China has become a new market for pine logs from Walcha and Nundle, Minister for Forest Resources Paul McLeay said today.
“We have recently signed a contract worth $11.5 million with exporters MTX Australia for logs from Pinus Radiata plantations in the Walcha and Nundle area,” Mr McLeay said.
“This is an exciting opportunity, with the first ever shipment of 32,500 tonnes of softwood logs recently leaving the Port of Newcastle.”
Convenor of the Parliamentary Country Labor Group, Christine Robertson said this contract for the supply of logs from Walcha and Nundle plantations to MTX in Newcastle is for the next two and a half years.
“It is expected that as much as 165,000 tonnes of plantation pine will be exported over that time,” Ms Robertson said.
“Significantly, this contract has also secured more jobs for regional NSW.
“In the past three months more than 20 full-time positions have been created in establishing the log export operations through Newcastle.
“This is good news for Northern NSW. Increased demand has meant additional harvesting crew haulage crews have been employed to service this contract.”
The sawlogs will eventually be used for construction material and other logs will be used for pulp.
MTX has established a six hectare site at Kooragang Island to measure and stack the logs before they are loaded.