Plans to re­claim more sub­merged tim­ber

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - HE­LEN KEMPTON

AN Aus­tralian-first pro­ject that has res­cued sub­merged tim­ber worth mil­lions of dol­lars from the murky wa­ters of a hy­dro dam in Tas­ma­nia’s west could be ex­panded to open up wa­ter stor­ages to log­gers.

Re­sources Min­is­ter Guy Bar­nett said re­search from the Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia had high­lighted the po­ten­tial op­por­tu­nity to sal­vage high­qual­ity sub­merged tim­ber re­sources from the state’s hy­dro wa­ter stor­ages.

Mr Bar­nett said the State Gov­ern­ment was work­ing closely with Hy­dro Tas­ma­nia to de­velop a frame­work that en­abled the har­vest­ing of more sub­merged tim­bers, pro­vid­ing the cer­tainty in­dus­try needed to in­vest with con­fi­dence.

“Hydrowood has been suc­cess­fully re­cov­er­ing tim­bers from the depths of Lake Pie­man for a num­ber of years, and it is ex­pected that open­ing up other Hy­dro man­aged lakes for har­vest can pro­vide a unique op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand this in­dus­try, driv­ing lo­cal in­vest­ment and cre­at­ing re­gional jobs,” he said.

At the start of its op­er­a­tions in 2015, Hydrowood es­ti­mated there could be $1.6 mil­lion worth of tim­ber which could go to mills, ar­ti­san stu­dios and auc­tion houses to be pro­cessed and made into top-end fur­ni­ture and build­ing prod­ucts.

In­ter­na­tional yacht and fur­ni­ture mak­ers are also eye­ing the “sunken treasure”.

There is also po­ten­tial to bring wood from four other Hy­dro lakes — Murchi­son, Mac­in­tosh, Bur­bury and Gor­don.

Pic­ture: MATTHEW NEW­TON

OP­POR­TU­NITY: Frank Board of tim­ber com­pany Hydrowood sal­vaging flooded forests in Lake Pie­man.

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