Australia’s softwood timber processing sector praises the ongoing bravery and efforts of fire and emergency services and our own forest industry workers currently dealing with catastrophic bushfires in the south-east of Australia. With bushfires still burning and hotter weather forecast for later this week, the threat to people, livestock, and livelihoods (including plantations and property) rightfully remains the focus.

Fire management, prevention and suppression activities have always been a key focus for our forest industries, as bushfires not only devastate lives, private property and wildlife, they can also destroy forest industry assets and infrastructure, such as valuable timber resources, contracting equipment, bridges and roads, and timber processing facilities that underpin many regional jobs and sustain vibrant communities.

Chair of the Australian Forest Products Association’s Softwood Manufacturing Chamber, Ian Tyson said, “As bushfires continue to burn, any impacts on the softwood plantation estate in south-east Australia are currently uncertain but have the potential to be significant. In time, any flow-on impacts of changes to timber supply of the sawmills that depend on these plantation resources will become clearer and this information will continue to be communicated to our valued supply chain to underpin their ongoing business planning and certainty.”

In the short-term, existing stock levels and available production capacity in sawmills should provide comfort to customers and the supply chain that supply can be maintained despite any short-term interruption. For answers to any short-term operational queries please contact your current timber supplier.

“In the longer-term, Australia’s softwood timber processing sector will work together to mitigate any potential impact of these bushfires on the timber resource, and remains firmly committed to supplying our renewable timber product solutions through great supply chain relationships and working collaboratively with suppliers, employees and customers,” Mr Tyson said.