Mill plan to build for fu­ture

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

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.

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