Tasmania to provide AU$13M loan toward Norske Skog's AU$84M investment in Boyer Mill that state says will secure 330 direct, 900 indirect jobs; federal government considering AU$28M in grants

HOBART, Tasmania , September 10, 2012 (press release) – The announcement that Norske Skog will invest $84 million in its Boyer Mill with the assistance of the State and Federal Governments is a further sign of confidence in Tasmania.

The Premier, Lara Giddings, today welcomed confirmation that Norske Skog will consolidate its Southern Hemisphere operations in Tasmania.

"This is fantastic news for Tasmania and the people of New Norfolk who rely on the operation for jobs and economic activity," Ms Giddings.

"Norske Skog is an important part of the Tasmanian economy and this investment will ensure that it remains so for many years to come."

Ms Giddings said the Tasmanian Government would provide a $13 million loan while the Federal Government was currently undertaking due diligence on grants of $28 million.

Norske Skog will also make a significant capital contribution to convert its current newsprint operations to coated paper grades suitable for catalogues.

"Not only will this project secure Boyer's current 330 direct and 900 indirect jobs, it will create a further 100 jobs in the construction phase.

"The decision to consolidate operations in Tasmania is testament to Norske Skog's Tasmanian workforce and the efficiency of the Boyer plant.

"It is also a clear sign of confidence in the future of the Tasmanian economy and our forest industry, which is a major supplier to the Boyer Mill."

Ms Giddings said a key role of government is to work with major companies to protect jobs and secure ongoing investment

"In recent months we have also worked closely with Pacific Aluminium and BHP at Bell Bay to secure around 1000 jobs.

"Today's announcement should send a strong message to Tasmanians and potential investors that they can have confidence in the State's economic future."

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