In February 2016 Auswest Timbers re-opened the Greenbushes sawmill site resulting in the creation of more than 20 local jobs. The re-opening of this site has provided a significant boost to the native forest sector and local communities.
Recommissioning small log line processing facilities, such as the Greenbushes site, is essential for the future of the industry as it provides the ability to efficiently process small diameter regrowth logs that are a major part of the future industry resource.
Auswest Timbers is also constructing another sawlog processing line on the same site that is capable of processing larger logs. While this construction has been taking place, the Greenbushes mill has only been able to accept smaller regrowth logs. To facilitate this transition, the Commission worked closely with harvesting contractors and other customers. This has required some changes to harvest schedules so that the distribution of log sizes matches industry capacity.
The multi-sensor imaging scanner recognises wood defects and grades to maximise dry timber processing operations. The addition of this technology will improve processing speed, recovery and value.
Combined with similar investments at Jarrahwood Australia and Nannup Timber Products, Auswest Timber’s commitment to the processing of smaller diameter regrowth sawlogs provides the industry with greater flexibility to maximise utilisation of the full range of available sawlog sizes.
In addition Auswest Timbers initiated a project to install a multi-sensor imaging scanner (MRI) at its Manjimup plant to significantly improve recovery rates, processing speed, and value.
This technology, while commonplace within the softwood industry, is the first of its type for the Western Australian hardwood industry. It represents a positive shift to the use of technology to improve performance of hardwood processing.