The bushfire recovery salvage operation at Hyne Timber Tumbarumba is creating new work opportunities. The Mill, which employs about 230 people, is now adding a third shift and actively recruiting to fill the new vacancies.

Site manager Marcus Fenske explained that the third shift was essential for the company to do its part in bushfire recovery and increase locally grown, plantation softwood timber supply to customers.

“Demand for our plantation softwood framing is very strong with one in four new homes across NSW constructed from product manufactured here at the Mill in Tumbarumba.

“The race is on to process as much salvaged, fire impacted pine logs as possible following the devastating bushfires at the start of the year.

“Once we get the burnt bark off, the processed timber is great quality and continues to be delivered to around 400 different customer sites across NSW, Victoria and ACT.”

The Mill has already recruited 8 people, half of whom are women, said Fenske. The new employees are being provided training in multi machine operation. The facility is also looking to hire 6 more process operators in addition to a range of vacancies including mechanical fitters and a process electrical technician, he said.

Hyne Timber continues to work with all levels of Government on the medium to long term challenges ahead, given that over 50,000 hectares of pine plantation are fire impacted in NSW alone. Until plantations are re-established in 20 – 30 years’ time, interim solutions for viable log supply require Government support.

These include prioritising all pine plantations for domestic processing over export, freight subsidies for Australian processors, and dedicated recovery coordination covering the longer-term issues of replanting and wood flow management.

The Mill processes 7500 harvested plantation pine logs each day resulting in daily structural framing volumes stretching from Tumbarumba to Sydney. The operation sees 150 trucks in and out each day, directly supplying to over 400 different customer sites in addition to exporting 1400 shipping containers of non-structural grade timber to 5 different nations.

The industry supply chain supports approximately 5000 jobs in the South West Slopes region and $2 billion per year to the South West Slopes economy alone.