Parkside Group’s Greenbushes Timber Mill Closes Earlier Than Anticipated

Parkside Group, a Queensland-based, privately owned, leader in saw milling and timber manufacturing group, announced on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, that it was ceasing operations at its Greenbushes timber mill located in Western Australia’s (WA) South West Region. The mill’s last day of operation was scheduled for just 2-days after the announcement was made, on Friday, May 13, 2022.

Parkside was the first company to react to last September’s government announcement to end native timber logging by 2024. The state’s forestry minister says the end of native timber logging is essential to stave off climate change.

Forest Industry Federation of WA (FIFWA) President Ian Telfer spoke on behalf of Parkside, saying the decision to close early would give displaced workers the opportunity to access support services and apply to receive compensation payments. Mr. Telfer said the decision was not planned and the company did not anticipate the industry’s closure when they invested in the region back in 2019.

“Parkside has made a significant investment of approximately $75 million (A$) in the South West over the last three years,” he said. Mr. Telfer added that, “My concern is this will just be one of a pattern of events that will occur over the next 12 months or so—it’s hard on everybody and hard on the existing industry.”

State Forestry Minister Dave Kelly suggested displaced workers from the mill could likely find employment opportunities in mining. He pointed to a recent mining jobs fair in the nearby town of Bridgetown as a line of inquiry. “Companies like Talison Lithium, who are in Greenbushes, were at [the job fair] last week … they were looking for hundreds of workers,” Mr. Kelly said. “Given that the demand for labor in the South West is really high, there are opportunities for these workers to transition.”

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Original Source:
Greenbushes timber mill closes earlier than expected after native forest logging ban