Exported Australian Saw Logs Mean Job Losses at Tumbarumba

Family owned, 138-year-old Hyne Timber continues to call for government support to direct Australian saw logs destined for export 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, 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 $10 million from the Berejiklian Government and a further $18.9 from the Morrison Government over three years on top of our own investment of over $42 million, we can freight these logs to Tumbarumba, retain hundreds of jobs and convert this investment into an estimated $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.

Tumbarumba Mill employees, James Davies and partner, Jo-Anne Crane rely on the Mill for their household income to support their young family.

Baby Alice, the latest edition to the family, was born in Wagga while the family were evacuated in January due to the bushfires.

James Davies said he spends his working days looking to optimise the Mill which is already highly contemporary with over $200 million invested by the company to date.

“This is a state-of-the art sawmill designed for high speed processing of large volumes of softwood. Therefore, the solution for our bushfire recovery and jobs is getting logs to the Mill. There is no alternative.

“There were rumours there was no more saw logs available but thankfully, this simply isn’t true.

“The company keeps us appraised of progress in freighting these logs to the Mill subject to securing the support of the NSW and Australian Government.

“Three years of retaining jobs while supplying timber to our customers is needed now more than ever and buys the company time for longer term solutions and efficiencies to be found.

“We see the lines at Centrelink on the news which are unavoidable due to CoVid-19 but massive job losses at Tumbarumba are avoidable if we can secure government support and get logs to the Mill.” Mr Davies said.

With government support, Hyne Timber can secure over 441,000m3 logs to the Tumbarumba Mill which will secure 181 jobs directly and $70 million in wages and salaries pouring into the local economy. A further 199 jobs will be secured indirectly.

The additional volumes of log will be processed at the Mill to supply quality, sustainably grown, Australian timber for 10,000 new homes that will otherwise have to be supplied by imported timber.

The by-products will also support the economy with an estimated 104,526 tonnes of chip supplied to Visy in Tumut for paper and packaging production and up to 24,457 more tonnes of bark for commercial applications including potting mix to grow the nations fresh food.

Dried wood shavings customer, David Shandley has further warned of disruption to the food supply chain as a result of the bushfires and the impact on by-product availability.

“Shandleys Transport buy 100 per cent of Hyne’s dried wood shavings, used as animal bedding for commercial food producers and supplying the major supermarkets nation-wide,” Mr Shandey said.

“The 441,000m3 additional log volume means 14,109 more tonnes of dried wood shavings, supporting jobs in Holbrook and beyond. We hope the Government will work with Hyne to protect our supply chains and secure the flow of Australian logs, timber and by-product to benefit our own economy and regional communities.” Mr Shandey concluded.

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.

 

For a virtual tour of the Tumbarumba Mill, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9QUnowYM5Y

For more information on Hyne Timber, visit www.hyne.com.au.

 

ENDS

Contact: [email protected] / 0455 087 118