Assured softwood markets will boost Bombala's prosperity

Construction of the new Timbermans Group sawmill in Bombala will ensure full utilisation of all the sawlogs currently available from the region’s softwood plantations.

“The recent confirmation by Timbermans Group of its plans to proceed with the new mill is excellent news,” State Forests Monaro Regional Manager Bob Germantse, said today.

“The new mill, combined with the Willmott-owned processing facilities already operating at Bombala, will have the capacity to process all the available softwood logs in the area.

“This is not only good for the local timber industry. It will also boost the prosperity of the wider Bombala community.

“State Forests has more than 31 000 hectares of softwood plantations in the Bombala Region and these forests, together with the area’s privately owned plantations, produce both softwood sawlogs and pulpwood to support the locally based processing plants.

“When all the local plants are fully operative there will be about 130 people employed directly in softwood processing in Bombala.

“Additional people will also be required to manage the plantations and to harvest and haul the timber to the mills.

“In full production the plantation industry will directly support 230 jobs in the Bombala region and the increased employment opportunities will attract new people to the area.”

Mr Germantse said that State Forests was also working to develop a short-term export market for plantation pulpwood that could not be processed locally.

“We are moving ahead with a short-term softwood pulp log export project to operate out of the new Eden Wharf,” he said.

“This program will be the first use of the recently completed wharf and will directly employ about 20 people, shared between the Eden and Bombala.

“The pulp logs to be exported are of lower quality and currently not able to be processed locally.

“Finding a market for this additional wood is very important for the future development of the plantations and the local industries they support.

“It will enable the forests to be thinned and will increase the future quality and quantity of sawlogs making the softwood resource even more valuable to the grower, the sawlog processors and the local community.

“The challenge now is to expand essential services and infrastructure in the region to accommodate this industrial growth and meet the needs of the new families that will be moving to Bombala,” Mr Germantse said.

Media contact: Bob Germantse on (02) 6458 3177.