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Containerised woodchips return to Hobart

Containerised woodchip exports are set to make a reappearance at Hobart’s Macquarie Wharf.

According to Tasmanian resources minister Guy Barnett, Majestic Timbers Australia (a Launceston business) is to take up to 180,000 tonnes a year for export in containers from the Wharf to South-East Asian markets.

Mr Barnett says this is part of a solution in dealing with southern native forest residues following the sale of port facilities at Triabunna mill to interests opposed to the timber industry.

Meanwhile up to another 150,000 tonnes a year are to go to Les Walkden Enterprises, which are to transport residues to Bell Bay on the Bass Strait coast for processing and export for paper production.

Mr Barnett said no public funds had been provided for either proposal.

“Both companies have entered into commercial arrangements that will result in a positive return to Forestry Tasmania, improving its bottom-line,” he said.

“This means that for the wood taken up by these contracts there will no longer be a need for any form of subsidy to transport these residues to the State’s North.

“We have seen new figures from TasPorts recently showing that the export of wood products has more than doubled and passed three million tonnes for the first time in five years.”

Mr Barnett talked of the value of the timber industry.

“Last week I was pleased the visit the State’s largest native forest sawmiller, Neville Smith Forest Products, which, in yet another sign of confidence returning to the industry, is creating new jobs at Mowbray and in the Huon,” he said.

He said the government was rebuilding Tasmania’s forest industry and the signs were encouraging.

This article originally appeared on ABHR affiliate site Lloyd’s List Australia.

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