Several employees of the closed Maryborough Sugar Factory (MSF) were recruited for Hyne Timber’s expansion in Maryborough.

MSF’s closure late last year was an opportunity for Hyne Timber to harness the plant and maintenance experience of its former employees, leading to the hiring of skilled, experienced people from within the region.

Hyne Timber maintenance and improvements manager, Steve Kerr said it was great to get a new, ‘ready to go’ maintenance team.

“Despite the Glue Laminated Timber plant being totally different from a sugar mill, our new team brings skills and experience in all things mechanical and can just get on with the job. They are confident, intuitive and literally nothing has stumped this new team since day one of working for Hyne.

“While we value bringing in apprentices and school leavers, we have to attract the experience also and with our new crew, there is collectively, many years of experience, which everyone can draw value from,” Kerr said.

Currently, Hyne Timber has employed five ex-MSF employees at their Glue Laminating Plant while two more have been inducted into the Tuan Mill operations. More are encouraged to join the Hyne team following the announcement of an additional 50 staff required at the Tuan Mill.

Kyle Chay, an ex-MSF employee and now maintenance fitter with Hyne Timber said he was pleased to find suitable employment in Maryborough following the closure of the sugar mill.

“I was immediately unemployed and applying all over the place to get work. I put in applications for at least 30 jobs outside of Maryborough in order to use my trade and experience. Securing my job as a maintenance fitter at Hyne means I have good, permanent employment, doing what I am skilled and experienced to do, without having to leave town or fly in fly out,” Chay said.

Peter Wroe, the new maintenance planner for Hyne Timber worked for MSF for 21 years. Leaving town for employment wasn’t an option since he also ran a hobby farm in the region.

“Securing my new role at Hyne Timber is a relief to say the least. Following a month of being unemployed after working my whole life, I was starting to worry. Working in maintenance means every day is different. We face challenges and it is our job to find the fix. I am also looking forward to operating a scheduled and planned maintenance program for Hyne.

“At the end of the day, it is our job to help keep this plant moving, keep people working safely and keep producing quality engineered timber beams for our customers. It is great to work for a company that is investing in long term growth here in Maryborough,” Wroe said.

Recruitment is currently underway for 50 more jobs created as part of a $14.5M expansion project at the Tuan Mill as demand for quality timber products continues to rise.