After three years of delays, the MGA TMA finally held its industry breakfast on June 22, with many members and industry contacts excited to be together once again.
‘The Views’ function centre in Port Melbourne provided a picturesque venue as delegates arrived just in time to see the sun rise over Port Phillip Bay while catching up over a hot breakfast. Many said it was fantastic to see members and industry contacts face-to-face and shake hands rather than meet via online platforms.
All attendees were welcomed to the event by MGA TMA National Membership Manager Marie-Claire McKiernan who initially outlined several challenges that continue to disrupt the industry despite finally coming out of lockdowns.
Marie-Claire updated attendees on what the MGA TMA had worked on during the pandemic to support its members and to keep them operating in very challenging times, while also touching on the MGA TMA employment law team who continue to dedicate their time to assist wherever possible.
President of MGA TMA’s Management Committee, Peter Alexander also spoke to delegates on the role of the committee with members given the opportunity to communicate any issues so both parties can achieve a resolution.
MGA TMA’s Corporate Partners, AB Phillips and First Super have remained wonderful supporters of the industry and were invited to attend the event. First Super’s Tony Papantoniou also addressed the group and spoke about voluntary superannuation contributions and changes to employer contributions.
Two guest speakers also attended the event including Tim Woods from Industry Edge and Craig Kay of Tilling Timber.
Tim is Managing Director of Industry Edge, which is Australia and New Zealand’s only trade data and market analysis, intelligence and strategy firm in the fibre resources, wood processing, pulp, paper and paper products sectors.
With more than thirty years experience in the forestry, fibre, wood products and pulp and paper industries, Tim is a sought-after participant in strategic reviews, planning and implementation activities.
Tim expertly presented on Australia’s current demand and supply issues, how inflation suppresses demand, the impact of low population on the industry, finding the bottom of the market and finished off with the outlook on timber supply and pricing. The audience was riveted to Tim’s presentation with many great questions addressed by the audience at the conclusion of Tim’s presentation.
The second and final speaker to address attendees was Craig Kay, Engineering Manager at Tilling Timber. Craig has worked for Tilling’s for over 27 years. He is incredibly well regarded in the industry with a number of members personally approaching Craig for advice on timber issues.
Craig’s content primarily covered LVL Australian Standards and National Construction Code (NCC) compliance. Craig believes that due to the emergence of new imported products into the Australian market, it is important that everyone is aware of the quality of products they are receiving.
As Craig put it, “every piece of LVL from that manufacturer is a proprietary product and therefore must be accompanied with comprehensive design information and span tables with the product. Simply quoting an E (stiffness value) is ignoring other mandatory characteristic values producers must provide for their LVL.”
Craig also presented images of the contrasting ways LVL can be manufactured, from the fully CNC-controlled ‘robotic’ continuous flow production lines to the manual process production lines where small sheets of veneer are laid out before being cold-pressed and then hot-pressed.
MGA TMA’s next event is planned for late 2022 and it is hoped that more members and industry leaders can attend as staff shortages and influenza cases lessen.
“After a significant hiatus from events thanks to COVID-19, it was great to be back together in a face-to-face setting,” Marie-Claire concluded.