Burnie now in "site"
BURNIE CITY Council is rapt that Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH) is furthering plans to establish a saw mill operation in Burnie.
“Council has discussed this proposal with ASH representatives and the Coordinator General’s office in the past and will continue to do so over the coming weeks. We are very keen to work with all parties to progress this important development for Tasmania,” said Burnie City Council Mayor Anita Dow.
“The plantation-based forest industry is important not only to Burnie’s economy, but also the wider region and the economic multiplier effect of a development of this scale would be very significant.”
The Victorian Government’s decision to buy out the Australian Sustainable Hardwoods mill in Victoria will not reduce the likelihood of an ASH mill in Burnie, according to Tasmanian Resources Minister Guy Barnett.
According to The Advocate, Hermal Group chief executive Clinton Tilley said the company would still pursue a proposal for the Burnie mill.
Mr Tilley said Hermal Group remained a “long standing, very stable private company”.
“In fact the sale of the ASH business simplifies things for Hermal Group in terms of Tasmanian proposal,” Mr Tilley said.
“The simplification is in the fact that the Hermal staff are a small group of staff and this transaction frees up the staff to have more time to spend on our other business interest such like the Sullivan’s cove distillery and the proposal for our new operation in Burnie.”
“Our discussions with the company have been extremely productive and we will continue to work together to help bring a new mill to the State,” Resources Minister Barnett said.
Manager for special projects with Hermal Group, a parent company, James Lantry said the company would need around 300,000 cubic metres of eucalyptus nitens (E.nitens) timber per year.
Mr Lantry said Tasmanian E.nitens had been managed for the production of chip and is therefore generally younger, smaller and not as straight, which means using different milling techniques with different saws.
He said E.nitens is not a timber that is used for kiln dried finished saw log products.
“Nobody in the world knows how to turn E.nitens into a sawn kiln dried product, but we can,” he said.
Mr Lantry said ASH had already sourced Tasmanian plantation E.Nitens in their trials to ensure they could get the strength needed in the proposed timber products.
Mr Lantry said any new mill would require new saws and associated infrastructure both in the green mill, turning logs into slab, and for the dry mill, milling slabs into timber.