On 11 March 2015, representatives from Timberlink welcomed the Honourable Ian MacFarlane MP, Minister for Industry and Science; and Andrew Nikolic AM CSC MP, Member for Bass to their Tasmanian sawmill at Bell Bay in Northern Tasmania, where the certificate of the grant was presented to the site.

The Bell Bay sawmill will use the grant’s funding to invest specifically in expanding the log sorting infrastructure on site, so that the batching of logs into their similar diameter classes will be improved, allowing for an improved cutting pattern to be applied to the sawmill’s current log input.

This latest project, to be managed over the remainder of this financial year and into the next, will involve an additional $620,000 investment into the log yard area specifically.

The site currently processes approximately 400,000 m3 of Radiata pine logs per annum, with a particular focus on outdoor treated products, which are used for outdoor projects such as decks, patios and pergolas.

The log diet at Timberlink’s Tasmanian sawmill is unique in Australia, particularly in terms of the infeed’s access to pruned log resources, creating a large-end section of material which suits outdoor structures and applications.

The log sorting process change will require the log debarking and sorting infrastructure to be completed on a three shift basis rather than the current two shift basis, generating three new jobs.

Timberlink CEO Mr Ian Tyson said implementing the grant would hold the potential for positive flow-on effects.

“Given there are always competing priorities for funds in any business, this aspect of Timberlink’s re-investment program would not be proceeding without the co-funding under the grant scheme,” Mr Tyson said.

The program represents the investments made by Timberlink since they acquired the softwood sawmilling assets of Gunns back in February 2013.

The Timberlink business has reinvested more than $5 million in the Tasmanian facility alone since relaunching the business two years ago.