Tasmania Minister for Resources Sarah Courtney
Commitment To Hobart Port Exports Help Huon Forest Industry To Recover
Victor P Taffa
Hodgman Government strongly supports the Tasmanian forestry industry and is helping the sector recover following the devastating bushfires earlier this year, Minister for Resources Sarah Courtney said.
Last month the Government committed to ongoing timber exports from the Port of Hobart and this commitment is already resulting in a boost of confidence in the industry.
“I am delighted that wood volumes through the port are increasing strongly as timber growers recover fire-damaged trees that remain marketable.” Minister Courtney said.
Hodgman Government’s commitment to the Port of Hobart for timber exports follows the rebate of levies by Government-owned Private Forests Tasmania for fire-affected plantation growers, and generous support packages for businesses and individuals in the Huon Valley who were impacted by the bushfires.
Over the past week, 2 bulk carrier ships have loaded logs from Macquarie Wharf. Tasmanian forest company, SFM Environmental Solutions, is increasing its volumes of timber exports by 50 % or up to 10,000 tonnes a month for up to 12 months to help salvage the fire damaged timber.
This will result in up to $12 Million in extra revenue back into the industry over the next year from one company alone.
Recovery effort is resulting in a boost to the forest contracting workforce, much of which temporarily suspended operations during and after the fires. Extra contractors have been brought in from outside the region to assist the recovery effort.
Recovered timber is predominantly being exported to China, where it is being used for container flooring, furniture and framing.
Timing is critical for the recovery campaign as the fire damaged trees must be harvested before they die and become valueless.
“I commend industry leaders such as SFM for the role they have played in recovering this timber before it loses its value.” Minister Courtney said.