An emergency summit is being held in Adelaide today with all key housing industry stakeholders in an attempt to develop a blueprint to avoid Australia’s timber shortage crisis from worsening.
Organised by SA-Best MLCs Connie Bonaros and Frank Pangallo, the summit includes key industry associations such as the Master Builders Association of SA, the Housing Industry Association, the Plumbers Association of SA and National Electrical Contractors Association, some of the state’s leading timber producers and suppliers, and SA’s largest homebuilders.
“It’s scandalous that timber logs from local plantations are now being shipped offshore to India and China because of the high prices suppliers are fetching...,” says Pangallo.
“Local growers are fulfilling their contractual obligations with local sawmills and suppliers – many of which were written well before the Homebuilder boom – but instead of helping these businesses meet their huge increases in demand are preferring to ship their excess stock to overseas markets due entirely to the better profits they can make,” he says.
“That processed timber is likely to find its way back here at much higher cost than if it was processed by local sawmills, which are crying out for supplies, is a disgrace,” he says.
“If timber can’t be supplied to build houses, carpenters won’t get paid for putting up the frames, bricklayers won’t get paid for laying the bricks, electricians won’t get paid for wiring the house, the businesses that supply those tradies won’t get any orders for materials…and so it continues,” he says.