At the time, I said these were exciting times but I didn’t realise how huge the potential could be. In the first instance, one small fabricator has discovered that following their evaluation of D & R Henderson’s proposal, waste costs could be halved. This will end up saving them approximately $9,000 which they can invest into new equipment.

We always said the D & R Henderson’s plan was stage one, with the next stage focusing on further reducing costs and finding a value for our timber waste. Research has already started and a recent study estimates the waste from the Australian market for softwood construction timbers to be approximately 42,500 tonnes per annum (pa). This equates to timber waste costing approximately $46,750,000pa. Obviously, this is not all from fabricators, it is also derived from the wider construction industry, but these are alarming figures nonetheless.

The next step in this process will be bringing the industry together for a briefing on the proposal, which could see our sector involved in a flagship program. This program will save fabricators in New South Wales (NSW) alone hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, before moving on to a national program.

Discussions recently kicked off at the Innovation Working Group meetings in Victoria. Now that NSW fabricators are saving money and the fact that we are working towards a circular economy for the national industry is exciting. We have potentially found a solution for the disposal of H2F treated timbers, and key players outside of our industry are keen to finalise this collaboratively.


The FTMA Australia National Conference is fast approaching, and by the time you are reading this, the conference will nearly be upon us.

Registrations are going well and the program has been tweaked to ensure maximum benefit to fabricators attending, with the best presenters.

A new session added to the program titled ‘What is your business worth and how do you maximise its value?’ will be presented by John Simon, who has successfully over the years built and sold viable strong businesses. John will explore what fabricators can do to ensure they not only recognise their business’s worth, but will provide tips on increasing their value.

Above I mentioned the ForestWorks Innovation Skills Program. This program has helped shape our conference, changing it into a format where it isn’t just people presenting and answering questions, but where delegates will actually be engaging in discussions from the floor.

Many fabricators will be participating in panels and my aim is to make this conference about collaboration and for the industry – not only to network, but to share information that helps lift the standards of our industry across the board.

The FTMA Fast Five sessions include safety innovation, employee incentives, recognising the true value of our industry and discussing where our focus should be in the next twelve months. This will include seeking input from conference delegates, and will be a quick way to share great tips for all.

Our industry is maturing and some areas, more than others, share information and are recognising that the fabricator down the road is not the enemy, the steel framing industry is.

There are so many areas where shared information can reduce fabricators’ costs, as we have already proven in the timber waste disposal program.

Peter McLean from Development Impacts will present on the subject titled; Industry Clusters: What is the benefit? – No single company alone has the ability to solve the industry’s most challenging problems. Working together creates new opportunities for growth and productivity.

Peter’s expertise is amazing and the work he has done with other industries developing clusters to create new opportunities, is inspiring. I am sure he will bring a new way of thinking to our industry.

Make sure you don’t forget the Red Activities Day on Monday 27 April 2015, sponsored by Hyne and Pryda. It will be an opportunity for delegates to network over a game of golf or Segway activities before the official Ice Breaker BBQ where they can test their skills during the laser clay shooting activities.

The FTMA Australia National Conference is designed for fun, learning and networking and I guarantee this is what will be delivered.


I’d like to finish this month’s column by welcoming our new Bronze Sponsor, Dindas Australia. Dindas have been long-time members of the association but have taken it up a notch and will be setting up a trade display with 16 other companies providing great information on software, timber, insurance and sawing technology.


For more information, contact Kersten Gentle on 0418 226 242.