As the nation listened to Antony Green, an equally exciting set of results were being announced with TABMA hosting the 2022 Queensland Timber Industry Awards.
The evening of 21 May was one of the more exciting this year. While some people might have been focused on the politics, the 2022 Queensland Timber Industry Awards was where the real action was – and with far less drawn-out results!
Alicia Oelkers, TABMA’s general manager, membership, set the scene for the evening in her welcoming speech. “Can you believe how long it has been since a lot of us were all in the same room together?” Oelkers asked, before describing those attending with a quote from Les Brown: “Our ability to handle life’s challenges is a measure of our strength of character.”
It’s definitely been a challenging time since the last awards ceremony but on the night, that merely added to the festivities. The TABMA team gave all the attendees a well-deserved pat on the back for how they’ve survived the Covid period so far, including rapid uptakes of remote learning and infection control as well as continuing to take on trainees and apprentices. Keeping the next generation of the industry coming during a pandemic hasn’t been easy, but everyone can see that it’s paying off.
Government support was acknowledged, and especially the collaboration with other industry associations, including FTMA, ATIF, Responsible Wood and Hardware Australia.
The awards themselves were judged by Bruce Harle, formerly of Timber Queensland. Oelkers enjoyed taking Harle to visit many of the nominees, saying, “After a couple of years being stuck behind the computer, it was a real pleasure to get out and about to see what our finalists have been up to. Both Bruce and I were really impressed with the improvements and adaptation to the times that our finalists have made.”
The finalists themselves represent the best of Queensland’s timber industry. Here are the edited bios for the nominees and the winners.
BEST TIMBER WHOLESALE SALES REPRESENTATIVE
Daniel Parkin, Pentarch Forestry In three years working with Pentarch, Daniel has created strong relationships and grown his territory significantly thanks to his passion, professionalism and positive attitude.
Mick Dixon, VIDA Wood Mick has worked for Vida Wood since its inception in 2015. His exceptional product knowledge of the construction sector and strong relationships with his customers are stand-out qualities.
Wayne Barton, Hyne Timber After 17 years at Hyne, Wayne is respected by all his clients. He is focused on ensuring his customers are kept well informed and goes the extra mile, always looking for solutions as well as being trustworthy, diligent, strategic, reliable and honest.
Carolyn Crabb, Dindas Australia Before she moved to Dindas nine years go, Carolyn was already working in the industry and brought with her the strong relationships she has created over the years, thanks to her communication skills and friendly demeanour.
Melonie Conduit, Parkside Timber In her 10 years at Parkside, Mel’s customer relationships and service have been consistent, helping her to grow sales and consistently exceed budget.
WINNER: Daniel Parkin
MOST INNOVATIVE OPERATION
Multinail This Queensland-based firm produces cutting-edge software, machinery and building products for the Australian, New Zealand and North American timber frame and truss industries. It has a strong culture of highly dedicated and progressive staff who constantly strive to implement evolving and emerging technologies to its wide range of product and service offerings.
Pinetech Engineered Timber Solutions
Supply issues have been a major driver in Pinetech’s recent changes. Through putting people at the centre and creating a strong culture of collaboration with staff, consultants, suppliers and customers, the business has evolved and grown at the same time as customers have reassessed the benefits of onshoring.
Britton Timbers Stocking more than 50 quality Australian and imported species, Britton Timbers expert team partners with timber craftspeople and design professionals to enhance projects from residential to large-scale commercial fit-outs. Expert advice ensures that the right timber solution is adopted for every project.
Tilling Timber With major distribution centres in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, Tilling has served the Australian building market for almost 60 years. The company’s SmartFrame range of engineered wood products is extensive, backed up with strong customer service, software, systems, infrastructure, technical support and product innovation.
BEST SAWMILLING/PROCESSING OPERATION
Walker Cypress Mills Working with distribution partners ITI Australia and Simmonds Lumber, the mill has become one of the leading suppliers of Cypress T&G flooring in NSW and Qld, meeting the growing demand through production efficiency gains of 30% over 2021-22. Owners Walker Bros Timber & Building Supplies also contribute to One Tree Planted, the global reforestation charity.
Parkside Timber – Dry Mill A state-of-the-art hardwood manufacturing operation, the dry mill uses scanning and optimising technology developed specifically for the range of species and grades it processes. Other innovations include an automatic sorting and stacking system that was a world first when in concept and a high-speed twin shaper finger jointer and an in-line decking coating system on the way.
Hyne Timber The company’s Tuan Mill near Maryborough is the largest sawmill in Queensland and increased its capacity in the past 12 months when construction needed it most, with the commissioning of a new continuous drying kiln. This saw the mill create an additional 60 jobs, with 50% of the new recruits being women, improving gender diversity and diversity of ideas.
Robertson Bros Sawmills A long-established traditional timber producer, Robertson Bros sources Queensland hardwood logs from sustainable logging operations and private forests in the SE Queensland region for the production of fine quality sawn, dressed and moulded products in structural, flooring, decking, joinery and cladding applications. Alongside a huge standard range is a high level of service for customers who need bespoke species options, lengths or finishes.
Allied Timber Products This wholesale timber manufacturer specialises in converting raw pine logs to a range of sawn and dressed timber products for the construction, landscaping and DIY markets. Allied is a family business with long ties in the industry that proudly maintains strict quality standards and has an unshakeable commitment to its customers’ needs in doing so.
WINNERS: Hyne Timber (Sawmilling), Parkside Timber (Processing)
BEST TIMBER MANUFACTURING OPERATION
Duce Timber Windows & Doors This fourth-generation family business specialises in custom-designed timber windows, doors and architectural products. Since 1934, the company has shown innovation in design and excellence in craftsmanship.
Brisbane Timber Doors and Windows The factory in Underwood manufactures windows and doors for renovations and architect- designed homes in SE Queensland using the latest CNC machinery and techniques. Engineered timbers also ensure high-quality, accurate products at a competitive price point.
Easycraft For nearly 40 years Easycraft has provided decorative wall and ceiling panelling solutions for residential and commercial projects throughout Australia. Still owned by its original owner, the Bloch family continues to manufacture quality products using all Australian-sourced materials.
Timbeck Architectural The Brisbane-based team has proudly supplied top-quality, sustainably sourced panelling, cladding, mouldings, weatherboards, shutters, blinds and joinery components to the Australian market for more than 50 years. Timbeck now also offers a range of value-added services including sanded and pre-coated products direct from their Rosewood plant.
WINNER: Timbeck Architectural
BEST BUILDING MATERIALS CENTRE
Bretts Since the turn of last century, Bretts has had a hand in all aspects of timber production and marketing including sawmilling, importing, distribution and value adding. With four timber yards strategically placed around SE Queensland to serve the ever-growing population, each crewed by an experienced team of experts who provide training for new recruits, the company will continue to excel into the future.
Sunshine Mitre 10 Their dedicated trade teams service commercial and residential projects, and their knowledgeable retail experts are available in-store to assist DIY customers. Both areas of the business are supported by a substantial logistics division. The over 110-year-old business employs more than 400 people in 19 state outlets, including a dedicated F&T Plant and trade distribution centres to mitigate supply chain disruption.
Building Material Supplies (BMS Mitre 10) Toowoomba and the Darling Downs have relied on BMS for more than 50 years. They are the largest building materials supplies company in the region with over 23,000m2 of warehousing space. A strong supply partner, BMS has unique processes that ensure delivery of supplies in a repetitive, reliable manner: customers can trust the experienced BMS team to find the best supply solutions to their whole of house building problems.
Big River (Sabdia’s) A focus on reliable stock levels, topped by a knowledgeable and experienced crew who are passionate about their work are behind Big River’s success, coupled with close discussions with their customers about their construction schedules to provide on-time deliveries.
WINNER: Sunshine Mitre 10
BEST TIMBER FRAME AND TRUSS OPERATION
TrussCorp Service is the first of the three pillars that drive TrussCorp’s business and is embedded in their culture. Investments in customer-focused systems and technology include ‘live’ reporting on quotes, orders, production and transport, through to customer SMS notifications confirming manufacture and delivery dates.
Noosa Truss & Frame For 20 years, Noosa Truss & Frame has supplied both large commercial projects and the domestic residential market in Queensland and abroad A top-quality product and extraordinary service come from a company that’s small enough to know each of their builders by name and deliver the time and instruction they need, while large-scale enough to successfully deliver big, complex projects.
Premier Timber & Trusses Specialising in custom multi-storey homes, development projects and renovations by providing a comprehensive supply of the products required to build a house, Premier Timber & Trusses holds a large array of stock on hand and relies on a strong supplier network for ready access to materials. The team provides their large, loyal customer base with quality products at competitive prices without delay.
King Truss Supplying Queensland and Northern NSW construction with frame, truss, floor systems and a full range of building supplies, King Truss is a committed early adopter of industry-leading technology and sustainable processes to provide affordable, accurate and timely whole-of-building solutions. With over 30 years of local experience, Kings is large enough to do the job, small enough to care.
Langs Building Supplies The team at Langs are humbled to once again be recognised as a finalist. Their goal is to be seen as supportive, innovative and reputable in the industry and the business achieves that thanks to the dedication of wonderful staff, the support of long-term suppliers and the commitment of industry bodies.
BEST TIMBER MERCHANT
Gowan Lea Timbers This fully independent timber and building supplies merchant has been on the Sunshine Coast for 30 years and continues to grow by concentrating on the basics – finding and retaining great staff, having personal relationships with customers and suppliers and investing back into the business for continual improvement.
5 Star Timbers Setting your standards high is one thing – putting them into your company’s name is another. At 5 Star Timbers, the standards show in dedication to the quality of product and excellence in customer service, working hard to advise and educate the customer base.
Tradeware Building Supplies Difference starts with the staff at Tradeware, who are empowered to help the business take on and invent new and interesting products regularly. This unique team keeps the business one step in front of the opposition, which in these tough times is very challenging and rewarding.
Versace Timbers This family-owned business began in 1956 as a sawmill, then moved into its core business of timber merchandising before expanding into frame and truss manufacturing in 2008. With over 100 years of collective knowledge and experience they are dedicated to providing friendly service, expert industry knowledge, competitive prices and quality products.
Doyles Timber & Hardware Combining a comprehensive range of timber and hardware with expert knowledge and highly personalised customer service, Doyles offers a quality experience and product to the business’s customer base.
WINNER: Gowan Lea Timbers
BEST TIMBER WHOLESALE OPERATION
Dindas Australia The needs of clients and end users guide Dindas’s business. Extensive knowledge of the industry combines with service, quality and products that meet the highest structural standards. EWP and software specialists, Dindas works closely with its partners and adheres to all their requirements in store and onsite.
Thora Wholesale Timbers Since its early days as a Blackbutt specialist, Thora Wholesale Timbers has expanded and now stocks all grades of hardwood, from dunnage to high-quality KD hardwoods, all sourced from regional mills. Services include docking, dressing, dowel production, oiling, contract dressing and multi ripping.
Vida Wood Australia The global supplier has firmly supported the Australian marketplace since arriving in 2015, and a new warehouse in Brisbane and recently installed treatment facility plus more storage capacity in Melbourne confirms its commitment. Along with quality, sustainability is key, with timbers PEFC and FSC certified, and a commitment to supply has seen continued market share growth.
ITI Australia From a small team of three in 1987, ITI has grown to become the largest independent wholesale timber supplier in Australia today, with nine distribution centres, accessible to the whole country, coupled with an extensive range and groundbreaking product innovation.
Pinewood Products Once a small pine log and landscape supplier, Pinewood products is now a leading manufacturer servicing all aspects of the building and construction industry. The family-oriented team of 50 includes qualified tradesmen, an amazing admin and sales team, and a fleet of trucks to service clients all over Australia.
WINNER: Dindas Australia