Tambo Sawmill Reopens Following State Govt Funding

Tambo Sawmill Reopens Following State Govt Funding

Queensland Minister for Manufacturing Cameron Dick

Sawmill Reopening Leads Tambo’s Revival

Victor P Taffa

Tambo’s reopened sawmill is reviving the town’s fortunes after a $1 Million investment and 7 years in mothballs.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the upgraded mill, which was backed by $262,250 from the Palaszczuk Government’s Building our Regions fund, will be officially opened today (28 April).

“This investment helped fund updating the mill, which is now supporting 15 ongoing jobs, bringing $1 Million a year into Tambo and with the potential to bring $4 Million a year into the regional economy.” Minister Dick said.

“Revived sawmill started up again last August, and is bringing new life to the town and the whole shire.”

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the revival of sawmill was having flow on effects for Tambo, which had struggled after the mining downturn.

“When I visited sawmill earlier this year, I saw firsthand the benefits this project is having.” Minister Furner said.

“These benefits will extend far beyond the mill itself, bringing prosperity to the entire community.” 

“As people move to town to work at the mill, their children attend the local school, buy goods at the local shops and contribute to the local economy.”

Tambo, on the Barcoo River in central western Queensland, was struggling through drought and mining downturns when Blackall–Tambo Regional Council bought the disused sawmill in 2014.

Council oversaw the $1,108,293 project that included buying the mill and timber sales permit and the $683,000 upgrade and granted the lease and operating rights to family company R&R Logging Pty Ltd after calling for expressions of interest.

Blackall–Tambo Mayor Andrew Martin said the mill has given the Tambo community and the central west region, a long-term, environmentally sustainable, economically viable and diversified asset.

“Not for several decades has the Tambo housing rental market been over-subscribed, and the Tambo State School was swamped with an almost one-third increase in enrolments, bringing student numbers to levels not seen since the 1980’s.” Mayor Martin said.

“I would estimate that the percentage increase in population, economy, employment, school enrolments and general social activity in the past 12 months is unprecedented in not only inland Queensland, but would be well up there in overall ranking across eastern Australia.”

“Queensland Government has shown long-term vision, and acknowledged the vital importance of economic diversity in the primary production chain.”

“In a small town like Tambo with 359 people, 15 direct jobs is a big jump in employment.” Mayor Martin said.

Minister Dick said round 4 of Building our Regions was giving Queensland councils the opportunity to boost their regional economies.

“Building our Regions has been most successful in generating construction jobs and other shorter-term benefits throughout regional Queensland, 1,762 jobs through 174 projects in 62 councils and this next round of funding is ramping up the emphasis on projects that deliver real economic development clout.” Minister Dick said.

“Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning is working closely with eligible councils to help them identify and prioritise the most appropriate projects and will support councils to prepare robust submissions for the two-stage application process.”

While the closing date for Building our Regions expressions of interest was 27 April, councils with Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) activations due to the March 2018 flood events have until May 25 to submit their applications.