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Wood residue exports to resume in Tasmania

wood chips pile

Exports of wood residues could resume from southern Tasmania within months for the first time since the Triabunna woodchip mill was shut down five years ago. Source: ABC News

Forestry Minister Peter Gutwein announced the State Government is in negotiations with four parties to export containerised logs from Hobart.

The Government first sought private sector solutions to a bottleneck of woodchips and pulp wood in the south last June and received 19 proposals.

“These included export of logs in containers, bulk export logs, export of woodchips in containers, and biomass as well as other port options,” he told Parliament.

“There was also range of possible, of contractual arrangement purchase at mill door, purchase at stump and agency arrangements as well.”

Arrangements involving the four proponents chosen to enter final negotiations could be implemented in the short term.

“There will be no woodchip pile on Macquarie wharf however, hull and containerised log exports from Hobart are options included in the commercial negotiations,” he said.

Negotiations are expected to be finalised next month.

Earlier this month, a forestry industry worker revealed his plans for a new plantation woodchip and export facility at an unknown location along the east coast.

Mr Gutwein said the Government would continue to work with the proponents of longer-term proposals as it expected the volume of pulp wood in the south to grow from 450,000 tonnes to 1.5 million tones per year in the next five years.

Wood residues from the south had to be transported north, costing Forestry Tasmania millions of dollars since Gunns shut down the Triabunna woodchip mill in 2011.

The mill was subsequently sold and decommissioned by environmentalists Jan Cameron and Graeme Wood.