why we are dying, why it’s time to cut our ties with timber
In the past, the timber industry’s main job was to keep the land free of invasive species.
Now, it is facing a new threat.
It is being threatened by the ever-growing popularity of timber-frame sheds.
These sheds, usually made from a timber frame, are built to allow the wood to be reused for other uses.
In the first quarter of 2020, these sheds accounted for 17.5 per cent of the total timber-framed sheds in Australia, up from 9 per cent in the same period in 2020.
The industry is being hit by a “timber boom”, says Andrew Kwan, CEO of Timberframe.
He says a lack of interest in the industry is causing a serious decline in the value of timber and is pushing up prices.
“It’s a crisis of supply,” he says.
“We’ve got to stop this.”
Mr Kwan says the industry faces several issues, including the need for new forms of wood, the changing economics of timber, and the threat of climate change.
“Our timber is being used more and more in the heat of the summer, but the climate is changing and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to manage that.”
The problem is particularly acute in Tasmania where there is a shortage of timber for the country’s thermal power stations.
“The problem is that there is no demand for timber,” says Tim Sayers, CEO and managing director of Timber Frame Tasmania.
“There’s a lack and demand.”
The industry’s woes are compounded by the increasing popularity of new timber frames, such as those made from plywood.
Mr Sayers says this creates a cycle that can lead to a situation where a large number of sheds are built, leading to increased demand for wood and increased prices for it.
“If there are too many of them, then demand goes up and so we’re going to see prices go up,” he said.
Mr Kwon agrees.
“In Tasmania, there’s an issue of supply and demand,” he explains.
“And the more timber that’s out there, the more prices go down.”
Mr Sayer says the issue is being addressed by reducing the size of the industry, but not before it is having an impact on the environment.
“You can see the impacts of this on the landscape as well,” he adds.
“So you’ve got the carbon footprint going up, which is quite a big concern, and you’ve also got the amount of timber that you’re building, so you’ve probably got some impact on biodiversity and on water availability.”
‘Timber boom’ or not?
Mr Saysers says the increasing use of timber frames in Tasmania is having a significant impact on Tasmania’s timber-based ecosystem.
“This is a situation that has happened a number of times over the last few decades where we’ve seen timber prices go through the roof,” he explained.
He said the problem with timber frame sheds is that they can also become invasive, and can grow rapidly. “
But as we go through that, the impact on our environment continues to increase.”
He said the problem with timber frame sheds is that they can also become invasive, and can grow rapidly.
“They can grow quite fast and it can lead [to] a lot of disturbance, which could be detrimental to the environment.”
A growing demand for lumber The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released a new report that shows the number of timber frame buildings in Tasmania has increased by almost 70 per cent since 2000.
Mr Cunliffe says this is a problem because it is increasing demand for trees that can be used in building, including wood for the construction industry.
“For many people it’s the first thing they want to do, so they want wood,” he tells ABC Rural.
“That can be the timber frame shed.”
Mr Cungill says the Australian timber industry is facing serious pressure from the timber boom.
“What we’re seeing now is an increasing demand from all sorts of people for timber, but that demand is being fuelled by the timber market,” he told ABC Rural in January.
“Demand is growing, but it’s driven by a massive increase in demand for tree-bearing trees.”
What we’ve been seeing is a tremendous increase in the amount and the variety of trees that are being harvested.
“Many of those trees are actually quite high quality, but if you want them to grow, you’ve just got to cut them down.
It’s a huge problem.”
He says this can lead people to build structures on the ground with the intention of selling the wood later on.
“All that timber, if you’re going out and buying it, you don’t want to know what’s going on under the roof of that structure,” he continued.
“When you’re looking at the environment, the environment is in the balance.”
You’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.
You’re putting the environment at risk.
“Mr Manners agrees.
He said he is