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The Log - Issue two - Research Programme Three Programme Coordinating Committee meeting 2008

The Harvesting and Operations Programme Coordinating Committee (PCC) met in Albany, Western Australia, on 26 February 2008. The meeting was attended by seven committee members, two joined the meeting via teleconference. As this was the first PCC meeting since the arrival of the Programme Leader, there was a great deal of business to be covered. 

The committee reviewed and approved a revised budget, the revised programme agreement, the strategic work plan and an international visitor plan. The approved programme agreement will soon be circulated for signature by all programme partners.

PCC members were asked to identify priority research areas for their organisations through an activity ranking exercise. Results of this exercise - along with other factors including potential returns, scope of application, available expertise and potential for additional funding - will be used to guide activity development.

In other business:

  • Alternative approaches to filling the Western Australia researcher position  will be explored, noting that it is important that the candidate be based in the region.
  • Teaching and recruiting activities related to harvesting and operations at the University of Melbourne can be supported by the CRC for Forestry funded resources when the activity is seen to benefit industry and does not negatively impact programme research priorities
  • Any additional funding pursued should support current priorities and not require additional expertise.
  • Confidential data will only be shared with the company providing it, or if used more widely then only shown in an amalgamated form so that individual data sets can not be identified.
  • External publications of potentially sensitive data will be reviewed by the PCC prior to publication
  • New partner recruitment will be negotiated by the Programme Leader based upon a current buy-in by CRC for Forestry partners of $5000 and non-CRC for Forestry partners of $10,000 and an annual contribution (not a levy) roughly equivalent to $0.03 per tonne of harvest at the time of joining. Final acceptance of a new partner will be approved by the PCC.

The PCC was also updated on current activities including detailed results of:

· Harvester head calibration recommendations based upon the manual log measurement study in pine plantation operations conducted by Martin Strandgard,

· The native forest thinning trial in New South Wales comparing a three machine system (feller, processor and forwarder) to a two machine system (harvester and forwarder) in a range of forest conditions, and

· The initial analysis of truck fleet tare weights provided by some industry partners. 

After the meeting, discussion among PCC members continued during a field visit to three different blue gum harvesting operations with ITC Ltd, Timbercorp Ltd and Great Southern Ltd around the Albany area. The group visited ITC and Timbercorp roadside operations, two partner companies using different roadside  methods that result in the same outcome.

Timbercorp chipper

Treelength-to-roadside operations going into the chipper