State Forests to spend $2.35 million on upgrade of Wee Jasper Forest Way

The NSW Minister for Planning Infrastructure and Natural Resources Craig Knowles has approved State Forests expenditure of $2.35 million on reconstruction and sealing of 6.5 kilometres of Wee Jasper Forest Way in the Hume Region.

State Forests executive general manager based at Albury, Mr Peter Crowe, said that if the plantation timber industry in the region, the largest in Australia, was to grow it was crucial that the roading infrastructure kept pace.

“This massive State-owned resource is the result of strong government support and investment, and the efforts and foresight of generations of foresters, who have been establishing these softwood plantations since the 1920s.

“The industry in the region already generates $700 million a year and directly employs 2000 people, but it has the potential to do a whole lot more,” Mr Crowe said.

He said the upgrade was part of a budgeted State Forests plantation road program of $13 million this financial year.

Mr Crowe said the upgrade of Wee Jasper Forest Way would allow the haulage of pulpwood and sawlogs from approximately 12 000 hectares of softwood plantation in State Forests Buccleuch plantation located between Tumut and the ACT.

“This road upgrade is needed to service approximately 7200 loaded and unloaded truck movements each year for 20 years.

“About 2.3 million tonnes of sawlogs and 1.2 million tonnes of pulpwood will be hauled on this route,” he said.

Visy, Weyerhaeuser, Hyne Timber and Ausply are the major State Forests customers to be serviced by this upgrade.

“As is the case with many State Forests roads, they are used by the public and this upgrade will benefit people accessing towns and villages like Yass, Wee Jasper and Brindabella,” Mr Crowe said.

Work on Wee Jasper Forest Way is due to start in late January.

Media contact: Peter Crowe on (02) 6043 6307 or Sarah Chester on (02) 6036 2110 or 0417 207 669.