The more I read about the Maleny Wood Expo (MWE) the more I like.
The town of Maleny is in south east Queensland up in the hills behind the Sunshine Coast.
The MWE has been going for 22 years and is clearly a major community event!
The MWE comes from a landcare background. This seems to be what makes the difference with other “festivals”.
One of the great initiatives of the MWE is their Sustainable Timber Policy:
The fact that the MWE cares about where the timber comes from is a unique initiative.
Sustainable Timber Policy
The Maleny Wood Expo has a strong focus on ecological sustainability and sustainable use of local timbers. The first Maleny Wood Expo in 1996 was born from Barung Landcare’s recognition of the need to raise awareness about sustainable use of native hardwood and rainforest cabinet timbers. If our beautiful native timbers are to be available in the future, we must protect our resources.
[we must protect our resources…..and promote and support private tree growers].
The Expo aims to promote the whole ‘timber’ story – from seed collection through planting forests, harvesting and milling to the end product, the furniture.
[I like this sentence very much. The one thing missing from the “whole timber story” is the “Who”. Who grows the wood? Who manages the forest? Who collects and plants the seeds? If this was a dairy expo the dairy farmer would be the centre of attention. The same needs to happen with timber. Where is the Grower? Timber needs to be humanised].
The main point of difference between the Maleny Wood Expo and other wood shows is that our wood artisans are required to work in sustainably harvested native, weed or recycled timbers.
[MWE are keen to deliberately differentiate themselves from other “Festivals”. As I wrote in a previous blog, most wood festivals don’t care at all where the wood comes from. MWE care very much! This is the 21st century. This is a great positive initiative].
To achieve this we require all exhibitors to respect our ethic. All timber must be sourced from:
- Primarily from SE Queensland or northern NSW region (minimum 80%);
- Hardwood or softwood timber from managed plantations on private or public land;
- Exotic (non native) hardwood and softwood timbers (e.g. Slash Pine, Camphor Laurel and Privet) that can be removed with minimal disturbance to native bushland. Many species have weed potential and their removal will benefit the environment;
- Salvage timber from native forest logging operations i.e. timber that isn’t the primary target of the operation but rather a by-product that would otherwise be bulldozed or burnt (e.g. Blackwood Acacia melanoxylon);
- Timber collected where it presents a danger to people e.g. trees that have fallen or are likely to fall across roads, powerlines, houses (recognise that timber left to rot on the ground provides important nutrients and wildlife habitat);
- Dead standing trees from partially-cleared farmland – of less than 20cm diameter at waste height;
- Recycled timbers from demolition of buildings and other constructions, and waste transfer stations; or
- Other – if timber is not from the above sources, exhibitors must indicate where it came from prior to exhibiting at Expo.
Products made from timber burls cut from live trees (from Regional Ecosystem Guidelines, Qld Dept of Environment and Heritage Protection) are not permitted at Maleny Wood Expo.
Abiding by these guidelines will assist our community in sustainably managing our local timber resources.
It’s a pretty good policy.
What I would like to see is the policy actual focus more on promoting and supporting profitable private tree growers; actually build and grow the future supply of quality timber for both commercial and environmental objectives. There could be a range of initiatives to support this.
Why not use the power and momentum of the MWE to get more trees in the ground; grow the future!
Private Tree Growers
Besides the Sustainable Timber Policy the only other reference on the MWE website to tree growers is this statement:
Tree Farming for The Planet
We must more and more use timber from privately-owned forests as our appreciation of old growth forests leads to cessation of logging. Private forests provide not only timber – they’re an important farm asset and income stream. They repair and protect our land and provide biodiversity and habitat, shelter and support for agricultural and grazing enterprises, landscape aesthetics, bushfoods and much more. The Barung Nursery supplies quality tree stock for boutique and larger plantations.
The Barung Landcare Group hosts the MWE which is clearly a very good thing.
It’s curious that their website doesn’t have much of a focus on growing timber.
Is there a local specialty timber growers group that the Barung Landcare Group supports?
There are significant opportunities still to be realised in this Barung Landcare/MWE team.
Keep up the great work!
Now why can’t other wood festivals be more like the MWE?