Tumbarumba mill… equipped to process softwood logs destined for export.

HYNE Timber, one of Australia’s largest producers of sawn timber products, is seeking government support for an initiative that will see softwood saw logs destined for export processed at its Tumbarumba mill in NSW.

The move is aimed at protecting hundreds of jobs locally and along the timber supply chain, helping the Australian economy recover from bushfires and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following discussions with suppliers in Victoria and South Australia, Hyne Timber has confirmation that at least 431,000 cub m of sustainably-grown, plantation pine can be made available to the mill over the next three years.

CEO Jon Kleinschmidt said Hyne had already applied for a NSW grant and was now in discussions with the federal government to secure transport support to fast track these new supply channels.

“Those logs are situated beyond the Tumbarumba viable supply zone, and to do this we need transport support for the extra 41% of freight costs,” Mr Kleinschmidt said.

“We believe redirecting logs from export and into the Australian economy while retaining job security for hundreds of people, is a compelling case for state and federal government support.

“If we can secure just under $29 million in support over three years on top of our own contribution of more than $42 million, we can convert that into an estimated $173 million for the Australian economy.”

“The jobs secured at Tumbarumba, and our sales and distribution staff in NSW alone, equates to more than $70 million in wages and salaries going back into the economy and vibrancy of our regional towns.”

Jon Kleinschmidt… retaining job security for hundreds of people.

Mr Kleinschmidt added: “We have crunched the numbers and without support, this additional 431,000 cub m of logs is too expensive to freight to Tumbarumba, as the additional costs cannot be passed onto our customers, who will be forced to use imported timber.

“The devastating bushfires have impacted 40% of our long-term log supply. The situation is serious, and the community is rightfully concerned about the future. However, we have found a significant ‘win-win’ solution if we can secure government support. Those logs will supply Australian timber for 10,000 new homes.”

Mr Kleinschmidt said the by-products would also support the economy with an estimated 104,526 tonnes of chip supplied to Visy in Tumut for paper and packaging production and up to 24,457 more tonnes of bark for commercial applications including potting mix to grow the nation’s fresh food.

Dried wood shavings customer David Shandley has further warned of disruption to the food supply chain as a result of the bushfires and the impact on by-product availability.

Shandleys Transport buys 100% of Hyne’s dried wood shavings, used as animal bedding for commercial food producers and supplying the major supermarkets nation-wide.

“The 431,000 cub m additional log volume means 14,109 more tonnes of dried wood shavings, supporting jobs in Holbrook and beyond,” Mr Shandley said.

“We hope the government will work with Hyne to protect our supply chains and secure the flow of Australian logs, timber and by-product to benefit our own economy and regional communities.”

Hyne Timber has applied through the NSW government Bushfire Industry Recovery Package – Sector Development Grants for support and is now in discussion with the federal government.