PFT Welcomes Southwood Fibre export facility proposal
Private Forests Tasmania welcomes the announcement by Southwood Fibre of plans for a $42 million woodchip export facility in the Huon Valley as a much needed boost for the sustainable forestry sector in the south of Tasmania.
This new facility would be a major lift for landholders who own plantation lots in southern Tasmania.
The projected $55 million a year injection to the local economy will support the local plantation owners across the south and help them grow their operations and generate more jobs.
It is projects like these that will help rebuild the sector in a region that has faced significant difficulties in recent times including the closure of the Triabunna mill and export facility, the demise of the Management Investment Scheme, and low woodchip prices.
We have already seen the benefit the Macquarie Wharf log export facility has delivered locally in both economic return and increasing the value and viability of plantations in the region.
The new Southwood facility would open up more options for owners of certified plantation and native forests to gain a greater return on woodchip logs with a local option cutting the transportation costs of moving product to the north for export.
Importantly, the private forest estate now contributes some 73 per cent of the state’s forestry production and through projects like the Southwood export facility more options are open to our private growers.
PFT recognises the importance of forestry not just for the overall state economy but for our regional economies, such as in the south. This type of project will help protect the asset value of these forests.
PFT will monitor progress of the proposed Southwood Fibre woodchip export facility closely.