TPAA Workshop Crafts Exciting Mission for Wood Preservation

Delegates share their thoughts and ideas.

Wed 30 Aug 23


Just as timber preservation has advanced in the last few decades from ancient art to modern science, the definition of preservatives has widened from the old concept of materials that exert a toxic effect on living wood-destroying organisms. 

Chemicals, or combinations of these, will preserve and protect wood against deterioration from any one or combination of the following – decay, insects, marine borers, fire, weathering, absorption of water, and chemical action.”

Acceptance of this definition has led to the development of a wide range of preservatives and treatment methods, and amid the inevitable confusion that this has caused in the minds of the less involved, has grown a recognition that there is no such thing as a universal preservative.

The real interest centres on the quality of the treated timber. The focus is now on results obtained rather than process details.

How does all this affect the daily operation of the treatment plant? The treater has greater freedom to select treatment schedules, solution strengths and other variables to obtain the required results in the way the treater and the chemical supplier see best.

Jonathan Tibbits, Responsible Wood, and Gerry Gardiner, TPAA president.
Jonathan Tibbits, Responsible Wood, and Gerry Gardiner, TPAA president.

However, with this freedom, the treater must assume a greater responsibility to check his output and to ensure it complies with the standards set out in the conditions of approval.  That is, the product being marketed must be up to standard so that users of preservative-treated timber can have confidence in a product that will perform satisfactorily in service.

The Timber Preservers Association of Australia, the peak body for the timber preservation sector across all states, administers the standards and has a plant registration database.

TPAA’s pioneer workshop at the Eco-Science Precinct building at Dutton Park in Brisbane on August 30 was a very worthwhile and successful exercise.

“Customer service, advice and, importantly, price are key pillars for the sector, workshop facilitator Peter Webb of NZ-based Independent Verification Services said at the workshop opening.

The workshop analysed research papers from the National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life and the recent IRG conference in Cairns.

“The concept is to take these papers and other topics to a broader range of industry stakeholders involved in the preservation of timber products,” TPAA president Gerry Gardiner said.

“The core idea concept of the workshop was to have attendees listen and share their thoughts and ideas around various topics,” he said.

Workshop delegates included Andrew Davies, Dale & Meyers, Andy McNaught, EWPAA, Bruce Hansen, Permalog, Craig Kay, Tilling Timber, Dave Bennetts, Hyne, Gerry Gardiner, iTreat Timber, Greg Ryan, IVS, Jack Norton TPAA secretary, Professor Jeff Morrell, USC, John Cannard, Dindas Australia, Johnathan Tibbits, Responsible Wood, Kim Harris, ADK, Maryam Shirmohammadi, DAF, Matt Smith, Timber Queensland, Paul Oliver, Koppers Preservative Chemicals, Penne Mitchell, USC, Peter Webb, IVS, Ron Clawson, Kop-Coat, Ross Lakin, ParksideTimber, Steve Koch, Arxada, Steve Ryan, Koppers, Stuart Meldrum, DAF and Tripti Singh, USC.

• The workshop’s effectiveness and the industry’s mission going forward will be the basis of a fuller illustrated report in Wood Central.


  • Jim Bowden

    Jim Bowden, senior editor and co-publisher of Wood Central. Jim brings 50-plus years’ experience in agriculture and timber journalism. Since he founded Australian Timberman in 1977, he has been devoted to the forest industry – with a passion.


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