National and international demand for timber products is driving a regional Queensland saw mill to double output while creating new jobs thanks to grant funding. Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Queensland Cypress Supplies in Mungallala, west of Roma, was one of 15 businesses in Queensland to receive up to a AU$250,000 Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant to help fund the expansion of their business and create job growth in regional areas.
“Project managers, builders and manufacturers look to Queensland Cypress Supplies for top-of-the line products – and demand is so intense managers have plans to double the output,” Mr Furner said. “Plans to build a new timber line on the site are expected to create enough work for another 16 full-time workers, including loggers, truck drivers, bench staff and stackers, alongside 12 jobs during construction and another 16 ongoing indirect positions.”
Plans to add an additional timber line to the production facility and increase the recovery rate of sawn product and output of value-added timber products from cypress logs include building two sheds, installing a twin edger, a wing edger and two auto benches.
Owner-operator John Shelswell said the business had permission to harvest and mill 26,000 cubic metres of cypress pine every five years from the state forest north of Mungallala. “Considering the many expressions of interest shown by buyers and potential buyers, and consistent forecasts of strong underlying demand, there is a definite need for the expansion of the current business,” Mr Shelswell said.
“It will also be of significant benefit to the forestry industry, which is an important primary production sector in the local area, employing many forestry management and harvesting and haulage contractors operating in state-owned cypress forests.”
The Rural Economic Development Grants program offers emerging projects up to AU$250,000 in co-contributions to build industry and grow employment opportunities across the agricultural sector. The AU$10 million grants program provides for three funding rounds over a three-year period ending 2021.
Funding for Round 2 of the RED Grants will be announced later this year. The recent State Budget locked in funding for the remaining rounds of the program, taking the total amount of grants available up to AU$10 million. For more information about the RED Grant scheme visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au.
Source: Government of Queensland
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