Substantial progress on repairs to the Allied Natural Wood Exports (ANWE) woodchip loading wharf at Eden in NSW – severely damaged by storms in June – means exporting from the repaired facility is on track to resume in November. However, it highlights the need for Victorian and NSW Governments to provide wood supply certainty for the forest industry to allow for ongoing investment.
ANWE’s Eden operation is a major contributor to the region’s economy, generating approximately $1 million per week of economic activity, and supporting around 600 jobs in the region across the supply chain.
ANWE reports that all pre-works have been completed for the jetty repairs, and full repairs are on track for completion by the end of the year. ANWE estimates the repair works and resumption of operations will generate close to $4 million of much-needed economic activity over the next few months in the local Eden economy.
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Mr Ross Hampton said ANWE’s efforts to promptly resume exports at their Eden wharf highlights the company’s commitment to the region, and the Victorian and NSW governments need to reciprocate by quickly providing long-term, secure wood supply.
“East Gippsland is a vital source of wood supply – including for ANWE’s Eden operations – and the Victorian Government must prioritise the renewal of wood supply agreements to underpin the industry,” Mr Hampton said.
“In its recently released NSW Forest Industry Roadmap, the NSW Government identified the renegotiation of native forest Wood Supply Agreements for the South Coast region as a key action, and AFPA welcomes the NSW Government’s efforts to progress these Agreements.”
Mr Hampton also urged the Victorian and NSW governments to work with the Federal Government to ensure the renewal of the East Gippsland RFA and Eden RFA, which expire in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
“The forest industry needs stable long term policy settings and wood supply certainty to provide the sector with the confidence to make the investment decisions which support thousands of jobs in regional Australia.
“Renewing the RFAs was a key commitment from both the Turnbull Government and the Labor opposition during the federal election campaign. Urgent action is now needed to deliver on those promises.”