Friday, February 4th, 2011
Whittakers Ltd are to expand production at the Greenbushes Sawmill and processing facility. It has reached an agreement with the Forest Products Commission (FPC) to take in an additional 14,400 tonnes of jarrah sawlogs for processing and converting into value added products including furniture feedstock, flooring and joinery.

“Our business has the capacity to expand to these levels” said Whittakers’ Chief Executive Officer, Trevor Richardson. “Under these new arrangements we will be able to operate more efficiently with certainty in pricing and log supply”.

Mr Richardson indicated that Whittakers would ultimately be employing 33 additional staff at Greenbushes over the next 12 months and would welcome any of the experienced personnel to be stood down at Gunns Manjimup to contact them regarding employment opportunities over the next 12 months.

Mr David Hartley, Acting General Manager of FPC, indicated that the government had worked hard to stabilise the timber industry which had gone through several difficult years.

“The industry is still adjusting to a regrowth timber resource and Whittakers’ decision to expand its operation signals that it is starting to turn around”.

Whittakers mills jarrah, karri and marri sawlogs, and invested $10 million in 2006 in a new mill for cutting small regrowth logs.

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Forest Products Commission

The Forest Products Commission (FPC) is a Government trading enterprise established to develop and market Western Australia's renewable timber resources.

In addition to growing millions of seedlings every year, we are investing in research and development - to secure the greatest possible returns on a variety of commercial species including eucalypt sawlogs, maritime pine, sandalwood, jarrah and marri. We are identifying ways and means in which we can extend the traditional uses of our timbers, so that we can provide value-added commercial opportunities.

The FPC is also working closely with local industry and Western Australian landowners and farmers, to ensure land is readily available for future tree crops and plantations. To ensure the long-term sustainability of our unique timbers, we carefully match selected tree species with the soil, water and climate of an area, prior to seeding.

We are also involved in the marketing of Western Australian timber products. In conjunction with bodies such as the Furnishing Industry Association, we assist with the promotion of the many features and uses of our timbers ie the value of sandalwood in pharmaceutical products, and the growth of karri and jarrah in export furniture and manufacturing markets.

Sustainable forest management ensures economic, environmental and social benefits for the community such as increased employment opportunities, countering carbon dioxide omissions, reversed land degradation and restored biodiversity.

Western Australia is home to a diverse range of unique native timbers and plantation timbers. The FPC is not involved in old growth production, but rather the long term preservation and expansion of Western Australian plantation and native timbers.
Judi Pitcher
P: 0894758882
M: 0417954544


native forests, south west, western australia, timber industry, employment, gunns limited, gunns timber products



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