Clipsal, I think this is a tremendous opportunity to drive the knowledge base on the subject forward.
Far too often, we tend to settle into a mindset where a particular notion becomes Gospel, stunting the discussion, and boxing our knowledge and perspective into a very narrow band.
Though maple is the de facto standard for shelving, I certainly don't believe it is the last word on the subject. Just like in cabling, amplification, or tubes, what works best in one system doesn't necessarily work best in the next.
My feeling is that maple shifts the sonic focus towards the upper-midrange, and while there is nothing inherently wrong with that, in my opinion, far too many systems today are already overly represented in that region to begin with. Combined with the tendency to tighten the lower frequencies up (agin, an objective statement, not meaning it as a good or thing), one can often wind up pushing things into an overly cold and analytical direction.
Conversely, I often hear species such as mahogany maligned for being overly warm or rich, and my comment is that perhaps in many a system, that is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Just to be clear, in no way am I denigrating maple, and I am typically a fan. I just want to put out on the table that tracing the steps of others in dogmatic fashion is a recipe for spending money to no good result. Rather, synergy and one's own sonic priorities should point the way forward.
How often do we enter into discussion here on Audiogon where a person is seeking to back off the relentlessness in the presence region, or add warmth to their system? This seems to be the main affliction we deal with as a whole in this age. The standard cookbook answers are first and foremost cabling, and (thankfully) now to a great extent, the room itself. My question is, why not also investigate alternative isolation materials?
As G_m_c pointed out, you have some incredibly interesting and unique species of wood in Australia. My sincere hope is that your audio journey leads you to find out the sonic characteristics of the myriad Australian products you have access to and increase our experience as a whole.