Member for Hume Alby Schultz, Member for Lyons Dick Adams, Member for Page Janelle Saffin and Notaras Sawmill’s managing director Spiro Notaras.
Member for Hume Alby Schultz, Member for Lyons Dick Adams, Member for Page Janelle Saffin and Notaras Sawmill’s managing director Spiro Notaras. JoJo Newby

Timber mills need more resources

ACCESS to timber resources and tough operating conditions for local manufactures were some of the issues raised when politicians visited local timber mills yesterday.

Local manufactures like Big River Timbers are being squeezed by the high Australian dollar and slowing customer demand.

This is affecting profits and could threaten the 160-odd employees at the veneer and plywood processor, managing director Jim Bindon said.

“It gets tougher every day,” he said.

Another message delivered to the politicians was the need for adequate resource supply to keep the industry growing.

“Too often green ideology drives government policy and locks up timber. It is a renewable resource,” he said.

The politicians on the tour, Dick Adams and Alby Schultz, are part of a federal inquiry into the forestry industry. Janelle Saffin also joined the tour.

It was important members of the committee had a first-hand look at the local industry and how important it was in the regional economic context, Ms Saffin said.

It was “absolute madness” the Federal Government would not allow the timber industry to generate carbon credits, especially when foreign governments did just that, timber mill owner Spiro Notaras said.

Local money will just flow to foreign countries, he said.



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