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Pentarch closes pallet mill due to Vic Government native timber decision

Pentarch Forestry’s pallet mill in Dandenong will cease operating next month due to a shortage of hardwood timber so 700,000 Australian-made hardwood pallets will be taken out of circulation thanks to a Victorian Government decision. Source: Timberbiz

The mill, which had been operating since 1989 and was acquired by Pentarch in 2021, produced 700,000 hardwood pallets each year and employed 49 staff at its peak output.

However, a lack of supply of hardwood caused by the closure of the native timber sector in Victoria means operations at the Dandenong South site will end.

“This outcome is the result of the Victorian Government decision to end timber harvesting,” Pentarch Forestry CEO Paul Heubner said.

“When the mill was acquired, we were confident that the Victorian Government had a workable plan for timber supply until 2030 followed by a transition into plantation, but they have failed to deliver on either promise.

“The sudden decision to shut down the native timber sector has resulted in significant job losses for Pentarch and other hardwood suppliers, and now 700,000 pallets out of the supply chain each year.

“It is another blow to our sovereign capability to supply domestic wood products and reduce our dependence on imports, which impacts the global timber economy.”

The Dandenong pallet mill is one of several Pentarch Forestry operations which supply much needed and renewable hardwood timber products to the Australian and global markets.

Hardwood pallets are an important part in the retail supply chain with their ability to safely handle heavy loads.

The shortfall from the Dandenong Mill will now be replaced with pallets made with imported timber from jurisdictions that are unlikely to have the same sort of control and forest management practice as Australia.