Questions for chipmill to answer

General Manager of the Eden chipmill, Kel Henry has told local media (Magnet 11/11 and ABC SE 15/11) that ANWE’s new sawmill is on its way from Sweden.

He has also told us that ANWE has not yet even applied for a DA from the Bega Valley Shire Council.

Likewise although the Environment Protection Authority has inspected the site, a search of the EPA Licence Register shows no application there either.

Mr Henry’s confidence also extends to having secured the Eden sawlog quota. Unless ANWE gets this from Blueridge Hardwoods, the  new mill will not happen.

So far there has been no formal announcement from the Forestry Corporation about the sawlog WSA.

ANWE must be very confident of favourable decisions on all three.

The woodchipping industry has been getting its own way for 50 years now, but if I was about to spend $20 million I think I’d want all three approvals in the bag first.

Further, Mr Henry says that the new mill will be ”fairly automated,”  but will employ just 10 to 12 people. Blueridge Hardwoods currently employs approximately 55 people. Perhaps he could have been asked to comment on that.

If I’d had the opportunity to interview him I would also have asked him how the chipmill is coping when, until this week, Eden has not see a woodchip carrier in port for over 3 months.

I would also ask him how ANWE can assure us that it can be trusted with a likely monopoly over the market for every tree cut down in the Eden Region.

Harriett Swift

18 November 2019