Na­tive for­est in­vest­ment hike

Australian Forests and Timber - - FRONT PAGE -

TAS­MA­NIAN RE­SOURCES Min­is­ter Guy Bar­nett said there was fur­ther ev­i­dence of re­newed con­fi­dence in forestry as the State’s largest na­tive for­est sawmiller backed the Gov­ern­ment’s plan to grow the in­dus­try.

“A key part of the Lib­eral Gov­ern­ment’s Plan to end the sub­si­dies to Forestry Tas­ma­nia is to bet­ter utilise the pri­vate sec­tor to in­vest in and grow our vi­tal forestry in­dus­try,” the Min­is­ter said.

“Neville Smith For­est Prod­ucts op­er­ates a green sawmill in the Huon, a fin­ish­ing plant at Mow­bray, and a wood­chip ex­port plant at Bell Bay through sub­sidiary com­pany SmartFi­bre.

“Ex­ec­u­tive chair­man James Neville Smith says the Gov­ern­ment’s plan for sus­tain­able forestry of­fers sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­nity for pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment in the tran­si­tion to a new higher-value in­dus­try of the fu­ture,” the Min­is­ter said.

“We need to move for­ward and the Gov­ern­ment is open­ing the way. It will be up to in­dus­try to take up the op­por­tu­ni­ties and run with them,” Mr Neville Smith said.

The part­ner­ship SmartFi­bre with SFM For­est Prod­ucts is lead­ing the way.

SmartFi­bre is in­vest­ing $3 mil­lion in ex­pan­sion at Bell Bay as it gears up for its lat­est value-adding ven­ture – a ground­break­ing part­ner­ship with SFM to de­liver Tas­ma­nia’s first na­tive for­est ex­ports car­ry­ing full FSC cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

The SmartFi­bre PureFor­est project is aim­ing for ini­tial mar­ket vol­ume of 250,000 tonnes – 12,500 tonnes of sawlog, 37,500 tonnes of peel­ers and 200,000 tonnes of wood­chips – all from pri­vate land and all car­ry­ing full FSC For­est Man­age­ment cer­ti­fi­ca­tion through SFM’s group cer­ti­fi­ca­tion scheme.

The SmartFi­bre PureFor­est project is on top of a $1.3 mil­lion in­vest­ment by Neville Smith For­est Prod­ucts in a new pel­let plant at Mow­bray, as well as a gar­den stake line at South­wood, to ex­tract higher val­ues from na­tive for­est residues.

The value-adding and ex­pan­sion pro­gram is ex­pected to cre­ate more than 30 ad­di­tional jobs across the com­pany and in as­so­ci­ated for­est man­age­ment and har­vest­ing op­er­a­tions.

■ SmartFi­bre Bell Bay site

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