The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) congratulates AKD Softwoods on its finalised acquisition of Carter Holt Harvey Timber Pty Ltd (CHHT) sawmilling assets in NSW today, Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton said.

The now acquired CHHT sawmilling assets include a sawmill and timber treatment facility in Tumut, a 50 per cent interest in the Highland Pine Products joint venture sawmill in Oberon and a timber distribution centre in Berkeley Vale, all located in NSW.

This news follows AKD Softwoods’ announcement of the NSW acquisition earlier in the year, as well as the company’s acquisition of the CCHT Caboolture sawmill (along with an announcement of its $50 million expansion), the acquisition of the CCHT Yarram sawmill and the $30 million upgrade of AKD Softwoods’ Colac sawmill. It takes the company’s full operations to six sawmills in three states.

All of the nearly 500 NSW employees will continue to be employed by the business.

AFPA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ross Hampton, said that AKD Softwoods’ acquisition was a significant endorsement of Australia’s forest industries’ potential to produce world-class renewable timber products and create new jobs and investment in regional Australia.

“Australia’s renewable forest industries contribute about $24 billion to the economy each year and employ around 120,000 people across the full value chain. With record global demand for quality timber products like those made across AKD Softwoods’ growing suite of sawmilling operations, we must ensure that our forest industries are supported, and the policy settings are right to capitalise on this opportunity,” Mr Hampton said.

“In September this year the Federal Government committed to planting one billion new production trees over the next decade through its National Forest Industries Plan. It’s the follow through on this commitment to provide a sustained and quality supply of timber that will be essential for the long-term viability of businesses like AKD Softwoods and all of its employees,” Mr Hampton concluded.