Australian forest industry group launches campaign based on British Columbia's Wood First initiative, aims to encourage communities, councils and state governments to favor wood over other materials in construction projects
January 6, 2014
– A forest industry group in Australia is launching a campaign based on British Columbia's Wood First initiative that aims to encourage communities, councils and state governments to favor wood over other materials in construction projects, according to a report by ABC Rural.
The Australian Forest Contractors Assn.'s (AFCA) program has similar objectives to the Canadian initiative, said chief executive Colin McCulloch, who noted that the campaign would support innovative technologies for bioenergy and biomaterials as well as conventional wood and fiber products.
In Canada, the Wood First campaign has met resistance from the steel and concrete industries. In February last year, Industry Intelligence reported that officials in Halifax, Nova Scotia, rejected a proposal to adopt a municipal Wood First building policy after criticism by concrete industry groups.
More recently, in November 2013, the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction criticized governments that adopted the Wood First policy and decided to treat one material over another. Ed Whalen, president of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, said his industry was now "going to war" over the issue, reported Friday Offcuts of Dunedin, New Zealand, at the time. An official of the B.C. Ready-Mixed Concrete Assn. added that his industry was "incensed" by the process.
The AFCA's McCulloch said the Australian campaign would help the industry capture higher-value markets for forest products, stimulate new investment and increase public understanding of the benefits of the forest resource.
The primary sources of this article are ABC Rural, Tumbarumba, Australia, on Jan 6, 2014, and Industry Intelligence archives.