Mill plan to build for future
THE company proposing a timber mill in the state’s North has forecast it will spend more than $54 million across the project’s three stages.
Details from newly registered West Australian company Patriarch and Sons reveal its proposed Bell Bay mill would process native and plan- tation wood and aim to employ up to 110 people by its third phase of operation.
The mill would source timber from public and private providers, and “provide opportunities for owners of wood that is currently planned to be harvested to find an additional value adding process as an outlet for their resource”, a Patriarch and Sons spokesman said.
However, there are concerns about the company’s links with a Malaysian logging and palm-oil giant accused of environmental and human rights abuses.
Two of Patriarch and Sons’ directors are also directors within Shin Yang Group of Companies.
Shin Yang is based in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, and has been accused by non-government organisations of logging forests claimed by indigenous people and broader unsustainable practices.
The company has submitted documents to the Environment Protection Authority for a rotary peel veneer mill and plywood mill in the Bell Bay industrial precinct.
Should the project receive the nod from the EPA and the George Town Council, the first stage would be operational mid-2019 and the second by the end of that year.
The spokesman said the final stage involving engineered timber would begin “once further development of techniques are concluded successfully”.
For veneer leaf the mill would primarily target exports but the company’s vision was to produce innovative highstrength engineered timber products for local and potentially international markets.
Forest Industry Association of Tasmania chief executive Craig Jones said the ambitious proposal was reflective of a global shift within the building industry from concrete and steel to timber structures.