State Forests and Oberon Rotary Club join forces to commemorate start of plantation forest industry

State Forests and Oberon Rotary Club have come together to commemorate the start of the plantation forest industry in the central tablelands.

In recognition of the plantation industries’ contribution to the region, a plaque has been erected at the Jenolan State Forest picnic area on the Jenolan Caves Road - the site where the first plantation pine tree was planted by the Forestry Commission in June 1923.

The Member for Bathurst Gerard Martin will unveil the plaque on Sunday (9 May) at 12 noon.

Mr Kevin McGrath, who is the community services director with the Oberon Rotary Club, conceived the idea.

“We put together a publication of stories by older people in the local community called ‘The Living Treasures’,” Mr McGrath said.

“One of the stories by Mrs Elvie Nunan told how she was asked by the local Forestry Commission foreman if she wanted to come and plant the first tree.

“It later occurred to us that this was beginning of a momentous time for the local community in terms of our economy and our identity. It was decided that we should somehow acknowledge the moment.”

State Forests regional manager, Mr Dean Anderson, said the planting of the first tree was a very significant event in the region’s history and should be commemorated.

“I’m sure the foreman at the time, or Mrs Nunan, probably had no idea that that small first tree would lead to an industry that covers 80 000 hectares in the central tablelands and directly provides 900 people with jobs,” he said.

“A commemorative plaque is a great idea and we are very pleased to be involved.”

State Forests delivered a three-tonne stone to the site for the plaque to be attached to and also helped provide maps and figures for the plaque.

The unveiling of the plaque will be followed by a sausage sizzle conducted by the Oberon Rotary Club.

Media contact: John Whittall on (02) 6331 2044.

Directions for media: Site about 8 km south of the Oberon turnoff on the Jenolan Caves Road.