Once destined for disposal, 1000 cubic metres of timber has been salvaged for use in renewable and sustainable community projects.
By the time Cyclone Debbie broke up in early April 2017, the storm had left $3.5 billion worth of damage in its wake across Queensland and the Northern Rivers region of NSW. In the boarder town of Murwillumbah, Boral's processing plant was devastated. Approximately $10 million worth of flooring, cladding and decking products were affected by moisture, deemed usable but unfit for sale.
Rather than dispose of these products, Boral Timber partnered with Forestry Corporation of NSW and Planet Ark's Make it Wood campaign to found the Community Timber Partnerships Program.
Sourced from sustainably managed forests, the Australian hardwood salvaged by the partnership has been used to deliver dozens of projects designed to provide public benefits. These projects include major upgrade works by the Nambucca Valley Cycle Club to the local mountain bike track, a pergola at Bellingen Public School and a children’s playground at The Nature School in Port Macquarie. Currently, 17 projects are underway, with another 15 under discussion.
"We had an enormous amount of timber written off for minor damages such as water staining. Salvaging and donating it for use in public projects was our opportunity to give back to the community,” says Steve Dadd, executive general manager of Boral Timber.
"Establishing this partnership has put our flooring and decking to practical use, making good use of a natural resource to enhance so many worthy facilities. We’re excited to see more sustainable timber community projects come to fruition, benefitting thousands of people today as well as future generations."
The partnership hopes that more organisations will join so that the program can continue once the initial source of timber runs dry.
"By working together, we are able to give this timber a new lease of life and help create renewable, durable and beautiful timber facilities for many local communities to enjoy," says Nick Roberts, CEO Forestry Corporation of NSW. Plus, he adds, there's something special about a project crafted with timber.
"As anyone who has timber floors, decks or fencing can attest, you feel better when timber is around you and finding uses for this timber in our communities will share the benefit of the ultimate renewable resource even further.”
Image: A new computer room for Coffs Harbour Christian Community Junior School, made from the salvaged timber.
© Forestry Corporation of NSW