Dorset Council, Tasmania, seeks federal funding to buy Gunns' Ling Siding sawmill in Scottsdale, plans to lease site to several processors sharing equipment
September 14, 2011
– Dorset Council in Tasmania is trying to secure federal government funding to buy one of Gunns’ sawmills in Scottsdale, ABC News reported on Sept. 14.
The council says the acquisition of Ling Siding would create a long-term value-added timber operation in Tasmania's north east. The mill would be leased by several processors who would share the site's equipment in a scheme that mayor Barry Jarvis says will provide jobs for laid-off forestry workers.
Ling Siding was among a number of sawmills that Gunns put up for sale in early August so that it could start work on its Bell Bay pulp mill before permits lapsed. Forestweb reported at the time that the proposed sale of Ling Siding had angered Jarvis, who accused Gunns of stripping assets from the region to limit potential competition with the Bell Bay mill.
According to Wednesday's report by ABC, Jarvis expects the site to provide up to 30 production jobs and related work in the bush for up to four contractors.
The scheme is supported by Forestry Tasmania, which says it will set up a biomass plant and a veneer mill at Ling's Siding if the deal goes ahead. Managing Director Bob Gordon said he already has two investors that are prepared to build on the site, and has negotiated long-term agreements for wood that is currently being exported as chips.
The commercial realtor listing the site says it is not yet up for sale because it is currently under lease.
The primary source of this article is ABC News, Hobart, Tasmania, on Sept. 14, 2011 and Forestweb archives.