Building and construction is currently experiencing a perfect storm
The COVID-19 pandemic has unexpectedly generated a substantial increase in residential building activity. This unprecedented demand for materials, together with COVID-19-related supply challenges, is creating limited availability of key resources and resulting in longer lead times in many sectors, including the timber framing industry. And, at the same time, Australians are choosing to use more timber than ever before.
There are two main reasons for this:
• Government stimulus packages and low-interest rates have seen new house approvals reach their highest ever numbers, and at the same time we’re witnessing record demand for house renos.
• More people working and studying from home has driven an increase in the home alterations and improvements market, and also encouraged a move to rebuild in regional and coastal areas.
Let’s get the job done.
The industry knows that timber is in high demand and is geared to providing a strong and stable supply. However, the current building boom has defied most predictions and we’re now having to double down on our efforts to give Australians the timber they need.
Local sawmills are working harder than ever to optimise production and the vast majority of Australian-produced timber still stays here in Australia – with just 3% of domestic softwood sales earmarked for export (mainly low-grade product unsuitable for structural use).
At the same time, importers of framing timber are pro-actively seeking out additional sustainable sources and working with Government to streamline the import process to further speed up and improve supply.
We don’t want to let anyone down, that’s why we’re doing all we can to increase efficiency, streamline production and reduce timber waste.
We’re also investing considerable time and effort to advise and promote Government policy that supports more tree planting, to further reduce the potential risk of not being more self-sufficient in timber products.
The future is looking positive.
We understand the frustrations of not having the tools to do the job. It not only affects productivity and profits – but also staff morale, customer confidence and company reputation.
To all those affected by the increased demand for timber, we want you to know that we recognise your concerns and are here to offer our full support.
In addition, we continue to encourage significant new investment in timber growing, sourcing and production technology, helping to create a sure and stable supply for the future. And that means we’ll be growing more trees, removing more carbon from the atmosphere and creating a cleaner, better world for everyone.
It’s a challenge right now but we’re strong enough to weather the storm. If we work collectively together, we can grow together.