The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
The Hon Julie Collins MP
Federal Member for Franklin
The Hon Sid Sidebottom MP
Federal Member for Braddon
Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Another milestone in the Tasmanian Forests Agreement
Joint media release
23 June 2013
Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, today announced another milestone in delivering the historic Tasmanian Forests Agreement – the retirement of peeler billet supply from veneer maker Ta Ann. This restructure will help protect jobs and native forests in Tasmania.
Mr Burke said the Australian Government would support Ta Ann in restructuring its business to adjust to a 108,000 cubic metre per annum reduction in peeler billet supply and diversify its product base.
“Only months ago, Ta Ann was ready to exit Tasmania. Now they are restructuring and providing employment for Tasmanians,” Mr Burke said.
“This contract underlines just how far we’ve come in a few short months, to a point where businesses like Ta Ann are ready to reinvest in the state.”
Ta Ann operates two rotary peel veneer mills in Tasmania. The mills’ operations will still be supported by an average of 157,000 cubic metres of native forest veneer peeler billets a year from Forestry Tasmania.
“Ta Ann and their workers have been strong supporters of the forestry agreement since the beginning, and this is further demonstrated by the company’s agreement to reduce supply and to commit to stay in Tasmania,” Mr Burke said.
“Jobs at the company are all the more secure today because the industry can start to rebuild and diversify its markets.
“The forestry deal that passed the Tasmanian Parliament earlier this year provides certainty because, for the first time, it is supported by both industry and conservationists.
“For industry, it guarantees wood supply and undercuts any future market campaigns against Tasmanian timber by moving towards Forestry Stewardship Council certification of its wood supply. For conservationists, it allows for an unprecedented expansion of the state’s forest reserves to protect their remarkable biodiversity for posterity.
”Ta Ann's commitment to not take wood supply from these forest reserves will add to the durability of the agreement.”
Federal Member for Franklin, Julie Collins, said: “This is another example of the Federal Labor Government investing in Tasmanian jobs. By working with Ta Ann we have been able to safeguard Tasmanian jobs and help Ta Ann diversify its business.
“Building on other recent job announcements, including 750 for Vodafone in Kingston and the $7 million investment in aquaculture for the Huon this is another fantastic announcement”.
Federal Member for Braddon and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Sid Sidebottom, said the buyback was good for economic growth and jobs in several regions of Tasmania, including the North West.
“The continuation of Ta Ann’s operation at Circular Head is vital for the North-West,” Mr Sidebottom said.
“The retirement of contracts will ensure operations and local jobs can continue with certainty.”
Funding of $26 million is in addition to existing Australian Government commitments made under its Intergovernmental Agreement with Tasmania. It is also additional to the $100 million being invested in the Jobs and Growth Plan which is supporting new, emerging or growing sectors of the Tasmanian economy.