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Sawmill has new lease on life.

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The Hon. Tony Burke MP

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

1 August 2008 DAFF08/094B

Sawmill has new lease on life

Australian Government support for projects like the McKay Sawmill upgrade is ensuring a more sustainable future for the forestry industry and regional Tasmanian communities.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke today opened the upgraded McKay Timbers sawmill in St Helens, northeast Tasmania.

“The McKay sawmill is now processing as many wood products as it ever did but instead of using old-growth timber it’s using smaller timber from plantations and from regrowth areas,” Mr Burke said.

“McKay Timbers has shown a great deal of foresight to invest in this mill so that it can produce a greater range of sustainable wood products into the future.

“This investment also ensures that the jobs in this sector last well into the future whilst balancing the need to be responsible with our forestry resources.

“Since the election, the Rudd Government has approved 20 grants valued at more than $16 million which represents more than $64 million in capital investment.

“Helping sawmills upgrade to state-of-the-art technology increases their efficiency and sustainability through changes to their operations,” Mr Burke said.

The upgrade to McKay Timbers sawmill at St Helens was partly funded through a grant of $559 975 from the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement Industry Development Program (TCFA IDP).

Funded by the Australian Government, the TCFA IDP was created to help the forestry industry adjust to changes in the industry while maintaining their output capacity.

McKay Timbers has also used TCFA IDP grants to upgrade mills located at Glenorchy and Bridgewater.