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Nannup a town devastated by the mill closure

Parkside Nannup mill now closed.

The tiny town of Nannup is the latest to feel the brunt of the Western Australian government’s decision to end native logging with the town’s timber mill closing. Source: Timberbiz

Forty-five people lost their jobs when Parkside Timber closed the doors late last week.

The ABC reports that a small number of staff will keep working at the mill, which was acquired by Parkside in 2019, to help clean up and decommission the site.

The closure comes less than a year after the Queensland-based company shut its mill in Greenbushes following the WA government’s decision to ban native timber logging by 2024.

Forest Industries Federation president Ian Telfer told the ABC the impact on timber towns in the South West would be ongoing.

“It’s devastating for communities and devastating for Nannup,” he said.

“The illogic [sic] around some of the decisions that have been made makes it even more galling that we’re losing employees, losing investment, losing community infrastructure and support for a decision that, to be frank, doesn’t make sense.

“The people that are impacted are not people in Perth, not politicians — it’s going to be local communities that are going to be devastated by these decisions.”

The state government has agreed to support workers who have lost their jobs by offering them a one-off payment of $30,000, plus a top-up payment of $1,000 for every year of service, capped at $15,000.

The money is expected to be given to workers by the end of the month.

But Nannup Shire president Tony Dean told the ABC said that would not be enough to keep people living and working in Nannup.

“There are no jobs created in Nannup,” he said.

“If they want a job, it’s fine to be retrained — but that job won’t be in Nannup.

“Nannup is based on agriculture and timber and wine and you take one of those main planks out, which is the timber industry, [and] you have a local economy that is going to struggle.”