Member for Morwell, Russell Northe today met with Andrew Graham, Manager of Traralgon H Hardware to discuss the flow on effect the closure of the Carter Holt Harvey mill in Morwell is having on his business, and other timber related businesses within the Latrobe Valley.
“If the loss of 160 direct jobs following the closure of Carter Holt Harvey wasn’t enough, we are now seeing many other local jobs and businesses being impacted, “Mr Northe said
One of the major issues culminating from the closure of the Morwell sawmill is the lack of softwood timber supply being available to local retailers, builders and developers.
For example Mr Graham has had to endure a 70% decrease in sales due to there being no or little timber available to his business over the past months which is simply unacceptable.
For locally owned businesses such as Traralgon H Hardware this is a massive blow and it’s incumbent on the State Government to provide whatever support it can.
To have this business and others unsure of when they will see the next supply of timber come through its doors – well it just beggars belief.
“It’s not only smaller businesses impacted as I understand major retailers such as Dahlsens and Bunnings are also struggling to meet the demand of supplying timber to local builders,” Mr Northe said.
With summer being the prime time for builders, carpenters, cabinet makers and others reliant on the timber industry to complete their work, it is no doubt a difficult time to explain to their customers why they may not be able to finish their job on time, particularly prior to the Christmas break.
The State Government should never have allowed Hazelwood to close in 6 months and it should never have allowed Carter Holt Harvey to close in 6 months either.
The outcomes for both closures are unfortunately so eerily similar – loss of jobs, higher prices and no security of supply.
Again it appears locally based people and businesses have been put last in this ridiculous situation.
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