FTMA Australia held the 2021 AGM yesterday, 24 November, via Zoom.

Joining the board 2022 is Mark Hull of MCM Frame & Truss. You can view the full FTMA Board right.

Following the AGM, FTMA were lucky to have two informative presentations.

The first was from Bruce Wallace from The Truss Joint in Bendigo, who presented on a new LVL Alternative, FG Rafters. Bruce was followed by Tim Woods of Industry Edge, who discussed his latest FTMA Housing Update.

FTMA Members can catch up on the presentations via the Member’s Resource section of the FTMA News website here or contact us directly.

You can read Kersten Gentle’s 2021 Executive Officer’s report below.

2021 Executive Officer’s Report

I remember naively wishing for the end of 2020 with the hopes that 2021 was going to be an easier year where things would begin to return to normal.  It feels like Groundhog Day as I now find myself naively wishing for the end of 2021, hoping 2022 will be better, but unfortunately, reality is kicking in, and I know we all have a long tough road ahead and 2022 is going to have its challenges.

Even though there have been plenty of negatives, I still believe the pandemic has resulted in many positives.  The sense of community has grown as people spend more time in their local communities, the time spent with families has increased and of course for our industry, the pandemic has resulted in an unlikely housing boom that is keeping everyone extremely busy.

The FTMA office has always been set up at home which made it much easier for FTMA to adopt to lockdowns but there is no question, the past 2 years have been extremely busy for the Association as we have worked tirelessly to keep fabricators across the country updated on the latest COVID-19 restrictions and what it means to their business.

Fabricators, especially those in Victoria and New South Wales became professional jugglers in what was an absolute circus, and I’m extremely proud of how the sector adapted to the new rules, the timber shortages, the housing boom, and the constant uncertainty.

When I commenced with FTMA in 2009, we represented approximately 13% of the national industry and in 2021 the membership continued and now FTMA represents 50% of the national industry, which is an outstanding achievement for the association. 

The FTMA Sponsorship has also continued to grow which in turn has helped FTMA expand.  Our annual sponsors provide FTMA the finances to invest in projects which help lift the standards of the industry and provide day to day support of our members.  We truly would like to thank our sponsors for going above and beyond for the frame and truss industry including:

Gold:         MiTek, Multinail & Pryda

Silver:        AB Phillips, AKD Softwoods, Borg Manufacturing, Meyer Timber, Timberlink, Vekta Automation and Wespine.

Bronze:      CombiLift, Daw Trading, Dindas, Hundegger, Hyne Timber, Independent Hardware Group, OneFortyOne Wood Products, Pinewood Products, Programmed Timber Supplies, Roadpod, StoraEnso, Tilling Timber, Vida Wood, VTW & Wurth

Fabricators will be able to join our sponsors who will set up at the trade exhibit during the 2022 National Conference, which is being held at RACV Royal Pines on the 11 & 12 June 2022.  This will be our first weekend retreat conference, but with minimal dates available, we thought a long weekend in Queensland was just what we needed.

As you can imagine it’s a nervous time organising a conference during a pandemic, however, we felt if we locked it in early, we would be safe and the event would provide the networking our industry so desperately needs after 2 years of the pandemic.

You will hear more about the conference and how to register through FTMA News, which has also seen a massive subscription increase.  FTMA News has 666 subscribers (how scary!), however, we are always blown away by how many times it is shared amongst colleagues with most editions seeing on anywhere from 1360 – 1670 opens every month.

The Machinery for Sale segment is one of the most popular and has resulted in FTMA Australia selling close to $3 million of equipment on behalf of our members and every sale is 100% free.  We are often contacted by people wanting to sell machinery, but this is a service reserved for members.

As you will see in every edition of FTMA News, we are involved in many different projects which we believe will help fabricators into the future, such as:

Timber Framing Collective – FTMA has been pivotal in working with the AFPA Marketing Group in promoting the Timber Framing Collective (TFC) throughout the supply chain. 

The Timber Framing Collective is responsible for the marketing of softwood timber framing in Australia and is financially supported by Australian sawmills, timber importers, industry associations and peak bodies, building products and treatment suppliers.

FTMA Australia has contributed financially to this project to help build resources for our industry to promote the many benefits of using timber in construction, especially the environmental benefits.

The Timber Framing Collective exists to make sure everyone in our industry feels they have a voice, and their mission is to promote, establish and consolidate Timber Framing – The Ultimate Renewable™ as the leading building materials brand in Australia for residential construction.

We encourage members to support the Timber Framing Collective by following their socials and website.  The website can be found at timberframingcollective.com.au

The first video released is fantastic and worth sharing to your own website or social media platforms which can be found on Linkedin

FTMA NZ & Australia creation of Standard Operating Procedure Videos – FTMA NZ reached out to FTMA Australia to see if we were interested in working together on the development of SOP Videos for our sector to be used as induction videos for members. The sample video they provided for nail gun safety was absolutely brilliant, with those who have seen it, claiming it’s the best safety video they have seen.

FTMA Australia & FTMA NZ will set up a trans-Tasman FTMA working group with members and representatives from both organisations to work on developing the SOP’s which members will be able to use as an induction tool in their plants.

We are extremely excited about this project which will provide the first video inductions for our industry, as it will not only be professionally developed, but will allow a more in-depth induction for our members which leads to a safer workplace.  Stay tuned for more information and we look forward to delivering more brilliant resources in 2022 for our members both in Australia and across the ditch.

Circular Economy: Waste project – Timber waste is still one of the biggest unnecessary costs to fabricators and it is vital for our sector that we find a way to either dispose of the timber with reduced costs, or better still create a circular economy with our raw clean timber waste.

Jeffrey Morrell, Director at the National Centre for Timber Durability & Design Life is coordinating a submission into the “Sustainable pathways for recycling/reusing preservative treated / composite timbers in the circular economy”, which has brought together a wide range of companies and associations within the supply chain and other industries who experience high timber waste.

FTMA Australia has committed $10Kpa for three years as well as in-kind support which includes collecting aggregated data from fabricators. We won’t know until later this year if the project is successful and FTMA congratulates Jeffrey and the National Centre for Timber Durability & Design Life for coordinating the submission and bringing industry together for a very worthy project.

In Victoria, FTMA Australia is also working closely with Hume City Council as they work with a range of international experts in the hope of creating a circular economy for timber waste and other products within their local government area.

Carbon Warrior – Three years ago when we commenced the work with the nail plate companies to install a carbon calculator into their software, FTMA registered Carbon Warrior as a business name and as a domain name.

Everyone knows I am passionate about timber, especially when it comes to the environmental credentials of this amazing product. Nikita is also passionate about this and believes now is the time for social change and for Australia to catch up with the rest of the world who have woken up to the fact that timber stores carbon for life and helps address climate change.

It’s no surprise that Australia dropped in the world rankings for climate change performance, whilst countries like the Netherlands moved up in the rankings with policies to enforce the use of timber in construction due to its environmental properties.

I handballed the project to Nikita and gave her free reign with Carbon Warrior. I am extremely proud of the work Nikita has done creating the logo, which FTMA has trademarked, as well as the mission, goals, and approach that Carbon Warrior will take. In the coming months we hope members will get behind the campaign and push for social change to recognise the impact of timber on embodied emissions.

The FTMA Family has grown with Nikita coming on as a permanent part-time employee and Jenelle Taylor joining the family to help grow members resources and manage our Creditor Watch program which helps members stay ahead of bad builders going bankrupt. This will be extremely important in 2022 with builders being stretched to their limits with locked in contracts and rising labour and material costs.

FTMA will continue to build strategic alliances and over the past couple of years, we have worked closely with MBA, HIA, Independent Builders Network, Carpentry Australia, as well as a wide range of industry associations. FTMA has always worked collaboratively with everyone in our sector and over the past year, just like we did in 2020, we worked with TABMA, TTIA & MGA TMA on lobbying for our members and I would like to thank all for the work we did together.

I’d like to finish by thanking the amazing FTMA Board. Our board members are volunteers and fabricators and like everyone else, they have had so much on their plates in 2021. Yet, they always find time to support me, and the work being undertaken by FTMA. A massive shoutout and thank you to: Jamie Dahlsen, Christine Flanagan, Brendan Summerfield, Aaron Hillman, Arthur Potter, Brenden Schneider, Andrew Nguyen, and Nikita Bourke.

We look forward to continuing to support members in 2022 and we hope members lock the 11 & 12 June 2022 into their diaries now and join us at our National Conference at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast.

Kersten Gentle

Executive Officer

Gold Sponsors