South East & Limestone Coast | Developments & News

Developments in Regional South Australia. Including Port Lincoln, Victor Harbor, Wallaroo, Gawler and Mount Barker.
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monotonehell
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Re: Lower South East Pulp Mill

#46 Post by monotonehell » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:50 am

Prince George wrote:Forestry and wood pulping/chipping aren't the kind of industries that are clear winners for the state or the nation, especially when they are used for export.

Once the pulp is freighted to Port Adelaide, where is it heading after that? If it's following the route of Tasmania's forestry products, it's off to Japan who use it to manufacture paper and cardboard products that they sell back to us for a price that's orders of magnitude more than they paid us. In Collapse, Jared Diamond describes the trade as having the kind of imbalance that you would expect to find between first and third world nations - we get all the environmental problems and they get the high value-added industry. And it's because nations like ours are willing to cut down our trees and sell them for a pittance that Japan can remain the most forested first-world nation.

I'd be more excited to hear that we were going to manufacture the end products themselves with a view to supplying the domestic market, thereby removing an expensive import.
Whatever happened to value adding? Wasn't that meant to be part of the "Smart Country"?
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Re: Lower South East Pulp Mill

#47 Post by rhino » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:59 am

Here's an article from today's Adelaide Now

1000 jobs in the spitting chips industry
NIGEL AUSTIN, RURAL EDITOR
January 26, 2009 11:30pm


A MAJOR expansion of the Limestone Coast economy is expected to flow from a significant increase in the harvesting of Tasmanian blue gum trees late this year or early next year.
It will create a significant new export industry worth $250 million to $300 million a year for the region as the trees mature to harvest size.
The quantum leap in the harvest from the small existing sector is expected to create an extra 1000 jobs over five years, with comparable indirect employment as well.
About 2.8 million tonnes of blue gum woodchips are expected to be produced in the Green Triangle region each year.
Apart from direct growth in blue gum production, the emergence of the blue gum sector is expected to add significant value-adding opportunities.
They already include plans by Plantation Energy Australia to build a $25 million plant to produce wood pellets from plantation waste at Mount Gambier.
The plant will employ 13 people and produce 250,000 tonnes of pellets a year from 350,000 tonnes of raw waste material such as bark.
Plantation Energy Australia business development manager Jarrod Waring said the compressed wood pellets will be sold for industrial use for power generation or household use in Europe and possibly also in Australia.
The plant will produce more than $60 million worth of pellets a year. The development of the blue gum industry will build on the already thriving Limestone Coast economy which is blessed by the richest natural resources of any region in the state. Limestone Coast Regional Development Board chief executive Grant King said the region's economy generally wasn't too bad.
"The forest industry has been impacted a bit by the global economy,'' he said.
"We would hope that some government measures, such as the first home owners grant, will help kick-off some building activity.''
Mr King said the board was still hopeful that a pulp mill would be built at Penola.
In addition, an $18 million expansion of Teys Brothers Naracoorte abattoir is expected to boost employment by 180 jobs and lift sales to more than $200 million a year.
Mr King said that food production was attracting considerable focus and was a key area where some boards were looking for future growth.
The Cape Jaffa marina is also providing a significant boost to the region, with 135 housing blocks sold and at least 20 commercial lobster fishing boats based at the marina.
Cape Jaffa Development Company marketing and sales manager Mark Hayward said he expected 30-40 houses to be built this year and a similar number next year with 650 houses eventually.

CHANGING FACE

* South Australia's regions are in a dynamic state of change from the old days to the new.
* The former reliance on traditional agriculture is being replaced as the ingenuity of country areas leads to new sources of economic growth.
* Food processing, more intensive agriculture, aquaculture and an increasing focus on tourism, forestry and mining are among key changes.
* The Advertiser profiles changes in key regions in a four part series.
* Murraylands and Eyre Peninsula: Page 34-35.

LIMESTONE COAST
* Population: 64,956
* Taxable individuals: 29,992
* Average taxable income: $39,170
* Main industries: Agriculture, forestry, tourism.

EMPLOYMENT GROWING ON TREES

JANE Charles is one of a growing band of foresters working in the rapidly-expanding timber industry in the Mt Gambier region.
With the industry expected to employ an extra 1000 workers in the next five years, it's set to become one of the state's fastest growing business sectors.
Ms Charles is one of about 20 foresters working for ForestrySA, helping it to manage about 137,000ha of land across the state including 85,000 of pine plantations and 16,000ha of native forests in the Green Triangle and Adelaide regions. She has worked for ForestrySA since gaining a forestry degree from the University of Melbourne in 1998.
``Being a forester is a great career and really good for people who like being outdoors and don't want a full-time desk job,'' she said.
``Perhaps it's not as well understood as other rural industries, but there are a lot of opportunities.''
Ms Charles says forestry is also rewarding because growing plantation trees is a sustainable
industry.
``People need wood products and if it is from a plantation, you know that it is grown in an environmentally friendly manner,'' she said.
``Trees are like any other crop, it's just that ours take 37 years to reach maturity. If anything it gives you a greater connection with the land because you watch them grow.''
Her job involves liaising with harvesting contractors about what sites to work on, what to cut and the sizes of timber required.
``Being a forester isn't about manual labour or heavy tasks, it's more about understanding the forest and being good at planning,'' she said.
ForestrySA executive general manager, human resources, Peter Fuss said a wide range of career opportunities were available in the forestry industry.
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Re: Lower South East Pulp Mill

#48 Post by Will409 » Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:30 pm

Does anyone have any further information on the mill? The reason why I ask is that I have been contacted down my grapevine that work is slowly continuing on the Wolseley - Penola section of the Mt Gambier line with atleast 2 HiRail clearing runs to remove trees and other debris from the line having been run over the past few months (the first run took around 1 week to complete since they had to cut down several trees growing either in or close to the track). Not only that but there has been a surprise delivery of 42 ex NSW vans/box cars that arrived at Dry Creek yard on Friday and I have been told these could be used on the pulp trains (although this is by no means certain).
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Re: Lower South East Pulp Mill

#49 Post by skyliner » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:28 pm

I too have been searching for this and found that the most recent info I could get said the mill is still going ahead (John Roche). This was in late feb- found it by trawling the web on PROTAVIA MILL PENOLA UPDATE 2009. Very little around however. What you found will 409 confirms my info. however.

Interesting info about the box vans. Would be suited to the task. Have'nt seen this type of railway freight wagon for years in QLD. Begs the question - why get these?

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Re: Lower South East Pulp Mill

#50 Post by Will409 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:40 pm

For pulp traffic, I have been told that vans are easier to load and unload compared to shipping containers since wood pulp is quite obviously a bulky item.
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Re: Lower South East Pulp Mill

#51 Post by JamesXander » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:20 pm

Prince George wrote:Forestry and wood pulping/chipping aren't the kind of industries that are clear winners for the state or the nation, especially when they are used for export.

Once the pulp is freighted to Port Adelaide, where is it heading after that? If it's following the route of Tasmania's forestry products, it's off to Japan who use it to manufacture paper and cardboard products that they sell back to us for a price that's orders of magnitude more than they paid us. In Collapse, Jared Diamond describes the trade as having the kind of imbalance that you would expect to find between first and third world nations - we get all the environmental problems and they get the high value-added industry. And it's because nations like ours are willing to cut down our trees and sell them for a pittance that Japan can remain the most forested first-world nation.

I'd be more excited to hear that we were going to manufacture the end products themselves with a view to supplying the domestic market, thereby removing an expensive import.

Thats globalization for you though.

Japan obviously has an effective paper making industry. Because if you think about it, they can still compete with our industry even though their is huge logisitcal problems etc.

We cant be specialize in everything, but what Australia has plenty of is resources. If we can effectively exploit our advantage then we are the winners aswell as Japan.


For me I think this is a fantastic win for SA if this gets built, its a HUGE investment in our state. We desperately need more projects like these to be proposed.

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Re: Lower South East Pulp Mill

#52 Post by rhino » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:18 am

We actually do have the capacity here in Australia (in Brisbane, I think) to make high quality paper similar to what we import from Japan, however not in the same quantities. I seem to remember Dick Smith changing to a Queensland printer for his Australian Geographic magazine once we had the capability to make and print on top quality paper. That was some time in the 1990s, IIRC.

Consider also though, that Japan needs paper, and may not have the capacity to grow the timber required (let me know if I'm wrong). Not all the woodchips we sell to Japan end up back here as paper. They export their finished product to the rest of the world too.

Finally, it was my understanding that Protavia did want to ship it's pulp in containers for export, and that was the reason for using Port Adelaide and not Portland - Portland does not have a container terminal, nor the room to build one, and the Port of Portland is owned by Flinders Ports anyway, who also own Port Adelaide. Hence - containers are going to Port Adelaide, they can be railed there from Penola if the existing line is upgraded, so build the plant at Penola instead of Heywood.
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Re: Lower South East Pulp Mill

#53 Post by Prince George » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:54 pm

Japan has substantial forests, but it also has a profoundly strong forestry management policy. According to the World Forestry Center:
Japan is very heavily forested at 70% of its total land area, or 25 million hectares (mha) of its 37 mha total. This 25 mha can be broken down into 23 mha of closed forest area, with 10 mha of planted forests and 14 mha of natural forests. Japan has one of the highest percentages of forest cover of the developed countries. However, because of the very high population density in this small country, the forest area per capita is only about 0.2 hectares, which is one quarter of the world figure.
I believe that the forest-management policies (well, not the policies themselves, but the idea that the forests should be managed) date back to the 17th century, when the shoguns responded to deforestation by reducing logging and increasing plantations. As that quoted piece says, they don't have much forest-per-person, so they're going to have to import products to satisfy the demand. The genius of the Japanese is that they don't import finished products, they import raw materials and then produce an exportable product themselves. The difference in price between a pile of wood-pulp and a cardboard box is so great that they don't have to return much of it back to us to get a positive trade balance out of the deal, and still have the products that they need for their local market.

James, this is not a win-win for the two countries - Australia looses money on this trade, and gets left with the problems from deforestation.

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Re: Lower South East Pulp Mill

#54 Post by skyliner » Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:20 pm

Prince George - 'Protavia' = the builder of the pulp mill in Penola. products that add value in Australia. Wood pulp is worth more that the raw sawn product (blue gum)so we gain more from the final product. Admittedly this info was picked up from the Protavia site hoswever.
The pulp mill makes pulp from chips adding to export value about four fold.

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Re: Lower South East Pulp Mill

#55 Post by rhino » Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:02 pm

From today's Adelaide Now:

Pulp mill proceeds despite failure
SAM KELTON
April 27, 2009 12:01am


DESPITE hardwood giant Timbercorp's demise putting added pressure on the Penola pulp mill development, project developer John Roche has said "all systems are go".
Timbercorp, Australia's largest agribusiness manager which oversees more than $1 billion worth of forestry and horticultural projects, last week was forced in to voluntary receivership leaving a cloud of uncertainty over thousands of acres of trees.
Mr Roche said events surrounding Timbercorp were "unfortunate" due to the current world financial situation hitting many businesses but it would not affect the progress of the mill and the outcome of the planted hardwood forestry. "The trees don't and never did belong to Timbercorp," Mr Roche said.
"They belong to investors, and probably ever more so the investors are glad that the pulp mill is around because it will still take the trees."
Mr Roche also commented that that despite the receivership he is hopeful that businesses will back Timbercorp and continue the planned contract between the company and the mill.
"I'm sure someone will take it over as a growing concern and they will intend to stick with the contract and the plan of the pulp mill," Mr Roche said.
"The pulp mill is always going to be in a better position to offer a better price than taking the wood chips out of the country."
A joint meeting of Timbercorp creditors and growers will be held on May 5.
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Re: Lower South East Pulp Mill

#56 Post by fabricator » Thu May 21, 2009 9:41 pm

One interesting bit of history I learned today.

There used to be a cement train between Angaston (Barossa Valley) and Mt Gamber, till it was shutdown due to track Gauge changes. The interesting bit is both lines will be in control of GWA (once this Pulp Mill gets finished), both will be SG in the near future, and GWA even have the cement hoppers laying idle.

Finally all the pieces fit together, now I know why GWA didn't just sell the cement hoppers off to Victoria where they are needed. Also explains why GWA were so eager to completely rebuild the track, even when they had to chainsaw trees from between sleepers.
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Re: Lower South East Pulp Mill

#57 Post by susanspy » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:49 am

hello alll,


that was really cool, i like this place a lot, i got to learn new today about history & all, Lower South East Pulp Mill is really cool man,

Thanks a lot.

Cheers!!!!

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Re: Lower South East Pulp Mill

#58 Post by skyliner » Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:25 pm

Latest news I can find (may 2009) says the mill is still going ahead but needs more finances. Also interested in Timbercorp elements in the SE. (Info via John Roche). Still aiming to start in 2009. Found this info while researching under 'Protavia Penola Pulp Mill'. Rail deal still locked in with Pt Adelaide, although there has been competition from Portland - not adequate however to eliminate Pt Adelaide as the focal export point. Sad!Not!

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Naracoorte - goodbye 106 year old convent, hello carpark

#59 Post by Prince George » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:16 am

On the news this morning, workers will start demolishing the 106 year old Eurana House in Naracoorte to make way for (are you ready for this?) a carpark for the shopping centre next door. This story has been going on for 3 & 1/2 years since the developers first got approval for the work. From the ABC in 2006:
Naracoorte's 103-year-old convent building will be demolished next week to make way for a $3 million shopping centre expansion.

An order seeking demolition of Eurana House was approved by Naracoorte Lucindale Council on Monday.

The building is not heritage listed, meaning council could find no grounds to refuse the request.

A regional representative for the National Trust, John Stafford, says the news has come as a sudden shock to sections of the town.

"Naracoorte hasn't got a lot of historic buildings and we're losing one of the very few that we've got," he said.

"I know the Catholic Church is probably quite upset about it too because it's their heritage as well as the town's. We're looking to what we can do about it ... but we're feeling quite helpless at the present."

Plaza owners Perks Property Developers says it has offered the National Trust the opportunity to take photos and retrieve items of heritage significance from the building.

Chief executive John Hayman says it looked at keeping the building because of its heritage value, but that was not an economically viable option.

"It's always a very tough question isn't it? But unfortunately progress has to happen and Naracoorte's a growth area and we want to be a part of helping it to grow," he said.
This then starts a series of standoffs with protestors forming human shields, council saying they'll buy the building, the developer saying they'd rather lease it out than sell it, a desperate plan to relocate the entire building, and the local group that are trying to fund that move failing to raise enough money.

The lesson? A century's worth of history embodied in a building is worth less than the parcel of reasonably flat land that it is sitting on. As far as a developer is concerned, a building for humans is no more compelling than an open lot for cars. For me this is another example of the flaws in our clumsy heritage system that only recognises two classes of building: either it is heritage listed and it must be preserved exactly as it is in perpetuity, or it is not and you may do whatever the heck you want with it. We need some sort of a "significant building" status that doesn't forbid changes but instead says "if you're going to monkey around with a significant building, you had better be doing something significant yourself".

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Re: Naracoorte - goodbye 106 year old convent, hello carpark

#60 Post by rhino » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:43 pm

Prince George wrote: We need some sort of a "significant building" status that doesn't forbid changes but instead says "if you're going to monkey around with a significant building, you had better be doing something significant yourself".
Well said, that man! I agree 100%.
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