We were delighted to host a delegation tour aimed at showcasing the critical role our sector plays in the future of Victoria’s housing. The participants included key leaders and policy-makers who are pivotal in shaping our housing policies. Representatives from various government levels joined us, alongside industry experts.

The tour coordinated and instigated by Dr Alastair Woodard from Wood Products Victoria and FTMA took four top Victorian bureaucrats on a tour of our wonderful industry.

Joining us was Jeroen Weimar, Deputy Secretary, Housing Statement Implementation, and Dept of Premier & Cabinet, Anthony Sherry, Executive Director of Program Engagement & Delivery (Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry & Regions (DJSIR), Lauren Heidecker, Senior Policy Officer (DJSIR) and Adrian Yeung, Senior Policy Officer (DJSIR).

We were fortunate to also have Nick Hewson of Arboralis / WPV and Kat Welsh join us on the tour.

The tour started at the Holmesglen TAFE Mid-Rise model sponsored by WoodSolutions. It was a great opportunity to demonstrate what our sector can do in the midrise market and was a real eye opener for the delegates.

Given we only had half a day, we then took to them to three facilities in the nearby vicinity including AAA Advanced Trusses, Peuker & Alexander and finished with Timber Building Solutions.

In Victoria, as we will highlight in next week’s Frame & Truss Sector Outlook (FATSO), 91.1% of every house is framed in timber and 83.8% of all townhouses are also framed in timber. This demonstrated to the delegates the importance of our sector on the future of Victorians housing, and that we should have a seat at the table ensuring our sector is represented. Whilst perhaps 10% or less is stick built, the rest is quality engineered prefabricated products from the 96 frame and truss manufacturers in Victoria.

This also gave us an opportunity to highlight the amazing support of our nail plate engineers, as finding the right engineers in the construction industry can be difficult, but our valued Principal Partners have qualified building and structural engineers who support fabricators with complex work.

FTMA is keen to demonstrate to all levels of Government the importance of our sector when they are talking about Modern Methods of Construction. We must take an elemental approach, ensuring the government does not implement policies that undermines the future of our 287 fabricators in Australia.

The key points we continue to raise include

  1. We must support Aussie jobs as nearly 1 in every 10 jobs is in the construction industry, and we don’t want to go too far down the modularisation pathway, which results in housing being shipped into Australia in shipping containers. We are already seeing this happening with Chinese Steel, and as a country we must protect our jobs and industries.
  2. We continue to highlight the capabilities of our sector, and I must say everyone on the tour was so impressed with the operations, and they could definitely see the many benefits of offsite prefabrication in the frame and truss sector.
  3. We also must make sure that all future housing uses renewables. As the figures about demonstrate, timber is already being used, and we must continue to push for this if we are to lower emissions in the built environment.

We also provided delegates with a breakdown of the 96 plants, which were put into State Electorates and of the 88 electorates in Victoria, 33 have at least one fabricator.

I’d like to thank Dr Alastair Woodard and Nick Hewson of Wood Products Victoria, Liz Jansz and David Hulett and their team from Holmesglen TAFE, Tim Newman of TBS Solutions, Peter Alexander & Luke Blackwell of Peuker & Alexander and Andrew Clements and Ryan Goodes of AAA Advanced Trusses for taking the time to showcase our industry.

Our Principal Partners