Australia’s premier timber research program, based in Salisbury, Queensland, is celebrating its 100th birthday. Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner congratulated the Forest Product Innovation team at the Salisbury Research Facility on a century of timber breakthroughs.
“The main focus at Salisbury is finding new processing solutions and maximising the use of small plantation grown logs, both hardwood and softwood,” the Minister said.
“We’ve certainly come a long way since 1918 when the then Director of Forests Edward Swain first established the Forest Products Bureau in Queensland. Mr Swain recognised that the unchecked take of favoured timber species from our native forests was unsustainable. Uses had to be found and markets developed for the lesser-known species. To achieve this, a forest products laboratory was needed.”
In 1965 the Queensland Government established its new base of timber research at Salisbury, which remains the only research centre of its kind in the country.
“Our work at this site has seen the adoption of many innovations, including the first ever high temperature drying trials. High temperature drying has been adopted extensively by industry around the world to overcome the challenges of drying plantation grown conifers,” he confirmed.
The Minister said as our knowledge of timber properties and uses expands, timber research had also changed to remain relevant to the needs of industry and at the forefront of global research.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the visionaries who established our research program 100 years ago, but also to the countless men and women who have worked in this field in Queensland since then,” he said.
“Who knows what the next century will bring, but the demand for timber products remains strong, the future for timber in mid and tall timber structures is exciting and Queensland is certainly well placed to play a key role in this important industry.
“In fact, the tallest engineered timber office building in the world is currently under construction as part of the Brisbane Showgrounds redevelopment. This is just one example of the increasing demand for new, modern timber-based building systems.”