Australian saw-logs to China could mean job losses

Friday 11 Sep 2020

Family owned, 138-year-old Hyne Timber continues to call for government support to direct Australian saw logs destined for China to their Mill in Tumbarumba, in order to secure hundreds of jobs and help the Australian economy recover from bushfires and CoVid-19.

CEO Jon Kleinschmidt said employees and the community are increasingly voicing their concern regarding the future of the Mill following the devastating bushfires which decimated 40% of Hyne’s local log supply. “We continue to communicate transparently with our employees and Tumbarumba community stakeholders who we remain committed to supporting for bushfire recovery, but we can’t achieve this without government support.

“The fact is, as long we allow saw logs to be exported to China, there will be jobs lost in Tumbarumba, manufacturing resilience will be significantly impacted, and we simply cannot allow this to happen. If we can secure just under AU$10 million from the Berejiklian Government and a further AU$18.9 from the Morrison Government over three years on top of our own investment of over AU$42 million, we can freight these logs to Tumbarumba, retain hundreds of jobs and convert this investment into an estimated AU$173 million for the Australian economy.” Mr Kleinschmidt said.

Following discussions with private growers in Victoria and South Australia, Hyne Timber has confirmation that at least 441,000m3 of sustainably grown, plantation pine can be made available to the Mill over the next three years. This log currently has no Australian customer and is exported to China.

With government support, Hyne Timber can secure over 441,000m3 logs to the Tumbarumba Mill which will secure 181 jobs directly and AU$70 million in wages and salaries pouring into the local economy. A further 199 jobs will be secured indirectly. Hyne Timber has applied through the NSW Government Bushfire Industry Recovery Package – Sector Development Grants for support and is now in discussion with the Australian Federal Government.

Source: Hyne Timber

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