Industry welcomes progress toward timber constructed fire station

The peak state body for the timber industry has welcomed the announcement by the treasurer, Curtis Pitt, that a new fire station in Maryborough is progressing toward construction using Queensland grown and manufactured timber.

“The approval by the treasurer for the project to proceed to Stage 2 of a state Market-Led Proposal is testimony to the innovation and broader economic and environmental benefits shown by this project,” says Timber Queensland CEO Mick Stephens.

The proposal is for the historic Maryborough fire station to be refurbished and constructed using engineered wood products, including glue laminated and cross laminated mass timber products.

“The use of engineered wood products reflects their structural integrity and increasing scope to be used in a broad range of building applications,” Stephens says. “Timber is also renewable and has a far lower carbon footprint compared to other materials such as steel and concrete, which require high energy inputs to produce.”

The fact that the project is a fire station further promotes the fire safety credentials of modern timber buildings and fire safety design, which includes the use of sprinklers, cavity barriers and fire protected timber.

“This will be an important project to showcase the fire safety and sustainable building outcomes of timber, as well as the growing potential for timber products to be used in important infrastructure,” Stephens says.

The project will support the regional economy and represents a strategic partnership between local industry, state government and research partners including the University of Queensland.

More than 10,000 people are employed in the Queensland timber industry, with many long-standing companies and businesses based in the iconic “Timber City” of Maryborough and its broader surrounds.

“The project is also consistent with the Fraser Coast Regional Council’s Wood Encouragement Policy, which promotes the use of timber as a preferred building material in local construction projects,” Stephens says. “For these reasons, it is encouraging to see innovative timber building projects such as the new fire station being developed as a keystone market-led proposal.

“We strongly support this project and look forward to it progressing through the next stages of assessment.”

The Detailed Proposal will be developed over the next twelve months, with construction scheduled to begin in 2018-19 if approved.