The Company has completed a successful expo of its timber at a yard near Mt Gambier and is now in negotiations with several mills regarding buying logs from the KIPT pine softwood estate.
Logs of different size and varying burn classification were shown to representatives of about 10 mills, including logs from an independent grower on the Island.
Buyers were particularly interested in the KIPT wood that had good “resi testing” results, proving its suitability for construction grade lumber.
KIPT is now working with the Master Builders Association to try to address the shortage of timber for construction in South Australia. Industry leaders, including KIPT MD Keith Lamb, met with Primary Industries Minister David Basham last week to discuss potential solutions to the shortage which has left small building companies vulnerable and new home builders facing increased costs and delays.
Kangaroo Island Plantation Timber managing director Keith Lamb said there was enough structural timber on the island to build about 10,000 new homes.
“We’ve done all the technical specifications on the logs so they know what the quality is like and also the impact of the fire damage,” Mr Lamb said. “Hopefully next week we’ll get a response from them to say they are willing to take the logs and what price, so we’ll negotiate a price, and then we’ll start delivering them.”
Mr Lamb said about half of the island’s 1.3 million tonnes of pine had been blackened by fire but the quality of timber remained unaffected.
KIPT is investigating various avenues to start moving larger timber from the Island but remains committed to its Smith Bay wharf development proposal which awaits approval from the State Government.
“We have very large volumes of timber to move. This is just a start on our 4.2 million tonnes,” Mr Lamb said said.
The log expo was a joint effort between KIPT, its contracted harvester Harvestco, contracted forester Rob Heathcote, forest manager PF Olsen and seller’s agent Lew Parsons.