Logs ready for cutting.
Logs ready for cutting. John Gass TWE110112mill

Tassie sawmiller eyes off Byfield as potential new site

BYFIELD is the potential site for a major new sawmill which its Tasmanian owners hope to have fully operational by Christmas.

Timber Marshalling Services said it was too difficult to do business in Tasmania and wants to build the mill, employing 60 to 120 people, in the Rockhampton region.

The company is in "very positive" planning discussions with Rockhampton Regional Council, two local banks and have met with Premier Campbell Newman.

"It's a different atmosphere and way of thought up there (Qld)," spokesman Ron O'Connor said.

"It's become too difficult to do business in Tasmania, so we'll move," he said.

"We struggle to get good drivers and operators down there. They're all leaving.

"Queensland is more helpful and keen to do business."

Timber Marshalling Services has secured the supply of pine timber from Byfield, and Mr O'Connor said they were looking to find industrial land for a sawmill "somewhere in the area".

He said the company would undertake both logging and trucking operations and mill rather than export logs.

"This is a state-of-the-art mill," he said.

"It's a hew saw design, very clean, not noisy ... and very suited to the type of pine at Byfield."

Mr O'Connor said the mill was a 10 to 15-year venture they were pushing to have going by Christmas.

"Time is important to everyone," he said.

"When you borrow money, you're paying for it, so the sooner you start producing the better."

Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow said the council was working with several industries seeking to locate in the Capricorn region.

"These are very exciting times for us and with a bright future ahead," she said.

Member for Keppel Bruce Young also welcomed the news.

"It's great news for the area and will bring good employment prospects with a 10 to 15-year venture," he said.

"It's a crying shame Queensland Forestry was sold under the Bligh Government ... but I am supportive of the proposal and looking forward to seeing it up and running."

FAST FACTS

Tasmanian Company - Timber Marshalling Australia

Looking for industrial land in the Rockhampton region to construct a sawmill with an output of 90,000 cubic metres or about 175,000 tonnes of sawn timber a year.

The company hopes the mill will be operational by Christmas.



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