Jobs boost for North-Western Tasmania

Media Release

JB052/2014

11 June 2014

Joint release with:

Brett Whiteley

Federal Member for Braddon

Tasmania's economy will benefit from $7.5 million in federal funding towards upgrades to a plywood mill in Smithton.

Turning the first sod of the upgrade, Federal Member for Braddon, Brett Whiteley said the project's funding will deliver extensions to the existing mill, the installation of specialist machines and the construction of two new warehouses.

“It's great to be here for the inauguration of the official commencement of works for the Ta Ann mill upgrade,” Mr Whiteley said at the sod turning.

“Within two years it is expected production of this facility will reach 64,000 cubic feet a day of plywood, resulting in an increase in company's sales of $60.2 million.

“The upgrade of the mill will allow sheets of eucalypt veneer to be glued into wood panels for use in Australia's building and construction market, producing premium plywood locally that is suitable for the Australian market.

“It will also help to expand the mill's manufacturing capacity allowing it to diversify into new products and markets and create local jobs.”

Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs said the funding was a key part of the Australian Government's $106 million Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Plan.

Mr Briggs said the funding was another example of the Australian Government's commitment to providing long term improvements in economically productive infrastructure for regions across Australia.

“The project is being jointly funded with Ta Ann Tasmania Pty Ltd contributing $8.4 million towards the $15.9 million upgrade,” Mr Briggs said.

“Getting this project underway is another example of the Australian Government's strong commitment to delivering infrastructure to boost Tasmania's economy and create jobs.

“The funding is also a key part of the Australian Government's Economic Growth plan for Tasmania which will see a $38 million expansion of Hobart airport, $24 million to establish the new Centre for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research as well as a $400 million upgrade of the Midland Highway.”

The Ta Ann Tasmania upgrade commenced in May 2014 and is due for completion in December.