I’ve travelled from places north of Cairns, down the east coast to south of Hobart, across through Adelaide and surrounds, and over to Perth and 100 kms north, and all the way down to Albany in the mid-south west.

The inland country areas of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria are wonderful places to meet up with small business operators in remote places. By the time you read this I’ll have also visited Ararat, in Victoria’s west, to interview and photograph the subject for our April cover.

Of course there’s been a few places I haven’t visited and yes, that includes Alice Springs, Katherine and Darwin in the Northern Territory and Broome and beyond in the far north west of our biggest state. I’ll try to remedy those failings in the coming years.


Early last month I made yet another trip up the Hume Highway to Sydney for what I to believe to be the 175th time.

That doesn’t even count the 100-plus times I’ve flown into the airport that, on the ground looks ordinary, but has the most magnificent of views before landing than any other approach in the world. Well maybe not the whole world – but you know what I mean. I never get sick of the flight and that scenery of the Sydney Harbour, the Bridge and Opera House.

While driving to Sydney, I realised my first trip by road for TimberTrader News was in early 1986 and took almost 12 hours. This trip only took eight hours driving time and I was door to door in under nine hours. In fact, once I entered the Greensborough entrance of the freeway the next traffic light was more than 860 kms later at James Ruse Drive in Rosehill.

So, what’s all that got to do with the price of rabbits?

Well, I just wanted to draw your attention to our new publisher’s commitment to continue the tradition of engaging with our readership no matter where you are in our huge country.

Our Associate Editor, Megan Macdonald, already has trips booked for Canberra, the Sunshine Coast and Hobart – and she has only been in the job for a few short weeks.

I have no doubt our readers who agree to receive a visit from Megan will show her the same warm hospitality they have shown to me over all these years.

The TimberTrader News commitment to independent business operators hasn’t changed and I trust you’ll let us know in the coming months if you feel it has.


While I was in Sydney I had the good fortune of spending time with Peter Duncan who, with his wife Evelyne and sons Nick and David, operates a timber wholesale agency.

It was fascinating talking with Peter about his family connection to the history of the Australian timber industry, especially in New South Wales.

You can find the story on page 16 and fill some of those gaps you may have about our rich history.

Emma Watt is back on 20, Paul Davis pops up again on page 38 and Ray and Sharon Brice have another fascinating column on 27.

Happy reading!