Planet Ark joins FWPA bushfire recovery workshops in affected communities - Make it Wood News

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Planet Ark joins FWPA bushfire recovery workshops in affected communities

March 18, 2020

David Rowlinson


Photo (L-R): Holly Dowding, FWPA; David Rowlinson, Planet Ark; Eileen Newbury, FWPA;

Tonia Todman and Nigel Bell, EcoDesign.

Planet Ark recently joined Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) for a series of half-day workshops called ‘Resilience, Recovery and Rebuilding’ in bushfire-affected locations Bairnsdale, Tumbarumba and Bega. The workshops included presentations by the Rural Fire Service (RFS) and Country Fire Authority (CFA) on preparing for and handling fire situations. A psychologist in each location also gave a presentation highlighting the best ways to manage mental health following a bushfire event.

Architect Nigel Bell from EcoDesign discussed the opportunities of building with timber on Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rated sites, and David Rowlinson from Planet Ark’s Make It Wood campaign highlighted the environmental and biophilic benefits of using sustainably sourced wood.

The workshops were hosted by TV personality, author, cook and craftsperson Tonia Todman, who recently lost her Kyneton home and home-based business to fire. Tonia also shared her experience and discussed what she has learned as a result.

Information that was available at the workshops included the WoodSolutions Design Guide ‘Building with Timber in Bushfire-prone Areas’, which has been updated in accordance with the recently released bushfire standard AS 3959-2018 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas. This publication provides clear, concise explanations of each Bushfire Attack Level and where and how timber may be used at each level.

“As representatives of our industry, we believe it is important to help assist communities affected by bushfires,” said Ms Eileen Newbury, National Marketing and Communications FWPA. “The long-term sustainable rebuilding of appropriate infrastructure and housing to enable the community to become fully functional as quickly as possible is vital.”

“Lowering future disaster risk by rebuilding to the bushfire standard and providing information and resources to do this will benefit rural and regional individuals, families and communities,” she said.


David Rowlinson

Make it Wood Program Manager