Wood preservation in Australia is presented as an integral part of the forest products industry. The history of its development, as well as its current status and activities are described. Preservation operations in Australia are broadly based, and the industry diversified to combat a wide range of hazards, and to utilise many wood species, for differing end-uses. The Timber Preservers’ Association of Australia is the industry’s affiliating body, listing 99 members, made up of treaters, suppliers and associates. In all, some 208 treatment plants provide about 0.9-1.0 million m3 of treated commodities per annum, utilising about 5000 t of CCA, boron and fluoride compounds and light organic solvent preservatives, together with 8 million litres of creosote and oil-based preservatives. The annual retail value of the industry is estimated at $94 million*). The details of standards, legislation and registration requirements which affect the industry’s operations are presented, together with a comment on the impact of environmental restrictions and union attitudes. Research and development spending is about $1.5 million per annum, 78% of which is accounted for by government bodies, with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation committing approximately $1 million of this. The industry spends about $150.000 per annum in direct funding for R & D work. The main projects being carried out in Australia have been listed. It is concluded that wood preservation has a sound future in Australia. However, all concerned must come to terms with health and safety aspects associated with the industry. In addition, standards and legislation requirements must move closer together, there should be much better promotion of wood preservation, and, finally, the industry must strive towards a more integrated structure.
*) All dollars mentioned in the text refer to the Australian dollar.