Hendy Cowan

Hendy Cowan

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Paul Omodei

Paul Omodei

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    More value-adding as greenbushes mill re-opens (with pic)

    15/12/2000 12:00 AM
     
    15/12/00

    Deputy Premier Hendy Cowan says the decision by an outdoor furniture maker to relocate to Greenbushes will further revitalise the town’s timber-based industries.

    Mr Cowan and Forest Products Minister Paul Omodei today officially opened a timber products manufacturing centre based around Blueleaf Corporation’s sawmill in the South-West town.

    At the same time, Mr Cowan announced that Stallwood Furniture would relocate to the centre from the Canning Vale industrial estate in Perth’s southern suburbs.

    “The Government is committed to employment initiatives in the South-West, as well as supporting opportunities for value-adding projects,” Mr Cowan said.

    “Stallwood’s move to a site within the sawmill will deliver such opportunities and create 18 jobs when it starts operations next year.”

    Stallwood, which makes jarrah outdoor settings and barbecue trolleys, is being assisted with a $257,000 loan through the State Government’s Industry Relocation Scheme.

    The loan will convert to a grant over time subject to milestones being reached by the company.

    Mr Cowan said the opening of the newly established Whittakers Timber Products Manufacturing Centre by Blueleaf Corporation was the impetus behind the Stallwood move.

    Blueleaf has been able to reopen the sawmill with assistance from the State Government.

    Blueleaf is a consortium involving Bushmills Timber, Hamilton Sawmills and Donnelly Timber Co.

    Government assistance includes provision of an interest subsidy of four per cent, amounting to about $2 million, over the period of a 10-year commercial loan.

    Mr Omodei, who is the member for Warren-Blackwood, said the latest moves were a very positive sign for the Greenbushes community.

    "The new venture has already created in excess of 100 jobs," he said.

    "The skills and experience built up over many years will continue to be put to good use in the town.

    "This in turn will provide direct economic benefits to other businesses in the area. It has been estimated this could be as much as $1.5 million a year."

    Mr Omodei said the Greenbushes development exemplified the Government’s strategy for greatly increasing value adding in the timber industry.

    He said the Forest Products Value Adding Strategy, released in Bunbury last month, would promote more efficient use of harvested trees and higher levels of value adding in new timber contracts from 2004.

    The strategy would concentrate on furniture, flooring and other timber-based manufacturing.

    Mr Omodei said the Government would continue to explore ways to assist South-West communities affected by restructuring of the timber industry.

    Media contacts:
    Peter Jackson (Minister Cowan’s office) 9222-8788
    Hugh Ryan (Minister Omodei’s office) 9213-6700


    Mill


    Deputy Premier Hendy Cowan and Forest Products Minister Paul Omodei after the unveiling of a plaque marking the re-opening of the Greenbushes mill.

    Mill


    Blueleaf directors Trevor Richardson and Geoff Bertolini with Ministers Omodei and Cowan at the wheel of vintage mill truck.