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Russel Northe MLA:
Local timber manufacturers demand answers

Clamor for answers for timber demand due to the closure of Carter Holt Harvey Morwell sawmill.

By Portal Admin - 13th January 2018 - Back to News

Member for Morwell Russell Northe has today once again highlighted the dire consequences for many local businesses due to the closure of Carter Holt Harvey's Morwell sawmill.

Mr Northe met with Lew Fisher from Fishers (Latrobe Valley) Pty Ltd. who outlined the challenges he is facing as a supplier of timber related products to major businesses such as Australian Paper locally and Ikea Australia nationally.

With a diminishing supply of timber in the market due to the closure of Carter Holt Harvey Morwell sawmill it has become increasingly difficult for businesses such as Fishers to fulfil contracts.

Mr Northe said "Local businesses who have worked hard to grow are now at risk because Carter Holt Harvey was allowed to close its doors without an understanding of the consequences"

Rising costs and lack of supply are taking its toll on many local manufacturers, and the pure frustration of not having a local sawmill to provide supply has led to timber having to be sourced from interstate or overseas.

This is simply an outrageous situation for many local businesses that are already doing it tough," Mr Northe said.

Owner of Fishers (Latrobe Valley) Pty Ltd. Lew Fisher said; "Since the closure of Carter Holt Harvey I have found it increasingly difficult to source timber within a close range, making it more costly to source from further away" said Mr Fisher.

So not only is timber scarce at present but the transport costs we are incurring are a significant financial burden for our business to carry.

Historically we have been able to access our timber from just up the road but now that Carter Holt Harvey has closed the ball game has changed substantially.

Mr Northe said, "The State Government talks about creating new jobs for the Latrobe Valley but surely the best way to keep unemployment down is to retain existing jobs in the region.

The current Government has allowed Hazelwood Power Station and Carter Holt Harvey to close its doors without so much of whimper and the result is hundreds and hundreds of direct and indirect jobs lost security of supply under threat and cost for consumers rising.

"As I have said many times if anyone thinks this is a good outcome then they have rocks in their head" said Mr Northe


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