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