When the local newspaper arrives I head straight for the readers' bargains. You never know what people are getting rid of that may be useful. I found an advertisement for a demolition job in town and rang up the guy to check out what was available.
I was interested in the framing timber. Seasoned hardwood framing timber is very hard to work with, as joinery needs to be pre-drilled - but it's perfect for decking. I asked the guy if he was interested in exchanging labour for materials - and he was. I called up a couple of days later and he had changed his mind. The reason? I should have a 'red card' (see below) to go onto a building site.
I asked about accessing the building site with a registered builder after he had removed all that he wanted from the site, but he refused. I guess there was nothing in it for him, except the risk of something going wrong... fair enough.
I did some research and found out that a 'red card' is now called a 'Construction Induction Card'. It's a day-long course that trains you in safety on a building site and costs about AU$150. I've decided to do one - if another opportunity like this one presents itself, I'll be ready to act.
Meanwhile, none of the framing timber was salvaged - it was all chewed up by big machines and sent to the tip. What a waste! The proverb for the second principle of permaculture - 'make hay while the sun shines' - points out that opportunities of abundance are only available for short periods of time, and you need to be ready to take advantage.