Log­ging deal grows

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Jack Lawrie jack.lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

OP­ER­A­TIONS at the Kalpowar State For­est log­ging site are ex­pected to in­crease in the com­ing weeks.

The log­ging of plan­ta­tions in the Kalpowar area started last March and is ex­pected to con­tinue for the next four to five years.

The op­er­a­tion will in­volve the sale of up to one mil­lion tonne of sawlog and wood­chip into ex­port mar­kets, pri­mar­ily China, through the Port of Glad­stone.

The site is be­ing over­seen by HQ Plan­ta­tions while MBM is un­der­tak­ing the ma­jor­ity of the har­vest and haulage.

MBM rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dirk Koep­pen said they would soon be in­vest­ing in more work­ers and equip­ment to meet ex­port de­mand.

“There are six har­vest op­er­a­tors on site con­duct­ing log­ging, with three more to be added in a month,” Mr Koep­pen said.

“It’s great for the whole econ­omy be­cause we’re sup­port­ing lo­cal real es­tate by rent­ing hous­ing, us­ing peo­ple in Monto and Glad­stone.”

The de­ci­sion to up­scale was made last week and will in­volve sourc­ing ex­tra ma­chin­ery, in­clud­ing a new loader.

De­spite the long-term na­ture of the op­er­a­tion, Mr Koep­pen said it was un­likely that there would be any more de­vel­op­ments in the fore­see­able fu­ture.

Since the op­er­a­tion com­menced, about 100,000 tonne of sawlog has been har­vested and trans­ported to Glad­stone for ex­port.

Mr Koep­pen said that by next month they would be haul­ing 1000 tonne a day.

“We’ve been steadily in­creas­ing the vol­ume and now tak­ing the next step,” he said.

HQ Plan­ta­tion CEO Brian Farmer said in ad­di­tion to the lo­cal eco­nomic ben­e­fits as­so­ci­ated with har­vest and haul, the op­er­a­tion will en­able 1600 hectares at Kalpowar State Plan­ta­tion For­est to be re­planted.

“HQ Plan­ta­tions are com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing that the Bul­burin har­vest area is left in a con­di­tion that will fa­cil­i­tate its long-term restora­tion to nat­u­ral for­est con­di­tions,” Mr Farmer said.

“This in­cludes re­tain­ing clumps of stand­ing Arau­caria plan­ta­tion trees, leav­ing buf­fer ar­eas un­har­vested, and where prac­ti­cal, re­tain­ing es­tab­lished rain­for­est trees that have grown up in the plan­ta­tion.”

Re­plant­ing op­er­a­tions have al­ready be­gun with har­vested ar­eas cleared for re­growth.

PHOTO: JACK LAWRIE

BRANCH­ING OUT: The size of the log­ging op­er­a­tion in the Kalpowar State For­est is set to in­crease with more staff and equip­ment re­quired.

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