17 Feb 2019 - Joanna Bodley
The 20-year contract for timber supply to Blue Ridge Hardwoods came to an end last year.
At the end of this contract, a new approach to processing the timber resource was needed as the timber available from the Eden forests in future will be very different to that supplied in the past.
The changing timber resource is largely due to the effects of substantial wildfires in the 1980’s. The forests that regenerated following these fires have smaller more uniform diameter trees than the large mixed size trees harvested from the forests over the last 20 years. New equipment is needed to process this new resource.
In 2017 Blue Ridge Hardwoods was provided an exclusive opportunity to submit a processing proposal to Forestry Corporation for the future regrowth sawlog resource.
A suitable processing and business proposal was not put forward, so Forestry Corporation undertook an open commercial process to seek interest from industry in processing the Eden resource into the future.
During the commercial process, that Blue Ridge Hardwoods were also a part of, Allied Natural Wood Exports (ANWE) presented an option which was judged to have better outcomes for the timber resource and commercial return to the State of NSW, as well as continued employment of locals.
The negotiations to finalise this new contract with ANWE are nearing completion and will see significant new investment in processing in the Eden region and new local employment opportunities.
Blue Ridge Hardwoods has agreed to a 12 month supply agreement as part of a transition for the local industry and the NSW Government has committed significant support for any Blue Ridge Hardwoods’ workers affected by the change.
Media contact: Joanna Bodley 0427939543