The Timber Preservers Association of Australia held a successful workshop in Brisbane on August 30.
The gathering at the Eco-Science Precinct at Dutton Park discussed preserved wood quality, managing wastes, standards, testing and risks to the industry. Twenty-four participants from timber preservation plants, academia, preservative suppliers, and the government attended.
The workshop format was slightly different in that participants were allocated to teams of five or six people, so each team had a representative from an interest group. Each topic was discussed for 30 minutes, followed by a ‘report back’ to the workshop.
The workshop aimed to identify and define issues associated with each topic, identify (or predict) their impacts, and develop a way forward to address (not necessarily solve) the identified challenges.
All participants actively engaged in discussions, and the event was a success. Copious notes were taken, and once collated, the TPAA secretariat will report back to participants for confirmation. Once confirmed, a report will be submitted to the TPAA board for further action.
Discussions covered quality-linked activities in the treatment plant, a consideration of third-party auditing of preserved wood quality, the feasibility/desirability of sampling in the marketplace and ways to address under or over-treatment in the preservation plant.
The discussion on standards compared national standards’ role to industry standards and Codemark.
The discussions on waste were actively embraced. A strong message from the workshop was the desirability of approaching preserved wood offcuts from manufacturers and products coming out of service as a resource rather than a waste. Production wastes such as plastic wrapping and strapping were also considered.
Several participants identified the testing topic as the most interesting and worth following up on. Alternate test methodology and compliance criteria were explored during discussions.
Risks to the industry were identified, including poor public perception of preserved wood, premature failure, dwindling resources in the hardwood industry, and a lack of monitoring of preserved wood quality of imported products
Follow-up is vital for the workshop to be completely successful and TPAA will make every effort to ensure this happens.