TimberforTumba Delegation to Canberra

The TimberforTumba initiative continues to call for an avenue for Government support to help freight logs to the Tumbarumba sawmill.

A delegation made up of Councilor Bruce Wright, Managing Director of Greenfreight, Tony Green, Managing Director of Lonergan’s harvesting business, Theresa Lonergan and Director of Hyne Timber, James Hyne travelled to Canberra last week to meet with the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack.

During the meeting, a report was tabled, undertaken by highly regarded economic analysts and modellers, REMPLAN which has determined concerning impacts for the community of Tumbarumba which will strike around July 2021 as a result of the bushfires.

140 job losses in the town of Tumbarumba, $177 million loss in revenue for the town over the next three years, and significant disruption to the supply of finished timber goods and by-product to companies such as Visy Pulp and Paper in Tumut.

Hyne Timber has been transparent since the bushfires about the support it needs for its $200 million investment in Tumbarumba and that is plantation pine logs otherwise destined for export.

The company has identified 441,500m3 plantation pine from growers which could be diverted for Australian processing instead of being sent off-shore. The catch however, is the cost of the freight, costs which cannot be passed onto customers.

Despite the billions in funding being made available for bushfire and now COVID Recovery, there remains no avenue of support to get logs to the Tumbarumba Mill.

The report further found that for every $1 of Government investment in getting logs to the Mill, it represents $8 of retained revenue in NSW with indirect economic activity to the tune of $244 million and 193 jobs secured.

There will also be 63 jobs created in the Victorian freight industry!

Tony Green, Managing Director of Greenfreight said this is not just about the Mill, or even the timber industry. The full ramifications of the bushfires are yet to be felt throughout many businesses and families in the community of Tumbarumba.

“There is no doubt, the bushfire impacts are yet to reveal their full wrath across the Tumbarumba region.

“The town is busy and attracting many tourists, but tourists come and then go. If we permanently lose 140 jobs in Tumbarumba, that means many people leaving the region for good.

“I’ve heard people suggest Snowy Hydro will be the temporary mitigation for jobs but those jobs are temporary and camp based, not conducive to family life and community engagement in Tumbarumba.

“It can go either way for the freight industry. Without government support to freight logs, we lose jobs, with Government support, we create jobs as the freighting distance is much further.

 “It is important decision makes, policy makers and those developing funding guidelines understand this which is why we went to Canberra to deliver the facts directly.

We were also very appreciative of Kristy McBain MP who hosted our visit and assisted in arranging the meetings.” Mr Green said.

L-R: Bruce Wright, Tony Green, James Hyne, Theresa Longergan and Kristy McBain MP at Parliament House Canberra

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