In good news for Australia’s emerging engineered timber market, Tasmanian timber producer Timberlink will build a mass timber factory in either South Australia or Victoria.

The company announced its plans to build a cross laminated timber (CLT) & glue laminated timber (GLT) manufacturing facility earlier this month, with the facility expected to open in 2023.

According to the timber supplier the new factory is just Australia’s second major softwood CLT plant (XLam opened a CLT manufacturing plant at Wodonga in 2018), and the first combined CLT and GLT manufacturing facility.

As many as 50 people will be employed full time once the factory is up and running. A number of temporary workers will also be hired to build the facility.

The company is now in conversation with state and federal governments to lock in a location for the new facility.

Timberlink’s entry into the market means more choice for developers, with one of the key barriers to uptake of this material in Australia the limited selection of suppliers, Aurecon major project director Ralph Belperio told The Fifth Estate last year.

“CLT and GLT products are used as the structural elements for building residential housing, medium density and high-rise timber buildings,” Timberlink chief executive officer Ian Tyson said.

“With around half of all CLT currently used in Australia being imported and strong growth in demand expected over the next decade, this investment in local production is great news for Australian manufacturing, the forestry sector and Timberlink.”

Mr Tyson hopes the move will place the business at “the forefront of integrated forestry and softwood processing in Australia.”

Timber is renewable, stores carbon, has lower embodied energy than other materials, and has biophilia-related wellbeing qualities.

Engineered timber has its drawbacks, however, including the way its sourced. Responsible forest management is key to ensuring the material is sustainable.

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  1. There is a local manufacturer at Kilburn South Australia who make a sustainable wood plastic composite timber alternative from locally sourced kerbside plastic and untreated timber mill waste. They can produce in large volumes and offer a dual solution to both the National Waste Plastic Challenge and the shortage in timber supplier after the bushfires.

    They are Australian owned and have been operating for 17 years in our own backyard, employing a local workforce to make recycled products out of our country’s unwanted waste. We need to support Australian manufacturing and buy innovative recycled materials. There are plenty of markets for a broad range of materials and they are offering a ready to go national solution to our countries most pressing environmental issues.

  2. Would be good to have a snapshot of where Timberlink sources their timber and the impacts therein. Timber certainly is a winning building material, so long as it’s being sourced in a truly sustainable way. It would also be interesting to see an analysis of AFC/FSC standards and whether they are actually meeting a high level of sustainability standards and truly minimising ecological impact.