Timber industry group Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA) will bring together industry, academia and government in an effort to put Australia at the forefront of international best practice in timber performance.

Launched on 16 November 2016, the National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life will be based in Queensland at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), with partners including the University of Queensland (UQ) and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). This strategic initiative will be funded by the State and Federal Governments along with the FWPA and the universities.

The Centre will ensure Australian design guides and standards remain world-class in light of climate change, new engineered timbers and changes in building design.

FWPA Managing Director, Ric Sinclair said the Centre would create a world-leading predictive model to enable architects and building specifiers to more easily choose the right timber for the right task. The automated evidence-based tool will accurately predict the structural performance and design life of timber depending on the application.

According to USC Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Roland De Marco, by connecting national and international leaders in forestry research through USC, UQ and Queensland DAF, the Centre would represent the pressing research needs of industry as managed by FWPA, in the field of timber durability and design life.

Senator Ruston added that FWPA received $3.8 million in Commonwealth matched funding in 2015-16, with the Government further committing up to $4.6 million to match voluntary contributions made by industry to FWPA for eligible research and development.