THE future looks good for the Norske Skog newsprint mill at Boyer, near New Norfolk, with news of two big government grants contributing to a $50 million upgrade. The mill produced Australia’s first newsprint in 1941 and remains one of the state’s major employers, with about 400 staff.
“The $4.66 million grant awarded to Norske Skog Paper Mills (Australia) Ltd and the $4.32 million grant awarded to BIS Industrial Logistics will contribute to upgrading paper manufacturing infrastructure, including a thermo-mechanical pulping plant and wood chipping facility at the Boyer Mill site, and represents a significant long-term investment in the Tasmanian timber industry,” the Federal Member for Lyons, Dick Adams, said. “This state-of-the-art, fully integrated facility will be supplied 100 per cent from softwood plantation sources in Tasmania, removing any need for hardwood timber from native forest or plantations,” he said.
It was announced this week that Federal funding of nearly $9 million had been granted to Norske Skog (historically known as Australian Newsprint Mills) and a firm called BIS Industrial Logistics) to enable the factory to stop using hardwood timber in the production of paper.
“Importantly, the facility will secure existing employment positions at Boyer while improving its operating efficiency and environmental impact. The facility contributes 36 per cent of all newsprint paper manufactured in Australia and this project will assist maintain this position for many years to come. This contributes a significant benefit to Tasmania’s and Australia’s economy.”
The Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water, David Llewellyn, said the funding had been provided under the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement to help support a more sustainable and viable forest industry in Tasmania through new equipment and innovative supply chain management.