Pine forests in Byfield were felled by Cyclone Marcia.
Pine forests in Byfield were felled by Cyclone Marcia.

Marcia fast-tracked timber exports from CQ to China

CYCLONE Marcia caused devastation around the region, but nine months on it's created a business opportunity for Byfield's forestry plantation.

The natural disaster has fast-tracked an export deal with China for HQ Plantations, located north of Rockhampton.

Regional manager Andrew Dunn told ABC Capricornia the plantation suffered extensive damage when Cyclone Marcia hit the region in February.

MORE: More timber trucks on road as Marcia clean up continues

Mr Dunn said the night before the cyclone hit, they knew the plantation would suffer.

"We estimate about 80% of it was affected," he said.

A timber export deal with China has since been fast-tracked and HQ Plantations is now harvesting and transporting logs to Gladstone for export as sawlogs and woodchips.

"We had a local market here before the cyclone and processing is still going on domestically but we do have surplus timber in Central Queensland, over and above the domestic market," Mr Dunn said.

The operation kicked off in May and has since transported around 250,000 tonnes of logs.

The deal has also seen a boost for Central Queensland with jobs created in the process.

Gladstone Ports Corporation chief executive Craig Doyle told ABC Capricornia the jobs were now there for the people loading the logs onto ships.

He said the operation made Gladstone the nation's second-largest log export port.



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