Richard Court

Richard Court

-

    Premier opens $13 million expansion of Wespine's Dardanup Mill

    6/12/2000 12:21 PM
     
    6/12/00

    The production of pine timber at Wespine’s Dardanup Mill will jump significantly as a result of a $13 million expansion which has been officially opened by Premier Richard Court today.

    Mr Court said the increased capacity would place further emphasis on the move to using plantation timber in Western Australia with production at the mill rising from 230,000 cubic metres earlier this year to more than 300,000 by the end of the year and then to 400,000 cubic metres in the near future.

    “This is a significant change from the 70,000 cubic metres produced at the mill in 1992 and demonstrates the increasing role that plantation timber is playing in our timber industry,” the Premier said.

    The new equipment will increase the mill’s efficiency and enable it to be economically competitive in local and export markets.

    The expansion is underpinned by long term guarantees of log supply from State pine plantations.

    Mr Court said that increased production from softwood plantations and increased value-adding of reduced volumes from native hardwoods would create a new future for the timber industry in WA.

    “The Government is committed to ongoing investment in plantations to meet its obligations to Wespine and will expand sawlog capacity in other regions through the Maritime Pine project,” he said.

    “This will produce significant environmental benefits through plantings which will tackle the spread of salinity and also create new opportunities for timber processing in other parts of the State.”

    Mr Court said the State Government’s expanded Manjimup nursery had the capacity to provide more than 25 million Maritime Pine seedlings a year.

    “The planning and preliminary work has been done, but in the final analysis we rely on investment from people who produce efficiently and market effectively,” he said.

    “The Wespine mill is an outstanding example of this sort of long term investment.

    “It is has already made an important contribution to the State’s economy and in its expanded form it will become even more important, providing the right climate for farmers and other investors to commit to tree crops.”

    Media reference: Casey Cahill 9222 9475