The inaugural chairman of a committee established to bolster the Bell Bay industrial precinct has welcomed the “significant” proposal for a new $54 million timber mill.
West Australian company Patriarch and Sons lodged an application for the Bell Bay rotary peel veneer and plywood mill with the Environmental Protection Authority in August.
Work is now being done by the EPA to prepare an Environmental Effects Report to take to their board – with a development application – after public comment.
Ray Mostogl, a former general manager of Bell Bay Aluminum and inaugural chairman of the soon-to-be rebranded Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone, said the proposal was a “fantastic example” of what the group had been working on for years.
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“To see the new mill come through is exactly what we were hoping to do,” he said.
“From a wealth generation and employment perspective, it ticks all the boxes.
“It’s a fantastic example of a physical result.”
By the third phase of operation the mill is expected to employ up to 110 people – the first stage would be operational by mid-2019, pending EPA and George Town Council approval.
The mill would source timber from public and private suppliers and provide additional opportunities for timber owners to value-add to their resources.
The proposal has been welcomed by Resources Minister Sarah Courtney, the forest industry and George Town Council.
Tasmanian Greens leader and Forests spokesperson Cassy O’Connor questioned the proposal after two Patriarch and Sons’ directors were found to be directors within the Shin Yang Group of Companies – a Malaysian logging and palm oil group accused of environmental and human rights abuses.
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