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MEDIA RELEASE - Policy sets timber vision for Council

26 February 2020

The Glenelg Shire has become the 17th council across Australia to commit to utilising natural, renewable products following the endorsement of a new innovative policy.

Councillors at last night’s February Ordinary Council Meeting unanimously voted to endorse a new Wood Encouragement Policy, supporting an environmentally sustainable future. The Policy will encourage the use of responsibly sourced wood to be considered, where feasible, as the primary construction material in all council building and fit out projects.

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank said the Policy would also boost both the profile and value of the region’s burgeoning timber sector.

“The Green Triangle region is home to the southern hemisphere’s largest plantation area, covering 355,000 hectares of soft and hardwood plantations. This equates to an incredible 18 per cent of the nation’s plantation stock and supports more than 18,000 direct and indirect jobs, making it one of our region’s largest economic drivers,” she explained.

“The policy aims to support and advocate for sustainable growth in our timber sector, maximising opportunities to source local products and boost our local economy.

“As per the policy local supply will be first considered wherever possible and wood will be used where appropriate in all council building and fit out projects. We hope to champion and showcase the use of local timber throughout the region and encourage shire-wide adoption.”

Planet Ark’s Make It Wood campaign aims to increase the use of responsibly sourced, certified timber as a building material.

Campaign Manager David Rowlinson, who assisted in the development of Glenelg Shire’s Wood Encouragement Policy, is delighted to see its introduction.

“Timber is the only major building material that helps tackle climate change,” he said.

“It’s renewable – the ultimate renewable, it stores carbon for the life of the building and it has much lower embodied carbon than conventional, more carbon-intensive building materials like concrete and steel.”

There are now 17 councils including Glenelg Shire, in addition to the West Australian and Tasmanian State Governments, with corresponding Wood Encouragement Policies.

The adoption of similar policies around the world is also growing steadily, with nations such as Canada, Japan, France, Finland, Netherlands, New Zealand and the UK all encouraging the use of natural, timber-based products in construction.

For further information, or to view the Wood Encouragement Policy, please visit the Glenelg Shire website.

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