Another timber mill closes as mines steal the workers

By Amy Phillips – ABC Rural

Another timber mill closes as mines steal the workers

The timber industry is struggling to find employees.

A Western Queensland timber milling company has been forced to close another of its mills, because it can’t compete with the mining sector for labour.

NK Collins Industries has now closed its Tambo timber mill because of labour shortages.

It had previously closed mills at Augathella and Mungalalla mills and is now only operating at Mitchell.

General manager Sean Gribble says overseas workers are the only option for the ailing timber industry, but there’s been little state or federal government support.

“The timber industry doesn’t generate anywhere near the same amount of royalties. We’ve just been basically wiped off the map. We are not on their radar whatsoever,” he said.

“We’ve been talking to State and Federal Governments – I’ve lost count of the number of months that we’ve been trying to find out whether they can assist us, particularly with overseas workers – because that is the only area we see that we are going to fill the void and it is just falling on deaf ears.”

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