News Industry News

NSW Native Forestry

11 Oct 2023
15 Min Read


As an integral part of ACFA’s commitment to industry advocacy, we actively collaborate with allied associations such as Timber NSW, who represent sectors crucial to the entire timber lifecycle. These partners play a significant role in tandem with our industry’s endeavours.

Timber NSW serves as the premier representative organisation for the timber and forest products sector in New South Wales. They have recently offered an informative update on the pressing issues surrounding native forestry and the timber industry within the state.

These issues possess the potential to affect various phases of the lifecycle, impacting both upstream and downstream processes, including our industry. We kindly invite you to look over this valuable information and consider showing your support by adding your name to the conversation. Your involvement can make a meaningful difference.


Dean Brakell



Given the ongoing co-ordinated environmental protests and misinformed media reports about native forestry in NSW, we have reached a point where the future of our industry in NSW is in doubt and people’s livelihoods are in jeopardy. We’re seeing the exploitation of a lack of forestry knowledge to fuel miscommunications and falsehoods via slogans and campaigns. The Industry goes to great lengths to protect the fauna and flora within the production forests. It is in our interest to do so.

There is a real risk NSW may follow Victoria and Western Australia in closing public native forestry, which would cripple timber supply and wipe out most of the $2.9B the industry contributes to the NSW economy each year.

Therefore Timber NSW, along with the Australian Forest Contractors Association (AFCA), Timber Development Association (TDA), Timber Trade Industrial Association (TTIA), South East Timber Association (SETA) and Forest & Wood Communities Australia (FWCA) have made a joint public submission to the NSW Premier and key Ministers in support of native forestry in New South Wales

 The submission makes three key points:

  • Native Forestry is Essential: Any proposed closure of public regrowth native forestry and a ‘transition’ to hardwood plantations is completely unnecessary and unfeasible. The alleged benefits of such a closure on biodiversity, tourism and climate change do not exist.
  • Recognise the 21st Century Potential of Timber: Australia is the sixth most forested nation on earth and has best-practice ESFM forestry regulation. There is huge potential in the NSW timber industry to meet the growing demand in Australia for a sustainable, renewable, recyclable resource like timber. We need to realise this nation-building potential.
  • Educate & Inform Citizens About Forestry: When falsehoods and misinformation are being spread about legitimate Government activities – like native forestry operations undertaken by the government-owned Forestry Corporation – we expect that Government will seek to counter and correct these misguided assertions in a timely and accurate manner. This is not currently happening in NSW.

We’re calling on the NSW Government to work constructively and consult fully with the industry and communities in support of an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable timber industry in NSW. You can read all the details in our joint submission, here.

Successive governments have ensured that public forests have been protected in National Parks and conservation reserves. The production forests managed by Forestry Corporation for multiple values have gradually reduced in size over the past thirty years, but dramatically increased in regulatory controls. The native forest industry in NSW is already one of the most highly regulated in the world.


Almost three-quarters (72%) of Australians agree that the timber industry is legitimate (Stollznow Research 2023). You can read recent social licence research conducted re the timber industry here.

We know that the current extreme protest activity does not represent the views of ordinary Australians. It’s causing major disruption to our industry.

Our collective effort is vital to keep the industry open while activists continue to block forests and roads, delay or stop timber supplies, target our workplaces and misrepresent the facts. 

Currently, our members and their communities are making their views clear by contacting the NSW Premier. We are asking you and your members to add your voices to our campaign by contacting the NSW Premier Chris Minns and key members of his Cabinet.

ACFA members can join the campaign at, where you’ll find campaign resources to add your voice in support quickly and easily. They need to hear from us now about what is at stake.

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

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Changes to the Law on Unfair Contract Terms

28 Sep 2023
15 Min Read

Changes to Australian Consumer Law will prohibit businesses from proposing, using, or relying on unfair contract terms in standard form contracts with consumers and small businesses.

Courts will be able to impose substantial penalties on businesses and individuals who include unfair terms in their standard form contracts. Currently, a court can only declare specific terms of a contract unfair and therefore void.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission are encouraging all businesses to review their standard form contracts and remove or amend any unfair contract terms before new penalties take effect.

The changes apply to standard form contracts made or renewed on or after 9 November 2023 or to a term or a contract that is varied or added on or after 9 November 2023

While some of the changes will not apply to contracts until they are renewed, or a new contract is entered into, businesses should be proactive in reviewing their standard form contracts now.

The changes will also expand the coverage of the unfair contract term laws to apply to more small business contracts than before. The threshold for small business contracts will increase and apply to small business that employ fewer than 100 persons or have an annual turnover of less than $10 million.

Updated Home Building Contracts

ACFA have updated the Home Building Contracts to reflect the new laws which can be found under the Resources Tab.  Members who purchased a Home Building Contract previously will receive a complimentary updated contract/(s)  based on their previous purchase.  This is just one of the many benefits of being an ACFA Member.

Businesses can view information about changes to the unfair contract terms laws on the ACCC’s website.

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

News ACFA Training News Industry News

Celebrating 75 Years as an Aussie Association

09 Jun 2023
15 Min Read

The Australian Cabinet and Furniture Association is celebrating 75 Years of serving the industry. As a specialised association, we are proud of what we have achieved. Being an Industry-Specific Association delivering personalised service for such a significant amount of time is a significant milestone and is a testament to the hard work of ACFA Board Members, Staff and Members.

Fred White, President of ACFA, spoke of the significance of 75 Years. He said, “To see how far we have come as an association, we are very proud of what we have achieved. Our membership numbers have continued to grow and reflect our true national approach. The issues of our industry have changed, but ACFA has always been there advocating for what is best.”

ACFA is excited by the future, and exploring more ways to support our industry, with short courses and growing their business resources. ACFA will look to mark this celebration during the 2023 Industry Awards in September. Click here for more information on our 2023 Awards.


When ACFA looks back at 75 Years as an association, it is difficult to summarise everything we have achieved. Here are just some of the key achievements:

When first established on the 3rd of June 1948, the NSW Furniture Guide (as it was then known), was incorporated as part of the launch of the Furniture Industry Association of Australia (FIAA). Throughout the decades that followed, the association grew in recognition for advocating on behalf of the industry.

In some of FIAA’s early years, the association was also involved in the running of the Australian Furniture Fair and drafted the Furnishing Trades Award with the Industry Committee. As FIAA grew, it focused on lobbying for the increase to the threshold & exemptions for our industry regarding Home Warranty Insurance (NSW) and Initiated the Worker Compensation Premium Discount Scheme. 

WorkCover NSW (now Safework NSW) engaged with FIAA to run a Safety Coach program in 2013 with the aim to provide free one-on-one advice on better ways to manage risks and how best to implement sustainable safety practices. Our efforts in this program saw FIAA recognised as a finalist in the 2014 WorkCover NSW Safety Leadership Awards.

In 2017, FIAA launched our Industry Awards, celebrating and recognising the hard work and skills within our industry. The annual awards night was created as a way to showcase the high-quality work our industry achieves and come together to celebrate the people excelling in our industry. 

Through funding granted by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, FIAA across both 2018 and 2019, successfully ran a mentoring program for 1st and 2nd Year Apprentices. Titled Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices (ISMAA), this mentoring saw an increase in apprentices completing their training and helped them get a solid foundation towards a long-term career in our industry. 

A recent achievement the ACFA Team looks back upon is their COVID Response across 2020 and 2021. ACFA spent countless hours confirming details of restrictions and making enquiries with the government for each state. ACFA provided the support businesses needed to continue to operate in the correct manner. A record number of phone calls with the Workplace Advice Team and email communications sent highlights the dedication the association has to the industry.

Dean Brakell, CEO of ACFA, marked the occasion by reflecting on the work undertaken to represent and advocate for the industry. “Over the years ACFA has been privileged to be recognised at higher levels of Government with our work with SafeWork, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the Home Builders Insurance. Our sector of manufacturing in Australia needed an association that represented the unique aspects of our industry, and that is what ACFA has done.”

Other key milestones achieved include 26 Years as a Registered Training Organisation, providing Workplace-Based Training for the next generation of our industry. ACFA has grown to become the largest private RTO (RTO: 90432) for Cabinet Making, KBLR and RPL Qualifications.

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

News Industry News

Workplace Relations

09 Jun 2023
15 Min Read

There have been a number of changes and additions to Australian workplace relations legislation. The new laws represent significant changes to Australia’s workplace industrial relations systems and will have an impact across all Australian workplaces.

These industrial reform changes are due to the passing of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill in December 2022. This is one of the most comprehensive industrial relation reforms since the Fair Work Act was introduced in 2009, along with The Respect@Work bill which was passed in November 2022. 

These changes have significant consequences for employers if they do not take steps to align with all legislative requirements. Business owners must ensure they understand their new obligations and have appropriate systems and processes in place to comply. 

Some of the new reforms include:

  • Anti-discrimination – new protected attributes in the Fair Work Act
  • Changes to annual shutdown provisions
  • Family and Domestic Violence Leave
  • Limited the use of fixed-term contracts
  • Flexible Work Arrangements
  • Gender equality measures and small claims process
  • Job Advertisement
  • Prohibiting pay secrecy
  • Multi-enterprise bargaining
  • Psychosocial Workplace Hazards
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Unpaid parental leave

Some of these new laws started on 7 December 2022, while others will commence throughout 2023.

There will also be a second portion of significant workplace relations law changes proposed by the Government, which will be introduced into Parliament in the second half of 2023. 

To provide a brief overview of each of the reforms would be difficult, therefore ACFA has supplied material on the above to members and the industry via email alerts. ACFA also provides a collection of resources available on their website, including fact sheets, checklists, policies and risk assessments to address some of these changes and how employers can prepare to meet these new challenges. (Some of these resources are available to members only).

Don’t get caught out 

It is important that employers are familiar with these changes, particularly given that some of them impose significant obligations on employers with harsh penalties for noncompliance. These changes are extensive, and employers will require a thorough review of their policies, procedures, employment contracts, training, and accommodating requests for flexible working arrangements to ensure compliance and mitigate possible implications to their business. 

ACFA Members can contact the workplace advice team with unlimited calls to assist with navigating these changes. Further resources are accessible on the ACFA website. 

ACFA will continue to keep members updated on these changes to guide businesses as they navigate the ever-changing landscape of workplace legislation and regulations. 

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

News Industry News

Tax Time for Tradies – 2023

15 May 2023
15 Min Read

‘Nail’ your deductions this tax time!

Not sure what deductions you can claim as a ‘Tradie’? Well, good news! The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have shared some helpful tips and resources to give you a hand.

‘Can I claim that?’

Tools and equipment, car costs, protective clothing – which costs can you claim? Check out the ATO’s tailored occupation guide for Tradies. It’ll help explain which deductions you can and can’t claim this year, as well as the income you’ll need to declare and the records you need to keep. Even better, the guide has also been translated into other languages.

Tools and Equipment

Bought new tools for work this year? You can claim a deduction for tools or equipment if you use them for work purposes. But remember:

  • If you also use the tools or equipment for private purposes, you can only claim the work-related portion
  • If the tools and equipment cost more than $300, or are part of a set that together cost more than $300, you will need to claim a deduction over a number of years (decline in value)
  • If the tools or equipment are supplied by your employer, or another person, or you’re reimbursed for the cost, you can’t claim a deduction

Keep on top of your records

Your ‘glovebox filing system’ is great, but there’s an easier way.

If you’re an employee or sole trader, use the myDeductions tool in the ATO app for a fast and easy way to store your receipts and keep track of your records!

The ATO app is also one of the best ways to track the progress and outcome of your tax return after you’ve lodged.

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

News ACFA Training News

New Training Package on the Horizon

05 Apr 2023
15 Min Read

You may spot wording on our website regarding our courses being superseded.

The Australian Cabinet and Furniture Association (ACFA) has been training apprentices in Cabinet Making for over 25 Years. As a leading RTO for our sector, ACFA has been involved in the development of updates set to come into place to better reflect the changes that have taken place within our industry.

The course you maybe be familiar with is MSF31113 Certificate III in Cabinet Making.

Across our website and brochures, you will see the disclaimer; “This course has been superseded. You can still enrol in this course, and ACFA will contact you when you need to transition into the next version when it is available”

What this means is that you can continue to enrol apprentices or enrol in our RPL Program. Our Admissions Team will get you started and when the time comes, ACFA will transition you across to the new package. Our team have worked hard to ensure a smooth transition will take place. A lot of the changeover will happen behind the scenes for some students.

From late 2023, you will start to see the new training package, known as MSF30322 – Certificate III in Cabinet Making and Timber Technology, come into play.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Team at 1300 342 248 or

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

News Industry News

ACFA 2022 Conference Wrap-Up

25 Oct 2022
15 Min Read

The ACFA 2022 Industry Conference was held in late October at the Crowne Plaza Melbourne. Industry colleagues gathered to spend time investing in themselves and take the opportunity to network face-to-face once again.

Opening the day’s proceedings, ACFA CEO Dean Brakell, shared “It is exciting for us to be able to host a Major ACFA Event here in Melbourne”. Dean also took the opportunity to thank Peter Gill for his more than 20 years of service on industry association boards.

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Keynote Speaker Michael Licenblat challenged the attendees about their mindset when facing pressure in business, and the need to ‘flow’ rather than ‘fight’ the challenges they face.

Session Speakers also included Andrea-Lucena Orr, who shared Dulux’s Colour Trends for 2023; Ledlin Lawyers took everyone through the dos and don’ts of Business Contracts, and Tim Woods from IndustryEdge took a look at where the market is going to help businesses prepare for the future. Rebecca and Melanie from House of Social finished the day by reminding attendees that even the largest businesses can make mistakes with their social media, how to build your brand and how to deal with negative reviews.

Many of the attendees commented about being able to take the content back and implement some of the ideas into their own businesses. Jess from Clamor Cabinets expressed that it was “An enjoyable and super informative day – we are looking forward to implementing various take-home messages into our business.”

Chris at CL Kitchens commented, “I loved the content, as a small business we found it helpful for both my wife and myself. I also appreciated the opportunity to speak to the Trade Partners about their latest products.”

At the conference, ACFA also announced that the 2023 ACFA Industry Awards will be held on Friday 15th September 2023 for projects completed between 1st July 2021 and 30th June 2023. Stay tuned for applications opening in April next year.

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

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