1 February 2022
Timber goes out of SA and industry suffers
The inability of the Jamestown-based family business Morgan Sawmill to source South Australian timber from ForestrySA continues to worry Member for Frome Geoff Brock MP.
“I have had some grave concerns for some time regarding how the Morgan Sawmill has been treated by not being able to source timber from South Australia,” Mr Brock said.
Mr Brock called on the State Government in May last year to take a sensible long-term approach to the ForestrySA tender process which penalises South Australians in favour of overseas or interstate interests.
“The Morgan Sawmill has been operating for more than 60 years and has been a loyal ForestrySA customer for 35 years, and have always paid their bills on time,” Mr Brock said.
Morgan Sawmill has, in the past, sourced timber from Bundaleer Forest, but due to bushfires in the past decade the sawmill has had to work to sustain these resources by acquiring additional logs from the Adelaide Hills through ForestrySA.
“In 2021 they were required, for the first time in their relationship with ForestrySA, to submit a tender for log on the open market, with no consultation, and were unsuccessful.”
The Sawmill was then left to look for alternative supplies.
“I am worried about the ongoing viability of this long-standing Mid North business, and I have been working with Morgans and the industry to try and locate timber from Kangaroo Island.”
Mr Brock said the scarcity of timber for the building industry in South Australia could be laid squarely at the feet of ForestrySA and the State Government for allowing timber grown in the State to be sold to interstate and overseas businesses.
“The State Government has left the building and timber industries high and dry, forcing them to source materials from elsewhere at increased costs, forcing project costs up and causing major delays in completion.”
Mr Brock said he believed the timber supply issue was one which should be closely examined by both major parties to ensure there was adequate local supply for local mills and builders.
“We particularly need to look at supporting businesses like the Morgan Sawmill, who are local employers, to ensure their continued operation, and we need to look at the State’s timber shortage, particularly in regional South Australia, which is seriously affecting the local building industry.”